Q&A with Jamie Raab, the Publisher Behind Warner Books’ New Name
Book Business Extra: A name change is an expensive transformation with costs from new business cards to updated Web sites, lines of products and advertising. Describe the importance of getting a name change right for other publishing companies thinking of changing their name?
Raab: At first, all I thought about was the difficulty in making people aware that we were ‘the same great publisher, just a bit grander.’ It was recognition and perception that concerned me. But as the process evolved, it became clear that there were so many details and concerns tied into a name. The logo on the book spine and elsewhere. Letterhead, Business cards, Web site, down to details like how the phone is answered. What to do as we reprint books that had the “Warner” name and logo. The list goes on and on. Yes, it’s expensive and the process is time-consuming. And you’ve got to get it right because there really are no second chances when making a change like this. One thing we did was find the best graphic designer we could, who came up with a consistent ‘style book and look’ that we never had in the past.
Not only a new logo, but a color scheme, a new look for ads and catalogs, etc. In the end, it was a wonderful opportunity to create a new and better ‘look’ for our brand. And to use the opportunity to shine the spotlight on the company and remind people of our strengths and successes. We also had to reassess our various imprints and come up with new names and logos for those imprints that had ‘Warner’ in their names (Warner Wellness, Warner Business, Warner Vision). But that’s a story unto itself.
Book Business Extra: From your perspective, what was the most difficult part of the name-change process?