Western Massachusetts Branding Firm Sought

Greater Springfield Convention

The Greater Springfield Convention and Visitors Bureau (GSCVB) and the Economic Development Council of Western Massachusetts (EDC) is seeking a branding agency to create a coordinated, regional brand that increases awareness of the region and its attractiveness as a place to visit, work, live, or grow a business.

The Western Massachusetts region is committed to launching a positive branding campaign in 2016 and continuing into future years. The hope is that this can be a broad- based, coordinated effort across multiple constituencies led by economic development and tourism. The intent is that by more effectively communicating the capabilities of our business communities, the qualities of our local attractions and the quality of our work/life environment we can strengthen our existing business relationships, create new market opportunities, become more attractive to visitors and events and attract and retain talent. The Greater Springfield Convention and Visitors Bureau, an affiliate of the Economic Development Council of Western MA, promotes Massachusetts’ Pioneer Valley as a year-round destination for conventions, meetings, sports, group tour and leisure travel. The EDC mission is to stimulate and facilitate a vigorous regional economy, encouraging and sustaining capital investment and quality job growth.

Scope of work for the campaign includes:

  1. Brand Audit – Review existing elements of branding including but not limited to market research, market attributes, marketing plans, current collateral.
  2. Interviews with key stakeholders and any other assets that will assist in understanding the current brand. Working with key stakeholders, the firm will identify what differentiates the region from its competitors.
  3. Meeting with the staff and key members of the GSCVB and EDC to learn about the characteristics of each organization along with expectations.
  4. Review of existing concept developed by the EDC’s Homefield Advantage Marketing Sub-Committee to determine whether it can be modified to include tourism and/or is an appropriate representation of this region and our goals. (Document attached)
  5. Review of Team Springfield, a collaborative initiative for attracting meetings & conventions to the MassMutual Convention Center.
  6. Review of the Western MA Sports Commission, a division of the GSCVB capitalizing on the 4-county region’s history of sport, abundance of colleges and ideal infrastructure to attract more small, medium and large scale sporting events of all types into Springfield and the region. For the purpose of sports events marketing, the region includes Hampden, Hampshire, Franklin and Berkshire counties.
  7. Brand Strategy – Create a cohesive brand for regional tourism and economic development that advances tourism, recruitment and business attraction and expansion.
  8. The successful firm(s) should expect to answer the following questions to complete the branding process:
  9. What are the economic and tourism assets of the region?
  10. What do we promise? What are the assets and experiences that we are capable of delivering?

What sets us apart from the competition in our sectors?

  1. Based on the input received, the firm(s) will develop a brand platform for tourism and economic development. These brands must be part of a cohesive ‘family’ where each brand can stand alone but must make sense together. Include brand platform: mission, position, values, attributes, promise, tone, and pitch.
  2. Brand Testing In-Market and Target Markets – Up to three platforms and logos to test with focus groups and/or other appropriate testing methodology must be applied to ensure that brands fulfill the brand promise.
  3. Brand Assets – Create and finalize brand guidelines consisting of the following deliverables:
  4. Brand Platform: promise, mission, vision, position, values, attributes, personality
  5. Messaging Guidelines: name, tagline, voice, key points and supporting messaging, and writing guidelines
  6. Visuals: Logo, colors, corporate typefaces, design and style grids, imagery, dos & don’ts
  7. Roll-out Recommendations – Create a suggested local and regional launch plan to include public relations, social media and other communication channels as needed. Include metrics to gauge success of roll-out.

Proposals are due by April 1, 2016 to:

Greater Springfield Convention & Visitors Bureau Michele Goldberg, Director of Marketing

1441 Main Street

Springfield, MA 01103

Lewis PR, Porter Novelli & Fleishman Hillard all have offices in the region.

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