Companies, brands, industrial machinery, advertising… The world of economics in its broadest sense has a decisive influence on the lives of people and, consequently, on their culture and history. With the passage of time, all this heritage runs the risk of being lost. And, so that it does not fall into oblivion, many companies have launched corporate museums.
But you do not have to see business museums as mere nostalgic whims of their founding entrepreneurs. Although in many cases they are. Nor not only as a luxury or an exhibition of power of large companies. In addition to all this, these institutions can have a role of certain relevance in the marketing of companies. The benefit? Above all, the improvement of the image of the company.
A museum can be a different way of developing a corporate image or a different advertising system that relates company and culture. It is also a way to be present in society and a basis for designing campaigns with which to enhance the prestige and image of our company.
The error lies in identifying these spaces as cultural products, instead of focusing them exclusively on marketing. Company museums do not cover a minority audience, but with a good marketing strategy, they can reach the general public and all political, social and economic groups.
ORGANIZE THE MUSEUM
Corporate museums are not exclusive assets of large companies. Small and medium-sized companies can make the most of their benefits with proper management and proper organization.
The company museum is an important communication tool. All forms of exploitation, from Public Relations to promotions, will be valid to capture the potential client that can attract a museum, which is much broader than it seems at first glance.
To organize a museum of these characteristics, several factors must be taken into account:
- Legal requirements. The most normal thing is that it is legally established as a non-profit foundation. In this way the fiscal benefits of the promoter are combined with a good intentionality in the ends.
- Profile of the staff. To direct museums, people tend to look for people with a double preparation, with scientific knowledge about the collections but who, in turn, have studies or training in the field of business management and organization. Others think, instead, that the model of double direction should be adopted, that is to say, that there is a scientific director and another economic one dedicated to administrative and management matters.
I think that the head of the museum should have a commercial and marketing vision. The responsibilities of the rest of the employees must be included in the Welcome Operational Manual. Everyone has to be prepared: from the responsible person to the cleaning staff. It is proven that, despite not being its function, the latter represents an important point of information for visitors.
- A variable budget. The initial investment to create a company museum will depend on many factors such as the soil, the project, the construction and the quality of the materials and means used (especially lighting, security, personnel, etc.) Therefore, there is no budget type There are some that require a high investment (between 1,200,000 and 6,010,000 euros.) Others, more modest but highly effective, can be viable from 60,000 euros In any case, the museum should be considered as a departure within the marketing budget.
On some occasions, the lack of budget and / or physical space has led many museums to go from being a project.
- Physical space. The ideal is that the space adapts to the pieces and not the other way around. It would be normal to know in advance the collections that will be housed and adapt as much as possible the technical conditions, especially what concerns the climate control measures and security conditions of rooms and warehouses. The access systems are also essential, both for the works and for the public. Access to all types of visitors must be facilitated: elderly or disabled. It is also convenient to use loading and unloading springs that allow handling the parts without risks.
- Search for pieces. The Museum of the company must be provided with funds, obtaining appropriate objects for its exhibition. There are two types of pieces: the internal ones (those provided by the company itself) and the external ones (they are sought nationally and internationally). When making
The search for pieces is important to go back to the origins and provide historical information of the sector to which the company belongs.
For the incorporation of pieces there must be a seriously elaborated script, a guiding thread that will be divided into different sections according to the criteria of those responsible (chronological, thematic, authors, etc.). It must be a clear and complete scheme, but not closed. It must always be open to the incorporation of new pieces that can be located by a scientific team.
- Cataloging forms. A cataloging, should provide any reference of interest for inclusion in the collection and for future research. Data such as the origin, the dimensions, the authorship of the pieces, the material or the state of conservation must be recorded in detail in a file and be channeled with skillful management for dissemination through permanent collection, temporary exhibitions or publications.
The best ways to promote it
- Press conference. It is essential to present the museum and is a form of communication to publicize new products. In addition, not only the press conference can be used to present the museum, but it is advisable to call them regularly as a symptom of updating.
- Free entrance. The gratuity will depend considerably on the business sector, on the location of the museum and, above all, on the objectives to be achieved with the museum. If what is intended is to get a broad visit from customers, the gratuity is always advisable.
- Internet. It is important that the museum is on the company’s website. You can take advantage of the virtual museum to show pieces that due to lack of space can not be exhibited in the real museum.
- Visit of clients. In museums not open to the general public, the visit of clients with prior invitation is a good opportunity to publicize new products, create discussion forums, meeting points …
- Visit of students. Schoolchildren and students from the sector who visit the museum today can become tomorrow’s clients or employees.
- Visits of personalities. Inviting a personality to the inauguration of the museum or to the presentation of a new product in it will attract the media to the event.