Merchandising e imagen de marca / Turismo Cultural

University of Barcelona CULTURAL TOURISM
merchandising and branding image It doesn’t surprise me that
someone would want to retain a reminder of an experience
in the shape of an object. Tourism is nothing more than
a business of experiences. Merchandising is an essential complement
to generate a dynamic of “I want to come to have an experience”
and, once you are here, “how is my experience been”. One of the aspects Montserrat has
changed in the last 10 or 12 years, is the increasing of our premises. Montserrat
isn’t only the sanctuary building. Motserrat’s Mountain is 10 km2 and there
are also small towns and villagers around. And there are also people who come to
Montserrat and don’t pop in the building, people who go for a walk to the mountain. We want people who come to the
museum and have this experience, are able to take something with them
to remind them of their experience. When we used to make a calendar, or a book,
or a postcard and they took the grips out, we would tell them “don’t take the grips out”,
since they are part of the product. An important part of the product lies, precisely,
on the fact that it’s still being built. When people take a souvenir is to remain
an experience they have previously liked. That’s basically what
tourists look for, confirmation of what they’ve
seen in guidebooks, on the Internet. Like having an imaginary world
that they’re hoping to confirm. But people always want to
preserve something that serves as a footprint,
as a trace of their experience. When it came to merchandising,
Dalí never had any problem to give licences to reproduce
and trade with his art. Today it is a common practice for all artists
everywhere, but Dalí did it way before. Sagrada Familia is world-famous by itself. But having Sagrada Familia items around
blows it up for people who come to see it. We have developed very strict criterias,
control mechanisms, standardized licences… We are very selective. We like the idea
of creating through cultural merchardising. Firstly, because it’s a source of income
for our Foundation that allows to pay its manteinance, to buy pieces of work… Merchandising is part of the experience you
need to offer when you sell a cultural product. It’s imposible to spam everything. But
there are, indeed, some things, like the merchandising of figurines, dvd’s, etc.,
that help Sagrada Familia’s tourism. One of the objectives we set,
was to extend Montserrat. We have the Montserrat sites project, in collaboration with all town halls, which aims to be introduced as a global
territory and not just as a sanctuary. Through those sites, under the brand
“Gastronomía de Montserrat”, we aim to advertise those products related to
Montserrat, like liqueurs, honey, wine, oil… Our cultural mechandising is just
the material based on Dalí works, or using Dalí works, to create a new object. Gastronomy is a very important point. In our case, our work is aimed to
Catalan public, since it’s closer. We work on the basis of a certain
knowledge of Montserrat gastronomy. We do a high quality merchandising, carefully
made, with a deep respect both for the work, and for the person who is going to
buy it, which not often happens. Very often, cultural merchandising is
treated as commercial merchandising. They take a container of plastic
jars made in China, and they stick an adhesive on them.
And that’s really outrageous. Every object that people can buy
at a souvenir market for tourists is basically confirming the
imagery that was provided by movies they’ve seen, brochures
they found in travel agencies… Why there are that many japonese
coming? Because Sagrada Familia is,
actually, about Nature, and there are many Nature motifs on it.
But there is also another reason: they asked for a license to cover Sake bottles
with the image of Sagrada Familia. I’m talking about almost 30 years ago. And we gave them the license,
we wasn’t opposed to their iniciative. They sold millions of Sake bottles
with the image of Sagrada Familia.

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