The Dilemma of Branding Art Galleries

By June 20, 2017SPUNKY TRENDS

The popularity of art galleries across the globe is increasing all the time and with this increased popularity comes increased competition. This in turn is leading to the need for art galleries and museums to brand/rebrand themselves.

The term “branding” has not always been welcomed with open arms in the art world. It has, however, becoming increasingly accepted that having a clear vision and identity can be incredibly beneficial for art galleries and museums. The main reasons that an art gallery would need branding or rebranding include changes in architectural arrangement, repositioning of brand image, commemoration of an occasion or to increase revenue through increased visitor numbers, donors or membership.

In 2006, Hyland and King researched 30 art institutions around the world and it was concluded that visual brand identity is extensively used as a tool for reviving institutions to make them more appealing to the modern audience. An example of this is the rebranding of London’s Victoria and Albert Museum in 2002.

See also: Marketing to Millenials

The need for art institutions and museums to compete more vigorously for their audience’s time in the landscape of cultural attractions and entertainment has led to more defined and refined brand identities. This dedication to identity has created a dilemma for commercial art galleries as there is a fear of pushing their own identity too much that it overpowers the identity of the artists promoted themselves.

With art galleries realising the importance of branding, the most important thing for them is to find the balance between their primary role of representing the artists and their work, and the promotion of the art gallery/institution’s own brand.

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