Brand Inspiration from Image and Legacy

Brand Inspiration from Image and Legacy

Arts Branding has had the pleasure of working with the Aspen Music Festival and School for over a year now culminating in the launch of the AMFS’s new brand strategy and visual identity at the start of their latest season on July 1. We engaged London-based, international design director, Jessica...
Increasing Attendance and Support: Branding, Does it Still Matter?

Increasing Attendance and Support: Branding, Does it Still Matter?

Later in February I’ll be speaking as part of a panel at the California Association of Museums Conference on Friday, February 17, 2012. The conference runs from Wed-Fri, Feb 15-17 in Berkeley, California. Moderator and Panelists Joan G. Cumming, Senior Director of Marketing and Communications at the Autry National Center...
Redux: Make Your Brand Messages Come Alive

Redux: Make Your Brand Messages Come Alive

This quote has been the bane of my writing existence and the monkey on my back since high school. It and the time available are almost always at odds. But, it’s something we should all aspire to especially now as digital marketing is so prevalent. Some of you asked me...
Make Your Brand Messages Come Alive

Make Your Brand Messages Come Alive

Welcome. Isn’t that the first message we want people to know about our organizations—both as an offering and as the feeling we want them to have? Some of you have pointed out that for a brand consultant I seem to spent a lot of time focusing on brand identities and...
Branding a Building or Building a Brand?

Branding a Building or Building a Brand?

This October New York City Center will open its new season with improvements to its building exterior and a newly renovated interior. The architectural style of their Moorish Revival building reflects the theme of its original occupants. For those unfamiliar, City Center, a former Mecca Temple of the Ancient Arabic...
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Brand Strategy vs. Design Strategy

Brand Strategy vs. Design Strategy

In past essays such as Branding vs. Marketing: In case you missed that lecture and Position first, then logo, I’ve touched on brand strategy informing key organization messages and organization visual identity. I should clarify brand strategy vs. design strategy and what defines each. Over the years, we’ve received cultural arts RFPs that stated the...
BFFs: Digital & Cultural Arts Branding

BFFs: Digital & Cultural Arts Branding

Sure it was just a coincidence. But the juxtaposition was just too priceless to ignore. In one day I received: 1. Online information commemorating the 20th anniversary of the first website. 2. A promotional email from Capacity Interactive Inc. pitching their inaugural Digital Marketing Boot Camp for Arts Marketers. 3. A LinkedIn message from Museums...
Buzz without Billboards

Buzz without Billboards

Sometimes it’s about a simple creative idea well executed. And sometimes it’s about creating buzz and intrigue long before one’s brand is launched. This is part of a series of construction barricades that line the perimeter of the site for the new Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills, launching in 2013....
National Maritime Museum: What's the Brand Strategy?

National Maritime Museum: What’s the Brand Strategy?

In Creative Review, I read recently of the announcement of Greenwich, London’s National Maritime Museum and the launch of their new visual identity. The article states, “The new identity, the launch of which coincides with the opening of a new wing at the National Maritime Museum, encompasses not just the Museum itself, but also the...
Dinosaurs: Branding Beyond Extinction

Dinosaurs: Branding Beyond Extinction

Oh, c’mon, admit it! A wide-eyed, excited, little shiver went up your back at the mere mention of them, didn’t it? Who doesn’t love dinosaurs? I admit it.  I’ve loved them since I was young. I still have my first dinosaur book. I watched the Flintstones with amusement. And in recent years I was a...
When Branding is unnecessary

When Branding is unnecessary

It’s beautiful, sunny, and warm in New York today, just as beautiful as it was Tuesday morning, September 11, 2001 almost ten years ago. In fact, that “message” of sorts is often mentioned when people begin to tell the story of 9/11 and that personal context is part of what connects us all to that...
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...