How to Create a Consumer-Facing Brand, According to Harvard Business Publishing CEO David Wan
Harvard Business Publishing is a unique press in the fact that it manages both book acquisition and publishing as well as a popular magazine brand, the Harvard Business Review. The combination of the two has allowed Harvard Business Publishing to develop a strong, recognizable consumer brand that now spans events, ebooks, HBR.org, and more. Its digital assets, especially HBR.org, allow the book publisher to learn more about its audience and actually develop book ideas based on reader interest.
But this wasn't always the case, notes CEO and president David Wan in an interview with Book Business. It wasn't until 2010 when Harvard Business Publishing combined its siloed assets -- a book publishing arm, a magazine, an under-utilized website, and a slew of newsletters -- that it was able to create a consumer-facing publishing brand and significantly expand its audience.
Wan will share the reasoning behind the strategy change and its results at the Yale Publishing Course (YPC) in July. The course gathers a diverse faculty of book industry leaders to share forward-looking strategies with industry peers. You can learn more about the program details and registration here. Following Wan shares a sneak peak of his YPC session.
How did you unite the different content brands at Harvard Business Publishing?
What really sparked the initiative, which began in 2010, was bringing on board a couple of new leaders to the HBR family. Adi Ignatius, former editor of Time Asia, became our editor-in-chief and Joshua Macht, also from Time, joined as publisher. At that point I decided we should integrate all of those siloes and create a unified Harvard Business Review group so that all the editorial and content development would be reporting to one editor-in-chief and all of the commercial and business aspects would report under a group publisher.