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06 Apr 2023

Did you know, there are 12 Brand Archetypes?

 

We’re taking a deep dive into what it means to have a brand archetype, and how this can develop your brand identity. 

 

So, where did it all begin?


In the 1940’s, Swiss psychologist Carl Jung developed a set of personality archetypes. He believed that these archetypes are innate and hereditary patterns of thought that develop an identity. This theory can also be applied to other groups, for example – Brands. 

 

By giving a Brand an Archetype it makes them ‘human’ and relatable to an audience who shares those same values. 


What are the Brand Archetypes?


The 12 Brand Archetypes we know today are derived from Jung’s personality archetypes: 


1.    The Creator


The Creator archetype really lives up to its name – creator brands are innovative, creative and like to push the boundaries with their outside the box thinking. They thrive on imagination, and like to inspire and promote this creativity as a result of the product or service they have created. However, creators hate plagiarism – results come from new and organic visions and ideas. 

 

Examples of Creator Archetype: Lego, Crayola, Adobe, Pinterest. 


2.    The Caregiver

Caregiver brands are driven by compassion, empathy and a desire to help those around them. These brands are generous with their time and energy – they don’t shy away from difficult situations. They’re not afraid to highlight the realities of everyday life, and use this sentiment to tap into consumer’s emotional side. Caregivers fear selfishness and neglect.

 

Examples of Caregiver Archetype: RSPCA, British Heart Foundation, Proctor & Gamble, Tommy’s the Baby Charity

 

3.    The Ruler


As a ruler brand, you are driven by control and power. They are known to create policies and a sense of order, and they like to help those in need by becoming their leader. They are afraid of chaos and instability! The ultimate goal for a Ruler is to create a loyal, and successful community. Their power is used to generate positive outcomes; however, they have to be careful not to become too ruthless. 

 

Examples of Ruler Archetype: Mercedes-Benz, Rolex, Microsoft, Metropolitan Police

 

4.    The Outlaw

The Outlaw, in contrast to The Ruler, is rebellious and craves chaos. They love revolution, and are all about deviating from societal ‘norms’, which usually puts them at odds with many other brands. They have a clear goal - wanting to change the world for the better. As much as the Outlaw fears powerlessness just as the Ruler, they take unconventional steps to reinvent themselves, showing their kind-hearted nature through unique and loud communication and content.

 

Examples of Outlaw Archetype: Harley Davidson, Virgin, MTV, Dr. Martens

 

5.    The Hero

The Hero is a strong, courageous archetype. They thrive on determination and bravery, providing direction and purpose to those who follow them. The Hero archetype is trustworthy and can be seen as a leader due to their want to improve the world - they offer confidence and provide challenges to their community. Unsurprisingly, Hero brands fear weakness and vulnerability, and are afraid to let people down. 

 

Examples of Hero Archetype: Nike, Adidas, Marvel, British Army

 

6.    The Explorer

Inspiration and curiosity spring to mind when we think about the Explorer archetype. The Explorer loves freedom, and excitement. This can, however, sometimes leave an explorer feeling trapped or restless, if they aren’t able to create new experiences. Explorer brands like to provide their customers with the same genuine desire for adventure and authenticity that they believe themselves. Interestingly, a brand can also be placed under The Explorer archetype if their company culture encourages ambition and fulfilment. 

 

Examples of Explorer Archetype: National Geographic, The North Face, GoPro

 

7.    The Lover

The Lover archetype signifies passion, connection and intimacy. These brands like to evoke emotion, and make every situation, product, or experience feel special. Lover brands like aesthetic and beauty, their desire is to attract others and form deep connections with their customers. Most brands under the Lover archetype are within the premium space, which to some may feel shallow. But for this archetype, the way their product makes someone feel is all that matters. 

 

Examples of Lover Archetypes: Chanel, Lindt, Victoria's Secret

 

8.    The Citizen

The Citizen is also commonly known as the everyday person. This archetype is considered to be wholesome, genuine and reliable. The Citizen has no great aspirations, other than to be supportive and appeal to, and be accepted by their peers, which actually becomes a desirable trait. They fear being seen as egotistical or big-headed, so honesty is one of their strongest policies. Brands who identify as a citizen archetype like to bring staff and customers together, to show they’re just as important as one another, there are no hierarchies within these brands.

 

Examples of Citizen archetypes: Heinz, Tetley, Ebay, Ikea

 

9.    The Sage

Wise, articulate, and truthful. These are traits of The Sage archetype. For these brands, the key to success is gathering reliable information and discovering the truth, in order to inform others about their findings. Sage brands tend to have a lot of awareness, and are considered by others to be experts in their field. They don’t trivialise their findings, instead they affirm themselves as educational and informative. The Sage must be careful not to be deceived.  

 

Examples of Sage Archetype: Telegraph, TED, BBC, Oxford University

 

10.    The Innocent

The Innocent is a happy-go-lucky character, who enjoys optimism, peace, and fulfilment. They are all about simplicity and seeing the positivity in everything. These brands are seen as dependable and have nothing to gain other than satisfying their consumer. Innocents are careful not to make the wrong move and put their happiness in jeopardy, by being honest and always doing the right thing. 

 

Examples of Innocent Archetypes: Coca-Cola, Innocent, Dove

 

11.    The Jester

On the outside, The Jester seems to be all about comedy. As much as laughter, lightheartedness and fun are all within a Jester’s remit, they also like to ensure that their consumers are enjoying life by using their services or products. It goes deeper than humour, they use perspective, and innovation to fuel their ideas. The only fear for a Jester archetype is being boring or left out – they love to bring the party and view situations in a new light. Living in the moment is a Jester’s motto, and they want their followers to do the same.

 

Examples of Jester Archetypes: M&M’s, Ben & Jerry’s, Compare the Market

 

12.    The Magician

The Magician wants to transform their fantasy into a reality – their core desire is to make the magic happen. They love the centre of attention, and want your experiences to be as a result of something they created. Magician’s have an element of spirituality – they want to transform the way you feel about a place or a product by telling a story. The Magician is also very driven, they want to find answers to things not yet solved, which is partly where their innovative nature comes in. Magician’s can be worried about negative consequences of an idea they created.

 

Examples of Magician Archetypes: Disney, Dyson, Tesla, Nintendo

 

 

So..now you know them all, which one do you think you, or your brand could be? Maybe you're more than one?

 

 

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