Utes in the Paddock, Art as a people magnet, attracts over 60,000 visitors a year, at an day value of $129 a day, and has an economic value of $7,740,00 per year to the Central NSW region. This is a brilliant brand concept that conveys the identity of Central NSW culture through a powerful brand building experience. Many brands have yet to use art as a brand building concept to drive growth.
Businesses get lost in their own world and their own language, and as such, cannot be seen. When you cannot be seen, people cannot see your value and do not buy your brand.
Brands have a face to the world and can be seen when they are based on a concept. A concept is an idea that has landed in the customer’s world. A branded concept is the delivery on a promise that changes a customer’s life. Sometimes a concept is expressed through advertising and branded communications and sometimes it is purely in the business model.
Henry Ford West Bloomfield have added the concept of a wellness resort to recreate the concept of a hospital, to provide a more holistic approach to “getting well”. West Bloomfield Hospital communicates this concept both in their marketing communication and in their radically different business model.
Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital, not only treats disease but focuses on the transformation of people’s lives through a wellness promise, which includes a therapy dog for emotional healing and an organic greenhouse for healing nutrition. The branded concept repositions them from a hospital limited to acute care to a Menu of Services that delivers a way to live a healthier life, including Reiki and massage.
Henry Ford West Bloomfield works because it is a big concept that gets cut through in the marketplace. It is a concept that is based on what a customer wants today, a solution to get well, breaking away from the dusty old conventions of what it means to be a hospital.
Making a city an art destination, is another branded concept that has the power to turn around visitor perceptions and local economies.
Bilbao, repositioned the Basque city as a destination through a brand building move now known as the Bilbao effect. In an architectural contest, an iconic building designed by internationally renown architect, Frank Gehry was completed in 1997. In 2000, (sorry for the old data, I assume these are still standing) the economic impact of the Bilbao effect was estimated at $147 million per annum, the equivalent of 4,400 jobs to the community.
Many have tried to replicate this impact and have not been able to assemble the powerful combination of Gehry’s architecture and the Guggenheim collection. A brand concept has to be radically better and different to get this level of cut through.
One successful subscriber to the Bilbao effect is the MONA in Tasmania, Australia, which has attracted 330,000 visitors in its first year. If only 1 in 10, put Hobart on the “must do” list based on the attraction of the MONA, that would be worth around $5,000,000 per annum, based on an average daily visitor spend of $150 (which is close the mark of Tourism Research Australia’s figures).
Art has the potential to do the same for other brands as well, where there is a good fit. In this marketplace of attraction rather than promotion, a branded concept needs to hit the customer’s sweet spot and hook them in with the positive expectation of more. To get cut through, your branded concept needs to be a people magnet based on emotional connection, eclipsing the other brands in the category through sheer attraction.
If you don’t already have a brand concept, in this post mass media age, you are going to need one to be seen. The first step though is to research the brand’s emotional connections with the customer both current and desired. Every business leader needs to understand the emotional connections to their customers to create a concept that will hit bang on a customer’s sweet spot, based on some sound qualitative brand research.
First seek to understand and then to be understood.
Hearts and Minds
Founder Thought Leaders Circle