Coriena Brierley Visits Stuttgart

Customer Experience Manager for Culture Coventry.

Coriena has worked in the heritage sector for 25 years and previous to this managed retail outlets within the commercial sector.

Her current role of Customer Experience Manager is for a group of four Museums that make up Culture Coventry. The Museums consist of Coventry Transport Museum, The Herbert Art Gallery and Museum, Priory Visitors Centre and The Lunt Roman Fort. Culture Coventry was established in 2013 merging the cultural offer within the City into one organisation and in 2013/14 was part of a £9 million Heritage Lottery funded redevelopment.

Coriena therefore has experience of change management within various organisations with differing cultures, managing facilities and visitor experience relating to a new build development and set up retail outlets to function as a multi-site operation.

Coriena‘s responsibilities at Culture Coventry are to lead a team of 50 staff in conjunction with the facilities manager for an organisation that has in excess of 760,000 visitors a year. She is committed to deliver an exceptional customer experience ensuring that the quality of service is of the highest level at all times. The role also requires her to manage all the retail within the Museums maximising sales and all commercial opportunities related to the collections.

She has a MA in Business Management and has a passion for local history and culture.  Involved with heritage groups and being a green badge guide has been able to influence local government thinking about historic buildings and the overall cultural offer of the area.

Reflections on the overseas study visit.

Stuttgart Germany A City of Culture

Art Galleries, Museums of historical influence and big brand Transport Museums such as Porsche and Mercedes. This City was chosen because of the similarities to organisation I worked within.

Porsche Museum.

The phrase that I took away from this Museum was that:

“Brand and Image is everything”

The building upon entrance was architecturally impressive within the heart of the Porsche Stuttgart Empire. Porsche supports 4,500 people in Stuttgart, hence the Cities Civic pride in the brand. The dealership and factory were all well placed together with the Museum alongside. Staff were dressed to impress and had an air hostess look.

Upon entrance to the Museum there was a line up of Porches where visitors were able to book an hour’s “Porsche Drive” with a choice of model. This was often fully booked and was promoted on the website and could be booked as an extra at the admissions desk also. For the children there was a Porsche simulator within the Museum and a photo opportunity within a Porsche car for the adults.

The collection was presented in a way that was representative of a car showroom where the car was the star. It had a sleek, contemporary look with high end interactives. The Museum collection not only promoted the brand but is recognised, funded and utilised in order to do so. Exhibits change daily with over 500 vehicles offsite which refreshes the look constantly. This is on top of events and a temporary exhibition programme.

So for me the reflection of visiting the Porsche Museum was that the museums collection is not only an exhibition but first and foremost a marketing tool for the brand. Investment in the Museum is investment in the brand's future.

Landesmuseum

“Our Culture Our Story”

The Landesmuseum sits within an imposing building in the heart of the city in a cultural square. The Museum tells the historical story of Stuttgart and is easily accessible to both visitors to the city and locals. Investment from local Government and business investment supports the Museum. Business investment also supports acquisitions, exhibitions or even new galleries. The bigger the investment the bigger the plaque on the wall on the way in!

Their purpose was clear “Our Culture. Our Story” so you were aware of what you were about to see. The collection and interpretation was very well presented with quality Museum standard display cases and interpretation that that married the object with the locality using archive imagery placing the object in context to the local area.

This I felt initiates an immediate emotional connection with the place either as a visitor to the City or a local. An emotional connection stays with you long after you have left the Museum. I feel this is the case too for the business investor they are proud of its past and investing in its future.