What Can Corporate Communicators Learn from the Louvre?


Reputation Institute co-founder Cees van Riel recently explored the interesting world of museum reputations. In a first of its kind study, he examined the reputations of 18 museums across 4 continents and the results of the study were abundantly clear: people love museums. Cees explains:

“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 study examined 18 museums across 4 continents and top marks went to the Louvre (84.3), followed by the Van Gogh Museum (81.9), and the Rijksmuseum (81.7).  What was even more interesting than the individual museum scores was the comparison of these scores to that of corporate reputations. The average reputations score, or Pulse, of the museums was 79 but the average reputation score of our corporate reputation research is 64.2.

What does an excellent reputation score mean?

In marketing and communications, we use terms like ‘brand loyalty’ and ‘stakeholder support’ to describe the desired result in our target audience. We know through our RepTrak® studies that excellent reputation scores (80+) inspire positive response and ultimately help drive business results (Figure 1). Now consider this: in our 2017 Global RepTrak, only one brand (Rolex) achieved an excellent Pulse score. In the recent museums study, 8 out of the 18 museums achieved an excellent score. Museums have clearly honed in on an effective strategy to create compelling support across stakeholders. And as you can see in the chart below, the likelihood of supportive behaviors jumps 30% when a reputation moves from strong to excellent. So in business terms, understanding how these museums are achieving such high marks is vital.


Figure 1: As reputation score increases, so does the likelihood of supportive behaviors.

3 Lessons from museums on creating a stellar corporate reputation

  • The purpose driven nature of an art museum should be a source of inspiration for the business world.
  • Museums are open and transparent on the how and why of what they are doing.
  • Museums are very critical about not wasting public moneys in their daily activities.


Video insights on reputation from Prof. Cees van Riel

Further reading:

Melanie Lobue
Senior Director of Global Marketing
Reputation Institute
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