A connected world and increased movement – be this for travel, work or simply setting down roots in a new country – means a global economy, and an increase in diversity.
A recent BBC poll found a rise of people who identify themselves as global citizens, rather than national. The BBC states, “The trend is particularly marked in emerging economies, where people see themselves as outward looking and internationally minded.” Yet in industrialized nations this attitude “seems to be heading in the opposite direction.”
A greater awareness of global issues, cultures and histories, from a young age can help to change this. Robin Barone, CEO and author at Diplomat Books, is hoping to achieve just that; educating children to help improve their understanding and curiosity about the world through her stories.
What does Diplomat Books aim to do, and how does this connect to today’s trends and consumer behaviors?
The emergence of the global citizen and a global community is one that I am very passionate about. A global citizen could be someone nationality, heritage or current geographic location are all different, and they recognize the importance of understanding different perspectives, and can navigate cultural differences and communicate with others. This is also driven by digital tools that enable communications in real-time across the planet. My children’s book series was created to teach children about the world in early education with the intent that it will foster greater levels of respect and compassion for others.
When it comes to buying behaviors, consumers purchase similar products largely due to recommendations first. Quality is the second factor that determines and influences its shelf life. I have worked to create a high quality product that people will recommend. In fact, our growth has been largely attributed to brand value and word of mouth.
So, tell us a bit more about Diplomat Books.
Diplomat Book is a children’s travel book series. The books present a story that is actually a reflection on my own adventures travelling. It educates kids in a fun way about different cultures across the globe. In our first book, Where is Robin, Robin the book travels across America, visiting and learning about iconic places and stories from the Grand Canyon to the Big Apple. The series is illustrated by Robyn Mitchell, with her unique blend of color and detail, bringing these tales to life.
How did you come to found Diplomat Books?
I actually have a background in real estate. But I have always had a creative instinct, and a love for travel. I have lived in many different places across the world, including France, Singapore, and Buenos Aires, and I have visited nearly 60 countries. Diplomat Books was a passion project for me. It started in 2012 as an Indiegogo campaign. As soon as we secured national distribution it really took off. I have toured the country doing book readings at schools and events, and our customers have really propelled the business through recommendations and word-of-mouth. We have received great feedback on the quality of production, structure of the journey and the inspirational tone.
Which is your biggest customer demographic?
Our primary customer has been the aunt or grandparent type, followed by educators. They are electronically savvy and the power of referral is the easiest way to connect with them.
What emerging trends currently excite you in the education industry?
Elementary curriculum is finally addressing the need to evolve the way in which we educate children. We are seeing the biggest changes in the mediums and delivery of content, providing a greater choice for families. There has been a rise of learning outside of the classroom through secondary caregivers, using different resources.This brings an opportunity for new businesses, with different ideas. It’s an exciting time for us.
What are the next steps and plans for future growth for Diplomat Books?
I am currently finishing books for six American cities – New York, Philadelphia, Washington D.C., Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco – for this winter to support a national launch. The series will then be followed by Europe and continue along my travel journey across the world.