On June 30th, 1997, the world was introduced to Harry Potter. Born from the imagination of British author, J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone grew to become the first of a seven part series that would sweep the world for years to come.
As J.K. Rowling wrote, she developed these characters to grow with the readers; her publishers translated the series into 67 languages, and when the series was made into films by Warner Brothers Pictures, the brand was marketed globally.
What does this have to do with web development? Everything. The strategy that made the series so successful can be duplicated by web development companies.
Harry Potter changed, adapted, and grew as the readers grew. As the audience became more complex, so did the stories. Rowling created the character with the ability to grow, change, and adapt to the current climate.
Web developers must do the same. Creating a program with the ability to grow, change, and adapt is imperative for long-term success. The team behind Harry Potter has created the “product” for global use; by translating into nearly 70 languages, people around the globe are able to share in the story and experience. The Potter Team anticipated the growth and groomed the brand to go global.
When the brand became hugely successful, the Potter Empire was able to grow and create products and branded events to market itself. For years, the Harry Potter installments astounded readers and viewers alike – the fan base grew larger, more devoted and more widespread. People trusted that Harry Potter would deliver; they trusted it would meet and even exceed their expectations. They provided what we web developers like to call “seamless updates.”
In addition to delivering a quality product, Warner Brothers also worked to provide an experience beyond movie theaters by creating behind-the-scenes walking tours of the film series’ sets. Building trust in a brand is about giving “users” the opportunity to learn more about the product’s creation and provide incentives for loyalty. Web developers strive to create a similar following for their programs: devoted users that trust the product and become dedicated brand ambassadors.
Though the glamorous world of web development may not come with screaming fans, costumes, or a ride at Universal Studios, successful web developers do have one thing in common with the Potter phenomenon: dedicated advocates, the ability to grow with the product and longtail, lasting success.