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Harry Potter: The Story of a Global Business Phenomenon Hardcover – August 19, 2008

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Editorial Reviews


“Gunelius’ book demystifies the success of the Harry Potter series.  While others have called the phenomenon “magical,” this book proves that it was really the result of a carefully crafted strategy ­— a strategy that any business can replicate and profit from.  Unless you’d rather not be the Harry Potter of your industry — read and learn!” Drew McLellan, author of 'The Marketing Minute' blog and Top Dog at McLellan Marketing Group
“Susan Gunelius recounts in rich detail the real life story behind the marketing and branding of a story book phenomenon. She takes us through the triumphant diffusion of a glorious product using emotional communication through word of mouth, the internet, advertising, merchandising and other viral branding strategies. I specially liked the many mini-case studies, using a wealth of information on various branding campaigns, dispersed throughout the book. This book is a must for anyone interested in the marketing of imaginative products. It makes the crucial point that consistency and differentiation account for marketing success.” Arjun Chaudhuri, Thomas R. Fitzgerald, S.J. Professor of Marketing, Charles F. Dolan School of Business, Fairfield University, Connecticut, U.S.A.

“A comprehensive look at the marketing around the Harry Potter franchise – and what steps J.K. Rowling and her team of publishers and marketers took to make Harry Potter into a worldwide phenomenon.” John Laughbaum, Vice President, Channel Marketing and Sales Development, Aflac Incorporated

About the Author

SUSAN GUNELIUS is President & CEO of KeySplash Creative, Inc. (, a full-service marketing communications provider.  With over 15 years of marketing experience, she spent over a decade of her career developing and executing marketing programs for some of the largest companies in the world, including divisions of AT&T and HSBC. Gunelius is the author of several business-related books, and her marketing articles have appeared in numerous publications, including,,,, and more. Susan also writes several business and marketing blogs, including her blog for women working in the field of business at and her company blog at 

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 216 pages
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan (June 15, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 023020323X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0230203235
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,215,202 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Susan Gunelius is President and CEO of KeySplash Creative, Inc., a marketing communications provider offering content marketing, branding, copywriting, social media marketing services. Her clients include Citibank, Cox Communications,, and a variety of large and small organizations around the world.

With over 20 years of marketing, branding, and copywriting experience, Susan is a seasoned corporate professional having spent much or her career developing and executing marketing programs for global and national organizations, including divisions of AT&T and HSBC.

Susan is the author of 10 books about marketing, branding, social media, and technology, and several of Susan's books (which have been translated into multiple languages) are used in university classrooms. As a professional speaker, Susan lectures professionals and students across the globe about marketing, social media, branding and more. She has also been interviewed by a wide variety of television, radio, print, and online media organizations about marketing-related topics.

Susan is a featured columnist for and, and her marketing-related articles have appeared on websites such as,, and many more.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
First, I like the book and it's a good addition to the HP knowledge base.

But, boy or boy is it repetitious. I'm sure it could have been reduced by around 60 pages and not suffered the loss. If I read a single time that "Harry Potter was successful because it was 'a good book'", I think I could have thrown the book into the shredder.

It does seem an awkwardly structured book, so that you find yourself reading basically the same information just presented from a different angle of the overall theme.

Then there are the really irritating obvious examples:

'Amazon held an online contest to find the "Harryest" town in America' (p77)
'Amazon held a contest to find the "Harryest" town in the United States' (p102)

and even worse, on opposite pages!

'...a bold strategy for Amazon who chose not to generate revenue directly from Harry Potter book sales (p76)
'Amazon...chose to forego generating a large profit (if any) on Harry Potter...' (p76)

Repetition is a well-tried learning tool, but honestly, key ideas were repeated so often in so many different context that I found it actually very confusing and caused massive deja-vu-itis...
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Format: Hardcover
From J.K. Rowling's clear concept for her Harry Potter series to her eventual sales figures, the success of her UK publisher Bloomsbury and US publisher Scholastic in producing, promoting and marketing the books combined with Warner Bros' corresponding movies, the concept of brand is the biggest phenomenon underlying the most outstanding publishing story in the world to date. Susan Gunelius has done a superior job telling the story.
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By bro on April 17, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Absolutely, very well thought out and detailed book concerning why "pottermainia" happened. Good product, emotional involvement, WOM and online buzz marketing, tease/ perceptual marketing and both brand consistency and restraint.
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By Julia Suzuki on March 25, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
What a marketeer Susan is ~ this book is awesome and written with great clarity from start to finish. A 'must' read for all authors who need to understand global brand marketing.
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