In this Thursday night insight Paul Hague looks at the phenomenon of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo and argues that “product” isn’t everything.
Have you read The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo? It’s a great story, there’s no doubt about it, but the story of how the book became a bestseller is even more incredible. Written in his spare time as a hard-working journalist, Stieg Larsson first called it Men Who Hate Women. Having finished his whopping manuscript and without publishing it, he began his second book. When this was finished he wrote his third. And then he had a heart attack and died. Only after his death were the books published.
The publishing of his books is another incredible story. The rights to the books in the UK, where it began its huge success, were bought by Quercus, a small and unknown backstreet publisher. The owner of Quercus became so desperate to shift copies he gave them away to people in parks and he planted dozens on the back seats of taxis and on tube trains. Today Quercus has moved to luxurious offices in Bloomsbury Square, and its revenues trebled to £15m in the first six months of 2010 on the back of the Larsson phenomenon.
So what can we learn from this? It seems to me there are at least five lessons:
My insight today is that we should always take care to put as much emphasis on the other parts of the marketing mix as the product itself. Ralph Waldo Emerson once said that, If a man can write a better book, preach a better sermon, or make a better mousetrap, than his neighbour, though he build his house in the woods, the world will make a beaten path to his door. I am not so sure that The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo would have had such a large path beaten to its door without a little bit of marketing help.
This entry was posted on Thursday, October 28th, 2010 at 4:03 pm and is filed under Marketing, Paul Hague, Product Development, Routes To Market, Thursday Night Insight. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
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