What does a 37-year old character and a British discount retailer have in common? It’s an unlikely pairing at first thought, but the Harry Potter range at Primark has been partly responsible for the clothing brand seeing a significant increase in its UK market share.

Consumers have gone crazy for Harry Potter merchandise since its film launch by Warner Bros in 1999, with fans desperate to get their hands-on replica wands, scarves and gowns.

The recent clothing and homeware range at Primark has done so well that they now have a dedicated Harry Potter section at the London Tottenham Court Road store, with a store takeover attracting huge crowds during its August launch.

The simple fact that Primark has managed to persuade a generation of young adults to don clothing which sports a character they loved as eight or nine year olds, is no mean feat. So, how did they do it?

1

Social media

For a retailer who doesn’t have an ecommerce store, Primark has invested heavily in maintaining a social presence on almost all platforms. Their Instagram has 4.9m followers, with posts ranging from picture-perfect flat lays to lifestyle shots of the products in situ. A use of emoji’s and encouragement to ‘Tag the biggest Harry Potter fan you know’ has seen their Harry Potter-related posts see above 40k engagements.
2

Press coverage

Creating a buzz around the products has not just been restricted to social. Press coverage of the range on sites such as Cosmopolitan, The Daily Mail and The Sun have all helped to ensure the range is in demand. The Sun covered a story this August regarding the £3 bunting which had sold out, with many customers diverting to Twitter to try to locate the decoration in store. Seeding out press releases with newsworthy angles, and keeping the media up-to-date with a wide stock of product imagery available, has allowed the range to be showcased both on and offline.
3

Bloggers

Primark is one of those lucky brands for blogger outreach as many mainstream bloggers already shop at the store because of the low prices, and therefore they don’t need to do much more to create a Harry Potter mania in the blogosphere. A mere look on YouTube and you’ll find tons of ‘Harry Potter Primark Hauls’ with some receiving up to 295k views. Bloggers succeed on producing content that’s relevant to their audience, so if there’s a hype on social media about the range – why wouldn’t they discuss it.
4

Content marketing

Although Primark’s website doesn’t allow you to buy online, you can still review products and they have a well-structured ‘features’ section. A large number of features were produced on all the Harry Potter products, ranging genders and ages. Google searches in the UK for ‘Harry Potter Primark’ see an average of 8.1k per month, mere compared to ‘Harry Potter’ alone which sees upwards of 368k per month, but the interesting fact is how these two terms overlay. Prior to the August launch of the Primark range, searches for ‘Harry Potter’ were on a downward trend, with both peaking in August. The content produced by Primark is shared on their social media channels to increase reach, with optimised images and content helping organic search performance.

So what can we learn from Primark? Social media, outreach and content is key when looking to develop noise in a crowded market, but doing all the above with messages that correctly reach the target market is crucial to success.

If you’d like to speak to us about social media, content marketing or PR, just drop us an email and we’d be happy to help: hello@pacecomms.co.uk