Tuesday, July 28, 2009


It’s all here…the toys and games, posters and magazines, fads and fashions, postcards and packaging. Nostalgic and inspiring, it’s an unexpected reunion with your past!

Featuring over 12,000 original items from the Robert Opie Collection, the Museum of Brands, Packaging and Advertising has now opened in London’s Notting Hill after seventeen years in Gloucester.

This history of consumer culture is revealed decade by decade in the “time tunnel”, from Victorian times to the present day. Discover the trends of daily life, the revolution in shopping habits, the groceries, sweets and household goods, the changes in taste and tempo, the advent of motoring, aviation, radio and television, the gradual emancipation of women and the effects of two world wars.

for more information: http://www.museumofbrands.com/

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Le musée imaginaire

Maybe an interesting reference: The Imaginary Museum
ABEL Neue Kunst // Sophienstraße 18 // D-10178 Berlin // T/F +49-30-27 59 65 25 // www.abelneuekunst.de
please scroll down for english version
Le musée imaginaire (1), Ausstellungsansicht, ABEL Neue Kunst
Foto: Ursula Ponn

Le musée imaginaire (1)

Doris Lasch & Ursula Ponn
Christine Lemke, Willem Oorebeek

Exhibition until July 25th 2009
Wednesday - Saturday 14 - 19 hrs
After the realease of the maxi single "Le musée imaginaire" with the works "Loop" (A-side) by Christine Lemke and "Gutemorgen Schazzilein" (B-side) by Willem Oorebeek as part of the exhibition ''If you don't create your own history, someone else will'' at the Frankfurter Kunstverein, ABEL presents the maxi for the first time in Berlin. Christine Lemke and Willem Oorebeek have been invited for ''Le musée imaginaire'' to create a soundtrack that completes the visual level of the album cover which shows the studio of the Belgian painter James Ensor. The exhibition is completed with additional works by Lasch/Ponn, Christine Lemke and Willem Oorebeek. In the exhibition as well as on the record, different mediums are crossed. The confrontation between these mediums result in a space that stretches or concentrates on another time. ''Le musée imaginaire (1)'' is the first part of an exhibition series by Doris Lasch and Ursula Ponn whose location, time and circumstances have to be re-invented over and over again. Every museum is a fiction.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Public lecture on branding and art markets by drs. A. Krauss

We take great pleasure in inviting you to the public lecture organized by Witte de With, Center for Contemporary Art, within the framework of the It’s a new brand world project.
Drs. A. Krauss will deliver a lecture on: Branding and art markets.

The lecture will be held on Wednesday, 22nd of July at 15:00 at the Auditorium of Witte de With / TENT. Witte de Withstraat 50, Rotterdam, on the first floor.

For the upcoming Rotterdam festival De Wereld van Witte De With in September, Witte de With and a group of young people are preparing the project It's a new brand world connected to the Billy Apple’s exhibition, A History of the Brand and Revealed/Concealed. For this occasion, Witte de With invited seven students with different backgrounds, to organize the festivals' events and activities linked to the topic of branding in relation with the art world and economy. The group formed by Eric Roelen (Fine arts), Marijke Appelman (Media design), Iwona Lopacinska (Cultural studies) Coen van der Steen (Animation and Design), Pamela Zúñiga (Museology), Lola Bezemer (Fashion) and Weronika Zielinska (Fine arts), is currently organizing a series of activities to examine this concept.

Drs. A. Krauss, lecturer of the Erasmus University, is an art market specialist with special focus on art dealers in relation to cultural economics.

Reservation not necessary, free entrance. More information via Pamela Zúñiga, pamela@wdw.nl, 0104110144. Witte de With’s website: www.wdw.nl.

It's a new brand world text on WDW website


Tuesday, July 7, 2009


For the upcoming Wereld van Witte de With festival, WdW Center for Contemporary Art is organizing a series of activities linked to the topic of ‘branding’. The event functions as a playful closing of Billy Apple’s solo exhibition ‘A History of the Brand’. For the occasion a group of young people presents an interactive project that would explore the ‘branded world’ we live in today. During the festival you can be the customer of ‘The Exciting Museum Shop’. Would you like to participate in the lottery where the main prize is to become the director of the museum? Everything is possible in this unique museum shop where you can get to know more about the successful methods of branding or simply play with the stereotypes of the art world. Join the creative team and immerse yourself in the challenging ‘new brand world’.

‘It’s a new brand world’ during the festival De Wereld van Witte de With on 11, 12, 13 September 2009, opening hours similar to the festival, location: Witte de Withstraat, Rotterdam.


A brand is an idea and perceived value formed by its intended audience based on a company’s culture, product, and service. An identity system that includes the logo and color scheme is typically the starting point of a brand, but it can branch out to exactly how you word things to customers, to what type of people you hire, to what furniture you even want to use.

Brand is not just visual images and tag lines; it is the collective emotional response to images and experiences. In other words, a brand is not defined by the product or service, but rather the person who uses it, talks about and engages other with it defines it.

Brands are not composed of the people who purchase their brands; rather people and communities are composed of the brands they use.

Branding is an audience experience created through a collection of ideas and images. Among others, this includes a company’s vocabulary, attitude, tone, style, design, colors, and the tools used to communicate with others.

Marketers often like to think of brands as a psychological phenomenon, which stems from the perceptions of individual consumers but what makes a brand powerful is the collective nature of these perceptions.

- A distinctive identity then engenders loyalty
- Total interaction with the public
- Includes a logo and a theme and goes far beyond those items to encompass every activity that surrounds it
- Identity that immediately communicates what it is and what it does (personality, image)
- Recognition of your individuality
- Communicates specific information about an organization, product or service, distinguishing it from others in the marketplace. A brand carries a "promise": a promise regarding the qualities and particularities that make the organization, product or service special and unique.

Why is a brand important?
The aim of successful branding is to clearly associate the organization, product or service with an image or identity in the mind of the audience. The brand should associate this image with the quality and characteristics of the product or service. A solid brand is a quick way to show and tell the public what an organization represents and what it has to offer.

The top 5 aspects of a successful brand

1. Consistency
2. Understanding the costumer
3. Message communication
4. Creative/design
5. Relevance

Brand experience
People engaged in branding seek to develop the expectations behind the brand experience, creating the impression that a brand associated with a product or service has certain qualities or characteristics that make it special or unique

Brand recognition
One goal in brand recognition is the identification of a brand without the name of the company present. For example, Disney has been successful at branding with their particular script font (originally created for Walt Disney's "signature" logo). Consumers may look on branding as an important value added aspect of products or services, as it often serves to denote a certain attractive quality or characteristic

Brand identity
How the brand owner wants the consumer to perceive the brand - and by extension the branded company, organization, product or service. The brand owner will seek to bridge the gap between the brand image and the brand identity.Brand identity is fundamental to consumer recognition and symbolizes the brand's differentiation from competitors.
Attitude branding
Is the choice to represent a larger feeling, which is not necessarily connected with the product or consumption of the product at all. Marketing labeled as attitude branding include that of Nike, Starbucks, The Body Shop, Safeway, and Apple Computer In the 2000 book, No Logo, attitude branding is described by Naomi Klein as a "fetish strategy".
"A great brand raises the bar -- it adds a greater sense of purpose to the experience, whether it's the challenge to do your best in sports and fitness, or the affirmation that the cup of coffee you're drinking really matters." - Howard Schultz (president, ceo and chairman of Starbucks)

"No-brand" branding
Recently a number of companies have successfully pursued "No-Brand" strategies, examples include the Japanese company Muji, which means "No label" Although there is a distinct Muji brand, Muji products are not branded. This no-brand strategy means that little is spent on advertisement or classical marketing and Muji's success is attributed to the word-of-mouth, a simple shopping experience and the anti-brand movement. Another brand that is thought to follow a no-brand strategy is American Apparel, which like Muji, does not brand its products.
Muji: The Japanese 'No-Brand'
Mujirushi Ryohin is the full name of the popularly known Muji brand from Japan founded in 1980. The name in English means: "No label, quality goods". Muji has been one of the brands that have popularized the anti-brand movement. With a mission to popularize quality of goods without screaming of any designer tags, Muji has merchandise of good quality at affordable prices. Though the brand does not have a corporate tag line, it occasionally comes out with the tag line "Simple. Functional. Affordable". This is to ensure that the message is engrained in the customers' minds.
With the global, regional and national markets being tremendously flooded with all sorts of branded merchandise, the no-brand strategy of Muji seems to work as a very powerful differentiating factor.
Muji goes to the extent of recycling or reselling the unsold products in the same condition, using natural fiber material, and including very minimal and informational manuals, with minimal packaging. All these activities in totality contribute to Muji's image of a brand that is against the "branded world".
Brand association
Brand, as many marketers say, is like a person. If we think of a friend, we immediately relate some attributes to it – Genius, Caring, Full of energy etc. Similarly when we think of a brand, we make some imagery of that in our mind. These are called the Brand Associations or sometimes Brand Imagery.
A: Product Attributes: This is the most direct association to the product category the brand belongs. Eg ‘Adidas’ to shoes, ‘Samsung’ to TV :)
B: Country / Geographic Region: These association results from the brand name itself or the origin of the brand. ‘British Airways’ instantly relates to Britain due to inclusion of ‘British’. However, Sony is related to Japan because the brand originated there. Champagne (though it is a product & not brand, but still I would like to mention) as you know, proudly carry the name of its birthplace.
C: Competitors: This is perhaps both the best & worst part. When one thinks of a brand he quickly thinks of the competition as well. I have a doubt if ‘Coca Cola’ and ‘Pepsi’ can be thought of separately without the other.
D: Product Class: The brand also reflects the class it belongs. ‘Mercedes Benz’ carries a professional high class image with the name.
E: Personality / Lifestyle: This is more of a perception and related to the users (or vice versa?) – ‘Marlboro’ always remains as the tough cowboy personality.
F: Endorser: In many case, the famous personality who endorses the brand comes to people’s mind. But it becomes more direct if the brand keeps the same endorser for a long time. ‘Nike’ reminds us Michael Jordan.
G: User/ Buyer: Brand also carries with it the image of its user. ‘Johnson & Johnson’ immediately tickles the babies & their softness in our minds.
H: Use / Application: Sometimes the brand reminds us the usage or application of it. If I say ‘Scotch Brite’, can you see someone washing the dishes? While the moment I say ‘Dettol’, you will mostly think of a wound.
I: Relative Price: Brand often reminds us the price positioning. Think of ‘WalMart’ and you can feel you are getting a cheaper deal.
J: Customer Benefits: Sometimes the benefit from the brand also gets associated with brand. ‘Head & Shoulders’ easily got associated with removal of dandruffs.
K: Logo attributes/ Symbol: The logo attributes (shape/ color etc) or symbol often comes into mind. If we think of ‘Nike’ the ‘Swoosh’ comes to our mind. If we think of ‘Kodak’ we associate with the Yellow Red combination. Sometimes brand characters are also associated with brand – Think of ‘Playboy’ or ‘Duracell’ – did you see the rabbit?
L: Founder/ Creator of the brand: The founder or creator of the brand/ company often associated – like we think of Bill Gates whenever we think of ‘Microsoft’.
M: Intangibles: Tune/ Music of Intel, essence of ‘Davidoff Coolwaters’ perfume
N: Slogan: Often we associate the tag line or slogan of the brand. Examples – Jonny Walker – Keep walking or Adidas – Impossible is Nothing
Brand as a cultural icon
Cultural branding applies particularly to categories as lifestyle, image, badge or ego-expressive products.

Cultural branding also applies to other marketed entities that people rely on to express their identity (culture), industry products (films, TV stars, musicians, heroes, cartoon characters), social movements.

Icon brands provide extraordinary identity value because they address the collective anxieties and desires of a nation.

Brands become iconic when they perform identity myths: simple fictions, imaginary worlds.

The brand becomes a symbol (as costumers drink, drive, they experience a bit of the myth)

Icon brands function like cultural activists, encouraging people to think differently about themselves.

‘Brands are built on what people are saying about you, not what you’re saying about yourself.’


- Douglas B. Holt, How Brands Become icons: The Principles of Cultural Branding
- Margot Wallace, Museum branding: how to create and maintain image, loyalty, and support. 2006
- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brand (11-05-2009)
- http://tuhinmahato.wordpress.com/2009/04/13/brand-association-what-we-actually-mean/ (11-05-2009)
- http://www.venturerepublic.com/resources/Muji_The_Japanese_No-Brand.asp (11-05-2009)

Brainstorm notes

nice design for a new museum

don't know where i found it, but it was for a new musea.


Eric Roelen

Pictures brainstorm meeting

Pictures Billy Apple meeting

Facebook is more than a fad - and museums need to learn from it


Facebook is more than a fad—and museums need to learn from it

museums should embrace the idea that 'everyone is a curator'

By Jim Richardson | From issue 202 </issues/202>, May 2009
Published online 23.4.09 (
opinion </opinion>)

Social networks and blogs are the fastest growing online activities, according to a report published in March by research firm Nielsen Online. Almost 10% of all time spent on the internet is spent on these types of sites, which Nielsen describes as “member communities”, and they are visited by more than two-thirds of the world’s online users.

This has not gone unnoticed by museums and galleries, with many creating some kind of presence on sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. But because this has primarily been done as a marketing tool, institutions are missing a far greater opportunity. By treading gently into the second generation of web development and design, known as Web 2.0, museums risk achieving little, and are effectively paying mere lip service to online social engagement. If they were to make a proper commitment to the enterprise, they could transform their relationship with audiences, change people’s perceptions of them and vastly expand the reach of their collections.

The Nielsen research shows that a major factor in the success of social networks is that they allow people to select and share content. This has become a hobby, even considered by some to be a serious creative outlet, with web users spending time “curating” their online space. Museums are well placed to appeal to this new generation of “curators” because they offer rich and interesting content that can be virtually “cut-up” and stuck back together online in numerous different ways to reflect the individual tastes of each user. If remixing, reinterpreting and sharing interesting content is, as Nielsen suggests, the kind of engaging interaction that draws people to social networks, then museums should embrace the idea that “everyone is a curator”, both online and offline.

Most of the institutions that are adapting their own websites with those facets of the social networks that so many people find attractive are in the US. The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York relaunched its website in March. It now includes links to the museum’s online users on various social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Users can also create personal online accounts, which allow them to bookmark upcoming events, create online exhibitions and “collect” works of art via their mobile phone as they walk around the gallery and view them later on the website.

Victor Samra, digital media marketing manager at MoMA, says: “It's not enough just to broadcast information now. Sharing and participating in discussions are becoming normal activities on the web, so I think people are coming to expect it. People want to engage with content they are really passionate about, and museums have a great opportunity to provide this for them. This helps to change the perception of the museum as a building with four closed walls to an organisation with personality and a human face.”

One potential obstacle to museums sharing content online is the issue of copyright and how to protect images if they are put on the internet. Legal implications aside, from a practical point of view this approach is becoming outdated. For example, the Art Museum of Estonia has gone against convention by actively encouraging visitors to photograph its collection; the MoMA website helps users to co-create content and share these creations with friends.

All museums want to create a dialogue with their audiences, and most museum staff are well aware that the internet can be a useful tool for doing this. But museums such as MoMA that have wholeheartedly embraced the new digital environment are becoming part of the conversation, rather then just pushing content or questions at visitors and then sitting back.

Online activity such as MoMA’s requires investment, both in terms of web development costs and staff time, but if this is where people are and how they are communicating, then, one can argue, museums should be there too.

Curators pride themselves on using their collections to analyse issues, provoke reactions and ask difficult questions. But these questions are no longer just being debated over a coffee or in the galleries themselves; they are also being discussed online, whether it is on social network sites such as Facebook, online discussion forums or the many blogs, and the content prompting these responses is no longer restricted to the four walls it actually inhabits. This means museums and galleries need to expand the sites where they introduce, narrate and edit their programmes.

The writer is the managing director of Newcastle-based Sumo, a design consultancy specialising in arts and culture. He is a speaker at the conference, “Communicating the Museum”, in Malaga (24-27 June). www.communicatingthemuseum.com