Attraction Reviews,  Things to Do

Museum of Brands Review: Market Leader or Missed the Mark?

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Though you may not realize it, branding is an essential part of our experience in the modern world. Every advertisement you see, and almost every product you encounter, has been designed with branding or a brand in mind. It should perhaps come as no surprise then that there’s a Museum of Brands somewhere in this world – and it happens to be in London!

Before I became an Asian food and travel blogger, I once worked at Interbrand, the branding agency behind BMW’s Mini, Thai Airways, and many other famous brands. As such, I was really intrigued to visit the Museum of Brands, especially after reading that it had won a TripAdvisor Traveller’s Choice Award. (I’d lived in London for over 7 years, and traveled there over 20 times, most recently in January 2024, but somehow never been to this particular London Museum; there are a lot, to be fair.)

Museum of Brands Review Hero
Photo courtesy of the Museum of Brands

I decided not to research the Museum before my visit, as I didn’t want my impression of it to be tainted by any online reviews. Follow me as I share what I liked, didn’t like, and how to get the most out of your visit, in this Museum of Brands London review; I hope it helps you decide if this unique and decidedly different museum is worth it in your London itinerary.

Bonus! As part of the London Pass, you can receive free admission to the Museum of Brands (valued at £10pp in 2024!). Click here to read my London Pass review and click here to buy your own London Pass and save during your London trip.

Basics of Visiting the Museum of Brands

As usual, before we dive into the review, I’ll share a couple of logistic details for those who want to visit the museum.

Location & Transport

The Museum of Brands is located amongst London’s famous Victorian houses, on Lancaster Road, in West London, a short stroll from Notting Hill. It is literally a one to two-minute walk from Ladbroke Grove Underground, so the tube would be the best way to get there. (It’s on both the Circle and Hammersmith & City lines.)

Hours, Admission & Tickets

This fully-accessible museum is open seven days a week, from 10am to 6pm Monday through Saturday and from 11am to 5pm on Sundays and Bank Holidays.

A standard ticket costs £10, though you are discounted tickets for senior visitors.

Food Options & Facilities

There is a very nice cafe with a walled garden (Cafe Tangerine). It serves tea, coffee, beer, wine, rolls, homemade cakes, and snacks. I would be happy to pop into the museum just for the cafe, actually!  Somewhat fittingly, the cafe is open to hosting product launches. As such, the cafe is sometimes closed for private events, so check the Museum’s website before you head down; it also has different hours than the full museum (closed on Mondays, 10:30am-3pm Tuesday through Saturday, and 11am-3pm on Sundays and Bank Holidays)

Gift Shop & Souvenirs

You see the gift shop the moment you enter the Museum of Brands. It’s in an open space in front of the ticket office and located opposite the entrance to the “Time Tunnel”, as they call the exhibit.

There you’ll find some books, postcards, posters, and retro sweets but nothing really special enough to be worth mentioning in a review of the Museum of Brands London. (Sales do go towards the Museum charity, however.)

My Experience at the Museum of Brands

I wasn’t quite sure what to expect at this museum; as I have a background on the subject, I am perhaps a more discerning visitor than most. I had thought there would be more information on branding, but it felt more like a packaging museum. While packaging is an important part of brand management, I would have expected more detailed examples of creative branding campaigns over the years, and more analysis. 

To be honest, the museum really felt like just a large collection of memorabilia that spans 150 years. I had the impression that I was merely taking a walk around a large antiques and vintage shop or in the home of an elderly hoarder. (Navigating the permanent exhibition will take you about an hour if you really look at everything.)

Additionally, some of the items displayed can appear to be racist, especially since no context or explanation of the time period is given.

When I realized that the founding sponsors of the Museum included big brands such as Cadbury, Kellogg’s, and Shell, the exhibition made more sense. In a way, it is a tribute to the history of these brands, as you see box after box of their old products. Given that we are in the UK, quite a lot of the exhibits are related to the Royal Family.

I did enjoy the walk down memory lane when the exhibition reached the more recent years – I had some of the magazines that were displayed on the walls! (Apparently, the museum also runs a multi-sensory outreach program for people living with dementia, encouraging them to reminisce, which is very meaningful.)

I was the only person entering when I visited – which is a good thing, as the pathways are quite narrow. I soon met up with other people who had arrived before or after me – not a ton of people, say about a maximum of six people, but it did make the Museum of Brands feel a little squeezy since there wasn’t much space. 

Another thing is that because you’re in a small, well, tunnel, you’ll be able to hear the conversation of fellow visitors extremely clearly. Apparently, the Museum gets its fair share of students, and I can imagine the noise levels becoming quite unbearable then.

So, to answer your question, is the London Museum of Brands worth it?

To be honest, it was not worth the £10 – or my time – to me. For a first-time traveler with limited time in London, I definitely would not recommend it. However, I do seem to be the odd one out, as the Museum has a 4.4 rating on Google.

It was an interesting experience, but I don’t think I learned or saw enough to make the entrance fee worth it. As one past visitor described it in their online review, it feels like “the contents of someone’s attic.” Perhaps if you’re new to the U.K., there may be more of a wow factor when seeing all the various items. 

If you’re a huge fan of packaging, or keen to take a trip down memory lane, you may feel differently about this small London museum.

As I mentioned though, I wouldn’t mind popping in just for a bite in the cafe, though – that certainly is a highlight!

Have any questions after reading my Museum of Brands London review? Let me know in the comments below!

Don’t Forget! As part of the London Pass, you can receive free admission to the Museum of Brands (valued at £10pp in 2024!). Click here to read my London Pass review and click here to buy your own London Pass and save during your London trip.

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Zhen fell in love with London when she first visited at the age of 4. After that, she was lucky to have the opportunity to live in UK for 11 years, 7 of which were spent in London. (She particularly adores the areas around Kensington, Southwark and Baker Street!) As someone who loves both food and travel – don’t we all? – you can find her sharing her Asian food recipes over at greedygirlgourmet.com.

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