IEDC launches new branding effort: ‘For the Bold’

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A new landing page on the IEDC website is the result of a $3.5 million branding initiative. (Indiana Economic Development Corp.).

In its quest to bring high-tech industries to Indiana, the state’s economic development agency has launched a new branding initiative that highlight’s the state’s affordability, infrastructure and low cost of doing business.

The new brand from the Indiana Economic Development Corp., named “For the Bold,”—which replaces the IEDC’s previous slogan, “A state that works,”—includes a new landing page on the IEDC’s redesigned website, a newsletter and a 53-second video in which Gov. Eric Holcomb touts Indiana’s investments in microelectronics, electric vehicles and medical technology “while leading the energy transition.”

“Located in the center of the country, Indiana offers space to dream and create,” Holcomb says. “It’s a place where communities and business ecosystems provide a supportive environment for growth and collaboration. Here the American Dream is alive and well. Become a Hoosier and experience bold possibilities right here in the Heartland of America.”

The rebranding effort builds on the IEDC’s shift from a “transactional” organization to a “strategic” organization that began when Brad Chambers took leadership of the organization two years ago, said Erin Sweitzer, IEDC deputy chief of staff.

“This new, bold brand is more aligned to Indiana’s present, and it will help carry our vision and our strategies forward for years to come as we work not just to compete with other states and other countries, but to build a global economy of the future with high-tech, high-growth industries and vibrant, diverse and sustainable communities,” Sweitzer said in an emailed statement.

In February, the IEDC signed a $3.5 million contract with Southfield, Michigan-based advertising firm Doner Co. to build the campaign, which included “brand strategy, perception studies and concept testing, the development of create and materials, and activation and implementation.”

The IEDC will also work its existing partners and vendors, including Fort Wayne-based Ferguson and Indianapolis-based EIG, to roll out the new brand across advertising, social media and in-person events, Sweitzer said.

The effort comes as the IEDC pursues several advanced manufacturing projects that together would exceed $50 billion in investments and result in thousands of well-paying jobs in central Indiana.

IEDC officials have said the state is in the running for a $50 billion semiconductor plant, and the agency is also courting a $3.2 billion data-center project.

Both of those projects would be in the LEAP District, a planned 9,000-acre or more advanced manufacturing district in Boone County. LEAP is an acronym for “Limited Exploration/Advanced Pace.”

The IEDC is marketing 14 sites to would-be users, ranging from 80 acres to 1,540 acres. The group hopes to attract mixed-use commercial development such apartments, retail and restaurants in addition to several advanced manufacturing users, office headquarters and companies working in renewable energy.

Indianapolis-based Eli Lilly and Co. will serve as the anchor tenant of the district with a $3.7 billion manufacturing site.

In the most recent legislative session, state lawmakers allocated unprecedented levels of funding to the IEDC, including $500 million for a deal-closing fund; $500 million for READI 2.0, a third wave of regional economic development grants; and $150 million for a revolving site-acquisition fund.

The IEDC attracted a record $22.2 billion in committed capital investments in 2022, including $15.5 billion from companies establishing new operations, according to its annual report.

Correction: A previous version of this story stated the IEDC had launched a marketing campaign. An IEDC official clarified that the effort is part of a new branding initiative.

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14 thoughts on “IEDC launches new branding effort: ‘For the Bold’

  1. It’s a shame the IEDC chose to spend that $3,500,000 with an out-of-state firm rather than with any of the capable agencies in-state. I guess keeping the money in state would have been too bold.

    1. Yep. Ridiculous. I can think of a dozen agencies that could have easily handled this. Such an embarrassing shame.

    2. How typically Indiana. No actual debate on the substance or quality of the ad, just complaints about the cost and people upset that some local guy wasn’t able to get his beak wet off this contract.

      It’s a well done ad, but pretty generic as to its substance apart from the Indy cars. But realistically, every single city and state produces videos like this. For some reason, it’s all but impossible for govts and civic groups to produce truly unique marketing content.

    3. Aaron R, your slap at Indiana was unnecessary. Every state and locality is naturally parochial. The point is that the state agency charged with bringing investment to the state invested substantial sums of state money in another state to promote investment in the state. It’s a valid point and not a good look.

  2. The IDEC needs to be as aggressive as possible in promoting our
    city and state. Our down home ( awe shucks attitude ) was tiresome
    and ineffective.

    The IEDC needs to be aggressive and bold.

    That said, sometimes an outsider can see strengths and weaknesses that
    our local government officals are not recognizing.

    Walk and talk with swagger!! Be BOLD!!

    Treat economic Development as a blood sport. No participation trophies.
    Wining is the only thing.

    1. Did you leave the “h” out of “whining” or do you think that a snappy slogan contributes to winning at all costs?

    2. Mike D.

      lol….Nope! No “h”on my part.
      Do whatever it takes to win economic development.
      Win at all cost. No pat on the back for “ almost “ and No participation trophies.

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