Capitol Riverfront BID


Capitol Riverfront is the District of Columbia’s fastest growing neighborhood, covering 500 acres between Capitol Hill itself and the confluence of the region’s two largest rivers. Over just a few years, the Capitol Riverfront BID built a reputation as the region’s most forward thinking and active BID, delivering clean-and-safe services and public amenities that won the neighborhood accolades as one of the nation’s best new urban spaces. Yet even with this extraordinary growth, the neighborhood still needed to break past the well heeled and widely promoted BIDs that dominate DC and Northern Virginia property discussions. To gain the messaging and promotional power needed to cut through in this noisy environment, the Capitol Riverfront BID turned to Sage.

Sage conducted a deep dive into the BID’s competing property markets, as well as key residential, commercial, and retail stakeholder groups. Using these insights, we reduced Capitol Riverfront’s major attributes to eight simple terms: four rational attributes that act as empirical differentiators against the region’s other BIDs, and four intangible attributes that convey deeper emotional truths about life in the neighborhood. We then brought these together in a universal brand message backed by a common tagline – DC Amplified. Life Simplified – and supporting messaging that targets each of the neighborhood’s major audiences. We made this message framework intuitively simple so each of the BID’s member groups could confidently use it in their own outreach and materials. We created a brand manual to help guide that usage by all of the BID’s members and partners. And we conducted small-group training sessions among BID members so they could rehearse this usage, ask questions about specific applications, and brainstorm answers in a supportive environment.

At the same time, we developed and executed a comprehensive outreach plan that included:

  • Paid media like transit ads, digital news sites, and social networks;
  • Event support like sponsorships, signage, and premiums; and
  • Collateral support like infographics and an annual neighborhood brochure.

The new branding is now visible across the entire neighborhood, from lightpole standards to recycling stations, on developer signage, and inside every DC Circulator bus. Elements have also made their way into District Government messaging, broadcast news coverage, and the community’s music / arts festivals and major-league sporting events.