Does art positively influence our perception of a brand, product or service? Two researchers at Grenoble Ecole de Management shared insights on this question during the Global Brand Conference in Berlin in May 2019.
“International marketing research confirms the influence caused by reproducing a known piece of art on packaging or products. Research has confirmed that a transfer takes place between our perception of the artwork and our perception of the brand. The feeling of uniqueness generated by art is transformed into a positive evaluation of the product. This is called the ‘art infusion effect’,” explain GEM researchers Caroline Cuny (consumer psychology) and Marianela Fornerino (sensorial marketing).
A rare, innovative initiative for a business school
During their previous research work, the two researchers had already been interested in the sensorial and experiential impact of music on brands. To expand on their work, they invited a local artist, Patricia Pinzuti Gintz, to come get a feel for the school before creating her next piece of artwork. “The artist spent time at the school and met with Loïck Roche, director of GEM, and Anne-Laure Oudinot, head of branding, digital and communications,” explain the researchers.
The experience created a fertile environment for a new artistic creation that was installed in the GEM lobby. For a year after its installation on January 22, 2019, Patricia Pinzuti Gintz’s textile artwork, HYMNE was the focus of an initiative that also included a permanent visual and musical exhibit as well as three theater and dance performances by the artist.
The initiative is unique because the artist was given permission to create freely in the unusual environment of a business school. In addition, the initiative offered the chance for innovative research.
Confirming the “art infusion effect” created by a piece of artwork
The goal of the researchers was to measure the emotional and sensorial perceptions of 275 GEM students in terms of the school brand and its association with this artistic experience. Over the course of several weeks, the researchers collected students surveys to evaluate their evaluation on a scale of 1 to 6.
“Measuring attachment to a brand is the best means of predicting the positive intentions of customers, in this case GEM students. An evaluation of perceptions was implemented before and after the exhibit. There was a marked improvement with results changing from 4.2 to 4.6 and 4.8. We can conclude that current GEM customers, who are already quite attached to the brand, increased their attachment thanks to an artistic experience,” concludes Marianela.
How does art influence a brand?
“The results confirm that an artistic experience improves attachment to a service brand. The emotions awakened by the artwork are they key factor,” explains Caroline. These research findings can offer guidelines for using artwork in environments that offer services and thereby improve perception of a brand. The same experience will be carried out with GEM employees in order to measure the “art infusion effect” on attachment to the school’s employer brand.