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Branding Tender fears

Discussion in 'Logo Design & Brand Identity Forum:' started by gprovan, Jan 18, 2012.

  1. gprovan

    gprovan Member

    Hi All,

    We've been given the opportunity to tender for a new council trust logo and branding. We're up against a couple of big agencies and haven't really done anything to this scale before.

    It's a fairly rush job and they want to see 3 alternative logos incorporating the main identity and sub brands along with some visuals depicting the logos in various communication channels.

    Do you think as well as the above, that we have to write some poncey text detailing why the logo speaks to their customers and how the letters within the logo each represent freedom, giraffes and banjos? Or that kind of thing.

    Or should we let the logos speak for themselves?

    Any advice would be great.


    Graeme :icon_biggrin:
  2. sthomas

    sthomas Member

    If you won't be getting a chance to present the work in person, then I'd definitely write some text to accompany the presentation.

    It doesn't have to be 'poncey' but it will at least explain your thinking behind the logos.

    It's going to be tough with other larger agencies competing for the same job so you might as well maximise your chances but delivering a substantial tender presentation.
  3. If it was me pitching I'd definitely write a little copy explaining the concepts behind the logo and the branding.

    You can bet your life the other agencies will do it, so it makes sense to go into the pitch on an equal footing.

    Good luck, hope you're successful.
  4. Toppers

    Toppers Member

    You should be putting together a complete portfolio for your designs.

    - An introduction
    - The brief
    - Initial concepts, discussing research, inspirations and the thought process behind the design
    - Developed concepts
    - Concepts of prospective stationery and signage
    - Conclusion
    - Also, if you are up against agencies, i'd begin to consider putting together some guidelines as well.

    I know that you are only submitting three ideas, but if you show that your company will do just as much, or even more than the BIG agencies, then this may charm the council enough to give you the work!
  5. Edge

    Edge Active Member

    Just as an aside regarding tenders, you can kill yourself putting together a tender, so check their scoring system and see if subjectively you could get 70% plus. If not I'd be inclined to walk away.
  6. gprovan

    gprovan Member

    Some good advice, thanks.

    I also forgot that we've only got about 2 weeks to do this, so I'm going to have to knuckle down. :icon_scared:

    ARRIVALS Well-Known Member

    You're presenting your designs to them so you're going to be explaining the design process etc to them anyway. Whether you say it or write it down makes no difference.

    Out of curiosity, did they come to you or did you find out they were putting this out to tender and decide to get involved? If you found it of your own accord, where do you find prospective jobs like these?

    Also, you may want to find out if they are paying for your presentation.
  8. Minuteman Press

    Minuteman Press Moderator

    Poncey text - no.

    Text that will convey the concept, vision, messaging, usage guidelines, adaptability etc - yes.
    I have been on both sides of the table with such projects - if the approach is 'poncey' you'll be politely listened to and receive a 'no'.

    Help the client to understand the brand you've created / developed.

    Arrivals: Make sure you're on the radar with organisations you'd like to work with. PM if you wish.
  9. gprovan

    gprovan Member

    Of course I'm only joking about the 'poncey' bit. I realise that I'll have to put something together but feel a little overwhelmed by the urgency of it all and the fact that I don't have a team of copywriters behind me.

    We already do a fair bit of work for the council and they've been happy with our work so this is why they've asked us. They've also asked a couple of big design agencies that have branded other authorities. Kind of a tried and tested methodology, so this is a bit daunting too.

    Luckily the submissions will be by email and I won't have to do a formal presentation.

    They've given a generous budget for the winning submission and also want to know our hourly rate for further work. But as far as the tender goes, it won't be paid unless successful.

    ARRIVALS Well-Known Member

    Thanks for that minuteman, message sent.

    That's a good sign then. The fact they've taken the time to invite you to present something puts you in a good position. They have experienced how you work on the design and business side of things and like it. They may well have invited larger agencies to present something, and they may well be bigger and better than you, but that means nothing if they just don't like how they do things. So I wouldn't worry about that

    If you've not got the opportunity to tell them about your design process, then you will have to write it somewhere. Obviously not in a 'poncey' way like you said. You don't need a copywriter. Just explain in simple terms, how you got to the design and why.

    Good luck!
  11. gprovan

    gprovan Member

    Tendering Success

    Hi All,

    Just a quick note to let you know that I won the tender for the council trust branding. Woohoo!
    After I was told that I'd won, they sent me the other submissions to have a look at.

    The big agency's submission was 61 pages long and to be honest seemed like a sales pitch rather than a branding. When you strip back all the flannel, the ideas weren't that great and the council weren't that impressed with their interpretation of the brief.

    They initially rejected 2 of my 3 ideas, rejected all of the big agency ones and kept 2 of the other agency's. The next process stripped out one of the other agency's and then they put it to the staff. I was the popular vote.

    Of course, you're all thinking "Let us see them then!". Well I will once the process is all official. I've only been told verbally at the moment and expect a letter through.

    Although I've built it up now and you'll just all be like "It's not that great. I could have done better. Who do you think you are anyway", and all that stuff.

    Anyway, good news. There's hope for us all :icon_biggrin:
  12. Katedesign

    Katedesign Well-Known Member

    Well done!
    It will be good to see your ideas and we're not that mean!! How good to see the other submissions as well - really useful.
    We shall now have to wait!
  13. Dave L

    Dave L Well-Known Member

    Congratulations and all that but this is everything that's wrong with competitive tendering: you put in massive creative and administrative effort to jump through all of the hoops the client requires, they reject your proposal and then hand all your ideas over to the lowest bidder. Sod that.
  14. gprovan

    gprovan Member

    You're quite right. I wouldn't have been happy having my submissions sent through to the successful entrant either. But in all fairness, I wasn't the lowest bidder. We all submitted 3 ideas and some layout examples based on the brief given. It was a level playing field with a set budget and they picked the ideas they liked the best. It looks like they thought they'd just let me see what I had been up against (after the process was finalised of course).

    Anyone else had similar experiences?

    G :icon_thumbup:
  15. Tony Hardy

    Tony Hardy Well-Known Member

    Congratulations! It'll be really interesting to see the work!

    ARRIVALS Well-Known Member

    So adding the poncey detailing worked, I'll remember that. Congratulations!
  17. gprovan

    gprovan Member

    :icon_biggrin: I won't be showing any of you that part of it. :icon_wink:

    ARRIVALS Well-Known Member

    Oh come on. Please?
  19. Dave L

    Dave L Well-Known Member

    For them to volunteer other people's (potentially commercially sensitive) information on the off-chance you might be curious sounds like a shoddy way to deal with an unsuccessful bid and, frankly, is pretty unlikely. That said, it's not in any way uncommon for unsuccessful bids to be passed around in this way...

    Whether you use any aspect of the information your new client has shared with you is your business (until such time as the client makes direct reference to it in relation to the job at hand) but, now that you're in the tent, this has been made available to you as a resource for you to handle as you see fit.

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