Archetypes are universally understood symbols and patterns of behavior consistent across generations and cultures that help people understand concepts and decide which messages to retain. The concept of an archetype shaping a personality was advanced by C.G. Jung – one of the most influential psychiatrists of the 20th Century.
Related to brands, the use of archetypes is a proven method for revealing truly unique brand characters. The Hero And The Outlaw, written both Margaret Mark & Carol Pearson, is a tremendous book about “building extraordinary brands through the power of archetypes.” An archetypal approach to brand building can be used to…
- define a brand’s purpose
- pinpoint its genuine story and define an ownable brand voice/tone
- become a key source of differentiation in a competitive landscape
- connect people more deeply – internally and externally – to an organization
Working with archetypes to guide the strategy, relationships, products and services for a business can help to align brand and culture, enhance trust and relatedness with all stakeholders, and increase its impact and bottom-line. There are 12 primary archetypes, symbolizing basic human motivations, meanings and values. A brand should align with ONE dominant archetype, but can and will share similar traits and characteristics from others.
THE 12 BRAND ARCHETYPES
|The Innocent||Be Happy|
|The Explorere||Discovery, new experiences|
|The Sage||Wisdowm and insight|
|The Hero||Help improve the world|
|The Outlaw||Destroy what isn’t working|
|The Magician||Make dreams come true|
|Regular Guy/Gal||To belong, form a connection|
|The Lover||Create intimacy, inspire love|
|The Jester||Bring joy to the world|
|The Caregiver||Care for and protect others|
|The Creator||Create something with meaning|
|The Ruler||Control, create order from chaos|
STEPS TO HARNESS YOUR BRAND ARCHETYPE
IDENTIFY YOUR ARCHETYPE(S)
Determine the ones that best align with your company mission, beliefs and direction.
CONSIDER YOUR AUDIENCES
Based on the personas of your audiences, narrow to the archetype(s) commonly shared by your company and your audience.
TRANSLATE INTO STORYTELLING
Not only your messaging, but the functional and emotional content of your visual identity elements, design and marketing.
ALIGN YOUR CULTURE
Share your archetype identity across the organization to build a singularly-focused brand-led culture.