We are a full-service branding and advertising agency that builds, elevates and extends brands. For the past 28 years, our collaborative and strategic approach has helped a number of cultural institutions generate loyalty and forge deeper and more lasting connections with their audiences.
Our decades of experience working with cultural institutions have taught us three essential truths that any marketing team can take to heart.
Whether your nonprofit is a museum, a theatre, a historical society or something else entirely, this rule holds. To forge a long-lasting bond, it is vital that your brand’s foundation is grounded in a deep understanding of your audience—who they are and what they truly want from your organization.
Of course, there’s a place in your communications to tout what makes you rise above your competitors, but your audience will remain loyal when they know you stand for something more meaningful, something bigger.
It’s a common pitfall for cultural institutions to market only to segments of their audience, leaving their messaging too narrowly focused to be effective. Other times, they bite off more than they can chew, assuming a different identity for each audience, making their messaging too fragmented to really work.
We believe in the power of brands to stand for something larger—and that’s just what cultural institutions should do. That said, a unified brand strategy and experience will ensure that everyone truly understands your brand’s mission and values.
It can strike anywhere, anytime, and come from any industry. So look to blogs, trade mags, Twitter feeds. It’s not easy finding the next breakthrough idea if everyone when everyone is searching for inspiration in all the same places, so widen your horizons, and don’t count anything out.
So make sure you’re stepping outside the echo chamber to learn useful lessons from other fields. Loyalty-building initiatives. Traffic-driving campaigns. Social media strategies. At 88, we’ve had tremendous success applying techniques we’ve developed for financial industry clients to the benefit of cultural institutions like the Art Institute of Chicago.