What business can learn from the high reputation of art museums

Art museums have a higher reputation than companies. That is what professor Cees van Riel of Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University discovered in an international study, spanning ten countries. Companies can use these findings to improve their own reputation management. Reputation is vitally important for an organisation. Because, simply said, it provides a license to operate. We have been measuring reputation for more than twenty years now. This is the first time, strangely enough, that a reputation study has been done, In the world of the art museums. We selected the eighteen most well-known art museums in four continents. We analysed the opinions of 12.000 people, divided in those who visited those visited those museums, and those who did not visit the museums but did have an opinion. The results of this study show that art museums have a stellar reputation all over the world. The average of companies, worldwide, is 64.2. The average of art museums is 79. People love museums. Museé du Louvre is Paris is the absolute leader of the eighteen art museums we have studied in this survey. The number two in this global study is, amazingly, the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam in the Netherlands. A ranking is nice, but it is not about the position in the ranking. Why do people admire art museums so tremendously The first reason is the nature of the collection. People love the collections of museums. They love the distinctiveness of specific museums, compared to other museums and they are inspired by it. We also discovered that there is an interesting relationship between the reputation of a country and a city, and the reputation of a museum. if you have a sky high reputation as a country, it is easier to be appreciated for your museum. A final point that we discovered in this study: museums are highly appreciated for their contribution to society. They maintain the national heritage, they educate people, and they provide entertainment to people in their free time. The business world can draw two important lessons From the stellar reputation of art museums. First, the purpose-driven nature of an art museum should be a source of inspiration for the business world. Secondly, they are open and transparent about the how and the why of what they are doing. And last, but not least, they are very critical about not wasting public money in their daily activities. Those two characteristics are vital to create but especially to maintain a stellar reputation.

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