Brand Archetypes to Drive Your Business to Success
Brands are something we connect with, we have an affinity with them that we can’t just explain in a few words or so. What is it that attracts us to these brands? The answer, a strong brand personality. Just like people, brands have their own personality which determines how customers connect with them. If you think about it, it’s like having a character that seems all-too-familiar with you that you can relate to. And these “all-too-familiar” characters are what Carl Jung refers to as Jungian Archetypes that are often used to personify brands.
These brand archetypes cover the spectrum, from types that convey comfort to those that create excitement. So choosing the right archetype for your business is key, there are 12 brand archetypes you can work with and if it fits, then you’re on the path to better communication with your customers.
The 12 Brand Archetypes
Also known as the dreamer and the romantic, this brand archetype’s core desire is to be free and happy. They are pure, honest, childlike and spontaneous. They always try to see the bright side of any situation and is able to maintain an optimistic, trusting outlook. Their biggest fear would be to something wrong and be punished for it.
Companies with strong values, trustworthy, reliable and honest, those who are also associated with morality, good virtues and simplicity are a good fit with the innocent brand archetype. The worst thing for this type of brand is to have uncovered deceit or corruption. Customers with the same archetype prefer straight-talking, gimmick-free advertising and are naturally drawn to optimistic brands. Always use natural and unfussy imagery for this archetype. Some brands under this archetype include Dove, Aveeno, and Cottonelle.
The main motivator for the hero archetype is to prove their worth. It’s tough and courageous, they are most fulfilled when they rise to or overcome challenges. They are bold, confident and inspirational, but the greatest fears for this type are weakness and failure. But overall this type of brand strives to make a positive impact on the world and to solve problems or inspires others to do so.
Brands with this archetype promise triumph, they promote themselves as good quality and superior to their competitors. What threatens businesses with this archetype is when a competitor rated higher or proven to be better. On the other hand, customers with the hero archetype value quality and efficiency. They like to think that their choices will put them ahead of everyone else and are not likely to be swayed by funny adverts. A few examples of the hero archetype are brands like Nike, Duracell, BMW, and FedEx.
The Regular Guy
This brand archetype wants to belong and feel a part of something and their greatest fear is to be left out. Also dubbed as the everyman or the good guy, brands under this archetype takes pride in their down-to-earth ethos. With the promise of belonging, the regular guy image is honest and dependable, a supportive, person-next-door that can connect with others.
The regular guy believes in the inherent worth and dignity of all but committed to teaching through empathy and realism. This type of brand should avoid appearing greedy or elitist in any way possible. Brands under this archetype include Home Depot, eBay, Ikea, and Target.
Driven by their need to protect and care for others, this brand archetype is sometimes known as the saint or the parent. With its nurturing and selfless traits, the caregiver is often moved by compassion, generosity, and selflessness to help and serve others. Positive traits of the caregiver are caring, maternal, nurturing, selfless, generous, and compassionate.
Caregiver brands promise protection, safety, support and recognition to their customers. Which is what customers under this archetype want, recognition without being patronized. That’s why emotionally-driven adverts strike a chord with them. Brands with this archetype include Campbell’s Soup, Johnson & Johnson, Heinz, Unicef, and WWF.
Also known as the artist or the dreamer, this brand archetype is driven by the desire to produce exceptional and enduring works. Innovative, imaginative and inventive, they aim to express and turn away from mediocrity. They are non-conformist with the intent to create something with meaning and value.
Brands with this archetype usually position themselves as a tool to unlock a person’s creativity. Creator customers shun advertising in general, it’s a difficult category to appeal to. But if you’re able to create experimental, boundary-pushing and novel ads, you’re on way to developing a devout fanbase. Brands like Lego, Crayola, Canon, Apple, and Adobe does.
Known as the seeker and the wanderer, they crave adventure and to discover the world. They are independent, ambitious and spiritual. When most of us choose to go a certain way, explorers tend to go to a different path, embracing the journey rather than the destination
Brands like this position themselves as a means to help others experience the new and unknown. And the customers with the same archetype love it! They love to embark on new adventures, freedom, and self-discovery. Which brands like Jeep, The North Face, Red Bull and Go Pro exactly does.
This brand archetype is a rule breaker and catalyst for change. They are free-spirited, brave, adaptable, radical and revolutionary. They are also called the revolutionary and the outlaw, they allow people to break the convention.
Rebel brands position themselves as an alternative to the mainstream and an effort to stand-out. Those that are successful are likely to have a cult-like following. These are brands like Harley Davidson, Diesel, Levi Jeans, and Virgin. And their customers appreciate the unconventional and rejects the status quo. They value unique or shocking content without the obvious sell.
The lover brand lives to experience pleasure and intimacy in their relationships, work, and environment, and they fear to be unwanted and unloved. They are Passionate, sensual, intimate, romantic, warm, committed, and idealistic. Helping people feel appreciated, connected, and build relationships.
Brands with this archetype promote themselves as glamorous, with an emphasis on sensual pleasure. Ads will typically focus on how the product feels for the customer. These brands should be careful of coming across as cheap or businesslike. Customers value the aesthetic appearance of goods and services. They are likely to be drawn to premium brands that will make them seem more attractive to others. We’re talking about brands like Victoria’s Secret, Chanel, Godiva Chocolate and Marie Claire.
The magician wants to understand the universe and their place in it, but they fear unintended negative consequences of their exploration. They help people transform their world, inspire change, expand consciousness. The visionary, healer and inventor seek out the fundamental laws of science to understand how to transform situations, influence people and transform vision into reality.
This brand archetype promotes itself as the gateway to transformative knowledge and experience. Brands with this archetype focus on the individual rather than the group and flatter the customer by telling them to trust their own instincts and possibly make that purchase. Customers, on the other hand, need to feel they can grow wiser or influence people by using your products. Ads should be as imaginative and inspiring as possible. Brands like Disney, Coca-Cola, and Dyson do just that.
This brand archetype is driven by their desire for power and control, and they are most afraid of chaos and being overthrown. Also known as the king and the leader, those with this archetype takes control and inspires us to take responsibility for our own lives in our society. Positive traits of the ruler are confident, responsible organized, and fair.
Ruler brands speak authoritatively, often spreading the idea that they are the leader in their field. Their image is solid, polished and most of the time, very ‘masculine’. You can feel this from brands like Louis Vuitton, Mercedes Benz, and Rolex. While the customers are naturally dominant and will not appreciate patronizing or ‘dumbed down’ advertising. They will value ads that reinforce their feelings of power and stability.
Known as the fool and the comedian, the jester brand archetype lives in the moment and enjoy life. They are playful, light-hearted, spontaneous and full of sense of humor, making the most mundane things in life fun. Jester brands promise entertainment, using outrageous imagery and often tease their customers affectionately. Customers are usually the younger people who would appreciate the silliness. Famous brands with this archetype are Skittles, M&M and Old Spice.
The sage seeks the truth and wants to find the wisdom in every situation. They are the philosopher, the teacher that helps set us free by seeing the world objectively and providing course-corrective solutions. They are knowledgeable, thoughtful, analytical, articulate and open-minded.
Companies with brand archetype like this promise wisdom, therefore often make use of higher-level vocabulary and symbolic imagery. They trust their customers to grasp difficult ideas and understand intellectual in-jokes. Customers believe that knowledge comes from growth and constantly look for new sources of information. They prefer ads which challenge them to think in a new way. Brands with this archetype include the National Geographic Channel, Google, and BBC.
The key to fully understanding the archetypes and successfully identifying your brand’s personality is to think of your brand, your business as a person. With the help of these brand archetype, you will be able to at least have an idea of how you want to position your brand. Excited to bring your brand to life? Let’s get started!
I write coffee induced content.
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