Let’s say one of your college buddies is getting married, or maybe an old aunt is about to die. You take time off work, drive a long distance, check into a motel, and pay an exciting less than ten bucks for tourism taxes. What do you get in return?

Why, you might just be paying for a branding team to develop a logo and wayfinding. You might even get bear statuary bearing bar codes unlocking tourist information for cell phone users passing by.

In order to provide for a more perfect branding initiative in Henderson County, a search committee hired an out-of-state firm because outsourcing will increase the number of room-nights when teamsters come to visit. We assume they already know all they need to about the local scene, and so they, with everybody else, won’t be motivated to take a junket until they see their branding strategy.

The TDA has not yet committed to a contract or a price for either the signage or creative campaign.

“We hope this agency will be able to come up with something to put us on the map,” [said Selena Einwechter of the search committee].