Building your business isn’t quite as dramatic as a televised medieval saga; there are no flying fire-breathing dragons or endless legions of soldiers, and no prophesies to be fulfilled by the last episode.
All human endeavor has parallels, however, and those of us interested in building a business can learn greatly from the success, conflicts and conclusion of a mythic kingdom. As we join vast segments of society returning to the real world, what take aways can we bring back from eight years of viewership, to apply to our businesses?
Five Lessons on Building Your Business:
- Stories capture attention. The plots, sub-plots, surprise revelations, alliances made and broken, triumphant successes and fatal failures engaged fans and drew them into a mythic world. Although you don’t have quite the same dramatic range within your business, you too have stories to tell. Your stories might be about going above and beyond to serve a customer, or about pulling success from the brink of failure. Your stories might include your hobbies or your dog. Find your stories. Use them to engage your customers and draw them into your professional world.
- Image matters. Creating a mythic kingdom meant every detail (except one paper coffee cup) projected a consistent image. Costumes, props, sets, language, lighting, music, and more all contributed to creating a believable world. Each week, fans knew what to expect. In building your business, create your own kingdom. Every detail, from you logo, to print material, to language, to the way you and your staff dress, should reinforce who you are and what you represent. Whether your image is modern or gothic, corporate or folksy, keep everything supportive of that image.
- Technology matters. There really aren’t flying dragons, and the huge precipices and endless legions at war never existed. Technology made it happen. Thanks to technology, things that were impossible a year or more ago are now commonplace. Buying an item via mail order used to take weeks – now delivery time can be measured in hours. Embrace technology and push to be a leader. Your competitors are creating flying dragons; don’t be spending your time licking postage stamps.
- Market through multiple channels. The ups and downs of the imaginary medieval world were everywhere. Print articles, social media postings, online discussion boards and more all sustained the story line, keeping it constantly before the public. Video clips brought the stories and players to life. Your business needs multi-media exposure. There are free and economic ways to promote your brand – blog posts, social media groups, email newsletters, videos and more. Keep your brand visible to your target market and build your following.
- Be unique. In a broadcast world of lifestyle programming, manic kitchen competitions and sports talking heads, a fully produced, costumed medieval fantasy was unique. Being unique grabs attention. Be unique in a way which resonates with your target audience. What do they want, that they don’t get now? Full emersion escapism resonated with the viewing public; what can you do to tap the hidden interests of your public?
An eight year saga is over; fictional characters triumphed and failed, lived and died. Those of us in the real world continue on, building a business and nurturing its growth. Take time to reflect on lessons learned from a remarkably successful promotion for a remarkably successful product. Its producers made everyone believe in and care about the imaginary kingdom they created. Seize the imagination of your target market. Begin building your business for success.