Off-Brand, On the Page

October 16 2012

Last week, JK Rowling announced that she would be returning to writing children’s book, after the publication of her first adult novel The Casual Vacancy,’ whose reviews were less than stellar.

Rowling’s venture into adult fiction was watched closely as it came on the heels the final installment in her iconic Harry Potter series a few years ago.  With the phenomenal success of her children’s/young adult series behind her, to say The Casual Vacancy was a risk is an understatement.  With the Potter series, Rowling established herself as an extremely imaginative and transcendent author, whose brand came through consistently in the story of her hero, Harry.  Her brand is inspiring, advantageous, and magical.   

Critics are saying The Casual Vacancy is rather dull, and lacks the imaginative qualities she achieved in the Potter series.  It's possible that Rowling has lost sight of her core brand attributes on the most basic level as she was unable to bring the magic of the Potter series into her new work.  While returning to children’s literature may bea wise move for her, her success will depend not only on the quality of herwork, but on whether she’s still expresses the magical, adventurous, and inspiring qualities that are essential to her brand and identify her so strongly to her devoted audiences.

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Breaking Bread With The British

October 03 2012

I just can’t get enough of London this season!  In addition to my very exciting talk at the Association of Photographers in London, I will have the pleasure of presenting a half-day seminar for Dairy UK on ‘How to Become a Successful Brand: Learn How to use Branding to Expand Your Market Share.’

As I’ve continued to expand my own business into the British marketplace, an associate of mine recently sent me a link to a very posh shared workspace in Knightsbridge, near Hyde Park.  Shared workspaces are all the rage in my hometown of Brooklyn, and the amenities can vary anywhere from a half dozen private conference rooms and free coffee and tea, to an in-house full service shared printing and copying center.  But what caught my eye about the Knightsbridge office is that not only do they give you access to a temporary receptionist staff, but they also offer in-house organic caterers, who are happy to tailor their menu to your needs!  Cool!   

The potential for this niche market is brilliant, and very much on trend with the strides the British have made not only in the organic food realm, but in how they communicate the sources of their food.  More and more, packaged foods in England are labeled with both the ingredients they contain, and where they are sourced.  It’s reflective of a larger ground swell of commitment and pride in that what they produce and consume is made in Britain.  In the US, the luxury of having organic catering at a business meeting is extremely rare, and yet with our own farm-to-table movement is on the rise, (fingers crossed), shared workspaces here at home will be offering similar amenities, perhaps (fingers crossed) our shared workspaces here at home will offer similar amenities, which would be a way for them to uphold the ‘community’ aspect of their brand.

For more information on ‘How To Become a Successful Brand: Learn How to Use Branding to Expand Your Market Share,’ at Dairy UK, click here.

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