HEC-Ecole de gestion de l'Université de Liège
HEC-Ecole de gestion de l'Université de Liège

Analysis of the brand community of Harry Potter: the success of the boy who lived through the generations

Hauffman, Emma ULiège
Promotor(s) : Standaert, Willem ULiège
Date of defense : 5-Sep-2022/10-Sep-2022 • Permalink :
Title : Analysis of the brand community of Harry Potter: the success of the boy who lived through the generations
Author : Hauffman, Emma ULiège
Date of defense  : 5-Sep-2022/10-Sep-2022
Advisor(s) : Standaert, Willem ULiège
Committee's member(s) : Baiwir, Lisa ULiège
Language : English
Keywords : [en] brand community
[en] media fandom
[en] Harry Potter
[en] Millennials
[en] generation Z
Discipline(s) : Business & economic sciences > Marketing
Institution(s) : Université de Liège, Liège, Belgique
Degree: Master en sciences de gestion, à finalité spécialisée en international strategic marketing
Faculty: Master thesis of the HEC-Ecole de gestion de l'Université de Liège


[en] Harry Potter, the wizard who was worth $25 billion thanks to continuous products releases, a
strong brand community and a bit of magic. This thesis analyses the case of the Harry Potter brand
community by segmenting it between two generations.
Literature defines brand communities with three markers: shared consciousness, rituals and
meanings and moral responsibility (Muniz & O’Guinn, 2001). In addition to that, Burgess and Jones
(2018) characterize the media fandoms as an emotional attached version of brand communities.
Chaney et al. (2007) teach that generation Y and Z have a need for constant change. What does the HP
community to retain and attract new members?
In this thesis, I use a qualitative method, conducting exploratory interviews to determine the
motives of each generation to enter and stay inside the community. The two generations were chosen
because they differentiate on the factor of growing up with the saga or not.
My results show the younger generation as more materialistic and a heavier consumer of
merchandising. While Millennials associate the community and the brand to memories, with a more
emotional dimension.
The findings lead to think that brands need to be able to renew themselves due to the need
for change of both generations and to the Gen-Zers’ involvement in many BCs. The brands also need
to be careful and keep up with the expectations of the original fans.
My hope for this thesis is that whoever is brought to read it, will want to (re-)discover Harry
Potter afterwards.



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  • Hauffman, Emma ULiège Université de Liège > Master sc. gest., à fin.


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