Four Lessons Game of Thrones Can Teach Us

Four Lessons Game of Thrones Can Teach Us he fictional continent of Westeros, from the hit A Song of Ice and Fire fantasy novels (and I guess there’s a TV show or something, too?), is divided into seven kingdoms. Each of these is ruled by a “Great House,” or what we would call noble families. Lesser houses hold lands within the kingdoms, as well. Game of Thrones title card Via HBO If you’re a fan of HBO’s adaptation, Game of Thrones, you probably know all of this already. (If you’re new to the series, I’ve basically just caught you up, minus one or two details. You can probably watch the season 6 premiere on April 24th without feeling like you’ve missed much.) What you may not realize is that each of these houses, great and small, has a sigil (or heraldic badge), usually derived from a local animal, to represent their house. And each has “house words,” a phrase that embodies their values.

You Might Recognize These in Business Terms

a logo and a slogan. House words and sigils are a way of communicating their ideals, their principles and, dare I say it, their brand to the other houses and their own common folk. Some are very direct, some are more circumspect, but they all can teach us a few things about branding. Let’s take a few examples. House Stark Via HBO House USA WhatsApp Number List Stark — “Winter is coming” — The Stark sigil is a dire wolf, for two simple reasons: dire wolves are native to the North, which the Starks rule; and dire wolves are freakin’ awesome. Via Wikimedia This is an example of taking a key differentiator and using it to its fullest. A lot of animals are unique to the arctic regions, but the Starks didn’t choose penguins or seals, assuming such things exist in Westeros.

They Chose the Awesomest, Scariest Animal

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Just look at that picture! The direwolf is fighting a saber-toothed tiger over a mammoth. That’s an animal you want on your side. Think about what your company does best. What do you do that makes your customers love you, and your competitors fear you? Search for a pictorial way to represent that. The Stark house words are a little more indirect. You have to stop and think about them for a moment. Of course winter is coming; it’s always coming. But the phrase has implications—you must prepare for winter. Every time the character invokes these words, they’re stating much more than a meteorological fact. They’re telling you about their worldview, which is both world weary and forward looking. You know the purpose of your company; maybe a direct statement is not the best approach for your company’s slogan, and you instead want to give people something to think about. Lesson 1: Create a visual metaphor for what you do best.

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