In general, the difference between the good and the great can sometimes be a matter of how effectively you sweat the little things, the things that actually matter to people at the human level interface. We call this the tactical user-level interface. Sometimes this is the difference between a positive experience and a negative one. This difference matters for any brand.
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.
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.
The better you understand how the brand of your PLACE operates in the minds of your target audiences, the more effective you can be at engaging with them.
Pain, fear, anxiety … these are strong emotions that drive behavior. This is true of life. Life is also, it turns out, the very stuff of marketing, even that most rarified and peculiar kind—business-to-business 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.
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.
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.