Color me cultured

After being closed for renovation for 3 years, the Rodin Museum has recently reopened its doors. Besides the permanent collection enriched with never before seen works from the sculptor, the interior decoration has garnered considerable attention. The new walls, repainted by British craftsmen Farrow & Ball, display a new shade specially made for this occasion: grayish-brown “Biron” Gray, inspired by the hotel where Rodin himself stayed in the early 1900s.

It didn’t go unnoticed by the keenest fans of culture, who remarked that certain museum walls are now accompanied by a reference to the paint manufacturer Farrow & Ball (at the European House of Photography in Paris or at the MuMa in the Havre, France, for example). A partnership as clever as unexpected. Clever because it gives a new dimension to colors that are normally only identified by codes or appellations whose nuances are not always easy to grasp (“sweetness of honey” “flamenco”, “mushroom”, “suede”, “floral hops”…).

It’s also a partnership that proves that the merging of worlds is key to today’s marketing strategy. It provides yet another way to surprise the consumer. A few years ago, a T-shirts manufacturer offered colors scientifically developed based on cultural references. They made it possible for consumers to buy T-shirts with colors like “Citroën 2CV green” or “Mona Lisa eyes”. Farrow & Ball’s strategy reveals the same logic: give their product a cultural importance.

The world of food could also take inspiration from this thinking. Nestlé’s La Laitière has played this card from the beginning, making Vermeer’s famous painting a hallmark of their brand packaging. Why has this initiative remained isolated? Had it arrived too early? Yet based on recent developments in the world of fine foods, where each product’s imagination is tested while creating new names and trying to establish the status of a cultural object, it seems inevitable that this thinking of consumer/culture fusion can be explored even more…

So What ?

A name, a date, a reference to an anecdote, a regional particularity, a penmanship style… all considerations for giving a cultural dimension to what a brand offers…

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