OLR Research Report

July 17, 2008




By: John Rappa, Principal Analyst

You asked if public and private organizations in Connecticut and other states brand and market products made in their respective states.


An online survey found that at least 30 organizations in 24 states run programs that brand and market products made in their respective states. Most do so by developing a brand name or image symbolizing the state's culture or heritage and applying it to products made in the state. This technique helps buyers distinguish these products from those made elsewhere.

The programs vary based on the type of organization running them, the range of services they provide, and the types of products they brand and market. At least 15 for profit businesses in 14 states sell exclusively state-made products online or at special stores, such as The Connecticut Store in Waterbury. Businesses in four states use both methods.

Economic development and state arts agencies in nine states help market and promote state-made products. Some developed logos symbolizing the state's heritage. For example, the Alaska economic development agency's branding emblem depicts a mother bear and her cub. The emblem is available for a fee to any Alaskan business that makes most of its products in the state.

The Kentucky Craft Marketing Program also uses an emblem to brand products, but offers it only to artisans and crafters whose work meets the program's quality standards. Run by the state's art agency, the program also helps artists and crafters develop their business and marketing skills.

Nonprofit organizations in five states market and promote state products. The Connecticut Guild concentrates on marketing while the others also sell products or provide technical assistance. For example, GROW Nebraska provides an online product directory, holds seminars and workshops, and arranges cooperative ads. New Hampshire Made distributes its member directory to wholesalers and government buyers and operates stores on I-95 showcasing New Hampshire goods.

Attachment 1 is a table summarizing the states' branding programs.


At least 15 businesses in 14 states market and sell products exclusively made in their respective states. Most (10), such as The Made in Connecticut Store, operate one or more stores showcasing a wide variety of arts, crafts, gourmet foods, and other state-made products. Four of these also sell their products online; four, including the Massachusetts Bay Company, do so exclusively. The stores in New Mexico, Rhode Island, and Washington mainly offer fine arts and crafts.


At least nine states market and promote state-made products, five through their economic development agencies and four through their state arts agencies. The economic development agencies market most types of state-made products while the arts agencies focus on fine arts and crafts. Some of arts agencies also help artisans and crafters develop marketing and other business skills.

For example, Maine's Economic and Community Development Department markets Maine products through its website, kiosks in state buildings, and monthly newsletter. The website provides a link to the marketing program's homepage, which provides a link to a searchable database on individual businesses and their products. Maine businesses can enter their profiles, business logos, and product descriptions into the database without charge.

The Kentucky Arts Council's Craft Marketing Program serves beginning and established crafters. It helps the former develop the skills they need to run a business and market their crafts through annual weekend workshops, technical reviews, and individual counseling. It also includes their crafts in a registry marketed to craft suppliers, show and fair organizers, and other special interest groups.

The program also helps career craft professionals market their work to wider national and international markets, but it limits this service to professionals whose work meets its quality standards. Such professionals may display the program's internationally recognized “Kentucky Crafted” logo and qualify for business loans from the state's finance authority. Their work is also displayed on the council's web site.


Nonprofit organizations in five states help member businesses sell and market state-made products.

● The Made in Connecticut Guild markets its members' products through its website and promotes them at the Eastern States Exposition, the Connecticut Expo, and other events. It also helps them develop their own websites.

● Buy Idaho maintains an annual advertising directory, provides “Buy Idaho” logos, and sponsors trade shows.

● GROW Nebraska provides similar services in addition to holding workshops on developing and marketing products, providing reduced rate cooperative advertising, and maintaining a searchable database of members' catalogues.

● New Hampshire Made operates two stores on I-95 where it sells members' products.

● Wyoming First maintains an online business directory and allows members to display the “Bucking Horse and Rider” logo on their products.

Attachment 1: Programs Promoting State-Made Products







Alabama Marketplace

For profit

Online business directory and trade portal

Coffees, art and fine craft, candles, soaps, gift baskets, and gourmet specialty foods


Made in Alaska

Office of Economic Development

Product emblem acquired via permit application: $25 per product line or maximum $75 per permit holder

Website listing for permit holders

Marketing workshops

Quarterly newsletter listing events and permit holders

Products range from small gift items to large industrial modules

Silver Hand Program

Alaska State Council on the Arts

Seal issued via permit for state certified authentic Alaska Native handicrafts

Seal displayed on silver hand tags or labels for use on catalogs, letterhead, business cards, in-store ads




For profit

Festivals showcasing Arizona made products

Fine arts and crafts


For profit

Internet catalogue

Gift and home décor products


Made in California Gourmet Foods and Gifts

For profit

Internet catalogue

Gourmet foods and gifts


Made in Connecticut Guild

Nonprofit, membership organization

Promotes and markets Connecticut-made products through its website, the Eastern States Exposition, and access to state-sponsored resources

Other services include media presentation, articles, stickers, labels, & other materials

Same as above

The Connecticut Store

For profit

Department store showcasing Connecticut-made products

Gifts, gourmet foods, and consumer goods


Delaware Made

For profit

Department store showcasing Delaware-made products

Clothes, books, souvenirs, and other gift and consumer products

Attachment 1: -Continued-







Made in Georgia

Department of Economic Development

2008 law broadly authorizes department to market and promote Georgia-made products

Not specified

Handmade in Georgia

For profit

Internet and store sales of creative Georgia-made products

Arts, crafts, food products, music, and literature


Creative Gift Baskets

For profit

Internet and store sales

Wine and beer, wild game, sausage, gourmet foods, baby cloths, stuffed animals, gardening products, humorous hunting and fishing products, unique containers, clocks

Buy Idaho

Nonprofit, membership organization

Services include online business registry, newsletters, annual advertising directory, trade shows, networking, seminars, showroom displays, and product emblems

Wide range of products and services


Made in Illinois

Illinois State Museum

Product exhibits in state museums

Art work and fine crafts


Indiana Artisan Project

Arts Commission

Services include:

Marketing and promotion


Entrepreneurial support and technical assistance

Business development financing

Jury-selected fine arts, folk craft; jams and jellies, dry mixes, honey, sauces, and salsa


The Craft Marketing Program

Kentucky Arts Council

Services include:

Technical assistance and education training for marketing products to shops and galleries

Registry marketed to buyers and event organizers'


Website advertising

Listings and referrals

Business development financing

Jury-selected arts and crafts meeting design, technique, and originality/ authenticity criteria


Louisiana Crafts Marketing Program

Louisiana Division of the Arts

Listing on searchable website

Logos for products approved by Louisiana Crafts Guild

Fine arts and crafts

Attachment 1: -Continued-







Maine Products Marketing Program

Department of Economic and Community Development

Marketing and promotion:

Free listing of business profile in searchable Maine products' database on state's webpage

Members maintain profile

Newsletters going to members, retailers, consumers, and affiliated organizations

Kiosk displays in state buildings

Product categories include apparel, bags, and personal items; bath and body products; giftware, toys, games, and crafts; gourmet specialty foods; and hand-crafted furniture


Massachusetts Bay Trading Company

For profit

Online sales

Hand-made gifts and general products, crafts, baskets, and pottery; books and music; and collectables


Missouri Made

For profit

Store sales

Food, crafts, and hand-made gifts


Made in Montana

Department of Commerce


Online product directory

Technical assistance


Products range from accessories and jewelry to wood products

Made in Montana Store and Gallery

For profit

Store and online sales

Products include soaps, hand creams, and other bath and body products; beef jerky, gourmet foods, jams, jellies, honeys, and syrups; sheep skin slippers, apparel, blankets; and candles.


Made in Ohio!

Office of Strategic Research, Department of Development

Website product directory

All types of Ohio-made products


Perfectly Pennsylvania

For profit

Store sales

All types of products

Attachment 1: -Continued-







Grow Nebraska

Nonprofit, membership organization

Services include:

Marketing assistance for entrepreneurs and small businesses

Online product directory

Seminars and training

Cooperative advertising

Product evaluation

Web design and critique

Member directory shows products and services range for gourmet foods and beverages to business services


New Hampshire Made

Nonprofit, membership organization

Sales and marketing and promotion:

membership directory distributed to wholesalers and other corporate and government entities

Consumer-oriented Guide to New Hampshire Products and Services Directory

New Hampshire stores on I-95

Website featuring member profiles

Regional networking

E Newsletter

Products include specialty foods, pottery and glass, and personal care items


Made in New Mexico

For profit

Store sales

Stores feature goods made by New Mexican artisans, craftspeople, and micro businesses


Only in Rhode Island

For profit

Store sales featuring work by state artists and artisans

Arts and crafts


Made in Washington Stores

For profit

Five stores featuring products made by state artisans, crafters, and small businesses

Products range from smoked salmon to gift baskets to pet treats


Wyoming First, Wyoming Business Council


Marketing and promotion technical assistance:

Bucking Horse and Rider design stickers and hang tags for products

Poster—Proud Manufacturer of Wyoming Products

Marketing opportunities

Website listing

Catalogue listing

Food, fashion, craft, personal care, home decor