Contract Notice: Creative Services – Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Business Start-up (CBS) Project, Cornwall & Isles of Scilly Programmes

Creative Agency Brief 

Client:  Oxford Innovation Services – Cornwall & Isles of Scilly Programmes

Date:   April 2016

 

Introduction, background and business context

Oxford Innovation Services (OIS) is the UK’s leading specialist coaching company.  We work with businesses at all stages of development to maximise their growth potential, benefiting both the enterprise and its people through uniquely tailored coaching programmes.

OIS has recently been awarded (subject to funding agreement) two projects to deliver business support in Cornwall & Isles of Scilly, in partnership with Unlocking Potential (The Cornwall College Group). Unlocking Potential helps people develop and business grow through the delivery of high quality business support and employability services. Operating in Cornwall and across the South West for over 10 years, the team has contributed to the sustainable economic growth in the region.

The two projects which are now going live are:

  1. Coaching for Growth (C4G)
  2. Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Business Start-up (CBS)

This contract notice relates to the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Business Start-up (CBS) project.

The Coaching for Growth (C4G) and Cornwall Business Start Up (CBS) projects are financed by the Cornwall & Isles of Scilly European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), part of the European Structural Investment Fund (ESIF) portfolio 2015 to 2020.  The Department for Communities and Local Government is the managing authority for the fund, which was established by the European Commission to help improve the competitiveness of SMEs by increasing their capacity and capability and promoting entrepreneurship to strengthen the pipeline of high growth business across England.  This creative activity will be funded by these projects.

CBS will support new businesses and the other, C4G, High Growth potential enterprises that have been trading for more than 12 months. Both projects will support the placement of Graduates in businesses. The initial contract period will run from November 2015 – October 2018. With contract values totalling £19m these are the flagship business support projects for the region and will attract significant attention from all stakeholders.

In each project, OIS’s team of highly experienced business coaches works with eligible* businesses seeking to achieve high growth and thus drive forward economic success.  Each business has access to a network of coaches who can enable entrepreneurs to tap into the expertise that will facilitate rapid growth. *Please see Annex 1 for an overview of ERDF eligibility.

An ability to innovate underpins OIS’s blend of coaching and mentoring, giving CBS clients access to a broad range of practical expertise and knowledge.  Our business coaches have all held senior executive positions so bring first-hand experience of the challenges facing growing businesses and can facilitate access to an extensive range of networks across any sector.  This approach and experience adds real value to the beneficiaries of the C4G project.

Building strong relationships with clients, we support and facilitate change, challenge thinking, push boundaries and bring a fresh perspective.  Our approach ensures we embed learning at an individual level, which brings sustainable and enduring results for the client organisation.  We consistently deliver strong results for all stakeholders –individuals, client businesses, sponsors, funders and partners.

In order to build its reputation amongst ambitious businesses which are eligible for the CBS and C4G projects, we are seeking to promote its differentiated proposition, build profile in current target markets, and generate new interest.

 

Organisational structure

Oxford Innovation is part of the SQW Group which comprises:

  • Oxford Innovation (providing managed Innovation Centres and office space)
  • Oxford Innovation Services (delivering the Growth Accelerator programme)
  • Oxford Innovation Services Cornwall and the SW (the focus for this brief)

Please see the websites at:

http://www.oxin.co.uk/

http://oxfordinnovationservices.co.uk/

Unlocking Potential delivers business support services and is part of The Cornwall College Group.

Please see the websites at:

www.unlocking-potential.co.uk

www.cornwall.ac.uk

 

Key objectives of this brief

  • Develop appropriate creative concepts for all marketing materials relating to the promotion and delivery of the CBS project– this will include recommendations for the naming of the project and visual identity
  • Produce branded templates (including e-marketing templates) to support printed and online communications (our in-house marketing team will generate content)
  • Produce brand guidelines to support the consistent development and treatment of all branded items relating to CBS, including copy pallet
  • Develop and launch a programme website using WordPress to promote CBS to the business community, with the ability to easily link across and share content with the OI and UP sites.

Achievement of these objectives is designed to support:

  • contractual commitments made within the project delivery plans
  • new client acquisition
  • differentiation of Oxford Innovation
  • a growing Oxford Innovation team
  • enhanced brand equity
  • reinforcement of OIS as thought leaders and strategic partners to the devolved Cornwall & IoS LEP area in order to benefit all stakeholders on the CBS and C4G projects
  • positioning and awareness of Unlocking Potential as a delivery partner to support engagement with the programme
  • communication of the OIS and Unlocking Potential partnership, including the synergy between the teams, and demonstrating the added value of the approach

 

Scope

To include:

  • Raising awareness of CBS and targeting suitable, eligible* businesses in Cornwall and IoS
  • Targeting the needs of all stakeholders

 

Market insights

The market for business support services in Cornwall & Isles of Scilly is well developed with the region having been a beneficiary of significant investment in various initiatives over the last 20 years

OIS’s specialised and differentiated approach, with coaching excellence and innovation at its core, has a real opportunity to take a thought leadership position in this market. There are many examples of successful client case studies and testimonials on each of the programme websites.

 

Brand context

Much work has been completed recently on developing brand values and key messages for both OIS and Unlocking Potential, which demonstrates the synergy and complimentary nature of the two organisations.  A copy of our existing brand guidelines is available on request.

Previous projects have centred on growth, using images of plants, watering cans and the like – we wish to move away from that identity, using a clear and easily understood brand identity with simple colour schemes that reflect the modern, effective and impactful nature of the work undertaken by OI and our partner Unlocking Potential. Where possible, we would like the new identity to ‘fit’ with the OI and Unlocking Potential brands.

The tone of voice needs to be clear, intelligent, insightful and free of corporate jargon.

Innovation is one of the most important attributes of the brand.  It plays a key role in supporting the growth strategy and as such should influence stakeholder communications.  This involves innovation in how we work, our delivery methods, demonstrating a deep understanding of it and the ability to develop it in others through coaching.  Innovation is also a key theme in the future programme focus for Cornwall.

 

Target audience

The target audience is wide ranging and includes current and new contacts in the following categories:

  • Businesses – Pre trading; and Start Ups in Cornwall and IoS
  • UK Government – National and Local
  • International – Government and businesses
  • Not For Profit/ Charities
  • Strategic Partnerships
  • Healthcare
  • Universities and other educational establishments
  • Research organisations
  • SQW Group
  • EU
  • Internet Users / prospective stakeholders

CBS has the potential to benefit clients when any one or more of the following triggers exist –

  • a desire to grow
  • an imperative for innovation eg. in response to competition or new market opportunities
  • a need for collaboration
  • a critical problem to be solved
  • a desire for improvement in performance, productivity, in any business function
  • embedding transformational improvements in business processes or personnel

 

Value proposition

For client businesses / SME’s –

Oxford Innovation and Unlocking Potential work with businesses at all stages of development, from start-up to fully established, to facilitate their ability to grow successfully.

OIS’s approach comprises a unique blend of mentoring and coaching that ensures clients achieve high levels of self-development which translate into tangible improvements in themselves and measurable performance improvements for their enterprises.

An ability to innovate underpins our blend of coaching and mentoring, giving clients access to a broad range of practical expertise and knowledge.  Our business coaches have first hand experience of the challenges facing growing businesses and can facilitate access to an extensive range of networks across any sector.

Building strong relationships with clients, we support and facilitate change, challenge thinking, push boundaries and bring a fresh perspective.  Our approach ensures we embed learning at an individual level, which brings sustainable and enduring results for the client organisation.  Both Oxford Innovation and Unlocking Potential consistently deliver above expectation results for all stakeholders.

The CBS programme is targeted to provide 921 clients a 12 hour start-up workshop. Following this there are a number of different support options, depending on the business owners’ aspirations and the business’s growth potential. This support may take the form of intensive coaching for 337 high growth potential businesses, or additional workshops that focus on specific business areas, for example, social media, finances, or how to protect IP; coupled with one-to-one support and mentoring. All businesses will have the option to access support to recruit a graduate or their first skilled employee.

For sponsors and funders –

Both partners are successful in winning and delivering business support programmes and achieving above expectation results for its sponsors and funders.

Oxford Innovation’s specialised and differentiated approach, with coaching excellence and innovation at its core, is a trusted partner.  With an excellent track record and reputation amongst its diverse stakeholders and clients, supported by a network of respected coaches, the brand is regarded as a thought leader in its market.  Our delivery of business support programmes has enabled us to build an intimate knowledge of SME’s and we achieve very strong onward referrals.

We have practical experience of creating shareholder value from low margin contracts and developing an innovative approach for risk adverse funders.  Proven systems and data management underpin our success.  We understand the challenges of managing EU contracts and achieve zero defects at audit.

Part of the SQW Group, we have the financial stability to manage cash flow variances and can draw on a range of resources to ensure the best possible outputs for all stakeholders.  We work with carefully selected delivery partners who share our values and ambition and these trusted relationships enable a willingness to experiment.  We are committed to ongoing product/service innovation and development and have a growing team with an impressive breadth and depth of experience and skills.

Whilst having the strength of a major Group behind us, we have the ability to be flexible and responsive, offering bespoke solutions and a fresh perspective to meet the specific needs of our sponsors – from individual projects to large scale, novel business support programmes, in the UK and internationally.  We have been successful in securing repeat contracts in Cornwall for three successive programmes.

Our sponsors and funders have confidence in our ability to consistently achieve targets and provide effective outcomes.

 

CBS project website

We require a project website which must:

  • Communicate our proposition, offerings and brand values – simply, clearly, consistently – while building credibility and profile for the CBS project
  • Provide easy access, strong calls to action and clear contact details to any businesses wishing to find out more or engage with the CBS project
  • Provide evidence of success to reassure existing and potential business clients, sponsors and funders
  • Work effectively across all devices (inc. mobile) with responsive web content and design
  • User friendly and easily understandable User Interface – flat, bold colours, clean structure, easy to navigate, strong icons (WordPress is used currently and gives us flexibility to manage in-house with CMS)
  • Optimised for search engines and links to relevant social media sites – desirable features would include share buttons, social logins, rich snippets (for search results), and plenty of scope for imagery, embedded videos and event sign-ups
  • Link to and from the main OIS website and that of our delivery partner, Unlocking Potential

 

Deliverables required

We wish to procure the work as separate elements of the overall Brand project, with indicative budgets against each element. You may bid for more than one element. Given that there may be more than one supplier, evidence of successful collaboration with other agencies in a campaign delivery will be positively received. Contracts will be issued to the project end date of October 2018. There is a possibility of extension in time (up to 2020), with additional budgets then available.

Brand –

Budget guide £5,000

  • Recommendations for the naming of the two programmes – currently referred to as CBS
  • Creative brand concepts
  • Branded templates for application across all communication channels, online and in print
  • Brand guidelines

Website –

Budget guide up to a maximum of £5,000

  • Creative concepts and custom WordPress templates for our use
  • Web schematics / page mock-ups
  • Development of website architecture
  • Walk through test for different audience types – site flow and validation of user journeys
  • Support for in-house content creation and maintenance
  • Any training required for in-house team on CMS
  • Ongoing maintenance

Please note that we expect to launch the new brand materials and website as early as realistically possible and will be looking for a detailed delivery plan as part of the proposal.

Ongoing Artwork Design Services and Collateral Production –

Budget up to a maximum of £50,000

  • Tactical marketing collateral
  • Stationery inc. business cards
  • Banners inc. artwork
  • Pop-Up display artwork
  • Brochures
  • Presentation templates

The nature of this element means that it will be on a call off basis as required. Tenders should state hourly rates giving indicative costs for the items above where possible. We will also need your % mark-up rates on any production items or 3rd party supplies.

 

Account management and review process

The creative agency relationship will be managed by the project marketing team (from OI and UP) and overseen by Andrew Finley.

 

How to respond to this brief

Please provide, on no more than 8 sides of A4 per application, an outline of:

  • the elements you want to tender for
  • how you would help us achieve our objectives
  • creative concepts, ideas and suggestions
  • your credentials and past experience including any experience of ERDF funded projects
  • a breakdown of your fees and pricing structure (indicative costs for production materials should be included)
  • relevant B2B case studies
  • clear response to each of the evaluation criteria (see table in section below).

Please submit your application via email to Andrew Finely.

 

Assessment Criteria

Agencies will be evaluated according to the following assessment criteria following the pitch.

Scoring: 0 (very poor) – 5 (excellent)

Evaluation criteria

 

Score

0-5

Category

total

People 20%

Can I work with them?

Do they understand my products and services?

Do they understand my target markets and key stakeholders?

Do they demonstrate relevant, proven experience?

Do they understand the partnership?

Approach / how they work 20%

How well have they prepared for this pitch?

Do they demonstrate a deep understanding of the brief?

Are review stages clearly outlined?

Flexible in responding to changes (both planned and unplanned)?

Do they have the capacity to grow with the success of the CBS and C4G projects?

Creative strategy and implementation 30%

Does their proposed strategy appear credible, effective & original?

Is their response relevant for the OI and UP brand?

Are their ideas versatile / can they be adapted across different communications platforms (online and offline?)

Is there evidence of creativity and innovation in their approach?

Do they have evidence of collaborative working with other agencies?

Pricing 30%

Are fees clear and reasonable?

Is it clear what is included and excluded from their fees?

Are they clear about how commission works on any outsourced work, eg. print, photography, research…

Does the proposal represent good value?

Total

 

The artwork service provider will be selected from the submitted proposal and scored against the following criteria:

Evaluation criteria

 

Score

0-5

Category

total

Resources 20%

Do they demonstrate relevant, proven experience?

Are current resources capable of meeting our needs?

Do they provide acceptable delivery timeframes?

Do they have the capacity to grow with the success of the CBS and C4G projects?

Approach / how they work 40%

Is there evidence of creativity and innovation in their approach?

Are review stages clearly outlined?

What is the account management structure and processes?

Do they evidence an ability to be flexible in responding to changes (both planned and unplanned)?

Do they have evidence of collaborative working with other agencies?

Pricing 40%

Are fees clear and reasonable?

Are they clear about how commission works on any outsourced work, eg. print, photography, research…

Does the proposal represent good value?

Total

 

Timing and pitch process

The schedule below outlines key timings.  Shortlisted providers of the Website and branding projects will be invited to present to the OIS operations and marketing team on 6th May 2016 at Tremough Innovation Centre, Falmouth University Campus, Penryn.

Timings will be confirmed and a projector will be available.

 

Action Date
Brief published to agencies 13th April 2016
Deadline for response to brief 17:00hrs 27th April 2016
Shortlist 29th April 2016
Presentation to OI and UP team 6th May 2016
Notification of successful tenders tbc
Delivery of creative project begins May 2016 – subject to funding agreement

 

Oxford Innovation contact details

 

Contact Email Role
Gill Hall g.hall@oxin.co.uk Business Coach
Andrew Finley a.finley@oxin.co.uk Stakeholder and Relationship Director
Rebecca Noone Becks.noone@cornwall.ac.uk Marketing and Operations Manager (Unlocking Potential)

 

 

*ERDF Eligibility

To be eligible for the CBS programme a business must:

  • Be based in the Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly
  • Have not been trading for more than 12 months, or pre-trading
  • Employ less than 250 FTE employees
  • Have a turnover not exceeding €50M and/or an annual balance sheet of not more than €43M
  • Not be operating in sectors directly relating to agriculture, fisheries, finance and insurance, textiles and retail

 

 

This notice has also been published on Contracts Finder.

 

LogoERDF