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Brand Archetypes: Ultimate Guide - History and Definitions

A brand and its audience should have a very intimate bonding. All the brands strive to establish such an eternal bonding with their audience that is emotionally very strong. It is not that simple as it feels. You need to find the perfect brand archetype for this. You need to have a thorough understanding of brand archetypes to choose the one that suits your brand.

As many people misunderstand, it isn't any persuasive ad copy, attractive brand identity design, or any magic that attracts the audience to the brand. The answer is quite simple- Brand Archetypes.

You can find about 12 archetypes. They cover almost all the ranges, from those that can comfort others to those that excite. For a business, it is very crucial to choose the right type of archetype.

Although we have a close connection with all the brands we associate with, we feel that bond and trust for some, while the emotion is love for others.

There are two reasons why you have to coordinate your brand with an archetype.

  1. Acquaintance: There is vigorous competition amongst the brands on features, benefits, and prices. If you do not have a close acquaintance with your audience, your brand becomes just a commodity.
  2. Differentiation: Differentiation plans are significant if you want your brand to stand out in the crowd. If you have an exclusive personality, you have numerous possibilities to stay unique and memorable

Evolution of Brand Archetypes

All of us are familiar with epic journeys, heroic tales, and love stories. But many are unaware of the fact that these stories have the root in archetypes. Philosopher Plato and his ideas around 'elemental forms' became the basis for forming this concept.

We deeply connect to those stories which reverberate our lives. Such tales give us a broader understanding of ourselves as well as the world around us. We can define archetypes as universal stories. concepts, values, expeditions, or characters present worldwide as a part of our "collective consciousness." We will naturally understand those archetypes, be it the story of a lover seeking his love, a soldier's heroic expedition, or a parent's soft healing touch.

According to the Swiss Psychologist Carl Jung, humans rely on symbolism to grasp the world. He came up with a concept that said the age-old tales greatly influence our unconscious actions and thoughts. Thus we empathize with certain characters deeply, which means they share a part of our collective unconsciousness.

The famous mythologist Joseph Campbell also researched how archetypes symbolize human meaning through different forms like art, pop culture, mythology, literature, and beyond.

Such is the evolution of archetypes. We are familiar with these archetypes through characters from stories, books, or films. To cite an example, Fairy Godmother is a personification of a loving mother or caregiver, while Ethan Hunt is the embodiment of a perfect hero.

Archetypes

Although our connections with brands are through transactions, we develop an emotional bond with some of them.

It is the way these brands communicate with us that create such bonds. You can do it by taking advantage of the science of archetypes.

"Archetype" is not a word that we use often, but its presence can is felt in the pen you use, the bag you carry, and even in your garage.

A deep connection with your audience is vital to not remain a small business in the market that competes on price, benefits, and features.

Your brand has to establish a personality with a unique voice.

The new brands make the mistake of choosing the traits that they think will relate to their audience. But archetypes are fully formed personalities that interpret the world, reflect life, and the beliefs that help the audience consider the brand as a human.

It is best to coordinate your brand lightly to a single archetype. It will help the audience familiarize themselves with your brand and help you communicate with flexibility and humanity like humans.

Archetypes can be your customer and your brand as they represent all the personalities.

The idea is to identify your customer's personality and then align an archetype for your brand to quickly impress your customer. (It can be mostly the same but not always)

While targeting the audience can go for "The Everyman," but you should strive to appeal to the "The Explorer" within them. So try to align with "The Explorer" archetype and use personalities and communication that inspires the desire to explore.

We can analyze some strategies to get a clear picture.

The Sage

You can also call them experts, wise, guide, visionary, teacher, guru, planner, detective, scholar, thinker, mentor, philosopher, expert, expert, or advisor.

Their identity lies in Intelligence, guarantee, and leadership.

They believe that the way to freedom is the truth.

They aim to stand with the world to attain sagacity and perception.

They aspire to follow the truth.

They value skills like Intelligence, Understanding, Proficiency, Knowledge, and Influence.

They keep a distance from pits like betrayal, ignorance, madness, weakness, fakeness, deception, and carelessness.

Their vision is to go behind knowledge and information, reflect and understand contemplation, light the path to prudence, promote never-ending learning, guide the people in getting in-depth knowledge about the world, and offer practical insight and analysis.

Charisma

The sage travels in the path of wisdom, knowledge, and truth. They not only live to learn about the world but also to share their learning with others. They experience pride in being a student forever and love their opportunities to spread their knowledge through philosophical discussions. They do not expect themselves to change the world on their own but pass their wisdom onto others to find the person with the power to bring that revolution.

Plan of Action

To impress a sage, you have to express your respect for their wisdom in your communications. They will only appreciate profound vocabulary with tremendous philosophical meaning while they will dump naggy conversations with no insight. They are always in search of knowledge with well-informative facts that are indisputable.

Brands that inspire

Google, PBS, Philips, B.B.C., CNN, Gallup, PBS, T.E.D., The Economist, Discovery Channel, University of Oxford, etc.

The Innocent

They are also romantic, traditionalist, ignorant, mystic, saint, exotic, romantic, dreamer.

They are known for their Optimism, Honesty, and Humility.

Their vision is to remain young and free.

They aim to stay happy always.

Their destination is paradise.

Their skills are faith, optimism, joy, morality, virtue, simplicity, honesty, and positiveness.

They disapprove of Agony, Abandonment, Complications, Deception, and Hostility.

Plan of action

They strive to do everything on the right path. You can find an exemplary display of righteousness in all the actions of the innocent. They always encourage positivity and stimulate morality and joy in this unbelieving world. The brands that put forth strong values are seen as dependable, trustworthy, and truthful and connects easily to virtue, morality, and simplicity. Such brands are nostalgic for the audience.

Charisma

Innocence is closely related to an attractive persona with a positive attitude towards life. Although they prioritize safety, they strive to make themselves as well as people around them happy.

They have a pure and honest mind without any hostility towards anybody. The innocent do not store hatred or grudges and think that everybody has the right to be themselves.

They try to find the inner beauty in a person that goes unidentified by others.

Branding Strategy

If you are targeting an innocent, be honest and straightforward. Try to communicate with maximum positivity. The ignorant may turn away if they find any negative or guilty communication. The innocent should feel safe in your brand and satisfied if they recognize that their inner beauty is appreciated.

Some examples

Dove soap, Ben & Jerry's ice cream, Aveeno, Coca Cola, Innocent (obviously), Johnson's, Cottonelle bathroom tissue

The Explorer

You can also call them aspirants, questioner, adventurer, independent, pilgrim.

They are fascinating, smart, courageous.

Their mantra is "there are no limits."

Their mission is to experience a new, credible, and more meaningful life.

They are inspired by a goal to explore themselves through experiences from the world.

Their necessary skills are restlessness, audacious, enthusiastic, individualistic, self-reliant, discovering.

They are anxious about betrayal, submission, desolation.

Plan of action

Travel, exploring and experiencing new things, resisting boredom, risk-taking tasks, ensuring excitement and authenticity.

Charisma

An explorer always has that instinct to outgrow their comfort zones and to explore freshness. They are bored to remain in the same environment for long. They are courageous and adventurous and are ready to take risks. They take challenges as an expedition to find themselves rather than proving it to others. They continue their endless journey of exploration.

Branding Strateg

Challenges are the best way to impress an explorer. You can challenge the limits of modern life to attract them easily. Your brand has to open the outer world's doors for them to get a new meadow to explore themselves. Most of the explorers find modern society as a hurdle in their journey. Your brand has to help them defend their enemies to reverberate with them and elicit everlasting desires.

Some examples

Indiana Jones, Jeep, Marlboro, Red Bull, The North Face, Patagonia

The Ruler

You can also call them chief, captain, lord, monarch, crown, leader, idol, director.

They are dominating, elegant, distinct.

They strive for power and consider it their everything.

They aim at building a successful, prosperous, and complete family or community.

Their inspiring emotion is always in control.

They are skilled at responsibility, administration, authority, abundance.

They are insecure about vulnerability, meanness, failure, debt, poverty.

Plan of action

They are determined to dominate. They also serve perseverance and trust that can create high-quality products to bring them success. They always support people in becoming coordinated and establish order in their lives amidst all the tumult.

Charisma

A ruler loves to dominate and exercise control over everything. Their authoritative attitude is visible in all their actions and communications. There is a tinge of coercion in the way they do things. They aim for success and wealth and tend to bring it to all those loyal to them. They are self-assured, responsible, and control their lives in the way they want. They expect this from everyone associated with them. They want them to be at the top of the list and strive to protect that position.

Branding Strategy

Try to respect and reassure the power, control, and authority of the rulers to impress them. They always want to be superior and consider themselves on a V.I.P. list. Do not use the same tactics that appeal to the masses for a ruler. It will only create a negative impact. Ruler brands have to provide their customers with a sense of exclusiveness and re-affirmation that they are unique and top the ladder of priority.

Some examples

I.B.M., Microsoft, Rolls Royce, American Express, Louis Vuitton, Rolex, Barclays

The Creator

They are also called artists, writers, dreamers, designers, muse, painters, or composers.

They are motivating, adventurous, infuriating.

Their motto in life is that anything you imagine can be made real.

They aim to make their imaginations reality.

They want to create things that are valuable as well as meaningful.

They are highly skilled in creativity, imagination, perception, and self-expression.

They are worried about inactiveness, similarity, presumption, dissatisfaction, and mediocrity.

Plan of action

They make an effort to develop their artistic skills and creative power. They are mostly visionaries who encourage their customers to foster their creativity and imagination. They always inspire others to unveil their artistic visions and to pursue their thirst for self-expression.

Charisma

A creator looks forward to creating memorable and exclusive things that are highly unique and valuable. They are self-expressive people who find satisfaction in bringing their imaginations and creativity to reality. They fulfill their visions of life through their talent. They firmly believe that if you can imagine anything, that can be made practical. But they are always troubled by their adamant craving for perfection.

Branding Strategy

To impress a creator, you must encourage their creativity and boost their confidence for self-expression. Creators are attracted to brands that give them platforms for expressing themselves with the freedom to make their own choices. The communications with a creator should enhance their creative process and bring out unique and innovative visions. Such brands make use of the creative and imaginative power of the audience and their desire to innovate.

Some examples

Lego, Sony, Crayola, Apple, Adobe

The Caregiver

They are also called parents, pietists, patrons, donors, supporters, or helpers.

They are loving, caring, pleasant, encouraging.

Their mantra is to love your neighbor as yourself.

They aim to help and support everyone.

They live with the desire to love and caring for others.

They are gifted with kindness, goodness, hospitality, acknowledgment, support.

They are afraid of agony, helplessness, rudeness, disregard, and accusation.

Plan of action

They have committed their lives to help others. For them, helping people is like caring for themselves, and they do it through different methods like health care, education, or awareness programs. They feel good by giving a secure feeling to the people and promoting trust. They are rooted in generating public support for the social services they do. They find others more significant than themselves and are ready for sacrifices.

Charisma

A caregiver is full of love and compassion for others and is always there for those in need. They usually stand along with mothers in giving care and protection until those who accept their support are strong enough to take care of themselves.

Nurses usually fall into this category. Even though they appreciate recognition for their sacrifices and efforts, they are opposed to being patronized. They are reactive, preventive, and are always ready to be in an emergency to take care of others.

Branding Strategy

The Caregiver archetype is for those brands who are driven by the desire to help the needed. They help vulnerable and sensitive people who need love and compassion. A soft, pleasant, motherly love can give them a secure feeling. Such brands aim to make their customers feel secured, protected and cared for. They will always need external help to cater to people's needs as they target a wider audience. They can go for educational and conscience evoking messages in such cases.

Some examples

Mother Teresa, Johnson's Baby Shampoo, Campbell's Soup, Heinz, NSPCC, N.H.S., UNICEF, W.W.F., TOMS

The Magician

They are also called insightful, stimulant, creator, motivator, healer, sorcerer.

They are esoteric, knowledgeable, inspiring.

Their mantra is to make things happen.

They aim to make dreams come true.

They are driven by the desire to explore the fundamental laws of the universe.

They are highly skilled at bringing out solutions and at simplifying complex tasks.

They are afraid of the outcomes, dullness, incomprehension, uncertainty.

Plan of action

The magicians always develop a vision and strive to live by it. They love to help people have a dream, with which a change is possible in the world. They aspire to expand consciousness and come up with solutions to all the problems. They are in their mission of making their dreams come true.

Charisma

Magicians put great effort into making their dreams come right through ways that are mystical to the outside world. They help people experience magical moments and take them through a journey of transformation. They do not keep their imagination in their heads. Instead, try their best to make it a reality and build a better future. These people have a great thirst for wisdom but are unlikely to share it with the world. They make use of their hunger to implement their vision.

Branding Strategy

The Magician Archetype is not so familiar for a buyer persona, but they can impress people with their skill to transform the world. Brands who try to take the customers on a transformation journey that can change their lives to a better world can use this archetype to connect with their audience.

Some examples are

Disney, Dreamscape Multimedia, Oil of Olay, Wizard of Oz, Dyson, TUI

The Hero

They are also called protagonists, fighters, champions, superheroes, protectors, winners, soldiers.

They are sincere, impartial, and fearless.

They believe in the saying that where there is a will, there is a way.

They are aimed at mastering themselves to change the world for a better tomorrow.

They are highly talented in proficiency, courage, progress, protecting, ability.

They are afraid of inability, timidity, decline, defeat, and impotence.

Plan of action

They strive to improve their strength and to better themselves. The Hero challenges themselves to prove people long and strive to be confident and competent to their maximum. They try their best to impact the world and try to solve the problems so that others get inspired. They believe in overcoming adversity and thereby fosters courage and achievements.

Charisma

The Hero is determined at proving themselves through their bravery and determination. They are hardworking and regularly improve their skills to make them different from the rest of the world. They are ready for challenges and accept their failures to correct themselves and prepare for the next victory. The heroes continuously try to show their worth to the world.

Branding Strategy

You will have to make the Hero feel empowered to succeed and achieve if you want to impress them. They want to inspire people and always stand for what is right. The heroes easily connect to the brands that will help them find a way to succeed and meet challenges. They want victories and gratifications that come with it.

Some examples

Nike, Red Cross, The S.A.S., BMW, Duracell, Superman, Adidas, FedEx

The Rebel

They are also called revolutionary, mutineer, insurgent, questioner, dissident.

They are troublesome, turbulent, militant, and energetic.

They believe in the quote that the rules are made to be broken.

They aim to topple everything that isn't working.

They are inspired by revolutions and rebellions.

They are highly skilled at atrocity, progressive thinking, emancipation, vengeance.

They are afraid of enslavement, acquiescence, complacency, compliance, and dependency.

Plan of action

They are ready to disturb, wreck, or agitate. The rebels are promoters of change and raise their voice for the incapable people. They encourage people to spout or break the chains of conventions that enslave them. They destroy existing rules and support progressive thinking, thus upholding brand loyalty.

Charisma

The rebel has a fire burning in them to outburst into a revolution that will eventually build a better world and uproot the anarchies prevailing. They want to enjoy their freedom of choice and oppose all the rules, conventions, and regulations that refrain them from it. Even though they are good at heart, they are driven by their core emotion, anger. They are always into clashes for the principles they stand for.

Branding Strategy

The rebel can be impressed if only you can make them feel that you believe the same as them. The rebels turn their faces from existing circumstances and acquiescence. If you can showcase your dislike to any of the above, you can easily resonate with them. They will move closer to you if you are promising, promoting, or vesting revolutions. While communicating with the rebels, make sure you display grit and attitude, avoiding formality.

Some examples are

Harley Davidson, Amazon, Greenpeace, Virgin (Richard Branson), DIESEL

The Lover

They are also called soulmate, partner, best half, friend, spouse, intimate, admirer, sybarite, and team-builder.

They are sensuous, compassionate, consoling, loving.

They believe in the phrase "you are the one."

They aim to take forth relationships with people, surroundings, and work smoothly.

They are inspired by affection and understanding.

They are skilled in warmth, passion, obligation, and promise.

They are totally against renunciation, seclusion, solitude, anonymousness, and disregard.

Plan of action

They strive to be emotionally as well as physically attractive. The lover connects with people and makes them feel loved, appreciated, and cared for. They love building relationships and enjoy intimacy. They give sensuous experiences to people who make them and their life special.

Charisma

An essential need of the lover is to be loved. The lover always searches for intimacy, closeness, and sensual pleasure and wants them badly. They put in the effort to improve their physical and emotional appeal. They are afraid of going unnoticed, unloved, and unwanted. The lover can be easily misled. They always have a fear of loss, even if they achieve their desires.

Branding Strategy

To build intimacy with lovers, you have to make them feel attractive and loved. Try to arouse the passion in them. They are very fond of sensory pleasure, so use a sensual tone and language to communicate with them. The lovers notice imagery and tone of voice. The brands focussing on the lovers should stir the desire for sensual pleasure through sight, sound, smell, or touch. Lovers are very attracted to the color red.

Some examples are

Victoria's Secret, Godiva Chocolate, Marie Claire, Häagen-Dazs, Cesar, Lady Godiva, ALFA ROMEO, Chanel.

The Jester

They are also called buffoons, swindlers, jokers, comedians, or humorists.

They are pleasant, high-spirited, and lively.

Their main aim is to enjoy life and spread light in the world.

They are skilled in bringing delight, cheer, smiles, laughter, fellowship, and optimism.

They stay away from weariness, boredom, negativity, dullness, sorrow, and isolation.

Plan of action

The jesters are always playful and try to create jokes that bring joy to people. They help people to forget worries and look at the lighter side of life. They foster creativity through happiness and encourage people to enjoy everything they do. They also promote impulsiveness and spontaneity in people.

Charisma

The jester tries to find fun in everything they do and enjoys every moment of their life. They want to bring light and laughter into other's lives. They are lively and optimistic and can wait long in every situation to see life bring joy. Jesters keep the child in them alive and remain young at heart.

Branding Strategy

Jesters, like magicians, are rare to fall into the buyer genre. But they can be the perfect archetypes for brands that are entertaining or bringing good times to the target audience. Everybody loves to laugh and enjoy life if made comfortable. To impress the jesters, target the light-hearted and positive side of life with a playful and entertaining spirit. Try to connect with them through happiness and laughter.

Some examples are

Motley Fool, Ben & Jerry's, IKEA, Cadbury's, Paddy Power, Budweiser, Muppets, m&m's, Old Spice, Dollar

The Everyman

They are also called the boy/girl next door, the very familiar person, the good boy/girl, the ruralist, the dear neighbor, the common man, the working class, the majority, the silent mob.

They are generous, respectful, and genuine.

They believe that in the saying that all men and women are equal.

They sincerely wish to belong.

They desire to connect with others.

They are skilled in practicality, compassion, honesty, bonding, intimacy, equality, and friendship.

They are afraidof inequality, isolation, loneliness, hostility, and separation.

Plan of action

The Everyman loves to develop ordinary solid virtues and to remain humble. They build a sense of belonging through the common touch and solid integrity. They try to bring a sense of safety, reliability, trust, and comfort in the people around them.

Charisma

The Everyman always seeks the feeling of belonging. They like to dissolve themselves into the mass and do not want to stand out in the crowd. The Everyman is not over rude, over funny, or over loud, but are friendly. Their greatest fear is rejection and so easily lend their trust. The Everyman remains optimistic and put in the effort to mingle into the mass. These people have a liking for almost everything but are overly passionate about nothing. They might be liked but easily forgotten.

Branding Strategy

Bring a sense of belonging to connect with the Everyman. Try to message that it is okay to be expected if you are a brand revolving around everyday activities. Mostly, home or family life brands fall into this archetype. It requires honest, humble, friendly, and down to earth communication to impress the everyman archetype.

Some examples are

McCain, Tesco, Ford, Home Depot, eBay, Wendy's, IKEA, Target, LYNX

Take our 5 minute test and discover your Brand's Archetypal personality.

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