Rugby Borough Council launches place branding tender for town centre

Rugby town centre’s new brand should look to attract investors as well as appealing to its local demographic through two separate brand identities.

Rugby Borough Council has launched a tender with a potential £100,000 value for the design of its town centre brand identity.

The market town, located in Warwickshire, is known for being the birthplace of the modern game of rugby. While the council says that Rugby town centre was already in decline prior to the pandemic, the opening of Elliott’s Field Retail Park on the edge of town has led more consumers as well as retailers away from the town centre.

Working with the appointed design studio, Rugby Borough Council wants to regenerate the town centre and create “a sense of place”, making it appeal to residents, partners, local businesses and investors, according to the brief.

The brief details that there should be two separate brand identities – business and consumer facing – although the council will consider a single brand with two different application styles. While visitors should also be considered for the long term, the council says that tourism is not “a strategic priority” at this point.

From a consumer perspective, it is important that the brand identity resonates with Rugby residents. The brief highlights that while residents can generally be considered affluent, a large portion of the town centre falls within the 20% most deprived Low layer Super Output Areas (LSOA), with additional information on the town’s demographic (90% White, 6% Asian and 2.5% Black).

On the business side, the brand identity must help with attracting investors, including developers or organisations looking to relocate. “Rugby’s image needs to resonate externally beyond Rugby, to attract investment and compete with some of its bigger, more powerful neighbours”, says the brief.

Stakeholder interviews carried out by the council revealed that they value Rugby’s heritage. The chosen studio should also consider that the regeneration programme is about ensuring Rugby’s future and so the brief says the identity must balance “celebrating the past and looking forward to a successful future”.

A focus on the stories of Rugby’s residents is encouraged. The council also has a proposed a guiding concept: Rugby – The Game Changer. It says that it is open to this “being expressed in different forms and alternative concepts” but would like its design partners to “use this sentiment as a guiding principle”.

Key deliverables include: logos, colour palettes, fonts, photography/illustration approach, tone of voice guidance and brand application guidelines for consumer and B2B websites, social media, video  – including any brand or logo animation – print, and wayfinding.

Before going forward with the final brand guidelines, Rugby Borough Council would like to see a minimum of three alternative brand development suggestions, from which it will choose one.

Applications for this tender close at 12pm on 19 June 2023, with the year-long project set to begin on 11 September 2023. Find out more information and apply here.

Shutterstock banner image: Adrian Chandler 

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