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Brand Archetypes: A Conclusive Guide to Position Your Brand

12 brand archetypes wheel

Brand Archetypes: The Idea Behind Them

The brands we love have something about them that makes us frequent them. That feeling keeps bringing us back to them over their competitors but is impossible to finger on. Some of us may even believe that we trust those brands more than others.

But what is it about those brands which attract us in the first place? Research shows that about 95% of consumers choose brands subconsciously rather than through reason. So what makes these brands click in our minds?

Put simply; the answer is that they embody the right brand archetypes.

Let’s find out what brand personality archetypes are and how brands use them to influence their customers’ perceptions to develop lasting relationships.

1- What Are The 12 Brand Archetypes?

They are the emotional and behavioral models of consumers. Basically, these are the personalities that a potential consumer might assume when interacting with a business. Today, it is one of the most critical weapons in a branding specialist’s arsenal.

In branding, these archetypes are used to build accurate brand personas. Their job is to guide the development of your branding and marketing strategies. Typically, the best personas are those which conform with a single archetype.

A personalized strategy by a professional branding services provider ensures that your brand archetype represents your values and message. 

Now, you might be wondering about what these archetypes are. So, let’s have a look.

1.1- The Creator

The creator brand archetypes are the ones that resonate with the creative thinkers, the dreamers, and the inventors. Anyone with the drive to create something, a painter, a musician, or an innovator, embody the characteristics of the creator brand archetype.

The Creator personality is always trying to create something new and innovative every day. The need to express their creative drive is their most prominent feature. To achieve that, they constantly work towards developing high-quality and long-lasting creations.

sculptor sculpting a statue

For branding, the creator archetype works for the following applications:

  • Creative/Design companies
  • Tech-oriented companies
  • Marketing agencies

In terms of appeal, the creator archetype prefers promoting the creative process and the desire for expression. These types inspire loyalty and inspire their followers to improve and express their own creative imagination.

Companies that conform to the Creator archetype include:

  • LEGO
  • Apple
  • GoPro

1.2- The Ruler

The ruler brand archetypes demand control. Naturally, leading personalities like them inspire a following to show them the way to go.

In our lives, we see many figures which fit the ruler archetype – our parents, your boss at the office, or even a role model. All of these are roles that demand a firm and authoritative demeanor.

For the ruler archetype, dominion and authority are of utmost importance, and their activities signify that. They aim to nurture and build a strong community, family, or company.

maserati ghibli

For branding purposes, the ruler archetype works well for these applications:

  • Luxury automobiles
  • High-end formal/business apparel
  • Upscale hotels and restaurants

Brands that want to target this archetype should foster an image of leadership and mastery over the competition. But it should still be refined and elegant, appealing to the sophisticated sensibilities of a true leader.

Brands that embody the Ruler archetype include:

  • Burberry
  • Rolls-Royce
  • Rolex

1.3- The Caregiver

The caregiver brand archetypes represent a personality that lives to comfort others and tries to care for everyone around them. This archetype represents the parents, caretakers, altruists, and helpers.

When they meet someone who looks like they need help, these personalities swoop in to comfort them and support them until they can take care of themselves. Appreciation for their efforts pleases them, but they shy away from fame and posterity.

mother bonding with children

The core desire of brands and people from this archetype is the drive to help those in need and keep everyone from harm. That is why they hate the selfish and the ungrateful.

For branding purposes, the caregiver archetype is suitable for:

  • Health care industry
  • Educational sector
  • Non-profits

Brands that envision themselves helping others are ideal candidates for this archetype. This personality will allow them to help their consumers and make them feel safe, secure, and cared for.

Brands that benefit from the embodiment of this archetype include:

  • UNICEF
  • Johnson & Johnson
  • World Wildlife Federation

1.4- The Everyman

As the name suggests, the everyman brand archetypes exemplify the qualities of an ordinary human. In essence, they are just like everyone else.

These people can be called “the everyday joes,” just one of the countless faces we see around us every day. While invisible to many others, this archetype demonstrates the importance and silent contributions of a common man.

people walking in the street

These people dress plain and live a simple life, no matter how wealthy they might be. Overt displays of wealth or elitist behaviors rub them the wrong way, and they ignore such situations avidly.

Their core trait is the desire to forge personal connections. They desire to be a part of a community built on trust and respect rather than wealth or power. For branding, businesses that can benefit from the everyman archetype include:

  • Everyday apparel
  • Family-oriented automobiles
  • Grocery/Departmental stores

A brand that wants to connect with ordinary people is the ideal personification of this archetype. By appealing to your consumers’ sensibilities of a simple and comfortable life, you can use this archetype to significant effect. Let them know that you hear and understand their needs and that they can rely on you to fulfill them.

Brands that benefit from the everyman archetype include:

  • Walmart
  • IKEA
  • McDonald’s

1.5- The Jester

The jester brand archetypes are all about having fun. These people tend to live for the moment, facing each phase of their life as it comes. Also called the joker, these people can lighten up the room with their presence, no matter the situation.

The jester archetype also instills a sense of optimism and hope within a person. They try to find the good in everything and everyone. While their bodies may grow old and frail, their hearts are always young, full of joy.

The core value of this personality is the desire to live each moment to its fullest, with a happy and hopeful outlook. Brands looking to connect with the more upbeat demographic include:

medieval jester cosplay
  • Sweets and Confectioners
  • Toy companies
  • Drinks manufacturers

Who among us doesn’t love to laugh? But as we age, we tend to lose that feeling of spontaneous joy. That is why we need a jester’s personality around us, to help uplift our spirits. Having your audience associate you with joy and laughter can turn you into a well-loved business for brands.

Popular brands that use this archetype include:

  • Old Spice
  • Cheetos
  • Red Bull

1.6- The Lover

The lover brand archetype is all about passionate relationships. They tend to enjoy the experience of falling in love with other people, their work, or an item they love.

This archetype is common for romantic partners, lovers, spouses, enthusiasts, and connoisseurs. Love is a common sentiment for many human relations like friendships or parent-child bonds. However, here it represents passionate, romantic love.

couple in sunset profile

These people desire a sense of intimacy and closeness. Achieving that gives them an experience of extreme pleasure. For branding, companies that can benefit from this archetype include:

  • Jewelry
  • Winery
  • Beauty and Cosmetics

Brands that promise a sensual experience, or portray a sense of beauty and sexual appeal, use the lover archetype.

Brands famous for embodying this brand archetype include:

  • Chanel
  • Maserati
  • Chateau Lafite Rothschild Winery

1.7- The Hero

The hero brand archetypes are idealists. They aim to take the responsibility of changing the world upon themselves, to help make it a better place.

When all else seems lost, the hero’s arrival renews the hopes of the defeated and motivates them to battle on. They are romanticized as the ones who will always triumph over every adversity and challenge. The hero aims to inspire us to emulate their example.

These people try to power through the problems they face and are generally self-reliant. They are willing to give their best to help someone out or to do something that others cannot. Their core trait is a desire to prove themselves through courage and determination.

surgeons operating

This type of archetype is popular with:

  • Outdoor equipment companies
  • Tools manufacturers
  • Sportswear

The heroes act as inspirations for others, motivating them to try their best to achieve new heights. Well-known brands that embody the hero archetype include:

  • Amazon
  • Adidas
  • Ford

1.8- The Magician

The magician brand archetype is associated with doing the impossible. These people dream up ideas that others sideline as being impossible to make.

Known as the visionaries, the innovators, or the charismatic, they trust that everything is possible once we try it. Basically, they believe that anything can happen if people put in the required effort.

Walt Disney and mickey mouse in front of Disney world

These people are interested in thinking up seemingly impossible ideas and bringing them to fruition through sheer hard work and dedication. Their core desire – turning their dreams into reality.

This archetype is the best choice for brands such as:

  • Entertainment Industry
  • Cosmetic treatments
  • Technology

If a brand is known for mystery, and incredible creations, then they are the magician archetype. Many famous brands use this archetype to their advantage, including:

  • Disney
  • Netflix
  • Marvel Studios

1.9- The Outlaw

The outlaw brand archetypes are non-conformists. They are the rule-breakers, the out-of-the-box thinkers, the forbidden fruit.

The outlaws have a certain roguish charm and romantic appeal. Their drive to disrupt the natural order of things that normalizes repression, conformity, and a cynical outlook, makes people root for them.

bikers riding choppers b/w

Now an outlaw can either be good or bad, but they work to incite a revolution to bring about the change they believe in both cases. Brands that might be able to benefit from this archetype include:

  • Motorcycle manufacturers
  • Artists
  • Architects

Many brands have built their identities as market leaders by breaking the bonds of commonality and introducing new products for the world to see. From high-powered motorbikes to unconventional buildings, the outlaws have left their marks on many icons of this world.

Famous brands that embody this archetype include:

  • Harley Davidson
  • Lamborghini
  • Levi’s

1.10- The Explorer

The explorer brand archetype portrays a drive to discover new and uncharted territories and connect to nature. Called the wanderer, adventurer, or thrill-seeker, they live to find new and exciting places and meet new people.

Rugged living suits them better than comfortable home living. They love to live and feed off the land, no matter where they are. Being out in nature makes them feel free of the burdens of the world.

bike on road under open sky

The core drive for the explorer archetype is to find out what they are made of through hardships and adventure. Brands that might find this archetype helpful include:

  • All-terrain automobiles like Yamaha
  • Outdoor/camping companies
  • Adventure tour companies

Brands looking to relate to the explorer type need to promote the benefits of the adventure life. They need to leave the hardships of the modern world for a little while. Famous brands that personify the explorer archetype include:

  • Jeep
  • The North face
  • Patagonia

1.11- The Sage

The sage brand archetypes are seekers of truth and an encyclopedia of knowledge and wisdom. Their advice is highly sought after by their followers, as they are experts, scholars, and advisors.

These people desire to understand the intricate workings of this world and then share their knowledge and findings with others around them. They seek to learn new things their entire lives, dedicating their time to the pursuit of new knowledge.

The core desire is to discover the truth of the world and is best used by brands such as:

  • Journalism and Media
  • Educational institutes
  • Professional consultancies
yoda star wars

The brand that embodies this archetype works to find out and inform the general masses, celebrating a thirst to learn. To form a connection with other sage types, the brand needs to convey their belief that true wisdom results from proper education, which comes from the pursuit of the truth.

Brands that are the personification of this archetype include:

  • Google
  • Wikipedia
  • BBC

1.12- The Innocent

The innocent brand archetype looks at the world through an optimist’s view. They believe that everything around them is normal and should be, with no personal bias or preconceptions affecting their world outlook.

They are honest in all their dealings and hold no grudge or ill-will towards anyone. Their only aim is to make the people around them happy, which makes them happy. They fear hurting others and strive to please with their actions. Brands that might benefit from this include:

child laughing and playing
  • Beauty
  • Skincare
  • Fresh and organic foods

Brands aiming for a better world can promote their naturally sustainable processes. Many famous sustainable brands use it to their benefit, such as:

  • Dove
  • Whole Foods
  • Starbucks
Logopoppin

Logopoppin

Logopoppin is a graphic design agency that specializes in logo designing, web development, video production and advanced branding services. We love to innovate businesses with new age technologies, allowing them to improve their visual reputation.

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2- Why Are Brand Archetypes Important?

Brand archetypes can tap into the desires of our viewers. They can combine the values and the sales pitch of a brand into a persona that allows the customer to relate. Thus, archetypes make your brand unique in the eyes of the viewer, and:

2.1- They Set You Apart

A strong archetype helps you stand apart from the competition. It allows the customer to relate to the brand on a deeper level by portraying the brand’s values, ideas, and story. It tells them the how and the why of the brand, increasing trust and loyalty between customer and brand.

2.2- They Set Your Brand's Tone

They set the tone for the brand. A caregiver brand needs to embody and personify the characteristics, such as a kind, loving and helpful personality. Once the brand portrays those characteristics, the customer will predict how the next interaction is going to go. That increases trust and increases the chances of repeat business.

2.3- They Connect with Customer Subconscious

The archetypes can be tweaked to cater to specific customer needs and desires. It might be a creative change, a motivational change, or any other change. For each, there is a particular archetype that can cater to their needs.

Archetypes create a direct connection to the preconceptions in a customer’s subconscious, and the right archetype needs to be used to target your actual customers.

3- How to Use Brand Archetypes to Enhance Brands with Emotion?

As each archetype evokes a specific emotion, this can be used to enhance the brand’s value. But this success depends mainly upon the choice of the archetype. And this is backed by a lot of research. Even as far back as 384 B.C, Plato approached a similar concept of the importance of archetypes in his talk of intuitive understandings of human behavior.

Some archetypes can evoke a feeling of love and care, while another signifies sensuality. Similarly, each of the twelve brand archetypes has its own emotion. By knowing what emotion fulfills the intent of your customers, you can leverage the right archetype to boost the brand’s image in the customer’s eyes.

A few common emotions associated with archetypes are listed below:

Here are the basic human desires that each match with a specific archetype;

  • Liberation > THE OUTLAW
  • Power > THE MAGICIAN
  • Mastery > THE HERO
  • Intimacy > THE LOVER
  • Enjoyment > THE JESTER
  • Belonging > THE EVERYMAN
  • Service > THE CAREGIVER
  • Control > THE RULER
  • Innovation > THE CREATOR
  • Safety > THE INNOCENT
  • Understanding > THE SAGE
  • Freedom > THE EXPLORER

What Do You Need to Know to Establish Your Brand Archetypes?

You need to know three significant factors to establish the proper brand personality archetype for your company. While new brands might not have the information required to choose the right archetype, choosing one at random is not the answer.

The factors you require to make the right choice are:

4.1- Brand Mission

Ask yourself why you started this business. Then, identify clear goals for your company. These are the core elements to making the right archetype choice.

4.2- Target Demographic

The right archetype depends on your audience. Your archetype and your customers need to be aligned in a single direction. That is how your company will resonate with the consumer and influence them to patronize your business. Therefore, research your customer – their wants, needs, and desires to choose the right archetype for them.

4.3- Industry Niche

As we discussed above, each archetype works for a few key industries and niches. A few industries work well with a mix of archetypes, while others fit a single archetype perfectly. Depending on your business niche or industry, finding the right archetype may be easier than you imagined.

Frequently Asked Questions

Brand archetypes are 12 different kinds of business personalities that can evoke certain emotions in customers and relate to them deeper.

The twelve brand archetypes were first suggested by the psychiatrist Carl Jung in 1919. Everyone has a dominant trait with typical behaviors and desires.

It uses a combination of a few archetypes, such as the sage, the innocent, and the caregiver.

It is the art of using a brand's archetypes to leverage the brand image, making it more recognizable and relatable to the users.

To Summarize

There are a multitude of reasons as to why you should find and stick to your brand archetypes. An archetype offers your brand the map to stay on the right path that you envisioned at the start. That allows you to provide consistency to your actions and decisions, which helps generate a strong brand identity.

This consistency also helps your customers connect with your brand deeper, increasing their loyalty to the brand. Therefore, choosing the right archetype is so crucial for a business.

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