Being Beta

Exercises in the higher banter with One of 26. Elsewhere called 'poet of adland'. By a whipple-squeezer. Find out why being beta is the new alpha: betarish at googlemail dot com

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Commercial: Jewish Museum London

Originally uploaded by SgtRock333
So, on Tuesday night, I shook Nigella Lawson's hand.

Alas, that's pretty much where that particular anecdote ends.

But it did provide the capstone to a project that I've been working on for about three years or so.

The rebranding, redevelopment and re-opening of London's Jewish Museum.

I was approached way back when by the chair of the museum's trustees. With a twinkle in his eyes, he suggested that he had a project that I might be interested in. He wasn't wrong.

London's Jewish museum has a long and venerable history, combining two collections, a fascinating story and a prime site in Camden Town.

But, it was fair to say, the museum needed to change. In a positive way.

Become more ambitious. Realise the potential that was clearly there, within the institution. Uncork it so that outsiders could taste it.

The new museum building was clearly going to be a huge part of that. An old piano factory, that backed on to the existing museum was bought, and offering the potential to completely change how and what visitors got from a trip there.

And to go with all this increased space, clearly, there was a chance to change radically the way that people thought about the museum - if they thought about it at all.

Which was where I came in.

I had the chance to work with a team of highly talented, motivated and, I'm sure they won't mind me saying, delightfully disputatious people, who grasped the importance of the brand in the future of the museum, and set about making it happen.

We were aided and abetted by Fitch, who delivered a wonderful new identity, which brilliantly brought the new positioning to life. And suddenly made all this stuff real.

And I must confess, when I saw it all made physical and tangible on Tuesday, I did gasp - in wonder and delight. It's rare when you're defining and developing brands to actually come back, revisit the theoretical work you've done and see the translation of a PowerPoint slide brought to life.

Seeing the new museum for the first time on Tuesday night, I was tremendously proud that I'd had a small part to play in that.

During the work, I set the museum two informal targets: 1) that it becomes considered as important an institution of Jewish culture and life as those in New York, Berlin and Amsterdam; 2) that it aims to become a top 10 attraction for people visiting London.

From what I saw on Tuesday, I think both are eminently achievable. The fact that the New York Times has already reviewed the new museum suggests it's well on the way to achieving the first.

You won't be surprised that I think you should all go and see it. It really will be worth it.

And if you don't trust my recommendation, you'll surely trust Nigella's.



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