What Tyrion Lannister taught me about building a better brand
On my husband’s deployment a few years ago I decided to give HBO’s Game of Thrones a run. I was looking for a show to get into on Thursday nights which had traditionally been date night with my man.
While Game of Thrones was ultimately a little too severe for this girl (no offense to Thronies), there was one character I adored, Tyrion Lannister, played by the brilliant Peter Dinklage.
A Telegraph article described him as follows:
“Everyone is a little bit complicated on Game of Thrones. But even by the show's murky standards, Tyrion Lannister is inscrutable and riven with contradictions – a party animal with a heart of gold, an instinctive schemer who knows right from wrong, a short man made tall by his bravery and kindness (a dirty word in the Seven Kingdoms).”
I just love him, and it got me thinking about why. Here are just three reasons, and what they taught me about branding:
#1 - Be human. I think we can all agree that the youngest of the Lannister heirs knows how to keep it real. Tyrion is known for his love of wine, women, and debauchery, and because he isn’t lacking in self-awareness it makes him all that more loveable. When it comes to branding, people want to align themselves with companies that are human. Some of the most successful people and brands are aware of their flaws, and it makes them that much more relatable.
#2 - Wield transparency. It is my belief that transparency is one of the most important parts of branding today. Especially when it comes to building a personal brand. When I lived in North Carolina and worked in sales we would gather every Tuesday for a sales meeting. My old boss used to say “people want to do business with people they know like and trust.” Let’s just say I know would do business with Tyrion Lannister. Keep your promises to your customers. Be a brand they can trust.
#3 - Character matters. As a dwarf, Tyrion has been mistreated and underestimated his whole life, even saying “All dwarfs are bastards in their father's eyes”. Many times throughout the various GoT seasons, Tyrion can be found demonstrating empathy and compassion for others, even though he is rarely shown it himself. Doing good is so important for brands today. I see more and more companies building a give back in their revenue model, and in doing so they are being paid back in spades with customer love. Giving back pays back.
Like other legacy brands, and despite his flaws, Tyrion uses sharp wit and self-awareness to navigate himself through all the savagery of Westeros and beyond. It would serve us all to be a little more like Tyrion Lannister when it comes to building our brands. Do you agree? Let us know by commenting below this post!
Here’s to making our brands more human, more kind, and a little braver!