Written on the 17 July 2011 by By Sushma Waller @ Jump the Q
Since 1997, JK Rowling has captivated and enthralled audiences worldwide through the magical world of Harry Potter. Rowling has been the mastermind and creator of the Harry Potter Empire from the publication of the first novel, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, to the record breaking release of the final movie adaptation, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part Two.
No author could ever predict that their work would land them as one the richest women in world, or the title of ‘Most Influential Women in Britain.’ This article will discuss how JK Rowling shaped the Harry Potter and build a brand name that landed her a billion dollar empire.
On her official fan site Rowling stated that, “I was travelling back to London on my own on a crowded train, that the idea for Harry Potter simply fell into my head.” She also describes how she pondered for four hours before officially beginning the writing of the first novel that night at home. The idea for Harry Potter first occurred to her in 1990 but the final manuscript was not completed until 1993. Surprisingly many agents and publishers turned down the opportunity to publish the novel, and it wasn’t until 1996 that Bloomsbury finally made their first offer. The success and fame that followed the popularity of the books was extremely unanticipated.
Amazon.com recommends the debut Harry Potter novel is suitable for children aged 8 – 12.. Sushma Waller, a Harry Potter fan, states " Like the majority of Harry Potter readers, I was 9 years old when I first read Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s stone. I was instantly spellbound. I was instantly mesmerized by Harry, his friends, Hogwarts, Quidditch, Diagon Alley, and everything else that came with being in the magical world. The simplicity and innocence that this book showed opened up a new world to readers and leaving the final chapter open for a sequel kept everybody wanting more."
Sequels to the debut novel followed in 1998, 1999 and 2000. The forth book, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire broke sales records in both the UK and the US, with book shops selling out of copies in the first day. Each chapter in Harry’s life tacked new and exciting issues, and what made these books so relatable was that the characters were coinciding their experiences with that of their readers such as bullying, coming of age, and love; but in a fantasy land filled with magic and adventure. As the characters in the novels matured and grew up, so did the readers.
With the success of the first four novels, it was only a matter of time before there would be a movie adaptation. In 2001, Warner Brothers produced the film of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. The film was very successful and generally did not stray from the plot or dialogue from the novel. As predicted, the success of the films increased sales of the books. Brothers and Bloomsbury both cashed in on merchandise and book and cast tours. Similarly to the novel, the success of the first film opened up an even bigger market for success.
Reviews for Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone:
• “What a feast for children! Long, and engrossing. Kids will love it!”
• “A spectacular franchise takes flight”
One very important asset that JK Rowling has is her deep understanding of her target audience. Firstly, there are many different dimensions to the Harry Potter novels, which make the stories appealing to a wide age group. The niche market that JK Rowling does hold though is the younger generation that grew up with Harry Potter. These readers and viewers have an immense connection and understanding of Harry Potter himself. As Rachel Quilty (2011) from Jump the Q describes; knowing your target market will make or break your personal brand. Target marketing is choosing a specific audience for your personal brand based on their culture and growth potential.
The three remaining novels were released across 2003, 2005 and 2007. Each of these novels broke records consecutively for being the fastest selling book of all time. Warner Bros released the first 6 film adaptations throughout the years 2001 – 2009.
The final installment, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows was released in two segments, the first in November 2010 and the second in July 2011, 10 years after the release of the first film. JK Rowling had already predicted that she was going to be writing these novels across a long period of time. Harry Potter is a great example of brand consistency, as there are particular themes that are maintained throughout the series. It is also important to note how the style of the stories change considerably over time as Rowling adapts to her readers and the growing age group. As each novel was released, the characters would tackle diffrerent, coming of age issues. In the final book, the main characters are now adults, and therefore so are the readers that have followed the books from the very beginning.
Throughout the years the story evolved from a childlike fantasy to having a much darker plot. In doing this, JK Rowling has successfully maintained an audience across 10 years, which, considering the age of this audience is extremely impressive.
Ticket sales for the final installment of Harry Potter broke records 2 days prior to its release date. According to Box Office Mojo, Harry Potter is already the highest grossing movie franchise in history, with a total gross of a little over $2billion. These statistics have been calculated with the US release of the film still to come, so there is no telling how much higher that number will get. The positive feedback surrounding the release of the film has been overwhelming.
The Harry Potter culture that has been created surrounding all aspects of the brand has been a once in lifetime experience.
• “You may never see something like this again” – Leonard Maltin
• “A spectacular and satisfying end to the movies and characters we know and love.” – Bonnie Laufer, Tribute Entertainment.
• “A wonderful end to the best franchise in movie history!” – Bill Bregoli
• “A perfect Climax to a classic TV series” – Larry King, CNN
As well as writing the seven Harry Potter novels, JK Rowling as mass marketed her brand by writing three supplement Harry Potter books. There is now a Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando USA, and she will release the online Harry Potter experience, Pottermore, in October this year.
Harry Potter is now a global brand worth an estimated £7 billion, and the last four books have consecutively set records as the fastest selling books in history. The series has been translated into 65 languages. To all the adults who read the books or watched the movies, to the young children who have gained interest in the last few years, but mostly to the people who grew up with the Harry Potter phenomenon, we are all witnessing an end of an era.
JK Rowling captivated readers of all ages in a time where technology sparked more interest in the younger generation. It is highly unlikely we will ever witness the absorption into a fantasy world to this proportion again in our lifetime.
Rachel Quilty, Personal Branding Strategist, International Speaker, Author and CEO of Jump the Q believes, " Personal branding is about seeing who you could become. JK Rowlings took years to finally realise and acknowledge in her heart she was a writer. And when she stepped into her life purpose the magic begun."
Learn more on how you can turn your big idea into a dream come true at http://jumptheq.com.au/jump-the-q-brand-yourself-workshop.html
For more great resources go to http://www.Jump the Q.com.au today!
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