Extend Your Merchandising Wingspan
Maxwell says integrating the licensees' efforts with the Winterthur Web presence has been challenging, but changes to the museum's "various Web presences are in the works and should provide positive and exciting results."
"We are in the development phase of an online presence and hope to be up and streaming in 2006, providing a visual directory of all licensed products to consumer and trade constituencies alike," she adds.
All in all, Maxwell stresses that Winterthur's merchandising efforts are successful at marketing for the museum. To show the power of this effort, she uses the example of boxes of note cards it sells with images of Americana on the front, the Winterthur logo on the back and a note on the inside about where the image comes from. In terms of points of contact, Maxwell explains, it's a marketing effort that reaches not only the person who purchases the cards, but also the eight to 10 people who receive them. A similar, viral-marketing effect takes hold when owners of Winterthur's reproduced home furnishings share with friends and family the stories associated with those items.
As for words of merchandising advice, Maxwell says: "Be consistent and regular in merchandising efforts and in building brand awareness. Stick to the game plan. For Winterthur, the bottom line is excellence and will continue to be."
Cathy Maxwell can be reached via http://www.winterthur.org