As a product entrepreneur, do you know that showcasing your brand consistently across multiple platforms can grow your revenue by 23%? And if these buyers share your values, 89% of them will remain brand loyal!
You can achieve this by finding a qualified, professional branding agency that can help you with brand consistency and customer relationship.
The first move in this direction lies in a well-structured and accurate branding RFP document that outlines everything you need for your branding or rebranding project.
Read on to learn how to structure this official solicitation and why this document is imperative for the success of your branding project.
What Is a Branding RFP?
A branding request for proposal (RFP) is an official document that announces a branding project (along with a detailed description and requirements) that’s open for bidding to qualified vendors.
When a company needs to create a unique brand identity or successfully rebrand, they usually outsource the services of a professional branding agency instead of resorting to in-house resources. Doing so gives them an outsider’s perspective that can provide valuable insights into how the brand is or will be perceived.
The branding RFP summarizes all the important information about the project in a nicely formatted presentation. A well-organized RFP can grant you competitive proposals and allow you to compare different branding vendors that submit their bids in an RFP response.
The entire RFP process provides an objective framework to select the best provider for your branding project and successfully outsource branding services.
Why Do You Need a Branding Request for Proposal?
A branding request for proposal is the first step to finding the ideal vendor to deliver a successful branding or rebranding project.
Apart from being a useful tool for eliminating providers that don’t fit the bill, here are some other benefits of creating a branding RFP:
- Get the best price for your project: Sending your RFP to various branding agencies will help you get more competitive proposals and therefore, the best price for your upcoming project.
- Meticulously compare potential branding providers: This well-structured document will enable you to compare costs, services, portfolio, expertise, capabilities, results, team size and other criteria to select the most suitable agency that can deliver the best branding solution.
- Save valuable time and resources: In general, the RFPs follow a very strict format and clear guidelines which will allow your procurement team to save time and energy researching the bidding branding companies.
What Elements Should You Include in Your Brand RFP?
A branding RFP is much like various RFPs for different services and specializations created by a company looking for potential suppliers. But only this time, it’s for those interested in procuring specialized branding services.
That said, these are the essential components you need to include when creating your branding RFP:
- Company information and background
- Marketplace and key competitors
- Brand Mission, Vision and UVP
- Existing branding issues and challenges
- Target audience
- Project scope
- Project and RFP process timeline
How to Write a Branding RFP in 8 Steps
Each brand RFP should adapt to the procuring firm’s specific business needs and project requirements. However, regardless of the types of services needed, all types of RFPs incorporate a set of steps to ensure an accurate briefing and a consistent RFP process.
These are the 8 essential steps to writing an effective branding RFP:
Step #1: Provide the Key Info About Your Business
Start your branding request for proposal by providing accurate and detailed information about your company.
Prospective branding agencies need to discover what your business is all about. Try to provide an exhaustive description of what you do, your product or service offerings and how they address your customers’ needs, how long you have been in the business, what sets your brand apart, what stage you are in your business, etc.
Simply put, your business information summary should include:
- A short history about your company
- Brand Mission and Vision
- Unique value proposition
- Business values and goals
- Business stage (start-up, industry leader, etc.)
- Current revenue
- Market and industry
- Competitive landscape
- Major stakeholders
- Procurement Officer or Branding Project Manager
- Links to your website and social media accounts
Step #2: List Your Current Branding Challenges
This section is about outlining the components you think your brand lacks. Be honest in why you think your branding is failing, from misguided messaging to irrelevance in the marketplace and everything in between.
Dive into aspects like:
- Improper brand positioning
- No competitive brand differentiation
- Inconsistent brand messaging
- Lacking brand authenticity
- Breaking brand promise
Aim to clearly define the challenges your business is currently struggling with as well as potential issues you predict in the long run. This will help your future agency partner devise a relevant branding solution.
Step #3: Share Details About Your Brand Audience
Defining your target audience is imperative for successful branding and it is the foundation for your brand positioning. Your brand audience is the group of consumers that your brand’s offerings are most likely to appeal to.
Share all the available information you have about your target audience in your branding RFP. Experts will use this valuable input as the groundwork for your branding strategy.
Include details about your target audience and their main attributes:
- Demographic info:
- Education level
- And more
- Psychographic info:
- Buying behavior and habits
- Shopping history
- Pain points
- And more
- User Persona/Ideal customer
Step #4: Outline Your Branding Project’s Scope and Deliverables
This is where you make sure the scope of work is clear and to the point. List the specific deliverables for your branding/rebranding project, including:
- Audience research:
- Focus groups
- Social media analytics
- Brand auditing
- Proposed branding/rebranding strategy
- Logo design in different formats for multiple channels
- Brand style guide:
- Color palette and schemes
- Logo files
- Other design elements
- Brand identity templates:
- Business cards
- Email signature
- Ingenious ideas for ad campaigns and marketing collaterals (digital and print)
If your company is struggling with explicitly defining the project deliverables, you may request prospective branding agencies a discovery phase in which branding strategists and designers will help you map out the scope of services needed.
Step #5: Describe Your Ideal Branding Vendor
You should also draft in your branding RFP what you expect from an ideal provider. This step will help you shortlist the candidates that meet your particular requirements.
These could be anything from:
- Desired working hours and time zone
- Expertise working for your niche or similar industries
- Relevant work portfolio for your branding goals
- A senior-level team of specialists and executive involvement
- Willingness to collaborate with other third-party providers like marketing specialists
- Availability for regular video calls or live meetings, weekly reports and updates
- Flexible payment options or other financial considerations
- And more
Additionally, you can ask potential vendors to offer a few references from clients who have employed their services for branding or rebranding, alongside a summary of their project scope and contact information.
Step #6: Communicate Your RFP and Project Timeline
This section is dedicated to one of the most important aspects of a thorough branding RFP — communicating your project’s deadlines and the timelines for the entire RFP process.
Make sure to include the dates for:
- The start of the project
- The duration of your branding project
- The separate milestones for different parts of your project
- The brand RFP distribution to potential vendors
- The interval during which you will accept and review the RFP responses
- When you will choose the most suitable branding agencies
- When you will announce the winning branding agency
Taking this step is crucial so that your potential list of agency partners can plan accordingly, develop strategies and submit their proposals within your timeframe. Also, try to specify if your proposed deadlines are fixed or flexible.
Step #7: Present Your Budget
Include a realistic budget plan in your branding RFP as that will help you receive more accurate responses from vendors. It will also enable them to identify and propose the most important service offerings to help you reach your project goals.
When presenting your budget, be transparent and highlight your openness to negotiations. You may also share any budget constraints that you may have as that will also help you better assess the RFP responses from various providers.
Step #8: Provide Your Contact Information
Conclude your document by introducing the contact person for your branding RFP. You can also use this opportunity to reiterate the most pressing deadline for your branding project.
Interested in learning more about branding? Check out these 2 other blog posts
This guest blog post was provided by Design Rush, a B2B Marketplace that helps companies find top agencies like Retailbound. If you are interested in finding the right branding agency for your company, click this link to request more information.