Creating Bestsellers, Building Brands: From South Beach to The Sonoma Diet: Part 1
K2’s days with The South Beach Diet were amazing. We may have dubbed its author, Dr. Arthur Agatston, the “Accidental Diet Doctor,” but we became the “Accidental Bestselling Diet Publicists.” It was K2’s first “Oscar moment” in publishing: We helped turn a book into a brand and a national phenomenon. It was phenomenal.
But like any good story, an end had to come. Three years in, success had reached plateau for K2. We all needed a change from South Beach – a change from “changing the way America eats.”
Sometimes when I want some perspective, I think back to this moment and remember how the days leading up to losing our biggest client turned out so perfectly.
Enter Meredith Publishing with a hot new book project, The Sonoma Diet.
Meredith wanted to build a brand around the book and its author, Dr. Connie Gutterson. And they wanted K2 to lead the charge. They offered us a piece of the upside plus our fee. How exciting and humbling. Meredith had sought K2 out and offered us skin in the game. They wanted K2 to be TRUE partners…. Every potential success would be our potential success.
Under one condition, they said: You can’t work on South Beach. Enter Sonoma!
K2 got involved in every aspect of The Sonoma Diet’s marketing and publicity, even sales. Meredith asked us to put together a dream team so we begged Waterfront Media (now Everyday Health – the #1 health and wellness website), which had set up South Beach online, and they finally caved after three overtures.
What I have always loved about Sonoma is the lifestyle. It is not a diet. South Beach wanted to change the way America eats but then changed direction. Sonoma has the foods built in – real foods (even wine). Its foundation is a true way of life backed by Connie, a wonderful woman, mom, writer, chef and teacher who actually cooks for and with her kids – she even lives in California wine country.
The Sonoma Diet partnership did something amazing for K2: It became a model for our future. It re-energized us and motivated us to go way out of our publicity comfort zone.
The book did amazingly well. So well, it helped pay for K2’s new offices in 2007. And four years later, it continues to write new chapters in the K2 business book, especially for Konnections.