International Business Park
The International Business Park (IBP) is a 520-plus acre commercial and industrial business park located off Interstate 85 in Concord, N.C. Owned and operated by the Nolim Group and international real estate and investment groups, the park opened in 1985 to attract business and industry to the City of Concord and Cabarrus County.
Faced with a development that was largely unknown among international companies and an area that lacked pro-business government support, The International Business Park failed to generate the kind of consistent momentum needed for success.
In early 2004, The Nolim Group retained Walker Marketing to develop a strategic marketing plan that would help build the IBP brand, identify and attract niche international companies and strengthen relationships with local, regional and state agencies in the recruitment of business.
To enhance relationships among City and County governments, Walker Marketing engaged in a government relations campaign with the North Carolina Department of Commerce, The Charlotte Regional Partnership and the Cabarrus County Economic Development Commission to better understand what recent relocation prospects were seeking in a business park and to determine how to collectively fulfill those needs. As part of that effort, the need for certified development sites was identified and became a key differentiator for the International Business Park.
Other communication strategies were implemented to help convey the International Business Park’s story including targeted public relations, advertising and digital.
The cornerstone of the communications program was a website that was rich in content and easy to navigate. The site provided up-to-date information about the Park’s location on Interstate 85, the main artery in the area, and an interactive site map featuring available sites and acreages.
A public relations campaign targeted industry publications focused on commercial and industrial real estate brokers and relocation professionals to promote the IBP brand.
Display advertising in selected trade journals and a quarterly electronic newsletter targeted real estate professionals with messaging designed to create interest and generate inquiries.
The outreach to local, state and regional governments helped the International Business Park gain credibility in a competitive market. Articles and featured editorial in various publications elevated the Park’s awareness and share-of-mind.
Qualified inquires from interested companies increased exponentially as the Park began to be in the consideration set for leads generated by the North Carolina Department of Commerce and the Charlotte Regional Partnership.
Internationally and domestically owned companies that relocated to the park increased dramatically from 2005 through 2011. These companies included: Connextions, a large healthcare call center; PreGel, an Italian-owed gelato producer; Bonitz, a distributor for imported tiles and flooring; and Heritage House Fabrics. Celgard, a world leader in lithium battery separators, opened new manufacturing facilities in the Park in 2011 and will employ over 500 people.
Today the business park is headquarters to more than 26 international and domestic based companies. A true economic development success story, combined employment in the park exceeds 3,000 today.