New Year, old story…

New Year, old story…

The Passenger & the Penguin

One of the reasons I wrote The Prisoner & The Penguin was that I realised that the best brands were increasingly recognising how important telling their own stories could be, and I wanted to encourage other brands to do the same.  

Other reasons included the fact that I liked the stories themselves and saw their potential as educational tools for marketers and businessmen alike.

So I was delighted when just as I finished reading “Quiet” by Susan Cain which is published by Penguin, I came across the penultimate page in the book and their was another great little story about the Penguin brand. It read…

‘He just wanted a decent book to read…

Not too much to ask, is it? It was 1935 when Allen Lane, Managing Director of Bodley Head Publishers, stood on a platform at Exeter railway station looking for something good to read on his journey back to London. 

His choice was limited to popular magazines and poor-quality paperbacks – the same choice he faced every day by the vast majority of readers, few of whom could afford hardbacks. Lane’s disappointment and subsequent anger at the range of books generally available led him to found a company – and change the world

“We believed in the existence in this country of a vast reading public for intelligent books at a low price, and staked everything on it”

The quality paperback had arrived – and not just in bookshops. Lane was adamant that his Penguins should appear in chain stores and tobacconists, and should cost no more than a package of cigarettes. 

Reading habits (and cigarette prices) have changed since 1935, but Penguin still believes in publishing the best books for everyone to enjoy. We still believe that quality books published passionately and responsibly make the world a better place.’

And the moral is every brand should have at least one story and be proud to tell it. What’s your brand’s story?


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