‘X’ marks the spot! New websites put Sussex County on the map

10 Branding airport site

Sussex County’s new airport website – DelawareCoastalAirport.com – was launched this week.

 GEORGETOWN – Progressive “X”-citement” abounds in Sussex County with new websites that co-anchor the county’s branding/marketing push to attract business and economic development.

10 Branding econ dev website

Sussex County launched its new economic development website – ExciteSussex.com – this week at the unveiling of the 2016 Sussex County Profile.

Websites for the Sussex County Economic Development office (ExciteSussex.com) and Delaware Coastal Airport (DelawareCoastalAirport.com) were launched Tuesday, Feb. 2 in conjunction with the unveiling of the 20th anniversary of the Sussex County Profile, a magazine produced annually through a partnership between Sussex County government and the Sussex County Post/Independent Newsmedia Inc.

Both new websites incorporate the county’s new branding, punctuated with ‘X’ and an “Explore, Excite, Exceed” tagline. The 2016 Sussex County Profile, a 72-page glossy- magazine filled with information about the county, also showcases the county’s branding elements that were developed by Ben Muldrow of Muldrow & Associates.

“Why Sussex? It’s the perfect recipe for success,” said Sussex County Economic Development Director Melody Booker-Wilkins. “It’s about doing business together. Why Sussex? It’s all about location. ‘X’ marks the spot!”

“The ‘X’ in Sussex lent itself to ‘X’ marking the spot. So that was the element we brought in,” said Sussex County Director of Communications Chip Guy. “That is one of the things we really wanted to impress with this campaign; to help identify Sussex and put Sussex on the map.”

Mr. Guy said the idea of “Explore, Excite, Exceed” is “if you’re interested in coming to Sussex County, be it as a visitor, as a new resident, looking to do business, you are exploring. You are exploring who we are, where we are and what we can offer. After that exploration you become excited about all there is to offer here, all there is to do here. Then beyond that, you exceed your expectation possibilities. That is the theme wanted to play upon.”

The county websites and the 2016 Sussex County Profile and Profile website – www.sussexcountyprofile.com – give Sussex County multi-outlets in sharing information and the county’s story.

10 branding profile council members

Sussex County’s new websites – Sussex County Economic Development and Delaware Coastal Airport – were launched Tuesday in conjunction with the unveiling of the 2016 Sussex County Profile. County council members taking part in the ceremonial unveiling, are from left: Rob Arlett, Joan Deaver, George Cole, Michael Vincent and Sam Wilson.

“We recognized quickly when we embarked on our marketing and branding that the website and that interface will be their first avenue for people looking to do business, looking to come to Sussex County, looking to research Sussex County. They are going to use the website first,” said Sussex County Administrator Todd Lawson.

“This is geared for the folks that want to come to Sussex, do business in Sussex, relocate in Sussex, and expand in Sussex. It is also geared for us to tell the story of Sussex and the successful businesses that are already located in Sussex,” said Mr. Lawson. “The folks at INI along with our marketing campaign really brought the themes together. It’s going to be a great product – this 20th anniversary Sussex County Profile, which will live for an entire year.”

In June 2015, Sussex County Council endorsed a plan to rename the Sussex County Airport to Delaware Coastal Airport, a major step in a more-than-decade-long, nearly $40 million effort to modernize the facility and boost economic development.

“This ties the airport into the overall branding effort of the county. It identifies the airport as the general aviation way to get into the county,” Jim Hickin, Delaware Coastal Airport manager. “This links the airport to the county.”

“I really do think that what this website is going to do is bring everybody together, all of the partnerships,” said Sussex County Finance Director Gina Jennings.

“We are serious about economic development,” said Ms. Booker-Wilkins. “When there are site selectors that are interested in setting up business, one of the first places they go to is the website. And now when they go in and see the investments that we’ve made that we are truly serious about economic development. We welcome the opportunity to meet with them.”

“We are in the business from an economic development standpoint of touting the positive aspects of the county. We’re basically in business to some degree of selling us – the county – to prospective businesses, prospective residents,” said Mr. Guy. “What we lacked before this campaign was an articulated, clear, polished packaging to do that. That is what this effort was in the last six months to a year, to develop a packaging in that effort to sell the county to those who may not be familiar with who we are, and where we are. It’s not that the product itself has necessarily changed, it is how the product is being delivered, how it is being packaged.”

News Editor Glenn Rolfe can be reached at grolfe@newszap.com

You are encouraged to leave relevant comments but engaging in personal attacks, threats, online bullying or commercial spam will not be allowed. All comments should remain within the bounds of fair play and civility. (You can disagree with others courteously, without being disagreeable.) Feel free to express yourself but keep an open mind toward finding value in what others say. To report abuse or spam, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box.