As people are finally returning to some semblance of normal lives after the pandemic, we are changed for what we have collectively been through. Tensions and anxiety are high in more significant portions of our communities. We all need to be generous to one another. Your gallery brand has an opportunity to make generosity a more prominent part of your business model. That’s exciting!
Every day I comb the art world news to see what’s new and what might be helpful to share with you to increase your gallery’s profitability. And every day, there is a story about another art dealer misbehaving in business by either not paying their artists, tax evasion, embezzlement, etc.
Once the seed of mistrust has been planted in the minds of art buyers, it’s not difficult to get turned off to working with ALL art galleries. Brand generosity is an opportunity to overcome any negative industry perception.
As we become increasingly connected to information, we have become more exposed to scandals that test our trust in brands. One way to combat this among suspicious would-be art collectors is through a recent trend in a brand strategy of being generous.
Buyers are thirsty for a real social commitment from genuine brands that support their causes. This strategy can go a long way in influencing buying decisions. Being visible as a generous brand has many benefits for both gallery and collector.
Benefits to the art collector:
- Delivers more than what is expected in a buying experience
- It feels good buying art that also impacts a cause that aligns with a buyer’s personal values
- Increases the halo effect of the collector being perceived as generous, in addition to having style and taste in buying art
Benefits to the gallery:
- Increases the bond between gallery and collector
- Improves gallery reputation
- Builds a sense of community from shared values
- Financially and personally rewarding
- Increases opportunities for PR and partnerships
- Expands network opportunities with new prospective art buyers
- Improves employee morale to be involved in helping others
Connecting Brand Generosity and your Art Gallery’s Business Values
First, determine what your focus will be and how it compliments your brand’s values and mission. Your efforts will be all the more potent if there is a direct connection between your focus on generosity and the business’s values.
As a brand strategy for your art gallery, I think it is important to commit to a single cause long-term vs. the occasional donation or supporting multiple causes on a smaller scale. Over time, your support will become part of what your gallery is known for.
Something local or something art-related may tie in best with your gallery’s mission. There are infinite ways your art gallery can support a cause, and it does not necessarily need to be through monetary donations.
How to Apply Generosity as Gallery Brand Strategy
Below are just a few ideas to consider for applying generosity to your brand strategy. To really have the most significant impact, you should consider choosing multiple ways of providing support to your chosen focus that can occur year-round.
- Annual fundraiser
- Encourage gallery staff to volunteer their time
- Serve on local charity boards
- Sell tickets to your gallery events to support your contributions
- Help generate awareness in your community by promoting a cause amongst your network.
- Donate a percentage of every sale of artwork.
- Gallery space can be donated for your cause’s events and meetings
This list could go on, and on depending on the charity you select to advocate.
I would encourage you to involve gallery staff, artists, and collectors in the process of choosing and supporting your cause. Your continued contributions of support give your gallery a fantastic story to tell that will extend your reach within your market and help to make your reputation shine, as well as increase your gallery’s profitability.
To the Point
If we have learned anything from the 2020 pandemic, our community’s strength and support are critical for our happiness, progress, and success -personally and professionally.
Today’s art collectors will be more likely to support the gallery and your artists if you are actively generous. It just feels good. And we all need that. Brand generosity opens the door for your gallery business to expand your presence within the community and your dialog about what you stand for.
This can lead to many exciting opportunities, referrals, and sales.
Are you already involved in support a worthy cause? I would love to hear about your cause and how your gallery got involved. Post a comment and brag a little.