Economics and Finance


Museum Atmospherics: a Marketing and an Interpretive Tool

Authors: Kali Tzortzi

In the competitive leisure marketplace, in which museums play a key role, architecture can add value to their experience and contribute to their ‘differential advantage’. Increasingly museum buildings are being addressed in the marketing literature not only as influencing the positive image of visitors and their intention to revisit, but also as affecting their experience of the museum display. This paper aims to further this idea and explore how the building’s physical and spatial form can add new dimensions to the meaning-making of the museum. Literature from different fields is brought together in the first part of the paper and the key concepts of museum atmospherics and the related model of servicescape are discussed as the theoretical background for this exploration. The paper takes as case studies two European museums which present aspects of the city’s history and share in common the character of their buildings as landmarks, their innovative spatial design, and the sensory qualities of their architecture. It shows how in both cases the museum’s powerful narrative is not in the discursive dimension of the experience of the exhibits, but in the holistic experience of the spatial setting, which visitors are invited to explore, with affective as well as cognitive outcomes. Through the analysis, the paper brings to the surface common paired themes between consumption and museum settings, such as atmosphere and tangible product, spatial layout and functioning, physical environment and distinctiveness, rational and embodied. Keywords: museum architecture; marketing; atmospherics; servicescape; spatial layout JEL Classification: M39

Comments: 11 Pages. Published in The Hellenic Open Business Administration Journal;

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Submission history

[v1] 2018-07-03 23:44:33

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