Leveraging Brand Archetypes to Build a More Recognizable BrandNov 27, 2023
Have you ever wondered why some brands feel like they're speaking directly to you, while others feel like they’re shouting into the void? That's the magic of brand archetypes at work.
Brand archetypes, rooted in Carl Jung's theory of archetypes, serve as a psychological blueprint for storytelling in branding. These archetypes are universally recognized symbols or characters that emerge across various cultures and historical periods, tapping into the collective unconscious. They embody fundamental human desires, fears, and motivations.
Archetypes aren't just marketing jargon; they're the soul of a brand, shaping its personality and helping it connect with its audience on a deeper level.
And archetypes aren’t just categories you fall into either; they're reflections of universal stories and characters that resonate with all of us at some level.
When your brand adopts an archetype, it's choosing a specific lens through which your story is told, your values are shared, and your community is built – and this is what makes your audience feel like your brand is speaking directly to them.
What are the 12 Brand Archetypes?
Archetypes are a tool that allow a brand to embody a character that resonates with its audience on a profound, often subconscious level. By adopting a specific archetype, your brand can differentiate itself in a crowded market, foster client loyalty, and build a lasting emotional connection with your audience.
Here are the 12 Brand Archetypes, as well as a quick description of each:
- The Innocent: This archetype is all about happiness, purity, and optimism. Think of brands that offer you a simple joy or a return to simpler times.
- The Sage: The seekers of truth and wisdom, Sage brands are your go-to for knowledge and insight.
- The Explorer: Free-spirited and adventurous, these brands value freedom, independence and growth.
- The Outlaw: Defying conventions and breaking the rules, these are the brands that challenge the status quo.
- The Magician: Transformational and visionary, Magician brands promise to make the impossible, possible.
- The Hero: Courageous and bold, Hero brands inspire and motivate you to overcome challenges.
- The Lover: Passion, pleasure, and connection drive these brands, offering experiences of intimacy and enjoyment.
- The Jester: All about fun and laughter, Jester brands bring joy and light-heartedness to everything they do.
- The Everyperson (also known as Girl Next Door): Relatable and down-to-earth, these brands are about belonging and realism.
- The Caregiver: Nurturing and compassionate, Caregiver brands are all about service and support.
- The Ruler: Control, power, and leadership define these brands, offering a sense of order and stability.
- The Creator: Innovative and artistic, Creator brands are here to inspire your imagination and creativity.
Each of these archetypes speaks to a different audience, but the key isn't to chase after an audience with an archetype. Instead, it's about finding the archetype that genuinely aligns with your brand's core, your personality, and values.
When your brand's archetype is a true reflection of you, the right audience naturally gravitates towards it.
Identifying Your Brand's Archetype
For purpose-driven entrepreneurs, discovering your brand's archetype starts with a journey inward. What are the values and stories at the core of your brand? What personality do you want your brand to embody, do you embody? This process is one of authentic expression – finding the archetype that fits you like a glove – not of trying to fit into who you think your audience wants you to be.
To get started, you can take my free quiz to find your archetype, but when it comes to incorporating your archetype into your brand we need to take it so much deeper.
Integrating Your Archetype into Your Branding Strategy
Incorporating your brand archetype into your branding strategy is a transformative process. It's about weaving the essence of your archetype into every facet of your brand - from the tone of your messaging to the colors and images you use, and even how you inspire and speak to your audience. This strategic alignment creates a cohesive and resonant brand experience for your clients and community.
Some practical ways you can incorporate your archetype into your brand include:
- Messaging: Your brand's voice should mirror your archetype’s personality and values.
- For example, if your brand is the 'Hero,' use messaging that is bold and empowering, encouraging your audience to overcome challenges. For a 'Jester' brand, a playful, humorous tone should be evident in all communications, from tweets to blog posts.
- Visuals: Your brand’s visuals, including your logo, color palette, and imagery, need to align with your archetype’s personality.
- For example, the 'Lover' archetype, might use rich jewel tones or soft romantic shades and imagery that evokes intimacy and connection. For an ‘Outlaw’ brand, dark and/or intense colors are appropriate, with imagery that is jolting or shocking.
- Storytelling: Use stories in your marketing that reflect your archetype’s journey.
- For example, if your brand is the ‘Explorer’, choose stories that highlight themes like taking the path less traveled, trying new things, escaping cultural norms and enjoying the journey. For Magician brands, stories that focus on transformation, making dreams come true, and trusting the universe are fitting.
Need a little more inspiration? Check out a few brands that have completely embraced their archetype and mastered the seamless integration into their brands:
- Nike (The Hero): Nike has masterfully embodied the Hero archetype. Their messaging consistently revolves around overcoming obstacles, achieving greatness, and 'just doing it.' This is evident in their advertising campaigns that feature athletes pushing their limits, which resonates deeply with their audience.
- Apple (The Creator): Apple stands as a prime example of the Creator archetype. They are known for their innovative products that are beautifully designed and promise to enhance creativity. Their sleek and minimalist design aesthetics align perfectly with their archetype, appealing to their audience's desire for creativity and innovation.
- Dove (The Caregiver): Dove has embraced the Caregiver archetype through their campaigns focused on real beauty and self-care. Their messaging and visuals promote acceptance, care, and nurturing, resonating deeply with their audience's desire for authenticity and compassion.
Integrating your brand archetype into your branding strategy is not just about external expressions; it's about aligning your brand's heart and soul into everything you do in your business. When done effectively, this alignment not only attracts the right audience but also fosters a deep, loyal connection with them.
Let’s explore how we can take the use of archetypes in branding even deeper ...
Leveraging Brand Archetypes to Build a Stronger Connection with Your Audience
Deepening the connection between your brand and your audience using archetypes is a blend of art and strategy. It's about consistently presenting your archetype’s core traits in a way that resonates and creates an emotional bond with your clients and community, beyond just the visuals, messaging and storytelling.
Here are a few key things to keep in mind when creating deeper brand connection through your archetype:
- Embody Your Archetype in Your Offers: The brand experience that your archetype creates needs to continue even after someone becomes a client.
- If your brand is the 'Explorer,' for example, it’s important to offer your clients options so they can find the way to work with you that’s the perfect fit for their unique needs. If your brand is the ‘Ruler’, you’ll want to build structured offerings and onboarding processes that make your clients feel safe - like you’ve got everything under control (in a good way).
- Archetype-Based Content Marketing: Focus on how you can address your audience’s needs, desires, and challenges through the lens of your archetype in your social media content marketing.
- For instance, a 'Caregiver' brand can create content that not only showcases their nurturing products or services but also provides care-oriented tips and advice. An ‘Everyperson’ archetype would want to create content that’s inclusive, community-oriented and practical, while sharing the everyday parts of their life.
- Express Your Archetype in all Interactions: Think about the different places your brand comes in contact with individuals in your community … emails, networking events, DMs, etc. When you’re intentional about infusing your archetype’s essence into your interactions, connecting with others will feel more genuine for you and be more memorable for them.
- For example, a ‘Creator’ brand would want to show up fully expressed at networking events with a unique and beautiful style. A ‘Sage’ brand makes others feel intelligent in all interactions.
- Archetype-Aligned Rewards and Incentives: Another way to take your brand’s archetype to the next level is to create loyalty programs or customer incentives that align with your archetype.
- For example, a 'Hero' brand could offer challenges or competitions with the ability to win 1st, 2nd or 3rd place, appealing to the Hero’s desire for achievement. A ‘Ruler’ brand could offer opportunities for special recognition and a ‘Caregiver’ brand could host a self-care themed giveaway.
- Community Building Around Your Archetype: Build a community that reflects your archetype's values. This could be forums, social media groups, or events where like-minded individuals who identify with your archetype’s values can connect and engage.
- For example, a ‘Sage’ brand could host a book club, an ‘Everyperson’ brand could lead a community service day and an ‘Outlaw’ brand could coordinate a protest.
By thoughtfully integrating your brand archetype across all aspects of your branding, and by using storytelling to bring it to life, you create a brand experience that is not only consistent but also deeply resonant with your audience. This strategic approach can significantly enhance brand loyalty, engagement, and overall audience connection.
Reviewing Your Archetype
In your branding journey, if you find it challenging to pinpoint your archetype or to integrate it seamlessly into your branding, a professional brand review can offer the insight and direction you need. By understanding and embracing your unique brand archetype, you can unlock a new level of depth and connection in your branding strategy.
As we've seen, the right brand archetype can significantly enhance your brand's resonance and audience connection. But the real magic happens when your brand's archetype is not just chosen, but lived.
So, I have a special invitation for you.
My Brand Review is designed to delve into these very questions (and more). Together, we can explore the depths of your brand's current archetype alignment and plan ways to enhance that connection with your audience, including strategizing a complete shift if necessary.
Whether you're looking to reaffirm your current archetype or explore a new, more aligned direction, this brand review is a crucial step towards ensuring that your brand truly resonates with your audience.
I believe that every brand has a soul, a personality, a unique story to tell, and a special way to touch lives. Let's collaborate to unveil the true heart and soul of your brand, ensuring it's perfectly attuned to your audience and ready to make a profound impact.
Sign up now for my Brand Review, and let's bring your brand’s authentic soul to light, creating a connection with your audience that's both deep and lasting.
When you sign up for your Brand Review, you’ll receive:
- A 60-min, 1:1 Brand Review on Zoom where we'll use my signature "Brand Tree" formula to look for any cracks in your structure that are causing you to lose clients and income;
- Session recording to easily revisit any time;
- A detailed, written action plan outlining exactly where to focus, and in what order, to achieve your goals.
- PLUS, through November 30th, I’m offering $100 off the price, as well as one free month of the Impact Tribe which is full of courses and resources, including our Brand Bundles, that can help you easily implement everything you learn.
Your brand's story is waiting to be told in its most genuine and compelling form. Now is the time to tell it. Book your Brand Review here.