How to understand branding and the value of being brand-led as an arts organisation

How to understand branding and the value of being brand-led as an arts organisation

By Robert Jones


The Head of Thinking at Wolff Olins presents his experience of how a strong brand that faithfully reflects the organisation's values and possibilities can make a big difference to its success. This is a transcript from Robert Jones' presentation at Museums and Galleries Marketing Day 2009.

For Wolff Olins, branding is not about the name, the logo etc but what is at the core of the company or organisation.

Examples of previous clients include:

  • First Direct - banking to suit the customer (they revolutionised banking by aiming to please the customer)
  • Orange - a wire-free future (they actually drove the market a long way and made wi-fi ordinary and more affordable today)
  • GE (General Electric) - imagination at work (they moved from a traditional engineering business by providing solutions for customers and are now 'greening up')

Wolff Olins' view is that when branding is understood in this way, at its very best, what an organisation stands for influences everything else. The idea has to be at the core.

Robert was keen to point out that this represents the ideal as far as Wolff Olins is concerned but research also suggests it is commercially worthwhile being brand-led: 82% of brand-led businesses outperform their industry.

Branding matrix grid

The right hand side of the matrix, as Wolff Olins would represent it, shows the 'soft' aspects of the business. The image is external and is about the logo and slogan, how the organisation presents its face to the world and its customers, whereas the culture is internal or soft, as this influences how staff behave towards and regard customers and users. Both the offer and capability are about how an organisation uses the brand to build skills and make a competitive offer.

Download the transcript to read more

Resource type: Case studies | Published: 2013