Omnichannel Marketing

Michigan Manufacturers Association

Marketing, Brand Enhancements Create Path for Association’s ‘Coolest Thing’ Contest Goals

Brand’s design and messaging solidified on contest website.

Segmentation strategies reach ideal audiences via social media.

Association gains ‘Coolest Thing Made in Michigan’ sponsor.


The Michigan Manufacturers Association’s (MMA) annual “Coolest Thing Made in Michigan” contest is a key campaign that the organization uses to gain exposure for manufacturers of all sizes and types, as well as to reinforce the state’s standing as a national leader in the manufacturing industry. 

MMA’s leaders needed to further increase contest participation by enhancing exposure about the contest’s value for individual businesses, the industry as a whole and the state’s reputation as a manufacturing hub. They also hoped that increased exposure would help them gain a sponsor for the program.


Together with MMA’s leadership, we recognized that the contest could be much more influential within the manufacturing industry. With the goals of attracting new members to MMA and engaging additional existing members, we helped MMA see that it would be advantageous to expand contest eligibility to nonmembers and to enhance their communications with industry professionals through various social channels. 

We aimed to create a better experience and bring more traffic to the Coolest Thing website by redesigning brand elements, creating more value-based messaging for use on the website and in promotional channels, leveraging the power of advertising to complement MMA’s organic outreach efforts and creating a comprehensive media kit to help participants market their participation in the contest.

We also collaborated with MMA’s leadership team to evolve the Coolest Thing website into a promotional tool that could be used year-round to increase interest in the contest, increase communication within the community and boost awareness of participating manufacturers’ products with the goal of strengthening the industry in Michigan. By enhancing the website’s benefits, the MMA would be more poised to gain a sponsor for the program, which would further increase the Association’s positive impact for the industry.

The “Coolest Thing Made in Michigan” website now features a more modern design and messaging that tells a stronger story about MMA and its contest. New businesses continue to submit their products into the contest, and we helped MMA recognize new paths toward the continued growth of its brand and membership base.


With the purpose of helping to promote the manufacturing industry and create goodwill and awareness of the industry’s impact in Michigan, MMA has captured the attention of more members and prospective members through its “Coolest Thing Made in Michigan” contest. More than 30 products are now submitted into the contest and approximately 10,000 individuals vote for their favorites every year. 

Our Authentic Marketing approach led to the following results:

  • LinkedIn referrals to the contest website increased by 114 percent.
  • Facebook user referrals were more than 6,300, a 49 percent increase over the previous campaign.
  • Facebook page views and post engagements doubled.
  • The Coolest Thing website had 87,000 views and gained 1,219 new users within only four months (June to September 2022).
  • MMA gained a sponsor for the campaign, helping to further enhance the viability and impact of the program.

"Phoenix Innovate has been a valuable strategic partner to MMA. They guided us through a transformational messaging process that helped us synchronize our value proposition, better define our value as an organization and how we engage with our stakeholders. Thanks to Phoenix, we now have a consistent and compelling brand voice that inspires our members and aligns us as an organization."

- Delaney McKinley, Executive Vice President of Operations

Michigan Manufacturers Association Coolest Thing Made in Michigan website on desktop and mobile