Request for Proposal

The City of Aledo is currently accepting proposals to prepare a community branding strategy.  Effective imaging and branding of Aledo will play a prominent role in successfully carrying out the mission of the community.

The purpose of this Request for Proposal (RFP) is to solicit proposals from various candidate organizations in an effort to find the most effective partner for the branding process. The City will conduct a fair and extensive evaluation of all proposals received based on the criteria listed in this document. The candidate who best represents the future direction of the City of Aledo will be the candidate who brings ideas and vision to the project based on industry expertise, technical capability and client relations, guiding us to incorporate our goals into that vision.

The City realizes it does not possess this expertise internally. The City is open to suggestions and ideas which may be overlooked in this RFP that would provide for a better outcome. Candidate responses are encouraged to include suggestions that can better guide this community in its branding process.

​GUIDELINES

This Request for Proposal represents the requirements for an open and competitive process. Proposals will be accepted until 4:30 p.m., June 19, 2020. Any proposals received after that date and time will be returned to the sender. All proposals must be signed by an official agent or representative of the company submitting the proposal.

​ If the organization submitting a proposal must outsource or contract any work to meet the requirements contained herein, this must be clearly stated in the proposal. Additionally, all costs included in a proposal must be all-inclusive, to include any outsourced or contracted work.

​ Contract terms and conditions will be negotiated upon selection of the winning bid for this RFP. All contractual terms and conditions will be subject to review by the City of Aledo and will include the scope, budget, schedule, and other necessary items pertaining to the project.

PURPOSE AND DESCRIPTION

​ The purpose of this project is as follows: The City of Aledo is seeking proposals to develop a comprehensive image and branding strategy for the entire community. Specifically, the scope of this project will include the development of branding for the City as it seeks to make the community more attractive to prospective residents, businesses, and visitors.

​ The City of Aledo was founded in 1855. Aledo is a small city in the rural community of Mercer County, Illinois, which is located in Western Illinois, between the Quad Cities, Muscatine, and Galesburg metropolitan areas. Aledo is the largest city in Mercer County, with a population of approximately 3,600. The city features both a historical central commercial district and a modern commercial district located to the east of downtown. The 14th Judicial Circuit Court system is located at the Mercer County Courthouse in Aledo, which is the county seat and home to the Mercer County School District #404 Administration Office, as well as the Mercer County High School, Intermediate School and Apollo Elementary School. Numerous other stakeholders are located in Aledo, including Aledo Main Street, Genesis Medical Center, the Mercer County YMCA, and many businesses and social organizations.

​ All of Aledo’s stakeholders understand that in order to prosper, resources must be combined and leveraged by working together as one community. Collaborations between public and private stakeholders have been successful in doing just that. The City wishes to engage the entire community in the branding process.

​ A comprehensive community branding strategy has never been carried out by the City of Aledo, and when looking at community signage, letterhead and other forms of public communication, this fact is obvious. As Aledo moves forward with its economic development and residential growth programs, measures must be taken to visually express the high quality of life that is enjoyed by our community. By conducting a comprehensive and strategic branding and imaging campaign, the City of Aledo will not only engage the top public and private stakeholders facilitating the process, but also the general public. This inclusivity, combined with the outside branding expertise from a successful bidder, will ensure that the new City-associated image and branding is representative of the entire community, rather than a “top-down” effort.

Project Description: The City of Aledo is seeking a firm with community branding expertise to utilize best practices methodology for researching and developing a citywide branding strategy. A new image / brand will be developed for the City of Aledo. This brand will incorporate an image, messaging, or other sort of likeness that will give an easily recognizable image to this community. Although not a direct beneficiary of the initial branding effort, other stakeholders can choose to incorporate these same likenesses in creating their own branding, which will again enforce the combined citywide effort to create an easily recognizable community image.

​ The City envisions this branding project to first include background research; then high-level public and private stakeholder input, followed by the collection of community-wide opinions gathered through the distribution of identity surveys and the holding of informational public meetings conducted for the purpose of garnering views on the Community’s image. The results of this research and data collection will be used to formulate the imaging that is then incorporated into a citywide brand.

​ The organization submitting a proposal shall perform the graphic design work involved in the brand creation, along with brand guidelines and creative samples for use across multiple media in various types of community signage and imaging. As referenced previously, these steps are perceived to be far from all-encompassing in this community branding process. The City of Aledo encourages additional and/or alternate suggestions from branding experts in the returned proposals.

PROJECT SCOPE

​The scope of this project includes all research, stakeholder input gathering, and the design and development of a branding campaign for the City of Aledo.

​The specific scope of work will include the following:

1. Conduct identity, image and perception research
​2. Develop a community branding vision
​3. Identify/establish a brand for the City of Aledo
​4. Create branding deliverables, to include brand guidelines, a community tagline, individual logos, images, layouts, fonts, color patterns and/or other styling aspects for each and every aspect of the way Aledo communicates and represents itself across all media, through all methods and in all forms of communication
​5. Analyze the effectiveness of existing economic and community development related websites, program communications, and social media; recommend and implement design recommendations for a more user friendly and engaging experience
​6. Develop a newsletter design which is scalable and suited for distribution both electronically and printed physical copies
​7. Develop a “promotional” video which introduces the City’s new image and highlights Aledo and the best aspects of the community as an attractive place with a high quality of life for families and people of all ages to live and work, as well as in which to locate a new business

PROJECT ALTERNATES / ADD-ONS

​Dependent upon the value to the project and the necessity to further the City’s goals, the City will consider additional deliverables for inclusion in the project. These items will be considered in the selection process. The actual determination to include any additional deliverables will depend upon the needs of the City as the project progresses, so any additional deliverables recommended by a bidder must be priced individually and the bidder must be willing to perform the project without including the additional deliverables. The City encourages bidders to recommend additional deliverables the bidder believes will enhance the goals of the project; some examples include the following:

1. Provide ongoing social media assistance to the City
​2. Provide additional promotional videos for the following purposes:
​     a. Economic development
​     b. Highlight various community events and or projects
​     c. Videos for use in community advertising

PROJECT TIMELINE

Request for Proposal Timeline:

​1. May 15, 2020 – RFP release date
​2. Questions from potential bidders taken until the RFP due date; submit to City Administrator Chris Sullivan, Aledo City Hall, 120 N College Avenue, PO Box 267, Aledo, Illinois 61231, (309) 582-7241 x207, cityadmin@aledoil.org.
​3. June 19, 2020 (no later than 4:30 p.m.) – All proposals in response to RFP due
​4. Evaluation of proposals conducted from June 22, 2020 until approximately July 3, 2020. If additional information or discussions are needed with any bidders during this time period, the bidder(s) will be notified
​5. Selection decision of the winning bid to be made no later than July 6, 2020
​6. Notifications to bidders who were not selected will be completed by July 13, 2020

Project Timeline:

​ 1. Project must commence July 13, 2020.

BUDGET

​All proposals must include proposed costs to complete the tasks described in the project scope. All costs and fees must be clearly described in each proposal.

​ The winning bid will be selected based upon the best proposal to be completed at the lowest cost.

BIDDER QUALIFICATIONS

​Bidders should provide the following items as part of their proposal:

​1. Provide an overview of the firm and its similar branding experience
​2. As a minimum qualification, candidates must have completed three branding initiatives for a community or an organization in the past five (5) years
​3. Describe three branding initiatives your firm lead in the past five (5) years
​4. Provide three client references, with key contact information

SUBMITTAL REQUIREMENTS

​Consultants shall deliver one (1) original, marked as “original”, and three (3) copies of the Statement of Qualifications in a sealed envelope. The Statement of Qualifications shall be prepared simply and provide a straightforward description of the consultant’s ability to undertake the project.

EVALUATION CRITERIA

​ The City of Aledo will evaluate all proposals based on the following criteria:

1. To ensure consideration for this Request for Proposal, your proposal must be no more than 20 pages in length
​2. Should be complete and include all of the following criteria:
​          a. Describe your plan to develop branding for the City of Aledo
​          b. Describe your research plan for this project
​          c. Describe your plan for stakeholder input into this process
​          d. Describe your proposed timeline for this project
​          e. Describe your staffing for this project
​          f. Describe the deliverables you will provide at the completion of this project
​          g. Provide a budget for the services described in this RFP

SUBMITTAL DEADLINE

​The submittal deadline is Friday, June 19, 2020 at 4:30 p.m. Statements of Qualifications received after this date/time will not be accepted.

DELIVERY ADDRESS

​Sealed Statements of Qualifications shall be delivered to:
​         Jarod Dale, City Clerk  
​         Sealed RFP: City of Aledo Branding / Marketing
​         Aledo City Hall
​         120 N College Avenue, P.O. Box 267
​         Aledo, Illinois 61231