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Brand Archetypes

QUICK SUMMARY

Having a distinctive identity is essential to elevating the visibility of your company, your products and your marketing message. Archetypes are central to positioning your company and products in a unique, distinctive and effective way. They help your brand resonate more deeply with consumers by connecting with their emotions at a fundamental level.

What Are Brand Archetypes?

Humans tend to use symbolism to understand their world, according to Swiss psychologist Carl Jung. He identified 12 archetypes––or powerful identities or personas:

  • The Innocent
  • The Regular Guy or Gal
  • The Hero
  • The Outlaw
  • The Explorer
  • The Creator
  • The Ruler
  • The Magician
  • The Lover
  • The Caregiver
  • The Jester
  • The Sage

Each has its own set of characteristics, values, attitudes and behaviors. The advertising and marketing industry has applied that concept to create brand archetypes. The idea is that any brand can relate to one of these 12 iconic models. By associating with a powerful archetype, you can help define the brand and breathe life into it. As consumers, we connect with or relate to the personality and aspirations of the brand archetype. They represent our fundamental needs and desires. And they bring us closer to the company and its products.

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The 12 Brand Archetypes: Hero, Rebel, Caregiver, Sage…

The 12 classic brand archetypes cover the full range of personas, from those that make us feel secure and loved to those that excite us. They range from the “Innocent” to the wise and experienced “Sage” and from the “Hero” to the “Rebel.” What’s the right archetype for your brand? You’ll need to consider the personality of your company and how it is perceived by your customers. First, explore the 12 archetypes, including their characteristics, and how they can be applied, and read about how some companies have used these archetypes effectively.

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Using Archetypes to Define Your Brand

The advertising industry’s 12 classic archetypes create a deeper connection with consumers and help persuade people to buy their products or services. These are strong, distinctive and diverse iconic images, from the Jester (Motley Fool; Ben & Jerry’s) to the Rebel (Harley-Davidson; Virgin) to the Lover (Godiva; L’Oreal). To make your brand archetype most effective, first understand your customers and how they relate to your brand and then build on that.

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Translate Your Brand Archetypes into a Communications Platform

Once you know how your customers feel about your company, have selected an archetype, and have begun to see how the archetype can define your brand, you can begin to tell your story in a way that deepens your connection with customers. Make sure you are authentic, consistent and thorough in your communications. Differentiate your brand in a way that inspires and involves your customers: They can have an important role to play in helping you tell your story.

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