Case Studies

Galax, Virginia

The Challenge

Fans of traditional bluegrass music know that Galax is home to the annual Old Fiddlers’ Convention, a mega-festival that has been around for 87 years. However, the small community in the mountains of Virginia has little name recognition beyond old-time music lovers.

The once thriving manufacturing hub has experienced downsizing and shuttered factories in recent decades. Things are beginning to rebound in Galax with new businesses popping up in their downtown, and visitors arriving to bike on the New River Trail. The city hired Mikula-Harris to develop a community brand to help take their tourism program to the next level and help instill some community pride.

The Strategy

While many small mountain communities often have much in common, Galax is truly unique. Its history and traditions have shaped the city’s personality in indelible ways. The rise of manufacturing, specifically furniture, created a bustling community where the downtown was the center of activity. In modern Galax, the downtown is still abuzz with shops and restaurants. On the edge of downtown, there are still operating manufacturing facilities. The juxtaposition of blue collar factories and hip shops contributes to the city’s unique personality.

Another tradition in Galax is the celebration of traditional mountain music, which dates back at least as far as any other place in Virginia. Not only is Galax the site of the Old Fiddlers’ Convention, it’s also home to artisans that are among the most acclaimed instrument makers in the country.

Great traditions, like maintaining downtown as the center of community life and an unabashed love for its old-time music heritage, combined with the scenic beauty and outdoor recreation opportunities that come with being a mountain destination, all contribute to Galax’s charming and authentic way of life.

Galax Virginia case study samples

The Results

Our team came up with a brand identity that captures the proud spirit of the community. It portrays a place that embraces the long-standing traditions that make life in Galax great, while also looking toward the future. The logo is colorful, fun and slightly modern. It’s carefully designed to take the city and its tourism program forward.

The branding includes a new tourism marketing message. The campaign proudly proclaims the many experiences and emotions that are “mountain made” by immersing oneself in the authentic Galax way of life for a day, weekend or week-long vacation.

Ads will begin appearing in May 2023. The brand identity will become more visible around the city on lamppost banners, signage, city vehicles and more. The image and message will boost more than tourism. It will inject some civic pride into the historic city of Galax.



Let’s talk.

How can your brand benefit from the talent and experience of the Mikula-Harris team? Let’s start a conversation. Make the call today.



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