Museums

What is a brand? And how strong is yours?

What is a brand? And how strong is yours?

Brands are often thought about in very limited terms but in reality, they exercise tremendous power in every kind of business or organization.read more
History Brands (History and the Mechanisms of the Mind)

History Brands (History and the Mechanisms of the Mind)

We like clean narratives because they are easy to hold and remember. This goes for history, and for branding. What will history make of our time?read more
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
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
Inspired by AAM2016

Inspired by AAM2016

The American Alliance of Museums 2016 conference in DC left me refreshed and inspired: "If we are trying to solve all the problems inherent in figuring out how to do interstellar space travel, what are you doing?"read more
Cinema and Museums

Cinema and Museums

Fashion design is ancient, and the origins of that Seventh Art known as the cinema date back at least to the 1890s. In other words, U.S. museums are long overdue to recognize these vital forms of artistic expression.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
Tronvig Group Brand Pyramid

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
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
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
States of Society (More on the Center for Civil and Human Rights)

States of Society (More on the Center for Civil and Human Rights)

I wrote this post along with "Advertorial Museum" more than a year ago at AAM 2015 in Atlanta. I left both articles as password protected, sharing them only with a select few people. I do not believe that I am helping our clients make the world better by choosing not to raise difficult issues so I have made the posts public.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
Advertorial Museum

Advertorial Museum

If we think that advertorial in a museum is not a good thing, should we seek to defend a museum's content from undue influence by private or corporate funders? If so, how?read more
The Farmyard: Decision-making in Large Organizations

The Farmyard: Decision-making in Large Organizations

If you are like most institutions the pressure to capitulate to the requests of powerful factions within your organization is likely very real.read more
Nonprofit Marketing Return on Investment

Nonprofit Marketing Return on Investment

Return on investment in a brand initiative is very important. Measuring the results of any initiative and doing proper goal-setting for a project is an essential part of good governance, of good strategic behavior. But how do you measure the return when you are not really selling widgets?read more
Music and Museums Undergoing Digital Transformation

Music and Museums Undergoing Digital Transformation

As the museum world undergoes its digital transformation, it might look to the music world, a field in a relatively advanced stage of digitization, for applicable lessons.read more
What are museums for?: Chris Ofili at the New Museum

What are museums for?: Chris Ofili at the New Museum

What are museums for? Are they envelope pushers? Receptacles for beautiful art? Legitimizers for criminals or perverts?read more
"Meet Mary" Doing Its Job (Picturing Mary Outdoor)

"Meet Mary" Doing Its Job (Picturing Mary Outdoor)

The National Museum of Women in the Arts put street-level exhibition advertising signage on the building for the first time.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
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
Museum Camp: Can you take it with you?

Museum Camp: Can you take it with you?

With Museum Camp (now in its second year), Nina Simon is trying to find a way to infect our thinking long enough for it to dent our obstinate surrounds. We should be trying to help.read more
Mascots as Brand Amplifiers

Mascots as Brand Amplifiers

Mascots—those lovable anthropomorphized characters who push cereal, chocolate milk, and tires—are more than just cute tools for marketing to children.read more
Vesterheim: National Norwegian-American Museum

Vesterheim: National Norwegian-American Museum

Vesterheim: National Norwegian-American Museumread more
AAM2014 Sessions

AAM2014 Sessions

Among all the things I experienced and vividly remember from the 2014 American Alliance of Museum Annual Meeting and Expo in Seattle, I would like to discuss one particular session. It was a session fascinating to me for reasons unintended by its designers.read 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
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
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
Internet Bias and The Dream of the Fisherman's Wife

Internet Bias and The Dream of the Fisherman's Wife

The Internet is the great connector but only of what it has in it. So put yours in or be damned by it to silence. Only porn it seems had the power to penetrate the membrane that separates my pre-Internet writings from the entirety of human knowledge that we can access today at the stroke of a key.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
Exhibition Website (UX): The Armory Show at 100

Exhibition Website (UX): The Armory Show at 100

The Armory Show at 100 is a monumental reenactment of the 1913 Armory show in New York.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
Making It Relevant: History Museums for Kids

Making It Relevant: History Museums for Kids

"As luck would have it, just at that moment Liberty—their canine sidekick—barks, jumps up from his bed and runs right into Uncle Pete’s time machine and ZAP! he disappears."read more
What is responsive design?

What is responsive design?

Responsive design has been around in various forms for a few years, but it is now coming into its own, and should be a serious consideration for any new website project.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
Consumer Insight: Singles (Family Life Cycle for Museums)

Consumer Insight: Singles (Family Life Cycle for Museums)

Singles, age 18-35, are a very large and growing population, particularly in metropolitan areas, even relatively small ones. This makes them a very desirable consumer target. They are also important because the habits formed during one's single life are tenacious and strong.read more
Kids Games for Museums

Kids Games for Museums

When thinking of games for museums it's hard not to let your mind think of hits like “Angry Birds” which had 200-million downloads by May 2011. Players worldwide spend 200 million minutes (=380 years) on the game each day. This demonstrates that people do love to play well-crafted snack food style games that have optimized game play mechanics (easy to learn, hard to master) that are addictive and fun. Should museums try to replicate or imitate this? Probably not.read more
History in Context: Guantánamo Public Memory Project

History in Context: Guantánamo Public Memory Project

The Guantánamo Public Memory Project uses first-person accounts, "Stories;" historical context, "Timeline;" and geography, "Place;" to create a rich picture of this unique place. Our final design presents a metaphorical window through which you can now see the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base—as a place, as a history, as a collection of real people's stories—more clearly.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
Historical Game Characters for Museums

Historical Game Characters for Museums

We have had to create a few historical game characters for games targeted at kids. Along the way we have acquired some insights that may be useful to others doing the same or similar things.read more
Museum Marketing: Think Like a Consumer

Museum Marketing: Think Like a Consumer

Odds are you already deliver on what people need. The trick in museum marketing, as in any kind of consumer marketing, is to think beyond what you do or how you do it, and focus on why your target would want it.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
Dutch New-York: Educational Game for Kids

Dutch New-York: Educational Game for Kids

The Dutch New-York educational game for kids was created by Tronvig Group for the DiMenna Children's History Museum as part of a suite of educational games.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
DiMenna Children's History Museum Website

DiMenna Children's History Museum Website

Tronvig Group created a website for the newly opened DiMenna Children's History Museum, part of the New-York Historical Society.read more
Making History Matter for Children: DiMenna Children's History Museum

Making History Matter for Children: DiMenna Children's History Museum

DiMenna Children's History Museum website kid's home page shows the kid's club house. This serves as home base for all of the games we created as part of the DiMenna Children's History Museum website.read more
Sloppy Copy

Sloppy Copy

Tronvig Group has launched the DiMenna Children's History Museum website as part of the New-York Historical Society website. Featured on this new website is a kids section that showcases the first of three kid-friendly educational games: Sloppy Copy.read more
Bill Shannon Biographical Dictionary of New York Sports

Bill Shannon Biographical Dictionary of New York Sports

I am not a traditional sports fan. I follow no particular professional sport. I have attended few professional sports events in my life. And yet, I do in fact love sports, all kinds of sports. Perhaps this is why the Bill Shannon Biographical Dictionary of New York Sports that we created for the New-York Historical Society has become so dear to me in the short time we have been working on it. It is not an homage to any one sport, but rather to the idea of sport, and the role that sport plays in the lives of great andread more
New-York Historical Society Museum Website

New-York Historical Society Museum Website

Last summer Tronvig Group answered a proposal request to redesign and rebuild the New-York Historical Society's institutional website. Last week it became a living, breathing entity on the web.read more
Morris-Jumel Mansion Website

Morris-Jumel Mansion Website

"From concept through to final website design & development, Tronvig Group displayed a unique capacity to effectively utilize 21st Century technology to interpret the historical significance of this 18th Century treasure." —Ken Moss, Director, Morris-Jumel Mansionread more
New-York Historical Society Digital Newsstand Ad

New-York Historical Society Digital Newsstand Ad

This New-York Historical Society digital newsstand ad for their Times Square Photo Contest successfully collected over 1,200 public submissions.read more