Harry Potter: The Story of a Global Business Phenomenon


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Presentation given by Susan Gunelius, President & CEO of KeySplash Creative, Inc., at the July 2009 Azkatraz Symposium (a Harry Potter Education Fanon Event) held in San Francisco, California. Based on information from Susan's book, "Harry Potter: The Story of a Global Business Phenomenon", available through most online and offline book sellers. (www.keysplashcreative.com)

Published in: Business, Education

Harry Potter: The Story of a Global Business Phenomenon

  1. 1. Harry Potter The Story of a Global Business Phenomenon By Susan Gunelius President & CEO KeySplash Creative, Inc. www.KeySplashCreative.com
  2. 2. Not another book about Harry Potter
  3. 3. How many of you…
  4. 4. Heard about Harry Potter from… <ul><li>A friend, </li></ul><ul><li>A colleague, </li></ul><ul><li>A family member, </li></ul><ul><li>A stranger, </li></ul><ul><li>Or by any other person other than an ad or marketing effort? </li></ul>Have you read that new Harry Potter book?
  5. 5. That tells us one very important thing.
  6. 6. Harry Potter grew to be a global business phenomenon through WORD-OF-MOUTH MARKETING by CONSUMERS
  7. 7. But more about that later.
  8. 8. How Did the Value of the Harry Potter Brand Get Here?
  9. 9. The Secrets to Harry Potter Success <ul><li>A good product </li></ul><ul><li>Emotional involvement </li></ul><ul><li>Word-of-mouth marketing and an online buzz </li></ul><ul><li>Tease and perpetual marketing </li></ul><ul><li>Brand consistency and restraint </li></ul>
  10. 10. Harry Potter is a good product. <ul><li>Classic story of good vs. evil, awkward adolescence and friendship – We can all relate </li></ul><ul><li>Add magic, humor and suspense = recipe for success </li></ul>
  11. 11. A bad product won’t succeed. At least, not for long Ford Edsel
  12. 12. What’s the common denominator?
  13. 13. We’re emotionally involved in and connected to Harry Potter. <ul><li>Emotionally involved customers protect a brand they care about. </li></ul><ul><li>They’re loyal to it. </li></ul><ul><li>They demand more from it. </li></ul>
  14. 14. 3 Ss of Consumer Emotional Involvement <ul><li>S tability – consistent message </li></ul><ul><li>S ustainability – over time </li></ul><ul><li>S ecurity – comfort and peace-of-mind </li></ul>
  15. 15. Emotion and the Relationship Grow Over Time Good Product Bad Product Future Purchase Level of consumer emotion/feeling Positive Negative
  16. 16. A good product can evolve into a Cult Brand.
  17. 17. Until it becomes a true Relationship Brand <ul><li>Relationship brands are built on experiences. </li></ul><ul><li>They often fill a void. </li></ul><ul><li>Consumers self-select how they want to interact with the brand by choosing from brand experiences. </li></ul><ul><li>Often those experiences are shared among groups. </li></ul>
  18. 18. Relationship brands are powerful.
  19. 19. People look for new ways to experience and share the brand.
  20. 20. People start talking about the brands they love. <ul><li>Word-of-mouth marketing is powerful. </li></ul><ul><li>Loyal brand advocates are every brand manager’s dream. </li></ul><ul><li>Remember that Breck Shampoo commercial, “And she told two friends, and she told two friends, and so on, and so on, and …” </li></ul>
  21. 21. Word-of-mouth marketing and the online buzz begins and grows.
  22. 22. CAUTION Internet + Harry Potter =
  23. 23. Timing is everything. <ul><li>Social web growing </li></ul><ul><li>Blogging </li></ul><ul><li>Online conversation </li></ul><ul><li>Word spread faster and wider </li></ul>
  24. 24. Kudos to J.K. Rowling and Scholastic <ul><li>Recognized couldn’t stop online conversation so let it grow and drive brand to new heights of popularity </li></ul>
  25. 25. The Proof <ul><li>W ith a multi-million dollar budget to spend as she pleased, Cindy Gordon of Universal Orlando Resort instead told just 7 people about the Wizarding World of Harry Potter . </li></ul><ul><li>A nd within just 24 hours 350 million people around the world heard the news . </li></ul><ul><li>A ll by telling just 7 people. </li></ul>
  26. 26. No one could escape Harry Potter.
  27. 27. But we want more!
  28. 28. Early marketing of Harry Potter followed typical publisher model. <ul><li>Not until book sellers started telling customers about the new Harry Potter series that word started to spread. </li></ul><ul><li>Not until Arthur Levine of Scholastic bought U.S. rights to Harry Potter for unprecedented advance that buzz grew. </li></ul><ul><li>Press loved J.K. Rowling’s Cinderella story. </li></ul>
  29. 29. There’s marketing gold in those books! <ul><li>7-book, chronological series, virtually no story gap, same characters </li></ul><ul><li>Word of mouth marketing grew organically </li></ul><ul><li>Consumers demanded more </li></ul>Tease and perpetual marketing began
  30. 30. Pull marketing was the catalyst. <ul><li>Customer demand drives sales, not marketing tactics. </li></ul><ul><li>Harry Potter fans demanded more and more and more! </li></ul><ul><li>Three year gap in waiting for a new product after release of first movie and fourth book in 2000 – 3 year gap until next book released. </li></ul>
  31. 31. Marketing team sees the opportunity and takes it. <ul><li>Tease and perpetual marketing began. </li></ul><ul><li>Always something new to talk about. </li></ul><ul><li>Buzz never died. </li></ul><ul><li>One tactic fueled the next just as hype from one book fueled hype for next book, movie, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Released information in bits and pieces (e.g., movie casting information, set stills, storyboards, “watch this space” hooks, etc.) </li></ul><ul><li>Storyline fed into tease and perpetual marketing strategies. </li></ul><ul><li>Always left fans wanting more. </li></ul>
  32. 32. We want Potter! We want Potter! <ul><li>Book store parties </li></ul><ul><li>Shipping books wrapped in paper </li></ul><ul><li>Book store embargoes </li></ul>
  33. 33. Exercise Brand Consistency and Restraint <ul><li>All brand touch points must communicate consistent brand message, image and promise. </li></ul><ul><li>J.K. Rowling acted as brand guardian protecting the brand </li></ul><ul><li>Brand restraint means not overextending the brand -- No Harry Potter on Happy Meals </li></ul><ul><li>Less merchandised than many other brands at time such as Shrek and Cars </li></ul><ul><li>Limiting brand extensions left fans wanting more and fed into pull marketing/tease and perpetual marketing strategies </li></ul>
  34. 34. Potter, Potter everywhere!
  35. 35. But don’t go too crazy!
  36. 36. What can we learn from Harry Potter?
  37. 37. Consumers made Harry Potter a global phenomenon.
  38. 38. Lesson 1 <ul><li>Don’t be afraid to let consumers take control, particularly on the social web. </li></ul>
  39. 39. Lesson 2 <ul><li>Allow consumers to become emotionally involved with your brand and develop relationships with it, which leads to brand loyalty and word-of-mouth marketing. </li></ul>
  40. 40. Lesson 3 <ul><li>Be consistent with your brand and exercise brand restraint in order to meet customer expectations and build loyalty further. </li></ul>
  41. 41. Can Harry Potter’s success be duplicated?
  42. 42. Yes! <ul><li>Remember, I’m a marketer. </li></ul>
  43. 43. Problem in Duplicating Harry Potter’s Success <ul><li>It would seem more manufactured and would carry less mystique. </li></ul>
  44. 44. Marketing Strategies for Harry Potter Successors <ul><li>Market Follower: Differentiation – positioning as similar to Harry Potter but just far enough away and different enough to add new value to consumers. </li></ul><ul><li>Market Challenger: Reinventing the Category – Don’t imitate the market leader or pioneer brand. Instead, position product as completely different from Harry Potter by attacking leader’s weaknesses and tapping into unfulfilled needs. Strategy requires bigger investment. </li></ul>
  45. 45. How many of you have read Twilight?
  46. 46. What do you think? Can the success of Harry Potter be duplicated?
  47. 47. That leads to my final point. Thank God she’s almost done.
  48. 48. Consumers will make the next Harry Potter, not marketers. <ul><li>Brand managers have to listen to consumers and deliver consistently to ensure the buzz about the brand continues. </li></ul><ul><li>Let consumers live the brand and make it their own. </li></ul><ul><li>Marketers must allow brands to grow and thrive at the hands of consumers with gentle pushes in the right direction along the way. </li></ul>
  49. 49. Read more in my book or contact me. Contact Susan Gunelius Website: www.KeySplashCreative.com Email: [email_address] Blog: www.KeySplashCreativeConversations.com Twitter: www.Twitter.com/susangunelius Facebook: www.Facebook.com/susangunelius LinkedIn: www.Linkedin.com/in/susangunelius