When Harry Potter was accepted to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, kids across the globe rejoiced. Perhaps there was still hope! Hope that someday, they would find their acceptance letter curled into a carton of eggs, or tied to the leg of an owl swooping overhead. While unfortunately we’re all forced to accept that we won’t be boarding the Hogwarts Express come September 1st, the magic lives on every time we crack open one of J.K Rowling’s books.
There may not be any more Harry Potter books or movies on the way (sigh), but that doesn’t mean that we’ve exhausted all of the lessons that can be learned from the books. Check out the list below to see what valuable lessons marketers can learn from the first three books in the Harry Potter series.
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
When Harry Potter is thrown from the world of muggles into one full of chocolate covered frogs, friendly half giants, and transfiguration lessons, he doesn’t know what to expect. Although Hogwarts may seem like it’s full of magic, there’s something sinister going on under the surface that will lead 11-year-old Harry to confront the darkest wizard of all time.
Marketing Lesson: Don’t underestimate the little guy, because even the smallest heroes can triumph against all odds. Small businesses may feel just as daunted as Harry did when faced with their bigger competitors. But if Harry has taught us one thing, it’s that determination and resourcefulness can go a long way. Small businesses are lucky in that they’re often more agile, personable, and innovative than their larger competitors. So if you’re a small business, don’t count yourself out!
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Harry’s second year is fraught with danger from the start, from flying car crashes to disastrous quidditch matches. Not only that, but the legendary Chamber of Secrets has been opened by the heir of Slytherin. “The boy who lived” may be completely innocent, but the lingering suspicion that he’s the one responsible could tarnish his reputation for good.
Marketing Lesson: Harry’s struggle to prove his innocence in the second book shows the importance of your brand’s reputation. If consumers have a negative perception of your brand, it doesn’t always matter how great your product is. Brand identity depends on how your consumers perceive your brand, not how you see it. Make sure you are monitoring social media conversations happening around your company, and always adhere to your brand standards and company voice.
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
In the third installment in the series, Harry learns a little bit more about his parents and his past. Really, the third book is all about relationships — the relationship between Harry, his parents, Sirius Black, Remus Lupin, Peter Pettigrew, Voldemort, and Dumbledore. Oh, and not to mention the dementors.
Marketing Lesson: The people on your team are your most important asset. Although James Potter, Remus Lupin, Peter Pettigrew, and Sirius Black functioned well together as a team, they all had very different strengths and weaknesses. Your marketing team works the same way. While some people might be great at creating original marketing content, others’ strengths may lie in lead generation or SEO. Place each of your team members in the role where they can make the biggest impact.
Stay tuned for “7 Marketing Lessons Learned from Harry Potter (Part 2)” next Friday to see what insights we can gain from books four through seven!