Harry Potter and the power of brand to drive sales

Arguments disputing the value of a recognised brand in driving sales have been blown out of the water this week – all thanks to Harry Potter.

Well, perhaps that should be thanks to J.K. Rowling the creator of the Harry Potter book series that spun out into a cinema success story.

If you haven’t heard, J.K. Rowling made a dramatic confession this week: She’s actually written another book under the nom de plume of Robert Galbraith. 

So what’s that got to do with the power of brand? Well, just take a look at what happened to the sales of the “Robert Galbraith” book The Cuckoos Calling when it was disclosed that the writer was actually Rowling.  Yep, sales went through the roof.  In fact, JK Rowling’s publishers have reprinted an additional 140,000 copies of the Cuckoo’s Calling. 

Prior to Rowling being “outed” as the author, the book had sold just 1500 copies, although “Robert Galbraith” had received some praise from the reviewers. (Which is really what J.K. Rowling wanted).

Anyway, the power of the J.K. Rowling brand means, in the space of a couple of days, the book rocketed to the top of the Amazon bestseller chart.

So next time someone tells you that a brand does nothing for sales, tell them that’s all a load of magical nonsense.  


*For the literary pedantics out there, yes J.K. Rowling also achieved success with an adult book under her own name, The Casual Vacancy.  (I've read it and enjoyed it a lot).