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Charles Dickens – A tale of £280 million

Posted by: Caitlin Collins on February 24, 2012

The month of February marks the 200th anniversary of Charles Dickens’ birth. In honour of this momentous event, Interbrand worked in conjunction with the BBC in an exclusive piece of research to quantify how much Dickens contributes to the UK economy annually.

And so what is Dickens worth? Drumroll please… £280 million annually, which is around £765 thousand per day! Unbelievable you say? Well let’s think about it. His characters have become some of the most memorable in literature: Fagin, Oliver, Nancy, Pip and Ebenezer Scrooge just to name a few. The number of adaptations in film, theatre and TV are countless.

And so what is driving this figure? Rita Clifton, chairman of Interbrand London, comments on the power of the Dickens brand saying “it keeps on generating sustainable value and sustainable wealth, which is the test of a strong brand.”

The strength of the brand has been driven by two things – authenticity and relevance.

In terms of authenticity, his writings are quintessentially English. They provide audiences with a look into the heritage of Britain, which conjures up a sense of nostalgia for times past. The Dickens brand has also remained relevant throughout generations. The themes in his writings range from tales of poverty and social injustice to stories of love, cruelty, redemption and courage. These themes are timeless and universal, which is why they still ring true today.

The substantial figure illustrates the longevity and ultimately the strength of the Dickens brand. One can’t help but wonder if Dickens is still making a profit 200 years after his birth, what does the future hold for the great writers of today like J.K. Rowling? We’ll have to wait and see…

Caitlin Collins (Analyst, Interbrand London)

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