What is your understanding of ‘brand awareness’ in this context?
Brand awareness encompasses the branding of a business and how that relates to the consumer purchasing said product. According to Rossiter (2014) brand awareness is broken down into two different categories, that being brand recall and recognition.
A recall is when a brand is prompted by the consumer for choice and recall is when someone prompts a consumer to be aware of a product. Places like NGV and Ian Potter have brand recall as galleries in Melbourne or MONA in Tasmania. But recognition would be if you’re talking about galleries, and someone suggests something a bit more obscure in the back streets, your response might be “oh, I’ve heard of that”. Which is a prompted recognition of a brand, and is not at the forefront of a consumers mind.
Brand awareness relates to brand image, by working on the image and values of your brand this affects how consumers become aware of your brand (Stegmann 2011).
How are art galleries using media content to expand their ‘brand awareness’?
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It’s a last week of Un/Thaid! Make sure to make your way to the gallery to view this fantastic show and join us on Saturday 27th for a farewell art tour, celebrated with cocktails. We will start at 1 PM. To book your tix, head to our website. #grauprojekt #thai #asianart #asia #thailand #buddist #melbourneart #melbourneartist #melbournegallery#melbourneexhibition #australianart #australianartist#australiangallery #abstractart #nonfigurativeart#abstractpainting #australianpainting #installation #interior#interiors #australianabstraction #abstraction #art #artist#gallery #artgallery #exhibition
One of the galleries I looked at is Grau Projekt in Collingwood. A large warehouse converted into a gallery in 2018.
The gallery has taken an interesting stance on brand awareness. The Instagram follows a rough colour branding guide, blending a hard red, soft pink and white backgrounds predominantly. Blacks featuring in the highlights. I wouldn’t say the colour palette blends into what galleries traditionally go for, but instead sets the gallery out from the others. Projekt Grau (Even their website is incredibly abrasive to look at)
Projekt Grau utilises its harshness in branding as a reflection of the rustic layout of the gallery, a broad, grey-concrete based warehouse sitting on a busy road in Collingwood. The location hardly allows them to be branded as a finer arts curation, yet they’ve turned that into its own form of brand awareness. According to the Museums & Galleries of NSW (2018) brand awareness encompasses creating a style-set that features across all communication from the brand; we see these same colours featured on Projekt Grau’s website, Instagram and Facebook.
Their socials are full of interviews with the artists themselves, where they allow us insight into the world of the artist; focusing on the interesting of the art, and the not so interesting. A gallery that has a raw (almost brutalist) style of branding, also has that same raw outlook on sharing the artists’ views.
Projekt Grau also doubles as an art-paired curated drinks venue (an example of a drink here). The Instagram posts themself, give subtle information on the art and prompt the viewer to come and experience them in real life (in return marketing the drinks package).
Projekt Grau doesn’t have the largest recall as a gallery space in Melbourne, but I think that they have carved out a niche that if prompted for cool art spaces, holding unique events it is a gallery that I would be prompted to bring up and suggest. Which they have done through their unique branding through social media and space design.
Flipping to the complete opposite side of the spectrum, I analysed the branding behind the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia.
Stylistically on their Instagram feed, we don’t see any predominant colours – the gallery focuses more on high-quality clean images of the art and artists themselves. The posts go into great detail about the art that has been posted, listing the materials used, the information behind the piece and a short one-liner on the artist biography.
MoCA’s social media focuses more on the art overall and uses prompts to spend money at the venue sparingly, in comparison to Projekt Grau, which many of the posts link to the business itself. I believe (and again, this is only my opinion) but art to me is something that markets itself, I’m intrigued by the branding of both businesses, I love the urban layout of Projekt Grau, but I find most galleries will opt to focus their marketing more towards the art, rather than selling tickets.
MoCA is a gallery that has a full brand recall for me as a gallery within Sydney. It has created its brand over years of building the business, having a reputation for incredible modern Australian art pieces. The location is an iconic art-deco space waterside Sydney’s harbour. That along with a consistent vision for art and branding contributes to how consumers may instantly recall the name MoCA for galleries in Sydney.
Overall, I think both methods are effective for brand awareness in their own right;
- Projekt Grau sells a very unique experience, and it is worth buying in for some fancy cocktails – it is to support artists, not to line pockets.
- MoCA focuses on art as the main focal point, which is really what we all want to see.
What media and communication strategies are art galleries using to guide the production of content?
Art galleries have the luck of being visual mediums. The product themselves create content for online social media. So most galleries are utilising this to post images and information around the gallery, but they do want to balance between showing enough to intrigue, but not showing too much that you won’t visit the actual space.
In an article posted by Tate Galleries outline their social media strategies, Ringham (2011) says that focusing on engagement on social media rather than announcing is important. Posts on Facebook or Instagram by Tate are personable and made to start conversations. And the poster should be open to responding to any questions. Engaging with consumers within the community helps raise the brand image, leading to larger followers and larger brand awareness.
Galleries should be posting consistently (timewise and inline with branding guidelines) but avoiding posting monotomous material and in order to keep consumers engaged with the content.
Galleries also usually offer educational value, so those that do choose to offer engagement through schools, universities, and education programs. Not only does this bring revenue in, but it also brings a large audience of people in with different values and societal settings – causing a wide range of word of mouth. This brings more people onto the brand overall but also brings people to social media to engage with their posts, and the cycle continues of creating brand awareness.
Most galleries will have a particular niche, which helps the gallery focus their posting. One gallery may focus on contemporary Chinese art, so their media, advertising, and posting will reflect that. In our case of McClelland Sculpture Park, the gallery focuses on its huge outdoor spacing, family values, and sculpture work. So the social media reflects that, in showcasing family events and the sculptures in the natural environment.
Museums & Galleries of NSW 2018, ‘Marketing for Museums’, MGNSW, viewed 27th August 2020, <https://mgnsw.org.au/sector/resources/online-resources/organisation-management/marketing-museums-factsheet/>
Ringham, J 2011, ‘Tate Social Media Communication Strategy 2011–12’, Tate Papers, no.15, accessed 27 August 2020. <https://www.tate.org.uk/research/publications/tate-papers/15/tate-social-media-communication-strategy-2011-12>
Rossiter, J 2014, ‘‘Branding’ explained: Defining and measuring brand awareness and brand attitude’, Journal of Brand Management, vol. 21, no. 7-8, pp. 533–540
Stegemann, N 2011, ‘Visual Arts Marketing: The Brand Equity Challenge Facing Galleries’, International Business & Economics Research Journal, vol. 4, no. 12, pp. 1-10