Corporate Eye

Pottermore and Harry Potter Brand Exceed Expectations

pottermore ebooksOver half a million people purchased Harry Potter ebooks during the first month that they were available through the Pottermore ebook store and digital universe for a total of nearly $5 million.

The site attracted 22 million visits from 7 million unique visitors during its first two weeks, and those visitors liked what they found on Pottermore. The site tracked 1 billion page impressions with the average visitor viewing 47 pages and spending 25 minutes on the site. During those first two weeks, 5 million people registered on the site and half had already been sorted into the famous Hogwarts houses.

To date, Pottermore’s immersive brand experience only includes content for the first book in the series, but Pottermore CEO Charlie Redmayne reports that book two is coming soon. In the meantime, new interactive elements, activities, and community tools will debut in the coming weeks. Redmayne says that the success of Pottermore and the Harry Potter ebook sales are exceeding expectations, which is really not surprising given the emotional attachment that consumers feel for Harry Potter — one of the most powerful relationship brands in history. Redmayne shares, “[Pottermore] has been amazingly successful and shows the power of the Harry Potter brand.”

As such, ebook sales haven’t cannibalized print book sales. Instead, print sales increased after Pottermore launched. And while piracy initially increased, it quickly decreased again because loyal Harry Potter community members wouldn’t accept illegal versions of Harry Potter ebooks. He explains, “We have demonstrated that if you make these books available in a way that people want them, and on a platform that is accessible to them, and at a price they are happy with, then generally people will choose to buy them.”

In typical Harry Potter marketing style, tease and perpetual marketing will keep consumers wanting more from the brand. That pull marketing coupled with the engaging Pottermore brand experience will ensure that the Harry Potter brands remains top-of-mind among consumers for years to come. Word-of-mouth marketing will continue to play an important role in the success of the Harry Potter brand, and the community aspects of Pottermore (which are sure to evolve in the future) will keep the conversations going.

Harry Potter might be the main character of a children’s fantasy book series, but it’s also a brand phenomenon that brands in all industries can learn from. What do you think?

Image: Pottermore

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Susan Gunelius is the author of 10 marketing, social media, branding, copywriting, and technology books, and she is President & CEO of KeySplash Creative, Inc., a marketing communications company. She also owns Women on Business, an award-wining blog for business women. She is a featured columnist for and, and her marketing-related articles have appeared on websites such as,,, and more. She has over 20 years of experience in the marketing field having spent the first decade of her career directing marketing programs for some of the largest companies in the world, including divisions of AT&T and HSBC. Today, her clients include large and small companies around the world and household brands like Citigroup, Cox Communications, Intuit, and more. Susan is frequently interviewed about marketing and branding by television, radio, print, and online media organizations, and she speaks about these topics at events around the world. You can connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or Google+.