Brand archetypes seem to be everywhere. Developed by Karl Jung decades ago, archetypes are an effective marketing tool to relate to customers and build that lasting connection.
So, how do you figure out
Which of the 12 archetypes is best to use with your brand?
Attending a branding workshop, of course!
What is a Branding Workshop?
A branding workshop will explore your brand along with the different archetypes to choose from. The workshop allows brands to dig deeper into each archetype, which will reveal which archetype to use.
Start by stepping back and thinking about things for a moment.
– What service or product are you selling?
– Which type of customer are you looking to target?
Then, align with the proper archetype to help build your brand identity. Connecting with customers and differentiating your brand from the competitors is accomplished through brand archetypes!
Applying the Archetype to Your Brand
The first rule of using archetypes…be consistent. Use the archetype anywhere you can in your marketing such as the content, fonts, and images.
The whole brand persona needs to be geared toward archetype. The correct visualization will capture the reader’s attention and relate to consumers.
A couple of grammatical examples to help you get the idea of this more.
The Magician or Jester might use fun fonts along with plenty of exclamation points!
Where the Sage and Ruler might use more question marks to get readers thinking and intrigued.
The 12 Archetypes with Examples
There are 12 main archetypes to choose from. Let’s explore them below.
Dreams do come true with just a little magic. We mostly think of Disney and Polaroid, but what about Dyson? All of your cleaning problems disappear thanks to the magic behind their vacuums! Beauty brands and entertainment brands often use the Magician as well.
The Caregiver is of course caring and nurturing while offering products to make others feel secure. Charities and organizations lean towards this archetype as well as trustworthy products like Johnson and Johnson, Walgreens, and Pampers. Health and well-being products lean towards this archetype.
The Creator believes that the way they think the world should be. They use product and innovation with creativity to get the job done. Art and tech companies such as Crayola are known to use the Creator. But what about GoPro? You can make videos and be creative with their products. Other well-known brands include Adobe, Pinterest, and Apple. As you can imagine, design, marketing, and art brands tend to lean towards this archetype.
The Ruler thrives off of control and luxury. They like to reward themselves with nice things. Their motto is to work hard and play hard to enjoy the finer things in life. Not only do they follow the rules, but also make their own rules. Brands like Lexus, Mont Blanc, and American Express use the Ruler. Hotels and prestige car brands do well when using the Ruler in their marketing campaigns.
The Jester is the class clown, using humor and making others laugh. This archetype connects with the child inside and inspires to live in the moment. Old Spice, M&Ms, and Budweiser, and other beverages and products geared towards men use the Jester often.
The Hero rises to the challenge and saves the day with their inner power and transformation. The archetype triumphs over anything with dedication and hard work. Nike, Gatorade, and FedEx offer products that give you the superpowers within. Sports brands and emergency services like Red Cross use the Hero archetype.
The Lover inspires and creates relationships. Spiritual, romantic, really any type of companionship with emotion. Dessert brands use the Lover to create a relationship with indulgence. Chanel, Estee Lauder, Victoria’s Secret, and other perfume and cosmetic brands use the Lover archetype.
This archetype is based on the fact that the truth and knowledge is power. The Sage shares what they know to raise awareness. You can look at this archetype as a source of learning. The Discovery Channel, National Geographic, Universities, BBC, and Google represent the Sage well.
The Everyman archetype is relatable, wholesome, comfortable, and authentic. Ford, Chevy, The Gap, Amazon, Target, and Ikea all use this archetype to relate to the working man or the ordinary. Clothing brands and comfort food brands lean towards using this archetype.
Just like it sounds, the Explorer is adventurous and has a purpose in life with a clear vision. They like to inspire change within like Jeep and Nasa. We rarely think of Nasa when it comes to the Explorer, but it really is a great example. It is more than just the Sage archetype, Nasa is based on innovation and freedom to explore the world, which is what Nasa promotes. Outdoor equipment brands use the Explorer often.
The Innocent spreads joy and positivity with organic and simple products. Like Dove and other beauty and skincare products, they use the Innocent to promote a healthy lifestyle with their products.
The Outlaw or also known as the Rebel seeks to break the rules and dismantle the agenda. The archetype believes in setting everyone free and creating something better for all. Rebellious brands like Harley Davidson, Diesel, and Virgin display the Outlaw well. Keep in mind that this is a very strong archetype, so use with caution. Tool brands and other hardcore brands can really benefit from using the Outlaw though.
Tips for Using Archetypes
By understanding the messages each archetype is trying to deliver, you will be able to find the right one that relates best with your brand. Try to avoid using multiple archetypes. Stick to a primary and then sometimes sprinkle in a secondary.
Using archetypes could be a useful weapon to open other creative doors for your brand. Archetypes are powerful when using them correctly. Don’t be afraid to go over the top with using the right archetype. Only beneficial things will come from using brand archetypes!
Photo by Raphael Schaller on Unsplash