Brand strategy for museums: necessary evil or promising opportunities – brand and digital strategy for the National Military Museum, Netherlands

Birds of a Feather
Heleen Bronder, National Military Museum of the Netherlands, the Netherlands, Ebelien Pondaag, Fabrique [brands, design & interaction], The Netherlands, Paul Stork, Fabrique [brands, design & interaction], The Netherlands

Brand strategy for museums: necessary evil or promising opportunities

Some people say: branding is an essential tool for leadership.
But ‘branding’ hasn’t always be associated with museums and museum business.
In the last decades things have changed, society, technology and above all expectations of the visitors. A post by Robert Jones in the Guardian May 2014, states that curators are still sceptical but that branding is vital for museums.

We will give a short introduction on brands and branding. What is a brand, what makes a brand a strong brand and what can being and acting as a brand do for a museum? How do you become a brand?
We share insights of the branding process for the recently opened National Military Museum (NMM) of the Netherlands. The museum is a merge of the former Army Museum and the Military Airforce Museum and is part of the Defence museum group. Now the new museum is open, the three other museums of the museum group are in a rebranding process.
How do you brand a museum that yet only exists on paper?
What is easier: creating a new museum and launch it as a brand or rebranding a museum with its own strong identity?
What process is needed to define your institution (and your staff) to be and act as a brand?
How do you make a name for yourself as a new museum? Four months into the process, the NMM is already a huge success, what has branding to do with that success?

And next to that, we would like to get a sense whether brand thinking is already adopted in the museum field? Is it only reserved for the bigger and major museums? Can all museums benefit from a more commercial way of thinking?

Join us at the Birds of the Feather breakfast to enter the discussion and discover how branded you are.