What is your brand archetype?

The brand archetype is a concept conceived by one of the most influential psychiatrists of the 20th Century, Swiss psychologist Carl Jung.

Archetype | noun ar·che·type \ˈär-ki-tīp\
A symbol, theme, setting, or character type that recurs in different times and places in myth, literature, and rituals, occurring so frequently that it embodies essential elements of ‘universal’ human experience.

What does it mean?

Successful brands of today recognize the importance of a strong identity. Secondly, it allows their audience to easily connect. And most importantly, of course, it helps their audiences understand the brand’s identity & mission.

While this may seem like a new concept,  it’s not. Brand archetypes have actually existed for a long time in the marketing world.  Here is an example to help you grasp the idea… with chocolate brands!

Here is a quick and easy example to help you grasp the idea… with chocolate brands!

Brand archetype concept

To begin with, think about your favorite novel, movie or TV show.  Now ask yourself what do all of these have in common…is it the characters?

  • We almost always love a hero.
  • Secretly like a loveable rogue.
  • We despise the villain.
  • Can’t help but empathize with the downhearted.

Carl Jung concluded that some story characters are instantly familiar to us because they are primal and instinctive. So, he named them. These all-too-familiar characters are called the Jungian archetypes.

Next, in this article, we will give you an introduction to them!

The 12 classic brand archetype characters 

Have a look at our diagram and review it. No doubt you have spotted some well-known brands there. But were you surprised by their archetypes?

Let’s take a closer look at the character traits of the archetypes and start to build a bigger picture.

#Sage

The first archetype we will talk about is the sage. Sages have a strong belief that the human experience is defined by thinking. And a sage uses its wise voice to communicate. 

#Hero

The hero’s essence lies in the sacrifice required to achieve transformation. As a result of this Hero, businesses promote themselves as good quality and superior to their competition. 

#Creator

Creators have a passionate need for self-expression and an innate desire to be a cultural pioneer. Also, creator brands often position themselves as the key to unlocking a creator’s creativity.

#Explorer

Next, the explorer. This adventurous archetype is willing to do just about anything to avoid boredom and entrapment, even if it means taking great risks.

#Caregiver

The caregiver is compassionate, generous, efficient in addition to being an excellent multitasker and finally, their worst fear is selfishness and ingratitude for their sacrifices.

#Innocent

Innocents lack guile and corruption, they seek the promise of paradise, also innocent-focused businesses promote themselves as pure, simple and trustworthy. 

#Jester

Jester archetypes appreciate beauty, change, surprise and have wicked intellect. As a result, they are known for exuberant antics. Finally, the Jester transcends tradition, convention and, societal norms.

#Everyman

The everyman or everywoman, well this identity is shaped by the experience of being a peer rather than being subjected or ruled. Finally, the worst thing to happen to a regular guy business would be for them to appear greedy or elitist. 

#Lover

Lovers possess an unbridled appreciation and affection for beauty, closeness, and collaboration. On the whole lover, brands promote themselves as glamorous, with an emphasis on sensual pleasure.

#Outlaw

Next the outlaw. Well, of course, the outlaw challenges convention by questioning the status quo and pushing the envelope. Not only do rebel brands position themselves as an alternative to the mainstream but successful rebel brands are likely to have a cult-like following.

#Ruler

Rulers are a model of proper behavior while exuding an untouchable quality of privilege and royalty. In addition, they have an aura of organization and order, while spreading the idea that they are the lead in their field.

#Magician

Known to be dynamic, influential, charismatic and clever, this archetype is able to view the world through many different lenses. But furthermore, the magician focuses on flattering the customer by telling them to trust their own instincts 

It’s an interesting concept, isn’t it?  Almost everyone we speak to when we first start developing a brand, haven’t considered adding this level of identity to their business, but it never takes long for them to adopt the concept. And that’s all because there are some great research and success stories out there. 

Did this blog post catch your attention? If so, then we highly recommend this read by Marketing 101- click here

Finally, are you interested in learning more about how defining and refining your brand archetype could boost your brand?

Then why not get in touch and book a free 15-min discovery call?  Unlock your brand potential today. 

Who am I? 

I'm Gina Dunn, Brand Strategist and CEO of iGina - and my mission is to help entrepreneurs to define and build brands. Let's bring your brand to life!

Did you know that brand-led businesses outperform their competition by 83%? Get started by mapping out your very own brand strategy yourself with our Brand Canvas - get it here.