Branding and the marketing of small arts organisation

In my dissertation, I examined the theory of branding and the marketing of small art organisations by applying these ideas to a creation of a brand from its inception. I identified a recent trend in branding research – service branding - outlining the function a brand now plays with regard to marketing to the consumer. Service branding is designed to create an emotional connection, where a deeper relationship develops between brand and consumer; a spirit brand relationship. Using my gallery, The Vivian, as a case study, and following the principles of service branding, I set out to create a service based brand. To determine the success (or otherwise) of this approach to branding, I carried out qualitative research that analysed participants’ feelings about, responses towards, and experiences of, the gallery and its use of different forms of branding vehicles to create branded experiences. The findings show that delivering an experience allows for the co-construction of brand identity and helps build brand meaning, value and trust. By developing the brand into product, The Vivian experimented with the brand itself, creating emotional connections through branded experiences and, in turn an identity that gives the consumer individual ownership of the brand. The collective of the mind, body and spirit of consumer engagement with the brand and brand story meant a stronger connection with the individual, and to the community as a place to influence the self as an identity. Involving the consumer in the process of brand development through co-created experiences meant the brand has the potential to be a brand of possibilities influencing relationships, communities, social networks, experiences and the self.