The Experiential Museum

The Experiential Museum

Are interactive features like card-making booths and ambient sounds at art museums "infantilizing prattle" distracting from the art? Or a way to engage audiences who might otherwise be lost?read more
Culture eats strategy for what?

Culture eats strategy for what?

Does culture eat strategy for lunch? Not really. But will a misaligned culture eat up your strategic efforts? Probably. Does it make sense to pay careful attention to an organization's culture and not just its business strategy? Absolutely!read more
Mind the communication gap: culture & organizational health

Mind the communication gap: culture & organizational health

Are cultural practices impeding your organization's health? Are you mindful of any communication gaps that may exist?read more
Award for Museum Exhibition Advertising Design

Award for Museum Exhibition Advertising Design

Along with our client, the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington DC, we are proud to have won a first prize in the American Alliance of Museums' 2016 Museum Publications Design Competition.read more
What is marketing discovery?

What is marketing discovery?

Our marketing discovery process is aided by a set of tools outlined here. We believe that they are some of the best available.read more
"She Who Tells a Story" at National Museum of Women in the Arts

"She Who Tells a Story" at National Museum of Women in the Arts

While the popularity of She Who Tells a Story is undoubtedly affected by the curiosity and national climate of oversimplification and stereotyping that surrounds the Arab world and Iran, the real engine for attendance is the quality of the exhibition itself. (Also, we're proud of our advertising campaign.)read more
The Museum Store

The Museum Store

The spectrum of content consumption that once had a clear distinction between museum and museum store is blurring. It's possible that one day in the not-so-distant future the distinction between the museum and the store will just fade away in our instagram-friendly world.read more
Is the new Barbie still Barbie?

Is the new Barbie still Barbie?

Who is Barbie now if not a svelte blonde that most girls can only aspire to be? Is the new Barbie still Barbie?read more
What business are you in?

What business are you in?

What business are you in? I have found this question poses a challenge in almost every engagement, surprising participants. It wakes people up as they realize that they cannot answer or cannot agree on the answer. "If we cannot agree on who we are or what business we are in, how is anyone on the outside going to understand or guess right?"read more
The Tronvig Group Brand Pyramid

The Tronvig Group Brand Pyramid

We are developing a Brand Pyramid download that will walk you through the process and pose the questions for your organization, your company or your product. It will walk through how you can use these questions to expose strategic weaknesses and fix them.read more
Choosing When You've Too Many Choices

Choosing When You've Too Many Choices

How does a consumer choose when there are too many choices? Here's my experience shopping for skin care products in Korea.read more
A Look into Tronvig Group: Honesty in Marketing

A Look into Tronvig Group: Honesty in Marketing

With essentially no real experience in the actual marketing business, I came to Tronvig Group with an open mind and ready to learn. My mind is stuffed now and I have learned some surprising things.read more
What is the downside of free?

What is the downside of free?

If you are a free institution you have both a blessing and a curse. The blessing part is easy to understand—less barrier to entry. The benefits are many. Let’s look though at the curse.read more
If you satisfy your customers you fail.

If you satisfy your customers you fail.

If you satisfy your customers you fail, because in order to succeed you must deeply satisfy the customer for whom your product is most naturally suited.read more
Price and Pleasure

Price and Pleasure

Does it feel better to pay a lot for something? If we pay a lot for something we need it to be good.read more
Strategic Plan (Carpe Diem)

Strategic Plan (Carpe Diem)

We traveled safely from Washington D.C. to New York on the 7PM train Tuesday, May 12th. The 7:10PM train which could just as easily have been our train was not so lucky. On hearing the news that we were unharmed I got an email from our client in D.C. with the sign-off "carpe diem."read more
Strategy Primer

Strategy Primer

Strategy is a very misused word. Marketing strategies are—if you look at how the word is used—any marketing activity that might possibly work. People talk about "strategies" such as "posting to Facebook more."read more
Visual Brand and 360 Brand: What's the difference?

Visual Brand and 360 Brand: What's the difference?

What is the difference between a visual brand and a true 360 brand? How do you get your organization to think beyond just the visual brand?read more
Zoo Brands, Conservation and the Future of Zoos

Zoo Brands, Conservation and the Future of Zoos

I asked my 11-year-old son if he thought zoos were good or bad. His answer was immediate and unequivocal: "Bad," he said, "I don't like the idea of animals being held in cages." If there is another side to this story, and there is, zoos need to get busy telling it.read more
Branding and Sales: a Bank Brand Story

Branding and Sales: a Bank Brand Story

What happens when you attempt to take over a brand space that is already occupied by a strong competitor?read more
City Brands: Dealing with a Lack of Control

City Brands: Dealing with a Lack of Control

Cities have become important actors on the global scene. Metropolitan governments are among the best ‘glocal’ players, sharpening their global influence strategy and improving the management of their brand. International city branding has its undeniable challenges, however.read more
College Brands (Can colleges save millions by having better brands?)

College Brands (Can colleges save millions by having better brands?)

How strong is the average college brand? How well are America's liberal arts colleges able to meaningfully differentiate themselves from each other?read more
Millennials and Museums: Oil and Water?

Millennials and Museums: Oil and Water?

What chance does the museum world have with millennials? Are millennials and museums really oil and water? Let's hear the story from the horse's mouth.read more
Brand Power and Its Limits

Brand Power and Its Limits

"Products are made in the factory, but brands are created in the mind." —Walter Landorread more
Museum Visibility: What's the problem?

Museum Visibility: What's the problem?

Within the museum world there seems to be some reluctance to engage with contemporary culture in a deep way. But if you take a look at the museums that are thriving, you will find a willingness to do just that. The museums that are flourishing now exhibit a conscious responsiveness to and engagement with contemporary issues and concerns.read more
Brand Strategy Basics

Brand Strategy Basics

Brand strategy gives McDonald's a 27 billion dollar advantage over Burger King. It's important that you understand how this happened, and how it applies to your organization.read more
The Difference Between Sales and Marketing

The Difference Between Sales and Marketing

Sales has the power to change conditions, to transform a situation through the skills of the sales person. Marketing however, generally does not possess such transformative power. Marketing needs to work with conditions as they are.read more
What is the brand of New York? (Historic House Museums)

What is the brand of New York? (Historic House Museums)

We don't always think of cities as having brands, but they certainly do. While some cultural institutions are actually strong enough to be active builders of the brands of their fair city, most are not, and most historic house museums are certainly not in such a position. But each institution's history and meaning in relationship with the existing brand of its city is a factor in its success.read more
You need a target: What makes a marketing plan strategic?

You need a target: What makes a marketing plan strategic?

Finding out what you need to know in order to have a proper marketing strategy is not easy or cheap, but I can pretty much guarantee that what's far more costly is executing a marketing plan without a strategy to guide it.read more
Museums and Race

Museums and Race

Does thinking about race make you racist? No. Does not thinking about race make you racist? Unfortunately sometimes yes. These are uncomfortable issues and hard to look squarely in the eye, but they are standing right in front of you. Time to say hello.read more
Goals & Goats (How do you set strategic SMART goals?)

Goals & Goats (How do you set strategic SMART goals?)

Strategy is born from deep inspection of the question Why? Why is this goal important? If I cannot get to a good answer to why this goal makes sense in the context of my strategic vision, then the goal is suspect (or the strategy is suspect).read more
Your Brand Idea: Who but Horton can hear it?

Your Brand Idea: Who but Horton can hear it?

If your Brand Idea is succinct, meaningful and consistently and coherently expressed, it will be able to break free. It will be hearable outside of your brand bubble, outside of Whoville.read more
What is marketing strategy?

What is marketing strategy?

Marketing strategy allows you to use pathways and footholds that apply your limited marketing budget more effectively (everyone's marketing budget is limited). Marketing strategy facilitates your ability to apply marketing money to the correct half of the Wanamaker equation—the half you are not wasting on audiences who do not value your message.read more
Focus Group Testing Ban (and Some Better Alternatives)

Focus Group Testing Ban (and Some Better Alternatives)

Focus group testing is appealing. I really do get it. In theory, it's a quick and efficient way to find out what you need to know about what people think or how they use your product or service, but in fact it isn't quick or efficient, and it has a dangerous inclination to lead you down false pathways.read more
Is the museum brand god dead?

Is the museum brand god dead?

In a postmodern world—the one we live in now—the AUTHORITY, the curator, the author, the expert—anyone whose charge it is to create grand classifications and assign meaning—has been demoted. This is our Internet paradigm, is it not? The authority is now just one voice among many. What does this mean for museum branding?read more
What if museums were run like successful companies?

What if museums were run like successful companies?

If you are not marketing and innovating, you will be eliminated from the market place. In business this happens all the time. More than 80% of the Fortune 500 companies from 1955 no longer exist. Maybe this sounds like an entirely different world from yours. I'd suggest that it is not.read more
Brain Science and Marketing: Role of the Limbic & Reptilian Brains

Brain Science and Marketing: Role of the Limbic & Reptilian Brains

You think you are in control. "You"—your sense of self—your highly developed, amazingly capable conscious mind, housed in the big wrinkly hemispheric thing that we most often associate with the brain: the neocortex—is not really in control as much as it thinks. It's just easier for all of us to carry on with this delusion.read more
Marketing of the Bronx Museum

Marketing of the Bronx Museum

Museums exist in particular places. The Bronx Museum exists in the South Bronx; it's a contemporary art museum located right in the middle of the poorest community in the continental United States, a community that could not be more distant from the stereotype of the whitewall, high art tradition underpinning much of the aesthetics and behaviors that permeate the world of contemporary art.read more
Museums and Motivation (Trouble with Gamification)

Museums and Motivation (Trouble with Gamification)

How can museums use motivation more effectively to engage visitors and other constituents? What are the dangers and opportunities of the "gamification" trend, and what can museums do with insights obtainable from the motivational factors within games?read more
Customer Personas: What Sally Can Show You

Customer Personas: What Sally Can Show You

A persona is a kind of mental model—an imaginary person with a name, history and story who has a way of doing things. A persona should have enough psychological detail to allow you to conveniently step over to the persona's view, and see your products and services from her perspective.read more
Consumer Insight: Find Your Trim Tab

Consumer Insight: Find Your Trim Tab

What can you do that will be effective at getting the word out, but will not break the bank? Is there a relatively inexpensive tactical shift can you make right now that will yield significant long term results? The answer is yes. It's just a matter of finding it. It will not be obvious or easy.read more
Marketing Mindset: Not to Market is a Crime

Marketing Mindset: Not to Market is a Crime

If your mission, your reason for being in the world—regardless of weather you are a nonprofit, a for-profit, a museum or an educational institution—is good, then you have no excuse not to market yourself.read more
Call me trim tab.

Call me trim tab.

So what do you call this thing that does NOT take massive effort, but has the potential for great positive effect far beyond its seeming capacity? I think one very good answer to this question was was provided in 1972 by Buckminster Fuller when he said the following in an interview ...read more
Museum Marketing for Non-Marketers

Museum Marketing for Non-Marketers

Marketing is a big term. What is it in the context of a public-facing institution like a museum? What is it when you do not have a large or consistent marketing budget or even a dedicated marketing department?read more
The Difference Between Marketing and Branding

The Difference Between Marketing and Branding

What is the difference between marketing and branding? In a recent conversation with a very senior person at a financial institution my colleague was told, "I think private wealth managers will have a hard time seeing the value of branding—they see marketing as a cost center, not a driver of sales." Hold it. How did we go from branding to marketing in one sentence like that?read more
Strategy Workshops

Strategy Workshops

Get answers to these and other key questions: "Who is our most natural consumer?" and "Why should they care about our product or service?"read more
The Tronvig Group Brand Pyramid

The Tronvig Group Brand Pyramid

We are developing a Brand Pyramid download that will walk you through the process and pose the questions for your organization, your company or your product. It will walk through how you can use these questions to expose strategic weaknesses and fix them.read more
Visual Brand and 360 Brand: What's the difference?

Visual Brand and 360 Brand: What's the difference?

What is the difference between a visual brand and a true 360 brand? How do you get your organization to think beyond just the visual brand?read more
Brand Strategy Basics

Brand Strategy Basics

Brand strategy gives McDonald's a 27 billion dollar advantage over Burger King. It's important that you understand how this happened, and how it applies to your organization.read more
What is marketing strategy?

What is marketing strategy?

Marketing strategy allows you to use pathways and footholds that apply your limited marketing budget more effectively (everyone's marketing budget is limited). Marketing strategy facilitates your ability to apply marketing money to the correct half of the Wanamaker equation—the half you are not wasting on audiences who do not value your message.read more
Is the museum brand god dead?

Is the museum brand god dead?

In a postmodern world—the one we live in now—the AUTHORITY, the curator, the author, the expert—anyone whose charge it is to create grand classifications and assign meaning—has been demoted. This is our Internet paradigm, is it not? The authority is now just one voice among many. What does this mean for museum branding?read more
Brain Science and Marketing: Role of the Limbic & Reptilian Brains

Brain Science and Marketing: Role of the Limbic & Reptilian Brains

You think you are in control. "You"—your sense of self—your highly developed, amazingly capable conscious mind, housed in the big wrinkly hemispheric thing that we most often associate with the brain: the neocortex—is not really in control as much as it thinks. It's just easier for all of us to carry on with this delusion.read more