Branding Services RFQ

RFQ NO.: _19-                                                          

DATE ISSUED: Sunday, Feb. 17, 2019

SUBMISSION DEADLINE: Tuesday, March 12, 2019, @ 3:00 P.M. CST

RFQ NOTICE

The North Little Rock Convention & Visitors Bureau is requesting statements of qualifications from qualified individuals/firms for branding.

Any questions regarding this RFQ should be directed in writing by 3 p.m. CST on Tuesday, March 5, 2019, to:

Stephanie Slagle, Communications Manager

North Little Rock Convention & Visitors Bureau

P.O. Box 5511, North Little Rock, AR 72119

OR

sslagle@northlittlerock.org


REQUEST FOR QUALIFICATIONS

Branding

February 17, 2019

INTRODUCTION

The North Little Rock Convention & Visitors Bureau (the “CVB”) is soliciting Requests for Qualifications (RFQ) from interested, experienced and qualified marketing and branding firms for professional branding services. The CVB anticipates awarding a single contract for the services required. 

The CVB is seeking creative branding assets and branding strategy. The branding will help create an identity for the CVB and position North Little Rock as a tourism destination, based on the results of a recent marketing research project. This is a one-time project, not a long-term contract.

The North Little Rock Advertising & Promotion Commission (the “Commission”) oversees the CVB, which functions as the sales, promotion and marketing arm of the Commission.

As the city’s Destination Management/Marketing Organization (DMO), the CVB’s primary functions are to make a positive difference in the economy, market the community, coordinate with industry partners, be a quasi-public representative of the tourism industry, and build community pride. These functions are accomplished by working directly with the local community and the city’s tourism facilities – hotels, restaurants, attractions, special events and festivals. The CVB also accomplishes its mission through personal sales, print, online and broadcast media advertising, brochure distribution, public relations, promotions and community outreach.

PURPOSE

The purpose of this Request for Qualifications (RFQ) is to obtain information about marketing and branding firms interested in providing expert professional branding services at the discretion of the CVB. Do not include any estimates or financial information. The CVB will evaluate each interested firm using the criteria outlined in this RFQ.

QUALIFICATIONS TO COMPETE

Desired Firm Characteristics

  • Any interested marketing or branding firm with experience in branding for destinations or the tourism industry.
  • Knowledge of, and experience with, creating branding assets for a variety of platforms and uses.
  • Ability to take unbiased third-party research to inform creative direction.

Specific Goals in the Future Branding Process

  • Increase number of booked hotel rooms and foodservice sales in North Little Rock.
  • Target current key markets and potential markets.
  • Provide a welcoming, accessible destination for a diverse group of visitors.
  • Develop a brand and brand assets for the CVB in conjunction with a new visitors information center in the downtown Argenta Arts District.
  • Develop a brand and brand assets for North Little Rock as a destination.
  • Develop and maintain partnerships between the CVB and the local community.
  • Create a focused, strategic approach to sales and marketing based on research.
  • Improve visitor engagement and experience in North Little Rock.
  • Create new opportunities for visitors to experience North Little Rock.

Submission Format and Requirements

Each respondent shall provide the following information:

  • Cover letter providing a summary of the respondent’s qualifications, experience, past projects of similar nature and size, and reasons for interest in this opportunity. The letter must be signed by a principal or authorized officer who may make legally binding commitments for the entity.
  • Identify members of the branding team. Provide a brief description of each team member’s role including the following:
  • Principals involved in the project
  • Resumes of key team members
  • Descriptions of team members’ proposed roles and relevant experience with projects of similar nature and size and any experience in and familiarity with destination branding
  • Lead contact for the team

Description of qualifications, including:

  • The respondent’s relevant branding experience with destinations.
  • The respondent’s demonstrated expertise in:
  • Ability to manage all components of the branding project with the assistance of CVB staff: establish brand mission statement, outline the brand “personality,”create a brand logo and slogan, create key brand messages.
  • Ability to plan and execute work effectively,meet deadlines and interface professionally with the CVB.
  • Provide a list of similar projects completed within the last five (5) years. Provide PDFs showcasing relevant examples of similar work.
  • Provide the name, address, email address and telephone number of at least three (3) references from previous clients that worked with your firm on similar projects.
  • Include any other information you believe to be relevant to the selection of your firm for this project.

Provide the original and five (5)copies of your submission along with a cover letter indicating interest; project understanding; composition of team; and list of similar projects, work samples,table of contents and dividers. Incomplete submissions will not be considered.

Proposal to be clearly marked: Branding Services for North Little Rock CVB RFQ

Submissions must be received by the CVB no later than 3:00 p.m. CST on Tuesday, March 12, 2019, at the address below. Late submissions will not be accepted.

Mail to:

Stephanie Slagle, Marketing Manager

North Little Rock Convention& Visitors Bureau

P.O. Box 5511

North Little Rock, AR 72119

OR

Deliver in person to:

Stephanie Slagle, Marketing Manager

#1 Eldor Johnson Drive, Burns Park, North Little Rock, AR 72118

All questions regarding this RFQ shall be submitted in writing and directed to: Stephanie Slagle at sslagle@northlittlerock.org. Questions must be received in writing by Tuesday, March 5, 2019, no later than 3:00 p.m. CST. Questions initiated after March 5, 2019, will not be considered.

Any additional information and/or clarification regarding this RFQ will be issued in the form of an addendum to this RFQ no later than Thursday, March 7, 2019, and will be posted at the following webpage: www.northlittlerock.org/branding-services-RFQ.  

Respondents will be responsible forkeeping abreast of the addenda as they are posted. All such addenda shall becomea part of the RFQ and all Respondents shall be bound by such.

In order that the selection process is as objective as possible, please do not contact CVB staff other than as noted above.

SELECTION PROCESS

A selection committee composed of CVB staff will screen and rank all submitted Respondents. Responses will be evaluated based on qualifications and background.

Criteria to be used in screening and ranking of the RFQ and selection of the successful firm are as follows:

  • Qualifications of the Firm, including Firm Personnel – Preference shall be given to those firms and personnel with experience and training in branding for similar projects, as outlined in this RFQ. Demonstrated experience with destinations.
  • Overall Qualifications of the Project Manager and Project Team – Qualifications of the Project Manager and those personnel that will be assigned to the project, including the location of their office, will be considered. Preference shall be given to project teams with specific experience in similar projects and any familiarity with the region and proposed projects, as outline in this RFQ.
  • Response Capability / Project Understanding – Preference shall be afforded to those firms who, in the opinion of the CVB, are able to adequately respond to requests for consultation meetings, meet project administration requirements and understand detailed project requirements.

CONTRACT

After all proposals have been reviewed, the selected firm will be invited to negotiate a contract with the CVB for branding services.

GENERAL COMMENTS

  • Any cost incurred by respondents in preparing or submitting a proposal, or participating in an onsite interview shall be the respondents’ sole responsibility.
  • All responses, inquiries or correspondence relating to this RFQ will become the property of the CVB.
  • The CVB reserves the right to reject any or all proposals received or to request additional information as may be needed to determine qualifications. It is the intention of the CVB to negotiate a contract for services at fair and reasonable prices with what it determines to be the best qualified firm.
  • The CVB may or may not conduct interviews. Elaborate presentations and submittals during the interview process are neither expected nor requested. Each interview will last no more than three hours and will be conducted at the Visitors Information Center located at #1 Eldor Johnson Drive,Burns Park, North Little Rock, AR 72118.

Addendum (February 25, 2019, 4:41 p.m.)

  • According to your criteria to be used in screening/ranking it appears that local/in-state groups will be given preference. Can you tell me what weight will be given to location of office? Location will be a consideration for ease of communication and cost but we are open to working with out-of-state companies if they are the most qualified.
  • Have you ever worked with a creative agency? Yes
  • Do you currently have a creative partner? Who? No
  • Who conducted the third party research that will guide the creative development? Gray Research Solutions out of Nashville, Tennessee

Addendum (February 27, 2019, 12:15 p.m.)

  • When was the last time that the CVB went through a rebranding? 2012
  • Which other staff, consultants or media outlets may be part of this collaboration? PR firm, broadcast media, etc. how would they be involved if at all? Our staff only. We handle all advertising design/placement, PR and marketing in-house.

Addendum (March 4, 2019, 4:17 p.m.)

  • What would be the timeline of the branding project? The timeline will be a negotiation/discussion later in the process, depending on schedules/availability of all parties involved.
  • We have received several questions about how much weight will be given to location and experience, as well the CVB’s current marketing strategy/demographics/measurements. These will be addressed during the proposal stage of the process. If you are well-qualified, we encourage you to submit.