The Importance of Branding for Arts Organisations
“When you look at a strong brand, you see a promise” – Jim Mullen
Having a well-planned branding strategy for an arts organisation can help in building meaningful connections with audiences and unlock new opportunities. Beyond presenting their art, it is imperative that arts organizations actively think about creating value for their audiences, stakeholders and the arts ecosystem at large. A brand strategy provides a comprehensive structure and approach towards delivering this value consistently and sustainably.
What is a Brand?
While branding as a concept, is most often associated with the business world, in recent past, arts organisations have also adopted proven marketing principles to create and build their brands.
Arts organisations’ brand is a reflection of their vision, mission, values, and the work that they do. It is also the connection they establish and nurture with their audiences, as well as internal and external stakeholders.
Why should Arts Organisations define and build their brand?
Most often branding is misunderstood merely as creation of a logo and visual aesthetics. Branding is much more than that. Branding provides a holistic and consistent approach to present an organisation and its artistic work in a unique way to internal and external audiences. When a brand has been intentionally developed and clearly positioned keeping in mind the target audiences, it goes a long way in building successful organisations and sustaining them. Strategic and consistent branding also has the power to attract the right audiences and convert them into the brand’s ambassadors and patrons. Overall, branding helps drive a positive perception about your organisation, differentiate yourself in the ecosystem that you operate and build trust among your target audiences and stakeholders.
What constitutes the branding process?
BRAND CREATION: The brand creation process involves articulating your unique value proposition that is rooted in your organisation’s mission, artistic vision, core values and target audience segments, while keeping in mind the ecosystem in which you operate. This articulated value proposition drives what your brand stands for, which is the Brand Promise. You also define the visual identity of your brand, which includes the brand name, logo & visual aesthetic, and the tone of your communication.
In this stage you bring your brand to life by delivering artistic experiences, marketing campaigns, and other initiatives to your audiences and stakeholders that align with your mission and value proposition. You also identify the key communication channels and deliver strategic and pertinent messaging to your audiences. While activating your brand, your organisation must specifically focus on communicating the vision, mission, and value proportion to internal teams and key partners, as they are the ambassadors of your brand.
BRAND GROWTH & SUSTENANCE: Setting goals and having a clear roadmap and consistently delivering on artistic activities and communications, is important for sustaining your brand. You also need to periodically seek feedback from audiences and evolve your strategies to keep up with the changing audience expectations in order to keep your brand relevant and alive.
Growth and sustenance of a brand is highly dependent on the extent to which the organisation delivers on its “Brand Promise.” The more you are able to deliver to that promise, the stronger the brand becomes.
Author: Ramya Rajaraman, Founder & Director, ArtSpire