Do Readers Care about Publishers’ Branding?

In Discussion by Edward Nawotka

me gusta leer

By Edward Nawotka

In today’s lead story we look at the digital marketing strategies of two Spanish publishers, Maeva and Random House Mondadori. In the article, Carmen Ospina, digital manager for RHM, discussed the launch of the publisher’s consumer portal, entitled, Me Gusta Leer [“I Like to Read”].

“We decided that [the publisher] brand really is not important for us,” she said. “For a few imprints it is, like Lumen for instance, that’s when we develop specific pages on Facebook. But our strategy online has been to develop a community around Me Gusta Leer and Me Gusta Escribir rather than Random House Mondadori because we think people would never know who we are and will never care.”

This defies conventional marketing wisdom. Of course, some publishers have iconic brand identity — Penguin, Taschen, Knopf — while others are all but anonymous. Some smaller, specialist publishers have also managed to achieve a brand of their own and been able to capitalize on it in the form of customer subscriptions.

Online, branding can mean even less, considering just how few customers buy direct from publishers. Then, in other instances — such as the case of Tor.com — the publisher has used the brand to promote not only their SF books, but reading in general.

So, the question is: Do readers care about publishers brands? Is it a waste of money to pour money into online branding that will go unnoticed, and rather, develop a new consumer friendly online identity?

Tell us what you think in the comments below or via Twitter using #ppdiscuss.

About the Author

Edward Nawotka

A widely published critic and essayist, Edward Nawotka serves as a speaker, educator and consultant for institutions and businesses involved in the global publishing and content industries. He was also editor-in-chief of Publishing Perspectives since the launch of the publication in 2009 until January 2016.