Brand Archetype Series: The Outlaw

Brand Archetype Series: The Outlaw

branding Mar 28, 2024

When it comes to building a business that you love showing up in each day and that naturally attracts your soulmate clients, understanding brand archetypes can be incredibly helpful. 

The twelve archetypes, first introduced by psychologist Carl Jung, provide a framework for understanding the different personalities that brands can adopt to build faster connection and trust with their audiences.

Using archetypes in branding goes far beyond the surface. By adopting a specific archetype, you’re inviting your audience into a story where they can see themselves; and showing them the role you’ll play in their journey – will you be the supportive and nurturing Caregiver, the adventurous Explorer, or the revolutionary Outlaw? 

This narrative approach to branding taps into universal truths, stories we’re all familiar with, and emotions everyone understands, making your message so much more relatable and memorable. 

When you align your brand with an archetype, you’re essentially creating a living, breathing entity that speaks directly to the heart of your audience. And in today’s busier-than-ever online world, having a brand that feels like a friend or role model can make all the difference in grabbing your audience’s attention

For an overview of all 12 archetypes, check out this blog post. Otherwise, keep reading to discover more about the Outlaw.

What is the Outlaw Brand Archetype?

The Outlaw archetype, also known as the Rebel, Revolutionary, Maverick, or Challenger, is wild at heart, unconventional, and not afraid to take risks. 

Brands that embody the Outlaw archetype aim to find different, better ways to do things and help others achieve personal freedom. Their outspoken, authentic, and passionate nature allows them to inspire radical change and challenge the status-quo.

By leveraging this archetype, brands can help their audiences and clients feel the excitement of breaking the rules.

The Outlaw’s personality is outspoken, disruptive, independent, and radical. They are usually not soft, gentle, subdued, or agreeable. 

The Outlaw’s core desire is to destroy what’s not working, take control of their own life, and create a revolution. They are also motivated by power, challenging the status quo, and overturning broken or outdated systems. They do this by shocking others with what they say and do, and speaking out about what they believe is wrong.  

They value liberation, risk-taking, independence, honesty, and originality.  

Their strengths include standing by their values no matter what, bringing a fresh perspective to change, bringing down oppressive establishments, and being fully expressed, unafraid of being judged. However, their weaknesses include a high potential for violence and self-destructive behavior, or becoming dogmatic about their own perspective and outcasting those who don't fit their definition of “right.” This can repeat the cycle of society they are trying to break out of.

No matter what, the Outlaw does not tolerate conformity, complacency, or feeling powerless by rules imposed by others. 

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The Outlaw Archetype in Branding

Through their brand, the Outlaw promises to disrupt what you've been taught to believe.

They make their clients and audience feel awakened to the parts of themselves that desire to feel rebellious, wild, and a little bit bad. 

They achieve this through a unique brand voice that is controversial, raw, blunt, and fearless. They have a unique gift to help everyday people break free from conformity, express their wild side and feel alive. 

This voice includes brand messaging such as phrases like, “doubt what you’ve been taught to believe,” “rules are meant to be broken,” and “never conform.” The Outlaw may also use words like, “radical,” “disrupt,” “destruction,” “liberation,” “rebel” and various swear words. 

The Outlaw’s brand visuals are typically edgy, moody, and bold, with rough or sharp edges. Common colors are black, purple, and red, sometimes with fluorescent pops; however the Outlaw can be expressed through a variety of colors which should ultimately be chosen with color psychology in mind. 

Images portray related themes, activities, and motifs, such as skulls, tattoos, wrecking balls, and megaphones. Imagery that is shocking or offensive in nature works well for this archetype. Below is an example of an Outlaw brand moodboard from our Outlaw Brand Bundle, so you can get a feel for the visuals. 


In practice, you’ll find Outlaw brands speaking out about what they think is wrong, and being daring in the way they shock others with what they say and do. 

Outlaw Brand Examples

Harley-Davidson

Harley-Davidson stands as the quintessential Outlaw brand, promoting freedom, non-conformity, and rebellion. Their motorcycles symbolize a departure from the ordinary, embodying the spirit of adventure and defiance against societal norms. 

Harley-Davidson has cultivated a brand image that appeals to those who see themselves as free spirits and rebels at heart.

MTV

MTV revolutionized the music and television industries by breaking away from traditional music presentation formats and introducing a new way to experience music through music videos. Its daring approach to content and willingness to address controversial topics positioned MTV as a cultural rebel, reshaping entertainment and how music was consumed.

Dr. Martens

Originally workwear, Dr. Martens shoes became a symbol of self-expression and rebellion among various youth subcultures, including punks and goths. The brand's association with non-conformity and resistance against mainstream culture aligns it with the Outlaw archetype.

Outlaw Pop Culture Examples

Madonna

Madonna, the "Queen of Pop," has consistently pushed the boundaries of music, fashion, and societal norms. Her career is marked by reinvention and controversy, challenging traditional views on sexuality, gender, and religion.

Madonna embodies the Outlaw's spirit by continually defying expectations and embracing a persona of rebellion and freedom.  

Annie Oakley

Annie Oakley was a sharpshooter who challenged and redefined the expectations of women in her era. Her exceptional skill in a male-dominated sport and her role as a performer in Buffalo Bill's Wild West show allowed her to break through traditional gender norms, making her an icon of female empowerment and rebellion.

Jack Sparrow

The fictional character Captain Jack Sparrow, from the "Pirates of the Caribbean" film series, epitomizes the Outlaw archetype with his wit, charm, and defiance of traditional pirate codes and authority. His character thrives on freedom, adventure, and living by his own rules, making him a beloved anti-hero and rebel.

Each of these brands and individuals embodies the essence of the Outlaw archetype through their actions, messaging, and the values they represent, challenging conventions and inspiring others to question the status quo.

Get the Outlaw Brand Bundle

To get access to my Outlaw Brand Bundle, complete with visual guidelines and marketing templates, logos, color palettes, images, patterns, elements, and so much more, join us in the Impact Tribe here!

Check out The Rest of This Series

  • Hero 
  • Magician 
  • Everyperson 
  • Lover  
  • Jester 
  • Explorer (coming soon)
  • Innocent (coming soon)
  • Sage (coming soon)
  • Ruler (coming soon)
  • Caregiver (coming soon)
  • Creator (coming soon)

Find Your Brand Archetype

Recognizing your archetype is just the beginning. From there, it’s important to integrate it into every facet of your brand, your messaging, and your visuals in a way that resonates with those you aim to serve. 

If you're ready to dive deeper and uncover the archetype that reflects YOUR brand's personality, I invite you to take my brand personality quiz today. Discover which archetype aligns with your brand's essence and how you can leverage this understanding to craft a brand that stands out and speaks directly to the hearts of your audience.

Don't stop here, though. Join our community in the Impact Tribe to get immediate access to all 12 brand bundles, and stay in touch by subscribing to our emails so you can stay tuned as we continue to explore each archetype in depth in the coming weeks.

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