Whether you want to create an eye-catching logo design or search for help with rebranding your organization completely, the request for proposal, or simply RFP, is what you need to consider in the first place. While you may be familiar with RFPs in general, creating a branding RFP is a slightly different job. Being on the receiving side of the RFP process, our team of experienced product and graphic designers has seen both good and bad requests for proposals. Due to this, we have decided to help you with writing a branding RFP that will definitely attract the attention of the best and most skillful branding agencies. In this way, you will be able to define who is the most appropriate candidate to complete your assignment and help you brand or rebrand your business. Interested yet? We’re getting closer to the best part.

Why a Good Branding RFP is a Must

It doesn’t matter how great your downloaded branding RFP sample looks like, unless you put in some effort to make it look engaging and worthy, your RFP for branding services won’t get the desired response wave. The thing is, most creative design teams with a good reputation will more likely ignore your document if it isn’t meticulously written. It is not that they are arrogant or something, it is that they have to spend a significant amount of time on creating a proposal to an RFP. And if they don’t feel like the whole thing is worth a shot, they just won’t reply. You want potential vendors to be interested in your project, so it makes sense that to make it interesting is your responsibility. Not only does your branding RFP have to have clear project requirements, but it also has to be encouraging and attention-grabbing. So, yes, preparing one is a must.

What Sections Does a Good Branding Request for Proposal Consist of?

Every business wants to create a strong brand presence that will resonate with its target audience leading to an increase in sales and popularity. People have witnessed quite a few successful branding campaigns that have changed the public perception of the products those companies produce. Apple is a good example. The company has an influential brand identity that makes people buy its products just because there is a half-bitten apple image on them. The thing is, this image symbolizes prestige, quality, and advanced technologies. If you want to get a top-notch brand logo and other branding assets to get your business on the level of Apple, you need to do some serious work on creating a good branding RFP to get the best graphic designers interested in you. Here are the essentials of any request-for-proposal for branding agencies.

#1 Briefly describe your proposal request

One paragraph would be enough to describe the kind of services you are looking for and what branding you expect the vendors to provide. The information in this section should be relevant and engaging. Basically, this is a project overview and depending on how well it is written, your potential contractors will decide whether or not the whole branding RFP is worth their time and effort. In the first part of an RFP, you may like to include the due date vendors need to submit their final proposal, contact info, and budget you are ready to spend on the branding campaign.

#2 Give some background info about your company

The overview of your company and its history isn't the place to lag behind when it comes to composing a branding RFP. Although, we'd like to point out that when we say "company's history" we mean a short story that contains facts helpful in terms of the future branding campaign. There's no need in telling the whole story from the early days. Just tell contractors who you are, what your mission is, what value and vision you stick to, your goals, etc. This information will help brand designers to understand what your business is.

#3 Determine possible challenges

As it often happens, a company's existing brand has some issues that can be as internal as external. If this is the case, you need to be honest about the issues you are having and solutions you would be happy with. Do you think that your brand is outdated in the realities of the modern world? Does it send the wrong message? Asking yourself these questions will help you determine the potential challenges so that a team of designers could come up with an appropriate branding or rebranding solution.

#4 Describe branding project requirements

Being the heart and soul of your branding request for proposal, you need to determine the scope of work in detail. The more specific you are, the better. Make a list of deliverables you need, such as:

  • Carry out research including surveys, interviews, focus groups to determine the brand perception by the target audience;
  • Define the target audience;
  • Make an audit of existing brand elements to figure out which have to be updated;
  • Map out a new brand strategy that specifies the main values, mission, and vision of the company;
  • Create guidelines for online branding.

If at this stage you have no clear vision of the project scope, you may like to request a discovery phase to be done by a design agency and help you out with defining workload. But it is always better if you mention a minimum scope of services you expect vendors to provide you with.

#4 Describe the candidate you want to hire

Draw a picture of a perfect vendor your company would like to work with. Should the design firm be from the same area as you or you are willing to work under the outsourcing model? Can your vendor be an individual freelancer? What experience do your candidates have to have? Be specific about the qualifications of the candidates you are looking for.

#5 Decide on the proposal submission format

Make a list of the proposal requirements and help vendors understand the selection criteria. You need to enumerate what information all submissions should include and point out what the decision-making factor will be. You can ask vendors to provide you with the info about their firm and employees, their experience, and the approaches they use. It is always a good idea to ask them to send you a portfolio or examples. Don’t forget to request the estimated cost for all work. By standardizing the proposal submission, you make the process of comparing and picking the right candidate a lot easier.

#6 Discuss your timelines and budget

It will be the second time you mention timelines and budget in your brand development RFP, but this time you need to be more specific. Since you know your requirements, deliverables, and timelines, you are in a place to define the workload and the range of the budget. As for the deadlines, make sure you included the date your branding RFP was issued, the due date you want candidates to provide responses, the launch date, etc.

The final thoughts

Creating an RFP for branding services may look like a too complicated and a bit scary process, however, if done the right way, it is always fruitful in terms of the brand-building process. We have to warn you though. Being creative by nature, many designers find the RFP approach time-consuming and simply ignore emails containing RFPs. Moreover, if you just want to know the pricing of a particular design company, it is better to reach out to them and ask for the bid instead of wasting their and your time on writing a request for proposal on branding. All in all, we hope that the article was helpful and in case you have any comments or questions, feel free to contact us here. Our team knows how to create a strong brand image of a company!

Don’t know where to find an RFP for a branding proposal? Download a free branding RFP template here.