An international business hub takes flight

In Southeast Michigan, a consortium of local governments identified an economic asset with the potential to generate thousands of jobs, attract global business and drive significant long-term growth: a 60,000-acre swath of land at the confluence of the region’s major freeways, railroads and shipping lanes as well as its two international airports.

With a 25-year buildout plan in place, stakeholders for the Detroit Regional Aerotropolis, as it was called at the time, faced the task of selling their plan to regional, state and federal government officials—to say nothing of site selectors for global corporations.

Applied Storytelling provided the story the new aerotropolis authority needed, beginning with the name—VantagePort—and the crisp, clear, bold expression of its vision: “to be the global supply chain powerhouse that will catalyze the region as it defines a new standard of doing business.“

Drawing on an unparalleled set of regional assets, we positioned VantagePort as “the place where America’s supply chain works”. The story, tools and strategy we developed supported a powerful promise to would-be leaseholders and partners: “Accelerate your business with access to the best ideas, people, manufacturing, logistics and services that make America’s global supply chain work.”

In 2012 alone, the VantagePort region saw more than $300 million in new business growth, and the creation of over 800 new jobs. Equipped with a bold yet pragmatic story, and delivering on its promise right away, VantagePort is already securing the kind of business expansion and attraction deals that will make its vision a reality.

“It’s not often that your work has truly global marketplace impact. VantagePort will catalyze the region’s and US’s economic growth and job creation as it redefines the way global business and local communities come together.” – Matthew Kruchko