Grow North Works To Develop Cohesive Hardwood Products Marketing Strategy For The Northwoods
RHINELANDER – Grow North, a group that focuses on economic development in northern Wisconsin, wants people to buy more of Wisconsin’s wood products. But achieving that goal will require more effective marketing from the wood product industry.
Angi Schreiber, Executive Director of Grow North, wants to bring wood products companies in the area together to market the region as a whole.
“All the companies are working kind of on their own, and some have paired up and are working together,” Schreiber said. “But we want to take the competition out of things and just promote northern Wisconsin businesses as a whole.”
The groups hired a consultant to start work on a marketing plan. They also looked at which wood product trade shows they should attend to promote the area.
“We are going to be getting together the next couple of weeks and discussing our marketing plan and our next steps,” Schreiber said. “That would include the creation of the marketing materials.”
The group also wants to get those materials out to companies in the area. According to state statistics, approximately 62,000 Wisconsinites work in the wood product industry. Wisconsin’s forest products industries contribute significantly to the economy–12 percent of the value of shipments and of all capital expenditures in the manufacturing sector, according to the DNR.
However, the industry hasn’t fared well since the Great Recession in the late 2000s. Since 2004, the number of employees and businesses in the industry has decreased 22 percent and total wages are down 29 percent. Wood furniture manufacturing, however, is the exception with an increase in both the number of employees and total wages, according to the DNR.
Source: WJFW – 12