Economic development group's rebranding 'call to action' for more business in Windsor-Essex

The Windsor-Essex Economic Development Corporation has spent $50,000 to rebrand itself with a new name, logo and website. The latter was created by a group based outside the region — leaving some community members wondering why website creation couldn't be kept local.

Criticism raised over new website, part of $50K rebrand, being made by non-local company

Stephen MacKenzie says the new brand uses 'clear and concise messaging' to attract investments into Windsor-Essex. (Sanjay Maru/CBC)

The Windsor-Essex Economic Development Corporation has rebranded with a new name, new website and new logo — all meant to better attract new businesses and investments in the region.

It's now called Invest WindsorEssex. According to CEO Stephen McKenzie, the old branding contradicted the organization's message of trying to promote economic development in the region.

"It's clear and concise messaging to help us in our efforts to attract foreign direct investment and local investment," he said. "It's summarizes that we want investment here. We want job creation here ... It's a call to action, actually."

The rebrand cost the taxpayer-funded agency just less than $50,000, McKenzie added. St. Clair College marketing professor Nicole Rourke said that's a good deal and agrees with McKenzie's description of the new name.

Invest Windsor Essex's new website was made by a company based out of Waterloo. (

"We have a lot to offer a lot of companies looking to invest in Windsor — and I think it really simplifies that call to action," said Rourke.

"We have a highly educated and skilled workforce, and I think that is something that should be promoted a lot more. I think this really simplifies it and really does a nice job promoting our area."

The corporation's new website was created by the Waterloo-based eSolutionsGroup, which Windsor tech-consultant Doug Sartori takes issue with as he questions why the website wasn't tasked to a local company.

"Invest WindsorEssex is all about investing in our communities. So I wonder how they promote opportunities for vendors like that," he said.

When I looked at the website, ... it looked like something that a local vendor would certainly be capable of.- Doug Sartori, tech-consultant

"When I looked at the website, ... it looked like something that a local vendor would certainly be capable of. There's easily a half dozen or more firms who could have done that work."

Going forward, Sartori added, companies in Windsor-Essex should have priority when contracting work in the future. 

"I think it would be a good idea for them to try to make sure that local vendors have an opportunity to participate in this type of thing in the future," he said.


Local companies did apply for the job after request for proposals were sent out.

But ultimately, McKenzie said, eSolutionsGroup was chosen because it had more extensive experience in creating websites related to economic development.

A local company, Tango Advertising Agency, was chosen to create the new logo — which crafts the 'W' and 'E' to look like Windsor and Essex County, respectively.

The WindsorEssex Small Business Centre (SBC) is now operating as the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Centre (SBEC). A new website for the SBEC also shares the cost of the $50,000 rebranding efforts.

Meanwhile, the Institute for Border Logistics and Security (IBLS) is now operating as Invest WindsorEssex Automobility and Innovation Centre.

With files from Dale Molnar


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