Project Overview

The planning process for the 2018-2020 Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce (FGCC) Strategic Plan uncovered several strategic challenges as well as rationale for internal change. To address these challenges and work toward the organization’s mission and vision, the Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce outlined new strategies, including potentially rebranding the organization.

The Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce is seeking an entity to help facilitate this project.

View RFP

Questions and Additional Information

For questions or additional information, contact Julie HippsAdministrative Coordinator, Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce, jhipps@flintandgenesee.org. Any additional announcements or addendums will be posted here. 

RFP responses must be submitted to the Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce by 4:00 pm, May 8, 2019 to: 

Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce Branding Development
Julie Hipps, Administrative Coordinator
Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce
email: jhipps@flintandgenesee.org

Questions and Responses

  1. Are companies outside of the United States eligible to submit a proposal?

Yes, however it will be expected that consultants attend meetings at our office in Flint, Michigan.

  1. Will consultants be required to attend meetings at Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce.

Yes.

  1. Can consultants complete the work outside of the US?

Yes.

  1. Can we submit the proposals via email?

Email is preferred.  Please review the full Request for Proposal for Branding Development Consultant Services for complete submission instructions.

  1. What are some of the major concerns with the current branding that you face from a communications perspective?

While the Chamber has been accepted as Genesee County’s lead economic development agency by State and Federal partners, within the county, the organization struggles to be recognized by municipal entities, business leaders, and service-provider partners as the primary driver of economic growth. The FGCC consistently describes itself as an untraditional Chamber, but the organization struggles to overcome the perceptions associated with a traditional membership organization. Within the Chamber, communication challenges vary, and are likely results of historical mergers, rapid growth, structural changes, and expanded community influence.

 

  1. Do the four organizations have their own specific branding challenges currently, and if so, could you provide any examples?

See response to Question 5 above.

  1. Are you able to share any of the raw research that was conducted to inform the strategic plan?

We are more than happy to share any available and relevant data with the consultant selected for the project.

  1. Do you have any current brand guidelines or style books that you can share?

The organization’s current Graphic Standards can be found online.

  1. Does the agency have to be headquartered in Genesee County or have an office in the county?

No.  It is expected that consultants attend meetings at our office in Flint, Michigan.

  1. Is there a paid media budget set aside for the launch of the rebranding?

There is a paid media budget included in the organization’s operational budget.  The budget for rebranding will be determined by the work outlined by the selected consultant

  1. Do you have an estimated budget in mind for the entire project?

While we do not have an unlimited budget, we believe this is an important investment in the future of Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce. We value efficiency and smart use of dollars. If a desirable proposal is submitted that exceeds our budget, we are willing to review the budget and discuss reasonable changes that more accurately reflect the dollars available to complete the project.

  1. What type of research has already been compiled and how recent is it?

Brand research has never been conducted for the organization.  Destination brand research was conducted for the region in 2012-13.

  1. Along with stakeholders, who will we interface with on the development team throughout the engagement?

The consultant will work primarily with the Director of Communications and the Director of Marketing.

  1. With the stated purpose of determining if the FGCC should invest with more emphasis on branding the FGCC or on the four distinct brands, will there be an opportunity to adjust budgets, if needed, based on what the research reveals?

Yes.

  1. The RFP states that Phase 1 should “Evaluate the need for sub-brands for the organization; develop sub-brand identities and strategies as needed.” If the process includes determining if sub-brands are needed, are you looking for two different budget scenarios, one with sub-brands and one without? Or do you envision that any scenario will include some sort of brand family that incorporates the four groups?

We are looking for a consultant that will provide guidance on the best course of action to take based upon their findings.  Please plan the budget in your proposal accordingly.

  1. How long has the existing logo been used?

The existing logo has been in use since 2013.

  1. Do you have brief history on the logo?

In 2013, the Chamber changed its name and logo as part of a larger rebranding effort to market Flint and Genesee County as a desirable destination to visit, conduct business, live and play. The destination brand identity is “Flint & Genesee” which brings together the two entities in name and logo; because together we are stronger. This message was conveyed consistently by hundreds of people who participated in listening sessions, interviews and focus groups.

At the time, the new name also better reflected our expanding organization and the communities that we represent. Therefore, the organization evolved from the Genesee Regional Chamber of Commerce to the current name/logo Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce.

  1. Were the four action groups determined during the Strategic Plan process or put in place prior to Plan?

The four action groups exist to support the organization’s mission and strategic plan; they are not determined as part of the strategic planning process.

  1. The Strategic Plan says it was conducted by internal staff, but then there was a reference to consultant-led research (page 3). What role did this consultant play and can you identify the consultant?

The consultant-led research that was referenced was an Economic Development Eco-system study. This study was not done as part of the strategic planning process, but the results were used to inform the process. This can be supplied to the consultant who is awarded the project.

  1. Is there a summary of the data collected in the Strategic Plan process? This would be helpful in determining if additional market research is necessary.   

Yes.  Additional market research is necessary.  Any relevant data previously obtained will be shared with the selected consultant.

  1. The RFP states: “create style guides for advertising, letterhead,…” Would this project include the design and development of these materials or would this be a Design Guideline Manual that gives an overview use of the logo, tagline, color uses?

The deliverables for this project include visual identity elements and key high-level messaging to support proposed branding changes, as well as guidelines for the proper usage of these elements.

  1. Who is responsible for reviewing proposals? Who are the key decision makers?

The committee awarding this project consists of the Directors of Communications, Convention & Visitors Bureau, Grants & Development and Marketing.  The final decision will be approved by the CEO and COO.

  1. What’s the decision-making process?

Proposals will be reviewed by the committee listed in the response to question 22.  Up to five consultants will be called for interviews to discuss their proposals further.  The committee may require additional information, post interview.  The committee will choose a consultant.  The consultant will be notified after final approval of our CEO and COO.

  1. What is the timing for the decision?

A decision will be made by mid-June 2019.

  1. Phase 1, bullet 4 speaks to the organizations “promise.” Is the “promise” the organization’s mission statement and core values, or defined as something else?

Because a brand platform was not developed along with the naming of the organization in 2013, the Chamber does not currently have an articulated brand promise. As part of the deliverables for this project, we will be looking for a drafted brand promise statement. Recommendations for visual identity and messaging should support the new brand promise.

  1. We are curious to know if you have your minds made up as to what you want already or are you open-minded to options and looking for a strategic partner?

We are looking for a strategic partner in this process who will engage our stakeholders and provide strategy that considers the unique needs of our organization.

  1. Are you also seeking a communication strategy?

No.

  1. Your strategic plan lays out a pathway to separate and re-brand economic development. Is this project and execution of that plan, an expansion of that plan to include the other business units or are you looking for an alternative strategy?

At the conclusion of the 2018-2020 strategic planning process, the Chamber’s internal planning team agreed that new branding with an emphasis on economic development was the best course of action. Since then, additional benchmarking and research has been conducted and alternatives have been discussed. This project will help address the challenges identified during the strategic planning process, but the desired outcomes are not limited to the strategies outlined in the Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce Strategic Plan 2018-2020 document.

  1. Are there other entities that have or are doing community visioning/directional work, and if so, who’s leading those conversations for strategic direction? Would we have access to that group’s findings and other research they’ve put together? How do you envision these conversations differently than what’s already being discussed?

That work is ongoing and the selected consultant will be expected to align the work of this project appropriately.

  1. Who else is currently not “at the table” that should be?

We have not compiled a list of external stakeholders related to this project.

  1. How would this work mesh with point 5 of the current strategic plan (https://www.flintandgenesee.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/strategicPlan_2018-2020.pdf)?

Please see the response for question 28.

  1. On page 1 the RFP refers to “a branding consultant” – is FGCC looking for an independent consultant, or would they prefer a team/agency?

Both team/agency and independent consultants will be considered.

There is no preference.

  1. Is there an aspirational brand that FGCC considers best in class?

No. The committee has differing views on what an aspirational brand is.  We are at a point where we need to make choices about our current brand.  Because we are not a typical Chamber of Commerce, this project is about brand identity and how we operate as an organization.

  1. What unique hurdles or roadblocks to success do you anticipate the selected vendor will need to prove uniquely qualified to navigate and overcome?

The selected consultant will need to navigate both internal and external stakeholder engagement, and our need for market research.

  1. What type/size of marketing /design resources will FGCC be made available on this project? In other words will we be working with collaboratively with FGCC staff to create concepts and assets, or will we be creating and FGCC reviewing and approving?

The consultant should create branding and the subsequent guides, then work with the marketing team who will deploy it.

  1. Will FGCC require an identity suite be designed? (identity assets such as business cards, brochure, PowerPoint deck, swag, etc.)

No.

  1. Will the website require updating along with this exercise? How does FCGG anticipate handling this?

FGCC will handle website updates internally. We will accept recommendations on design and structure, but the work will be handled internally.

  1. Will organizations based in Flint/Genesee County/Michigan be preferred?

There is no preference given to organizations based in Flint/Genesee County/Michigan, however, it is expected that the consultant be willing to meet with staff at our office in Flint, Michigan.

  1. Will organizations that are minority/woman-owned be preferred?

Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce will choose the best consultant it believes has the ability and capacity to complete the project within the given parameters.

  1. The RFP states the project ends on Nov. 15. but when does it start? Does this include all 4 brands mentioned in the RFP?

We anticipate the project starting immediately after a consultant is selected, mid-June.  This project should be inclusive of everything mentioned in the RFP.

  1. How will success be measured? By whom? How often? 

The success of branding will be determined by the success of our organization.  It is our hope that a clearer brand will help us better accomplish our work as an organization and success will be measure by internal metrics already established.