Businesses in every sector need to consistently build their brand image, in order to ensure visibility and attract customers, and art galleries are no different. Galleries juggle many audiences, and have to learn to market themselves to prospective collectors, artists, visitors and auction houses. Despite this, galleries have seen a decrease in their audience for several years now. Learn how to stop this process by creating a strong and recognizable brand image!
1. Your brand should look like you
The first step towards improving your brand image is to make sure that your visual identity reflects the location and feel of your gallery. How is it decorated? What kind of lighting is there? How are the artworks arranged? Is there music? All of these aspects are opportunities to represent the identity and the approach of your gallery. A gallery that supports neo-futurist artists and a gallery that shows Renaissance works will not have the same interior or online presence. Likewise, the way they display sculptures or photographs will not be the same.
Focus on what makes your gallery yours and go from there. Define your values, your message, your specificities. Try to simplify these elements as much as possible in order to retain the essence of your gallery or your work as an artist.
Augmented reality exhibition at Gazelli Art House
2. Create a strong, original and coherent visual identity
The next step to improving your brand image is to make sure that your visual identity is unique and stands out. It is crucial that the appearance of your website and your social networks is visually pleasing and that they maintain a consistent aesthetic.
To do this, your gallery must first have a clear, readable, and memorable logo. This will allow any target audience to know what you are about, and eventually recognize your gallery among the many others. Next, make sure your creative content reflects the style and colors of the art you market and stick to that.
Your branding and your logo, for example, can be both simple and unique, using a small drawing, an original font, or a punchy slogan. In the same way, your visuals should be used to define the main colors (no more than three) you will use in your communications, the font of your website and your recurring graphic elements (round or angular shapes, illustrations, lines, pictograms,etc.). The objective? To develop a universe around your gallery, just as you would any brand, in order to professionalize your space and reassure your customers.
Although it is sometimes useful to draw inspiration from other galleries to determine your identity, beware of similarities! If your visual identities are too similar, you risk losing visibility, being discredited, or even being accused of plagiarism.
Art Center Horus's visuals: logo, LinkedIn page and website
3. Improve user experience
User experience is very important in a gallery. From visiting the gallery, to the delivery of the artworks, everything must be done in the best possible way so that your customers are satisfied. It's essential that customers are well received and informed in not only your gallery space, but your online spaces, too. Your gallery website can become a welcoming extension of the physical space thanks to UX design, or user experience design. To make customer navigation as simple as possible, it is important to make your site as fluid and practical as your gallery itself.
Take client feedback into account. Whether it's about their buying experience, their gallery experience or their possible future experience, take feedback into account and encourage them to come back. Feedback can be encouraged by phone or email, but also via forms or a live chat function on your website. Accessible functions like these are a great way to prospect new customers by providing answers to their questions.
To maintain a good brand image, your gallery must offer a quality service from the first moments at the gallery all the way to the delivery, as it will allow you to develop positive rapport with your customer base.
Perahia gallery's contact page
4. Adapt your content for better visibility online
An important goal for your brand image is to gain better visibility, especially online.
Today, art galleries need to be active on social networks. In the art world, Instagram is a particularly important social network. An Instagram page consistent with your visual identity is imperative to reinforce your brand image. It is also a good network to post videos about your gallery, your artists, the events you organize and the ones you are participating in.
Engaging content is key, and if done successfully, can be the difference between getting noticed or not. It’s important to interact with your followers: host question and answer sessions, create polls, connect with influencers and other galleries. Allow your clients to feel like they can reach you and understand your mission from afar.
Instagram account of the gallery Arts d'Australie - Stéphane Jacob
5. Stay flexible
Like with everything you do, you will need to adapt to the fluctuations of the art market and to changing trends. What is popular today will not necessarily be popular tomorrow, so it is essential to stay informed on a daily basis in order not to miss out on good opportunities. With the advances in technology, this is even more important as progress is made at an ever-increasing rate.
Moreover, browsers and social networks are regularly updated. You will have to use the means at your disposal to continue to be well referenced by the algorithms, and adapt your content to these changes.
You will have to remain flexible in order to adapt to any change.
The most important thing in developing and maintaining a good brand image is to stay true to yourself and to listen to your customers. Whether it's your visual identity, the physical location of your gallery, your website and social networks, or your content, it must look like you while adapting to the constraints of the art market and trends. And if your brand image is not yet well established, there is still time to improve it in order to stack all the odds of success in your favour!