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Team Niagara

It isn’t every day that a Fortune 500 multinational company decides to set up a $265 million manufacturing facility in Canada. So when GE announced the relocation of a major natural gas engine plant from Wisconsin to a soon-to-be-determined destination in Canada, Niagara’s economic development professionals knew they needed to pull out all the stops to get the company’s attention.

The perfect opportunity arose when news emerged that GE Canada’s CEO, along with senior company executives, would be attending the Ontario Economic Summit in Niagara-on-the-Lake. Three local mayors arranged to meet with GE Canada brass.

180 Marketing was called upon to develop a unique leave-behind piece that would communicate Niagara’s strengths as a manufacturing destination. Compared to traditional economic development literature, the piece needed to achieve specific goals:

1. Be targeted at a handful of individuals

2. Highlight all of Niagara’s selling points in a quickly-digestible executive summary format.

3. Be memorable, to keep Niagara top-of-mind when GE decision makers deliberate about potential plant locations.

180 Marketing developed the tagline “Brilliantly Niagara”, alluding to GE’s “brilliant factory” manufacturing model. We conducted considerable research to isolate Niagara’s key competitive advantages and presented them with effective visuals and infographics. Because only a half dozen pieces were required for the meeting, we developed a unique, impressive format using ring-bound, custom-shaped heavy cards, complete with painted edges. With substance and originality, it was clearly a piece that wouldn’t get buried in a stack of executive paperwork.

The lure piece did its job. One executive noted that it covered all of GE's main decision points, and suddenly Niagara was on GE's radar. After the initial meeting, Niagara's economic development professionals and municipal leaders ran with ball from here, working tirelessly and cooperatively to promote the Region as the ideal destination for the GE relocation.

In June 2016, GE Canada announced its choice: Welland, Ontario!