(March 18): For its boat builders and marine industry innovators, the state is now pushing to better market a $650 million industry to other countries, and potential boat owners who may be reading New York Times Magazine, Maine Boats, Homes & Harbors, or Forbes.
The Maine Department of Economic and Community Development, through the North Star Alliance, has labeled the marketing campaign, or its "brand strategy," with a new slogan, "Art and Soul." The purpose is to drive sales growth for marine-based enterprises.
Mainebuiltboats.com is the new website to help brand and market the boat building industry in the state. (Image courtesy of mainebuiltboats.com)
According to the state, the marine trades, composite materials business, boat building, marine and waterfront infrastructure, marine service and repair, sporting goods, and ballistic armor represent the majority of the economic base of Midcoast Maine.
The money to hire public relations and marketing personnel and webmasters to market these businesses derives from the $15 million Wired grant Maine received last year from the U.S. Department of Labor Workforce Innovation in Regional Economic Development Initiative.
Of that, $2 million is to go to marketing, and this week, the DECD unveiled its new website, mainebuiltboats.com.
"Michelangelo had his ceilings," the site's front page states. "We prefer boats. Boats designed with an elegant, understated line. A maritime tradition that spans 400 years. And a spirit of innovation that burns brighter than ever. No one has more to draw on."
Besides marketing online and in various magazines, the business development effort to boost the marine trades will also include a series of educational workshops and seminars organized simultaneously to teach boat builders how to promote their individual businesses competitively.
"This is new territory for many of our builders," said Jane Wellehan, president of Maine Built Boats. "They are stepping out into the world in a new way." More here.