The debate rages on. What is more important to successful
branding, research data or creativity? I think both are equally important as
well as a couple of other ingredients tossed in for good measure. That brings
me to what I like to call the Mikula-Harris 3-60 Method for Tourism Branding
and Advertising (copyright 2013 Mikula-Harris).

• First, look at every place through the eyes of a 3 year
Since tourism brands are discovered and not dreamed up, it helps to genuinely
believe that the community you are branding is unique and magical. We like to
look at the destination with the same sense of wonder that a 3-year-old child sees
the world. If you’ve ever observed a child watching a spider weave its web
you’ll know what we mean. At that age, almost everything they see they’re
seeing for the very first time and to them it’s the most fascinating thing in
the universe. We believe that every community has a unique story, so we allow
ourselves to be captivated. We love learning those stories and telling them to
the world.

• Next, combine childlike excitement with 60 years of experience
Depending on which team members assist with the research,
analysis, strategy, writing, design and other elements of a brand development
project, an average of 60 years of experience is probably a conservative
estimate. That kind of expertise helps us zero in on what’s important in every
community’s brand. It also allows us to know what will resonate with consumers.
Experience also helps bring the brand to life with a powerful and compelling
message and identity.

Everyone would like both youth and experience, but we all know it's not always possible. Having a youthful outlook, on the other hand, is an option we choose.


6 Walnut Avenue • Vinton, Virginia 24179

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