In a time when cities, and even airports, find it important to differentiate themselves to remain viable, we decided to look at museum branding in the United States. What we found was really something of a shock for our seasoned brand strategists—a combination of extraordinary creativity and almost a total absence of strategy.
Let’s start by talking about two components of place branding: place making and strategic positioning. Place making is the enhancing, improving, and revising of the physical product—often the addition of new assets over time. For a city, it might mean a new children’s park or building a theater to attract respected performers.