Corporate museums are evolving.
What initially started out as a simple way to display company tchotchkes has transformed into a colossal brand strategy that blends the physical and digital worlds into an all-encompassing experience.
We took a look at some of the best corporate museums around the world to find examples of future-forward design and technology. The following brands have taken the antiquated company museum concept and revamped it into something completely new: the next step in brand storytelling.
Located in the original Heineken brewery in Amsterdam, the Heineken Experience is an impressive 4-story facility that showcases the history of the brand through interactive exhibits, brewery tours, beer tastings, and much more. As both an iconic brand and tourist destination, the Heineken Experience remains one of Amsterdam's most popular attractions with hundreds of thousands of global visitors per year.
Visitors to the Heineken Experience are transported to a green-hued beer paradise where they learn about corporate history, advertising efforts, and get hands-on with the product itself. Additionally, an optional tour extension takes guests through Amsterdam's famous canals on a branded ferry boat. All in all, the Heineken Experience is truly a fun and inviting ode to the Dutch lager.
- Brew You: a 4D motion simulator ride that takes visitors through the Heineken brewing process...as if they were the beer!
- Bottle Your Own Heineken: allows visitors to create their own custom bottle labels - a novel souvenir that directly connects the individual to the brand.
World of Coca-Cola
Love Coca-Cola? How about 20 acres of it? Nestled in Atlanta's downtown lies a massive facility devoted to the world's most famous beverage brand, Coca-Cola. Welcoming over one million visitors each year, the World of Coca-Cola remains one of the biggest and best attractions in the state of Georgia. Two large floors are packed with a wide variety of interactive installations - both digital and physical - that not only educate, but engage visitors in company history and innovation.
While other corporate museums tend to shy away from overt marketing, the World of Coca-Cola embraces it - guests can watch past TV advertisements in the Perfect Pauses Theater and view historic branding materials in the Milestones of Refreshment gallery. Overall, the facility is the perfect blend of a branded experience and tourist attraction.
- Virtual Taste Maker: guests can create their own Coca-Cola flavor combinations by turning different dials that affect the installation's visuals and sound effects.
- Vault of the Secret Formula: a multi-room immersive experience highlighting the namesake soda pop's flavor. Guests play along to protect the secret formula in a full-body interactive game.
Get in the fast lane at the BMW Museum in Munich, home to more than 120 automobiles, motorcycles, and engines from over 90 years of the famed luxury vehicle manufacturer's history. While not as digitally-enhanced as other corporate centers, the German automaker's museum envelops visitors in the spirit of BMW - of luxury, quality, and innovation - throughout the environment as well as the individual exhibits.
With exhibits dispersed around the main atrium, guests are greeted with a sprawling display of cars from BMW's past, present, and future ensconced in a gorgeous modern facility. The museum excels in its mission to surround visitors with the brand's core focus: its cars!
- Immersive Galleries: guests are immersed in huge environments featuring large-scale video projections and scenery to complement BMW's vehicle collections.
- Kinetic Sculpture: Artist Joachim Sauter contributed a kinetic sculpture that visualizes the design process for five historical and contemporary BMW automobiles.
Walt Disney Family Museum
PRESIDIO OF SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA
Established by Walt Disney's daughter, Diane Disney Miller, the Walt Disney Family Museum celebrates the man behind the magic with over 40,000 square feet of Disney history. And in true Disney fashion, the exhibits are masterful works of immersive design with a significant focus on AV technology to illustrate Disney's collection of works and achievements.
Ten uniquely-designed galleries showcase Walt's contributions to art, cinema, and pop culture. Guests can engage with a variety of exhibits to dive deep into Disney's past in addition to a handful of interactive activities to launch visitors right into the action. The museum places visitors in the heart of the Disney brand - and the late founder behind the legacy.
- The Magic of Animatronics: take control of an aviary host reminiscent of the birds from the Enchanted Tiki Room, a staple attraction at Disney theme parks worldwide. Guests can control animatronic movement ranging from simple head turns to beak movements and more.
- The Disneyland of Walt's Imagination: for fans of Disneyland in California, an expansive diorama displayed in Gallery 9 features highly-detailed models of park attractions that Walt dreamed about creating. Based off of early sketches, maps, and interviews, the fictional park contains attractions from the past, present, and mind of its creator.
SANTA CLARA, CALIFORNIA
Unlike other museums on our list, the Intel Museum highlights its internal business operations in addition to the renowned products that it creates. Located inside Intel's Bay Area headquarters, the museum packs a punch with its interactive, tech-infused interiors that serve to inform and educate visitors, who are often students, computer enthusiasts, as well as prospective clients.
With the power of its own technology at its side, the museum is an incredibly informative, robust center focused on the company's famed computer chips and its role in advancing technology as a whole. Guests are surrounded by some seriously advanced tech, which is what Intel is all about.
- Binary Name Translator: guests can spell out their names to discover their binary code counterparts, which are digital representations of tech and code written in 1s and 0s.
- Touchscreen Wall Timeline: a human-height touchscreen wall beckons visitors to explore the history behind the brand with important milestones and other in-depth information.
A new era of corporate museums is on the cusp and technology is at the forefront. We're excited to see where innovation will take the museum industry next!