The dragons are chained, The Hound is dying, Jon Snow is back in Castle Black and Tyrion Lannister is on a ship to parts unknown. If you watch the hit HBO series Game of Thrones, then you understand.

Last Sunday's season four finale was watched by 7.1 million viewers — and broke illegal download records.

With the next episode months away, we thought we'd give fans a Game of Thrones fix: three brand asset secrets from the fantasy drama TV series.

Riddles of the Realm

“Winter is coming.” These iconic words are the mantra of inhabitants of the northern regions of Westeros, where they prepare for an extended cold season by following the guidelines and instructions that have been handed down over thousands of years.  

The show has a web-work of characters and plot twists, making it challenging to know who is aligned with whom. But despite the constant changes in leadership, there are underlying strategies that everyone in the realm follows — especially when fighting for their chance at the iron throne and ultimate survival. 

So what's that mean for marketers? More than you may think.

Managing your digital brand assets, such as images, videos and rich media, has much in common with the drama. You have to maintain brand consistency, learn from others and establish governance guidelines that protect and strengthen your brand and position.  Each person within your organization must follow the same guidelines and framework for the strategy to be effective as your marketing strategy expands across channels. 


Secret One: Maintain Consistency within Your Brand Family

Each family in the Game of Thrones has established a well-known, easily recognized family brand.  The House of Lannister proudly displays the golden lion family brand on its banners. The House of Stark proudly displays its sigil of the dire wolf on the family’s garments and on the walls at home. The House Greyjoy, famous for its connection to the sea, dons a kracken (sea monster) for its family brand.  Without brand consistency, each family would simply melt indistinguishably into the crowd. No one would have a distinct and memorable claim to ascend the iron throne. 

Similarly, when you use your organization’s brand assets to assert your presence on digital channels, it’s important to maintain brand consistency across all of your global markets and customer-facing channels.  

Brand consistency starts when the asset is created and continues through its propagation throughout your organization.  Provide as much direction as possible and leverage digital asset management (DAM) tools to help improve brand information and enforcement.  For example, a strong metadata and taxonomy within your DAM can enable your users to find the latest and greatest digital asset while maintaining brand consistency across all channels.   

Secret Two: Support Your People, the Foundation of Your Brand

Listen to the people and give them what they need. This is a governance secret used effectively by the Tyrell family.  For example, although Margaery Tyrell, who aspires to be a queen, has considerable wealth and is aligned to powerful allies, her real strength is governing the people with care and empathy.  By giving the people the care they need most, she increases her power and influence beyond what money can buy.