It’s estimated that the Harry Potter brand is valued at $15 billion dollars. In fact, the record-breaking series of books and films has made J.K. Rowling the first billionaire from writing.
So what branding lessons can we learn from the young wizard of Hogwarts?
1. Always tell a great story.
Your brand isn’t just a company or product. It’s a story that never ends. Brand storytelling should cast a spell—capturing the hearts and minds of your target audience. Like any great story, your brand needs structure, plot and resolution. With a narrative rich in emotion, connectivity and credibility. Sure, you have a logo and a tagline, but what makes your brand compelling and authentic? What does it feel like? What does it believe? What’s its purpose?
2. Create your own world.
What makes J.K. Rowling a genius is that she created a complex and magical world of wizardry, with its own society, customs, characters and language. Your brand should do the same to add authenticity and depth. You can create a unique world for your brand in many ways. Your website. Your tradeshow booth. The way you package and brand your R&D and support programs. Unique terminology you coin for features and benefits. What’s your Quidditich?
3. Stay true to your brand.
Harry Potter is true to himself. More importantly, the Harry Potter franchise is true to itself. Every aspect of the brand works together, from the books to the films to the Universal Studio's attraction, to the recent release of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. There’s nothing out of place. No weird brand proliferations like Harry Potter Shoes or Harry Potter Coffee. Don’t be a Muggle. Keep a keen focus, and avoid products and services that aren’t “on brand.”
4. Be a fighter.
Harry Potter is a little guy, but he’s scrappy. He has passion, purpose and a sense of destiny. We all have our Voldermorts, but we can never back down. Be aggressive, fast on your feet, and think three chess moves ahead. For your target audience, always make it a fight of good against evil. And always, always, do the right thing. Remember, people love the underdog. You don’t have to be the biggest, You just have to be the best.
5. Keep your audience wanting more.
In 2007, The Deathly Hallows, the seventh and final volume in the Harry Potter series, became the fastest-selling book in history with more than 11 million copies sold worldwide in just 24 hours. Wouldn’t you love those kind of numbers for your next product release? You can, by using the 4 points above to keep your target audience loving your brand. And by leveraging inbound branding to create a rich experience that delivers on different levels. Maximize your website, blogs, social media and SEO. And be a wizard when it comes providing tons of meaningful content and contact points.