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Platform 9 3/4

The Boy Who Lived for Branding


Making of Harry Potter WB Studios

The story of Harry Potter on paper and screen, is a gripping story from both a fan and marketing perspective. They have managed to create 7 Harry Potter books, 8 films, and the ‘Making of Harry Potter Warner Bros Studio Tour’ in Leavesden, London. The films have had 9 Oscar Nominations, made 6.37 Billion Dollars and have taken 19.41 hours of our lives.

Harry Potter managed to make itself world known through its clever marketing techniques. The studio tour opened in 2012, and in 2015 still manages to get booked up months in advance, letting in 590 members of the public every hour. But even after all the films have finished they’re still advertising Harry Potter on Facebook, with memorable quotes from the movie being posted on a daily basis. By being consistent they keep their fans waiting for the next film, ‘Fantastic Beasts’ to come to cinemas, with little teasers being released on social networks. Many of the guides on the Harry Potter tour also mention ‘Fantastic Beasts’ in their talks, publicising the new book J.K Rowling has released.

The Harry Potter tour manages to keep the public interested, by reinventing the tour with new themes and ideas so the public continue to visit. I was fortunate enough to visit the Harry Potter tour last weekend. The tour started with a walk through the big castle entrance doors into the main hall. They used special lighting to emphasise the amazing original costumes the actors wore throughout the films. I went through into the first ‘soundstage’ and it was filled with all the original set, I got to see the Grifindor Common Room, original broomsticks, Hagrid’s home, the Ministry of Magic and much more.

Hogwarts Express

I then went through to platform 9 ¾, I instantly knew what we would see next before seeing anything else by the bold 9 ¾ logo shown to the left. They were selling merchandise next to the Hogwarts express train with this same logo on.

I then went through into the backlot where I saw Harry Potter’s home and the famous bridge from Hogwarts.

I then went into the second sound room and saw how all the animatronics and special effects were created. I got to see how 300 fibre optic lights were made into the original design of the Hogwarts Castle to look like people were walking down the corridors, and how it took 70 people to create. The entire tour was fantastic and I just couldn’t believe the amount of people that were there and how they have managed to make it so popular after all the films have finished.

So the question is, how have they managed it? By having a solid brand.



How to form a solid and successful brand:

• Have a clear vision

Make sure that you have a clear vision for your business and know what direction you would like to drive it in. Then you need to think about designing a brand to suit your vision – using colours, fonts and styles which are relevant to your business. Don’t forget to be creative though, as your brand will need to stand out from the crowd, especially if you have a lot of competition. If you create guidelines for your brand, such as what fonts and complementing colours can be used with your brand, then if you follow them you will keep a consistent image.

• Story telling

Hogwarts in WB StudioYou need your company to come across well, keeping your clients updated, showing your progression and development. Your advertising campaigns need to connect on an emotional level with your audience, taking them on an “emotional journey”. The Harry Potter tour did exactly this by showing clips of Harry Potter at the beginning of the tour with the cast concluding the films and how much work went into them, how much publicity they got and how it changed many people’s lives. They got people interested by creating an emotional journey with such amazing story telling. We were able to connect to the characters by following their journey through the tour.

We started the tour in the famous great Hall, it was breath-taking and looked exactly like the film, we were able to connect with the set and it really grabbed everyone’s attention. Throughout the tour they did not disappoint-they continued to show us original sets and costumes. They had an amazing finale by showing us the Hogwarts Castle which was hand-made. It left everyone in amazement at how great it looked and made everyone want to go around the tour for a second time. The story of the tour made everyone really connect with the Harry Potter brand, made sure they continued to keep sales and interest throughout its books and films, even after the series had concluded, by their continuous tweets, videos and statuses.

Create a solid logo

By creating a solid easy to identify logo you enable your company to be recognised nationwide. Harry Potter’s logo is a solid colour with a dramatic font, it draws the eye in. It is versatile and can be printed on a small and large scale. You need your logo to be versatile to be advertised wherever possible. It also needs to be memorable, by having the title in ‘Harry Potter’ logo it’s easy to remember. It is good to have a theme throughout your logo and business so that they link and stay consistent.

• Stay committed to building your brand

If you stay committed to building a strong brand for your business and be consistent on experiences and marketing your brand, your customers will think of you first when they need a service that your business is able to offer. There will always be a point when you need to rethink your brand, and give it a refresh to make sure it stays current – so make sure to leave room for improvement as your brand and business evolves.

I hope my experience at Harry Potter Tour and branding tips have helped and inspired you to make any necessary adjustments to build a strong brand for your business.


If you have any branding queries please contact us at GML Consulting or visit our branding page.