Theory to Practice
DOI link for Theory to Practice
Theory to Practice book
As I have argued for years, despite existing and competing in a twenty-first century Knowledge Age, most museums still operate with a twentieth-century industrial age business model.2 The hallmark of the Industrial Age was an abundance of standardized (“one-size-fits-all”) inexpensive goods and services. Although mass production allowed for the unprecedented availability of goods and services, it depersonalized both the production and delivery process. By contrast, the trends in the Knowledge Age are for an increasing desire on the part of consumers not just for quantity of choice but also for quality, not just for reasonable prices but for real value. Most significantly, consumers today are growing to expect that goods and services be designed to specifically meet their own personal needs and interests. They are much more discriminating, in part because they can afford to be given the glut of available products and services. It is a rare product or service that cannot be had in myriad shapes, sizes, and price-ranges and that includes museum-related experiences. Above all else, consumers today are seeking to forge long-standing relationships with the people they “trade” with; they do not want to be just another nameless, faceless consumer. Collectively, these trends represent a sea-change in the marketplace and a radical departure from the norms of doing business of even a decade ago.