There's a business revolution starting in Somerset

Since its launch in November 2008 Somerset 3D has supported over 40 companies and individuals to invest in Somerset producing, when fully invested, over 700 new jobs at a time when the country has been in recession. However, according to Rupert Cox, CEO of Somerset 3D, “There is much still to do to  raise the profile of Somerset as a business location and to increase inward investment and job creation.”

An invitation to tender for a new marketing campaign has been sent  to sixteen of the county's leading creative consultancies. In this, Cox explained the reasons why the project was looking to deliver an innovative campaign that uses Somerset’s considerable business attributes and new superfast broadband to publicise that there may well be a business revolution going on in Somerset – contrary to many people’s perception. It will form the core of the marketing activity for the inward investment agency over the next 18 months, taking in creative marketing, PR and the media.

The campaign will follow a brand refresh that took place at the start of 2011 which took Somerset 3D’s key marketing messages in a more business-like direction while still recognising the strength of the county’s lifestyle messages.

This led to Somerset 3D to focus attention on four relocation characteristics:-

  • Regional expanders – existing business looking to move into the south west
  • Project-driven investments – existing businesses looking to move to the south west to take advantage of significant project work
  • Business-case relocations – those existing businesses looking to move for business competitive reasons (it is better value to run a business from Somerset than the south east)
  • Lifestyle relocators – mainly small or new businesses whose proprietors have relocated for quality of life reasons, usually from London and the south east

Rupert explained “Somerset and Devon have been jointly awarded £30m from BDUK to roll out superfast broadband across the 2 counties  - to be completed by the spring of 2015. This will place Somerset in a unique position as being able to offer 85% of premises with 20mbs of band width and the remaining 15% being guaranteed 2 mbs. We regard this as unique selling point. Technology is the key to driving a modern entrepreneurial economy and this is one of the key messages that we want to convey in this campaign.”

The 2011/12 campaign will also emphasise Somerset’s many other strengths, such as:

  • Good reliable connectivity via road, rail, air or sea, including short commute times.
  • Low carbon energy generation  - a key investment for the future generation in Somerset – and recognised in the new Heart of the South West LEP.
  • Skills development opportunities to deliver the above with the regional energy skills centre based at Bridgwater to support the proposed Hinkley C nuclear development
  • Competitively priced commercial premises opportunities for new young small businesses requiring incubation facilities as well as larger investments onto existing areas designated for development.
  • Somerset’s fantastic lifestyle – great natural environment, delicious food & drink, world renowned education opportunities, diverse cultural & arts offer and tourism/leisure/retail attractions

Rupert concluded “We are looking for innovative marketing techniques and messages to raise the positive business profile of Somerset making sure that our target audience is aware of the huge business potential Somerset has, compared to similar shire counties.”

Read more about Superfast Broadband coming to Somerset.