Alabama Department of Commerce Revamps Website

The department has recently created a strong social media presence while simultaneously upgrading its popular "Made in Alabama" website.

by William Thornton, Alabama Media Group, Birmingham / January 25, 2017

(TNS) — The Alabama Department of Commerce is rolling out a redesign of its popular "Made in Alabama" website, along with a more aggressive social media and advertising presence.

It constitutes a new look and feel for the brand, one of the most recognizable in and outside of Alabama.

"Made in Alabama" was launched almost four years ago to boost the state's image in recruiting new jobs and investment. It was conceived by Birmingham public relations and advertising agency, Big Communications.

Alabama Commerce Secretary Greg Canfield said officials began talking about a redesign around the middle of last year, fresh off another success. Commerce's 2016 International Air Show trade booth won "Best in Show" in the U.S. Pavilion, what Canfield called a big honor in a crowded field.

"Made in Alabama" encompasses original and aggregated content to help business recruiters showcase Alabama's business climate — from stories about automobile manufacturing to aircraft to the homegrown entrepreneur. The challenge now, Canfield said, is to make sure "Made in Alabama" stays vibrant and relevant in a marketplace saturated with ideas and images. One way is by examining analytic data and tailoring facets of the campaign around it.

"My desire was to continue to present the brand in a way that took advantage of the way we saw the analytics," he said, "in a way that made it more vibrant, more alive, more active looking."

Bright colors, cleaner lines and bolder design is only part of the overall package. The website, the look and the use of social media will make the stories easier to share online. One of the successes of the "Made in Alabama" brand has been how Alabama's local economic developers have embraced it as a sales tool, Canfield said.

"It gives us an opportunity to project Alabama's strengths, its achievements, it capabilities, and let businesses know they locate here and be successful here," Canfield said. "It's also a way to deliver the brand through a variety of social media. It allows us as a small state, in terms of population and budget, to extend our reach to a larger national and international audience."

©2017 Alabama Media Group, Birmingham Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.