Brand experience is influenced by the cultural one

With reference to the Vox Pop about the Financial Times article on museums (DW 12 June), I thought the comments and opinions were illuminating, but failed to address some of the wider issues.

The museum and gallery experience has not been devalued as the FT article suggests. In fact, quite the opposite has happened. They have become beacons of success and are being emulated in many other areas.

We seem to be rooted in the idea of single and discrete experiences rather than a series of events. This is borne out by recent work from The Henley Centre, which reinforces this through the idea of ‘daisy-chaining’ experiences, linking them together and sharing memories from one to the next.

The visitor has come to expect much more of a rounded experience rather than a single ‘visit’, this sort of extension has been created by Tate Modern this week with the inauguration of the new river boat link (pictured).

Increasingly, the mix of wonder and enlightenment from these environments has been used by brands from Nike to Prada and stores such as Selfridges to create a differentiated framework for their products.

In this respect, it is not that ‘the contents are becoming irrelevant’, but that we are moving from a content(or product-) driven environment to one which communicates the essence of a brand through meaningful experiences and memories.

The fact that leading brands are replicating this experience surely indicates that visitors are not only focusing on the content more strongly, but are appreciating this on a deeper level than that experienced in a traditional museum or gallery.

Stephen Anderson

Director of retail interiors

BDP

London EC1

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