Lover? Hero? Both? Finding your Brand Archetype9 min read

by | Apr 17, 2018

Last year, we conjured together a series of branding self-help blogs, each month tackling various branding elements, What is a brand positioning?, why brand stories are so important, to our most popular iGina blog of last year, Brand Archetypes.

The development of brand archetypes plays a core role in the iGina services, and is, in fact, one of the fun, powerful and thought-provoking activities we do during our Brand Elixir workshops.

Why? Because we are all very familiar and intrigued by archetypes, even if we are not exactly sure what they are and why we connect with them.

So sit back and enjoy this week’s read on the ever-fascinating subject of brand archetypes.

Archetype 101

What exactly is an archetype? If you have ever heard a story, read a book, seen a play, or watched a television show or movie (so basically everyone on the planet), then you are familiar with archetypes. They are so ubiquitous that you don’t even realize it. So everybody on the planet has experienced archetypes, not everybody knows what they are. Even fewer people realize how powerful archetypes have been in branding.

An archetype, quite simply, is a symbol, theme, setting, or character that occurs so frequently in our storytelling that we recognize it as a universal human experience.

In our previous Brand Archetype blog, we explain it in further detail, and go through the most common character archetypes – go ahead, read the blog. We will wait while you learn the basics of archetypes.

Are you back? Awesome! So know you know what archetypes are, but now you will start to notice them everywhere. You will see how influential they are in terms of instant connection.

So how can your brand benefit from using archetypes? First of all, you need to answer a fundamental question? What is your brand archetype?

Who am I?

As you now know from reading our blog, there are several different archetypal characters.

So which one are you? One other aspect to consider is, which one do you think your audience will respond to?

For example, is your brand a Hero? Does your business or products “rescue” people? Do your customers feel relieved because you were there to save the day? Or is your brand more of a Creator archetype? Do your services or products unlock your customer’s creative potential? Maybe your brand is an Explorer archetype? Does your business take your clients on an exciting journey and help them discover a new exciting way to live? Do your customers love new ideas and products?

Or perhaps you are all three- in varying ratios? Keep in mind that there are still many other options and to make it even more interesting, there are sub-archetypes. It may not be easy to discover your archetype, and if you have questions or need some help consider letting branding expert team at iGina do our magic to help uncover your archetype.

A compelling archetype will not only help you clearly define yourself but also connect with your potential audience. Furthermore, a well-defined archetype can help guide the rest of the marketing activities (remember that a brand is not marketing? If you need a reminder read this.

I know my Archetype! Now what?

Now that you have an archetype for your company that suits you and you think it will connect with your current and future customers, you can use it for your branding and your marketing!

The archetype is just a small piece of your overall branding strategy, but it’s so helpful to help bring your brand to life. Once you have your total brand strategy in place the archetype (s) can be a part of your verbal and visual identity. This will make it easier for your audience to relate and respond to your company.

The archetype can also play a major (or minor) part in your marketing and communications such as the word choice, taglines, social media messages, and any way to showcase your awesome products and services to your customers.

Archetype examples

The Outlaw

Goal: Break the rules and fight authority

Traits: Rebellious, iconoclastic, wild, paving the way for change

Marketing niche: Agent of change, advocate for the disenfranchised, allow people to vent or break with conventions

Example: Harley-Davidson, Virgin (Richard Branson)

Brand Archetype Brand Archetype

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Hero

Goal: Help to improve the world

Drawback: Could be arrogant or aloof

Marketing niche: Make a positive mark on the world, solve major problems or enable/inspire others to do so

Example: Nike, BMW, Duracell

Brand Archetype Brand Archetype

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Creator

Goal: Create something with meaning and enduring value

Traits: Creative, imaginative, artistic, inventive, entrepreneur, non-conformist

Marketing niche: Visionary, help customers express or create, and foster their imagination

Example: Lego, Crayola

Brand Archetype Brand Archetype

 

 

 

 

 

 

We know you are a busy entrepreneur and there are a million and one things to do in order to make your company successful. Yet discovering your archetype is interesting and fun and you can use them to help elevate your brand and grow your business.

You have unknowingly  been exposed to archetypes your whole life, you know a lot more than you think you do! You just may never have realized how strong archetypes have affected you. If you want more information or need a brand whisperer to help you breathe new life into your brand – give iGina a call. Perhaps the team at iGina will reveal what their brand archetype is? Take a guess and us know!

Need Help?

Gina Dunn is a brand strategist and her mission is to help business owners all over the world to break through their business barriers and realize their brand potential, sometimes for the very first time.

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 Free DIY Brand Toolkit – get it here.