Overview: The staff felt that the industrial-feeling marketing materials they were using did not reflect the organization or the area in which it was located. They wanted to have something that created an impression that was authentic, so that when potential developers visited the area there was not a disconnect between what they had received in the mail and what they were viewing as they toured the area.
The Challenge: Harnett County Economic Development is responsible for a diverse and rural area in North Carolina. Agriculture and textile manufacturing had been the major economic drivers until tobacco and textiles faded. The area has a lot of available land and a convenient proximity to both Research Triangle Park, Raleigh Durham International Airport and Fort Bragg. But there are few amenities and the education level and per capita income are not high.
Point of Distinction: In addition to being midpoint between RTP and Fort Bragg, the area has great natural beauty. It is possible to have a comfortable rural lifestyle and have easy access to urban amenities. The rolling hillsides and water features make it aesthetically pleasing while the highway system allows residents to take advantage of the international airport, the capital city (Raleigh) or RTP. There is a large population of retired military in the county with good training and work ethic.
Articulating the Brand: The redesign of the marketing collateral focused on the natural beauty of the county and proximity to RTP and Fort Bragg. A rural lifestyle with easy access to urban amenities. Print and web ads concentrated on available land, a highly trained workforce and the central location. Color photos of the natural beauty of Harnett County were used extensively in the backgrounds of folders, ads and direct mail pieces.