What’s your (arche)type?
the original pattern or model from which all things of the same kind are copied or on which they are based; a model or first form; prototype
When it comes to creating a brand identity, we might get a bit dizzy gasping through concepts, trying to figure out what our brand really stands for. Mission, vision, values, when seen as a whole will always lead to one of the 12 archetypes. Brand archetypes were identified by lots of studies, and they make our lives easier when we need to establish a brand identity, conceptually-wise. With no further ado, let’s dive into the magical world of brand archetypes.
#1 The Innocent
The Innocent is pure at heart, young, optimistic and loyal. Think about it as a child, free of worries, young and honest. The Innocent’s ultimate goal is to be happy and carefree. It strives to bee good, but can sometimes tend to be naive. Companies associated with this archetype have strong values, are seen as trustworthy, honest and moral and are sometimes nostalgic. For example, Coca-Cola is one brand that is associated with this archetype, always promoting childish ads, rebranding their bottles to their previous vintage versions in order to bring the nostalgia in people.
#2 The Guy or Gal
The Guy or Gal is like the person next door. Always there for you, very sociable, connects easily with people and its most important trait is the supportiveness. The Guy’s or Gal’s main goal is to belong, to connect, to be part of something. It usually represents big brands that encapsulate other small businesses such as eBay. It does have a drawback though, since it is everywhere, anytime it can easily blend in too much and lacks a distinctive identity.
#3 The Hero
The Hero, as you probably already guessed is strong, courageous, bold and confident. Its primary goal is to make the world a better place, but it can sometimes seem arrogant or self-sufficient. The Hero wants to leave a positive mark on the world though and one brand that you can think of could be Nike. Nike aspires to inspire others and their entire communication is based on encouraging people to do sports with their “Just do it” slogan.
#4 The Outlaw
When you think of The Outlaw archetype, you feel the rebelliousness, the reform, its urge to fight authority. Usually, brands that are constructed following this archetype are seen as wild, true icons one might say. Its goal is to break the rules and stand out from the crowd, but it can sometimes go a little too far and be perceived in a negative way by someone with a more conservative view of life. Think about Harley Davidson, a non-conformist brand that advocates for change, for rebellion and allows people to feel like they are strong and wild.
#5 The Explorer
The Explorer seeks adventure and taking risks. Its fulfilment comes from discoveries and thrilling experiences. Ambitious and independent, The Explorer might tend to not fit into the mainstream, while still being authentic. An awesome example on this is Red Bull. Red Bull is all about experience, it makes you fly, it makes you feel something different and most important, it gives you energy to go and explore some more.
#6 The Creator
The Creator’s best trait is its imagination. Creative and artistic, The Creator is a non-conformist entrepreneur that facilitates expression of its customers and foster their creativity. Its downside? It can sometimes be perfectionistic and impractical. When we think about a brand that is represented by this archetype, we think about Lego. Lego nurtures its customers’ desire for expressing their creativity through building a diversity of puzzles, but also, with their puzzles being sometimes overly complicated things might get a bit impractical.
#7 The Ruler
The Ruler loves control & order. Its primary goal is to get rid of the chaos by being organized and providing stability. Responsible and a true role model, The Ruler might be sometimes too authoritative and control freak but it really does help to create more stability in a chaotic environment. One example on this archetype is Microsoft. Microsoft, a real leader in the IT field, it’s perceived by its customers as an organized and stabile brand, that provides solutions to the day-to-day chaos by giving us a very well calculated space to work on our ideas.
#8 The Magician
The Magician wishes to create something special & it make dreams come true for those who believe. Charismatic and creative, The Magician is always there to help people regain their hope, inspire change and transform the world. Though it could take risks that might lead to bad outcomes, its purposes are noble and you could never get mad on it. A great example is Disney. Disney nurtures the magic in people by carrying them through a marvellous world of fantasy.
#9 The Lover
Passionate, romantic, sensual and intimate, The Lover is committed to make people belong and connect. Its goal is to inspire love and provide intimacy, but it can be too selfless in his way to make others feel something. Victoria’s Secret is one of the brands that are part of The Lover archetype. Everything from this brand inspires romanticism, from the colours that were chosen, to the fashion shows that portray angels, giving an warm yet idealistic vibe to the viewers.
#10 The Caregiver
As the name says, The Caregiver wants to take care of others and protect them. It has a maternal spirit, it’s generous and compassionate and nurtures the disadvantaged. With its never-ending kindness, The Caregiver might sometimes be taken for granted and exploited. Mother Theresa, for example, is the icon of The Caregiver, with her care for people and selfless self, she helped the people through health care with a very maternal approach.
#11 The Jester
The Jester seeks fun & mischief and it wants to bring joy to the world. Contrary to the popular thoughts, it is not the class clown, but it is more someone that helps people have a good time, allowing them to be spontaneous and impulsive. Sometimes, The Jester can be seen as disrespectful, but its intentions are pure at heart. One of The Jesters is IKEA. From their funny displays to the humorous ads and names of products, IKEA is all about giving people a space where they can shop joyfully items that will bring them happiness. It also has the mischief component with the fact that if you buy a piece of furniture…you have to assemble it by yourself.
#12 The Sage
The Sage represents a trusted source of information. You go to The Sage when you seek knowledge & wisdom. It is perceived as a guru or as an advisor, but could be too opinionated at times. The Sage helps people understand life and it provides with practical information and accurate analysis. It may already come to your mind one of the brands that are associated with The Sage archetype. Google. Google is an endless source of information and it is the first brand that you think of when you want to look up for something on the internet.
Did you already find your brand’s archetype(s)? If not, we can give you a hand on that.
Till next time,