Case Study: Brand Integration at the Asian Art Museum

In this guest post, we head south from Emily’s wine country experience down the California coast to San Francisco. James McNamara, president of New York-based Arts Branding, shares his notes on our brand management exchange along with a fascinating case study he has recently put together on comprehensive brand strategy at the Asian Art Museum.

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of sitting in on Suzanne and Cecilia’s conversation about brand management in the museum field. In the course of that exchange, Cecilia asked if we knew of any best practices in the museum field for branding.

Brand Integration in Action with images from Asian Art Museum's rebranded materials

A snapshot from James's case study of the Asian's brand integration in action. Download the full report below.

I said, yes, in fact, I had just been doing some research on one just launched in October 2011: the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco. As a brand strategist, I too am always looking for best practices, even if it takes me away from my own firm‘s clients.

The Asian’s brand strategy project, headed by Tim Hallman and his talented team at the museum, and with the help of Wolff Olins, a brand strategy consulting firm, provides a comprehensive example of not only a successful launch of a new visual identity, but a positioning and message platform that informs the identity.

I put together a case study from public documents in an effort to see if I could recreate the brand strategy from the components I found. That I was able to do so successfully is a testament to the Asian’s thorough launch.

The case study is a work in progress as questions remain: How much will the new brand strategy affect exhibitions and programming? How will the brand strategy affect the experience of visiting the museum? What will be the measures of success?

Click through to download a PDF of the Asian Art Museum case study (2.4 MB).

James McNamara, Arts Branding


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