The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation has unveiled its marketing initiative to brand Wisconsin’s business climate and promote the benefits of starting, expanding or locating a business in Wisconsin. An integrated marketing campaign introducing the “In Wisconsin” brand launches next week in key business-focused media featuring five world-class Wisconsin companies that have set standards in their industries through innovation and leadership.

Over the past year we’ve enhanced Wisconsin’s business climate with regulatory changes and powerful incentives for businesses to grow their operations and expand their workforce,” said Gov. Scott Walker, who announced the initiative at a WEDC press conference in Madison. “As a result, Wisconsin has already improved its image as a business-friendly state, as evidenced by recent state business climate rankings by Chief Executive Magazine and CNBC. The In Wisconsin marketing initiative takes the next step by actively promoting the state’s benefits to business leaders, both those already here and those considering a relocation or expansion in Wisconsin.”

The In Wisconsin brand promotes the state’s pioneering spirit and heritage of innovation.

“During this process we involved businesses and economic development partners throughout the state to analyze the core attributes that make Wisconsin a great place to do business,” said Paul Jadin, secretary and chief executive officer of WEDC. “Our goal is to reinforce the commitment of in-state business owners within our borders and increase business and economic development activity in our state. While it’s always our goal to attract new companies from outside our state, we also want businesses in Wisconsin to know we are here to support them with their growth and expansion strategies.”

The participating companies include: Organic Valley (La Farge, Wis.), the nation’s largest organic dairy farmer cooperative; Rockwell Automation (Milwaukee), a global leader in industrial automation and information; Schneider National (Green Bay, Wis.), one of the world’s largest transportation and logistics companies; Trek (Waterloo, Wis.), world-renowned manufacturer of bicycles and related products; and Virent (Madison, Wis.), a company using naturally-occurring renewable resources to replace crude oil. Additional companies will be added during the ongoing campaign.

“While the campaign draws upon the strong brand recognition of the companies featured, the common thread in all supporting materials is the setting where these stories take place — in Wisconsin,” Jadin said.

Wisconsin’s unique combination of economic assets includes a concentration of industry clusters with worldwide market significance — water, biosciences and renewable energy/clean technology — and its investment in education that fuels cutting-edge research and a skilled workforce. The state also offers businesses low operating costs and a highly responsive network of economic development partners throughout the state.

Paid advertising runs next week through December in a wide array of business-focused media in Wisconsin and in neighboring states such as Minnesota and Illinois, with continued visibility through 2013 and beyond. WEDC will devote $500,000 of its $2 million annual marketing budget to paid media to support the campaign.

The ads are designed to engage business leaders and entrepreneurs by directing them to online videos that detail each company’s strong state ties. The campaign will use social media channels to expand reach and engagement. WEDC is developing marketing materials highlighting the benefits of doing business in Wisconsin and will provide materials to economic development partners throughout the state to maximize the marketing impact. Direct outreach to key target audiences such as site selectors is also planned.

As part of the initiative, WEDC established as its new web address and is building a robust website to serve businesses looking to start, grow or locate in the state. The marketing agency that helped develop the branding effort and launch campaign is Nelson Schmidt Inc. of Milwaukee and Madison, a leading full-service business-to-business agency. Visit to view the campaign materials.