Saturday, October 13, 2012

Branding Is A Daunting Task

Waterstones have proudly unveiled a number of key branding messages aimed at establishing their bookselling credentials on the High Street. Today they took a whole page colour advert in the Saturday Daily Telegraph main paper to promote one of their new brand messages,

‘Even the most ardent reader will never reach the end of a good bookshop.’

The page features a collage of some 36 x 36 book jackets (1296) clearly demonstrating the range on offer and with the new message plastered over them.

The doyen of bookselling, Fred Bass of the Strand in New York proudly claims 18 miles of books and range is something all booksellers are proud of. Sadly Waterstones can’t manage 1296 books without having to resort to duplicating many of the books in the collage. Some are repeated not once but up to 5 times and that is only on those that are visible behind the branding headline!

Perhaps there is a subliminal case of product placement in play. Perhaps the publishers have to pay to get their jackets on the page and some could not resist a multi-buy option.

We could have a great competition identifying the repeats and like some deliberate mistake game see who gets the most placements and which book scores the most repeats. Simon Cowell, Bruno, JK Rowling and others all seem to be featured 4 or 5 times alone!

The devil is always in the detail and although we had great fun circling the repeats it could be seen by some as an insult to readers who may quickly ‘reach the end of a good bookshop.’ 

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