Author Archive
Redux: Single Brand Strategy

Redux: Single Brand Strategy

The topic, Single Brand Strategy, from two weeks ago intrigued a number of readers, so much that I thought I’d clarify some of my thoughts and expand on other aspects. First, I am not against arts organizations creating sub-brands (names, sometimes logos, and message points for some of your arts organization’s programs, events, series, or...
Mission of Access: The Royal Ballet

Mission of Access: The Royal Ballet

The New York Times article, “Beer. Nachos. Arena. Ballet?” highlights the recent effort of The Royal Ballet to expand access to its programming. In mid-June, the Company held four performances of Romeo and Juliet at South London’s The O2 arena, the world’s largest single-roofed structure, which holds up to 20,000 people depending on the event....
Single Brand Strategy

Single Brand Strategy

Some of you may be scratching your head, “What’s a single brand strategy and why should I care?” Simply put it’s when an arts organization decides to put all of its branding, marketing, and communications resources behind one name and one brand. “Don’t all arts organizations already do this?” you might ask. Generally yes, but...
Living the Brand: LA Phil

Living the Brand: LA Phil

Programming will always be at the heart of any arts brand. It’s what sustains the arts organization, provides its reason for being, is the focal point for its vision, and provides the platform for the organization to live up to the promise of its brand. The Los Angeles Times reported this past week that the...
Position first, then logo

Position first, then logo

Sometimes when we receive an RFP from a potential client or conduct a new business presentation, an arts organization will tell us that they want a new logo, but what they really need more, or before that, is positioning.  I’ve described in a previous essay the differences among an arts brand, arts branding, and arts...
ROI for Branding in the Arts

ROI for Branding in the Arts

I was presenting my company’s credentials recently and afterwards the potential client, a performing arts administrator, asked, “what’s the return on investment for branding? Part of me was incredulous that he would ask this. Weren’t our amazing services and sparkling case studies alone enough to warrant the investment? Another part of me was glad he...
Branding the Arts of Tomorrow

Branding the Arts of Tomorrow

As the annual American Association of Museums Conference gets under way in Houston  I thought it might be fun to riff off of their theme for this year’s conference: The Museum of Tomorrow. Having grown up in southern California, when I hear “tomorrow” I always think of Disneyland’s Tomorrowland and its promise of a different...
Who's your organization's brand champion?

Who’s your organization’s brand champion?

When you saw this essay’s title and saw the accompanying image, did you immediately know what I meant by brand champion? I chose Steve Jobs because he is probably the most recognized brand champion in the world. Could anyone embody the Apple brand more or better than him? As I head off to the American...
Strategic Design in Action

Strategic Design in Action

A while back I posted an essay on Name changes: the real process. I based it on the merger of the Bill T. Jones / Arnie Zane Dance Company with Dance Theater Workshop, a groundbreaking event in the performing arts and dance world. No one had done anything like this in the U.S., although London...
Branding vs. Marketing: In case you missed that lecture

Branding vs. Marketing: In case you missed that lecture

When we started these essays we thought branding was pretty much a well-understood, accepted concept within the cultural arts field. But then we got this response to one of our new business letters sent to a marketing director regarding our brand strategy consulting services: “At this time, we focus our energy on creating provocative and...
Thinking like Visitors in Repositioning the Nelson-Atkins Museum

Thinking like Visitors in Repositioning the Nelson-Atkins Museum

The New York Times Museums Special Section article, “In a Bigger Pond, and Looking to Make Ripples” is about Julian Zugazagoitia, the new director of the Nelson-Atkins Museum in Kansas City, and his hope to broaden the Museum’s appeal. He’s started a conversation series called, “Art Tasting with Julian” and says he has been “using...
Understanding audiences for better branding

Understanding audiences for better branding

In general , consultants are collegial, but they don’t usually comment on each other’s work. It’s that whole competitive thing. But this exception is worth making because I’m an alumnus of the consulting firm that initiated this research study, respect their work, was involved in the inception of the study in its early iterations—and most...