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Organizations are seeking other, new, original and authentic ways to set up their marketing, boost their brand, foster innovation and initiate research. The arts and culture can help in many ways.

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Artification refers to a concept of management in which an organization uses the power and sublimity of the arts to upgrade itself.  

Originally, artification was a sociological concept. More and more activities that were not previously considered art are now being classified as art. Pieter-Paul Rubens, for example, was not considered an artist in his day, but rather a craftsman. Photography was not experienced as art in the beginning. And more recently, Street Art has been exhibited in museums, sold in galleries and taught in art schools under the influence of artists such as Jean-Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring.    

However, artification has also become a management concept in recent years. A growing number of companies and organizations collaborate with artists, designers, and cultural actors. The phenomenon is not really new. Coca-Cola and Toulouse Lautrec have already worked together for marketing purposes a century ago. By working together with the art world, Absolute Vodka became the world's number one brand. However, we have seen an intensification in recent decades. Companies are seeking other, new, original and authentic ways to organize their activities. The arts and companies can collaborate in a number of ways. This collaboration can range from simple synergies to more complex hybrid collaborations.  

The arts are important to companies for five main reasons.  

To begin with, it helps make new connections with new and existing audiences. Secondly, companies such as Absolut Vodka, Benetton, and banks are using the arts to support branding and infuse their brands with an aura of art. 

We also observe that artists often think and see the world differently than other people. Therefore, artistic interventions can have an impact on insight, team dynamics, methods of working, and organizational transformation. Creativity and innovation are also in high demand in many companies. AirBnB, Uber, Eosta, and BinkBank have influenced many companies to become game changers in the markets in which they operate. In order to accomplish this, one must look at the methods and cognitive processes of artists who are driven by a desire to be creative and innovative. Rather than going from point A to point B, we need to reinvent point B. Art thinking methods includes imagination and visualization, experiments, asking questions, recognizing paradoxes and also knowing one's own cognitive processes with regard to creativity. Finally art can be considered a research tool and an artist becomes a researcher. Abbvie, a pharmaceutical company, has commissioned a group of artists to create works of art reflecting on the impact of hepatitis C on the lives of people living with it. In addition to the medication, a patient's quality of life is affected by how he is approached by his immediate environment.   

During a keynote or a workshop, all these concepts are explained and deepened through many examples, diagrams, and case studies. The presentations provide new insights, are inspiring, and provide tools so that concepts can later be implemented within the organization.

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Erwin Van den Brande is on a mission to bridge the gap between the cultural and creative realms and the business world. Recognizing that companies face disruptive challenges requiring novel approaches and thinking, he advocates for mutual learning between business leaders and the art world. With a background in economics and experience in various management roles within technology companies, Erwin is also an entrepreneur who has founded multiple start-ups. Since 2010, he has pursued a parallel career as a visual artist, exhibiting his works in Belgium and internationally.

His passion lies in uniting seemingly disparate worlds through art, viewing art as not just a form of expression but also a mindset for living and working. This vision led to the creation of Dual&Day, an initiative focused on facilitating connections between companies and cultural actors through "artification" processes. Erwin and Dual&Day offer a range of services including lectures, workshops, advisory sessions, publications, and concrete artification projects aimed at fostering creative collaborations and innovative thinking within businesses. Through these efforts, Erwin aims to harness the transformative power of art to inspire fresh perspectives and solutions in the corporate world while also enriching artistic endeavors with business insights.

Erwin Van den Brande

Advocate of paradoxes and oxymorons because they provide new insights

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