Artists don’t usually think of themselves as brands. I’m sure the idea chafes. “I am an artist” is an assertion against branding and its requisite responsiveness to customer demand. But despite all protestations to the contrary, artists are brands.
The second of Peter F. Drucker's five most important questions is "Who is our customer?" Like all of his questions, it is deceptively simple. The most common wrong answer, given by default, is "the people in the decision room."
Most think of brands in terms of how they influence the customer—those outside of the company or organization—but a brand must function internally as well. Brands play an important role in attracting top employees and retaining them over time. We advise you not to make the mistake of neglecting this crucial audience.
Do performance reviews have to suck? It’s a question many people seem to ask. Brief answer: NO. Quite the contrary: they should be a gift and an inspiration. Performance reviews are not small tools to assess individual performance. They are large tools that impact the capacity of an organization to have the effect that it intends in the world.
The arts are one key to unlock the American dream. Museums did this for me. What does it cost the government to do this for the next generation of Americans?
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?
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!
Along with our client, the National Museum of Women in the Arts, we're proud to have won a first prize in the American Alliance of Museums' 2016 Museum Publications Design Competition.
The story behind the campaign is worth telling because it says something about our client as an institution—one situated in a highly competitive museum market without the marketing budget to match its heavy-hitting competitors—and also something about our strategy-first approach.