The Virginia Horse Industry Board (VHIB) is responsible for the promotion and economic development of Virginia’s horse industry. Since its founding in 1994, the Board has awarded more than $1.4M in grants to support the state’s equine industry in the areas of education, research and marketing. In addition, the VHIB has discretionary marketing funds to spend for advertising, events, and other efforts. In 2010, The VHIB issued an RFP for the purpose of securing the services of an outside marketing firm to develop a marketing plan that would help them to better target and leverage their funds. Pritchard Volk won the competitive bid and over a six-month period:
- Performed extensive research to build an interstate and intrastate competitive analysis
- Developed an advisory committee of experienced horse industry experts to give outside perspective into the challenges facing the horse industry in Virginia
- Conducted branding workshops with the board to uncover the distinguishing selling points of a Virginia bred horse.
In December 2010, meeting the schedule determined by the VHIB, we delivered and presented a strategic marketing plan that outlined three broad marketing strategies, with supporting tactics to address each strategy. The plan was well received by the 12-member board. The VHIB has begun to implement several of the Pritchard Volk Consulting recommended marketing ideas. The VHIB announced a new initiative in June, 2011 as a direct result of the marketing plan delivered last December. The new initiative is posted on the news section of the VHIB website, vhib.org, under “VA Horse Board Announces Special Project Grants.