Explore The 12 Key Archetypes For Brands
Discover the 12 Brand Archetypes to drive business success
To develop a strong brand, you need to nurture a strong brand personality. Just like people, your company’s brand has its own personality – determining how customers connect with you and whether or not they want to do business with you. Brand Archetypes are an important part of understanding your brand’s personality.
We all tend to create stereotypes, and it’s something we do without thinking. Psychologist Carl Jung believed that many film and story characters are instantly familiar to us because they are primal and instinctive – part of a ‘collective unconscious’ that we all share. These all-too-familiar (stereotypical) characters are often referred to as Jungian archetypes and they’ve become an increasingly popular and effective tool for personifying brands.
At Vision One, we help brand owners discover how they themselves perceive their brand, as well as help them to explore how their customers see them. If you want to improve your brand and your relationship with your customers, it’s important to understand the differences in these perceptions.
The 12 Brand Archetypes and the Archetype Wheel
In total, there are 12 Archetypes. We’ve illustrated them for you on our Archetype Wheel – along with an example of a brand within each Archetype.
The Benefits of Brand Archetypes
From a distance, a business can look very simple – especially when the relationship is built upon a transactional basis. However, the world’s most successful brands go beyond this and develop a strong personal relationship with their customers. It’s the secret to successful branding – personalising your brand so that your customers can connect with it, and relate to it, emotionally and instinctively.
“Strong brands have personality, whilst weak brands don’t! “
Brand Archetypes require you to embed humanity into your vision, goals, and values – think of it as your brand DNA. And history has shown that businesses that can correctly and successfully develop and exploit their archetypes are the most likely to thrive. Want to connect with your customers on a deeper level so that you can experience real brand growth? At Vision One, we specialise in helping you to identify and optimise your Brand DNA.
The Honest, The Optimistic, The Pure
The Innocent brand archetype has a desire to just be free and happy and keep life simple. They fear doing things wrong and being punished for it. They are often successful at ignoring and moving through barriers that would sometimes stop others, as they have the core talents of being optimistic and hopeful.
The Innocent– Key Characteristics and Values
Goal: To Be Happy
Strategy: To do things right
Greatest Fear: To come across unhappy
Personalities: Traditionalist, Optimist, Cheerleader
Key Attributes: Wholesome, Pure, Forgiving, Trusting, Honest, Happy, Optimistic, Simple.
The Warrior, Champion, Superhero
The Hero Archetype represents brands that are very successful at producing consistent results. Furthermore, they aim to fulfil objectives and give their all to achieve their goals. This is due to their core talent being competent and courageous. Also, the Hero can often be mistaken for the Ruler as they both demonstrate a few similar qualities: power and self-confidence above all. The Hero, however, is courageous most of all than controlling. The Heroes are winners, they are achievers that get things done effectively in their mission to improve the world.
Goal: Expert mastery in a way that improves the world
Strategy: To be as strong and competent as possible
Greatest Fear: Vulnerability and weakness
Personalities: Competitor, Achiever, Coach
Key Attributes: A Warrior, Competitive, Aggressive, Winner, Principled, Idealist, Courageous and Proud
The Regular Guy
The Realist, The Everyman, The Friend
Brands in the Regular Guy archetype aim to be on the same level as the consumer, treating them as equals and expressing traits of unpretentiousness and humbleness in their brand.
The Regular Guy’s Key Characteristics and Values
Goal: To Belong
Strategy: Be down-to-earth and develop solid virtues
Greatest Fear: To be left out or stand out from the crowd
Personalities: Realist, Democrat, Comrade
Key Attributes: Everyday functionally, Honesty, Dependable, Not Pretentious, Straight Shooter, People-Oriented
The Caregiver, Nuturer, Parent, Angel
The caregiver is driven by their need to protect and care for others. They offer protection, safety and support for their customers. They have an innate capacity for nurturing. The worst thing that could happen to them would be for their products to be perceived as harmful or exploitative.
The Caregiver Key Characteristics and Values
Goal: To help and care for others
Strategy: Protecting and doing things for others
Greatest Fear: Selfishness and Ingratitude
Personalitites: Supporter, Advocate, Nutrurer
Key Attributes: Alturistic, selfness, nuturing, compassionate, empathetic, supportive, generous
The Sage, The Scholar, The Visionary
The Creator brand archetype is a visionary, non-conformist and authentic. The Creator has the desire to craft something meaningful and special. They love new ideas and making things happen. The Creator gets deep satisfaction from both the process and the outcome of creating something that did not previously exist and therefore a natural fit for many marketing, design, and technology brands.
The Creator – Key Characteristics and Values
Goal: To realise a vision
Strategy: To develop artistic control and skill
Greatest Fear: Mediocre vision or execution
Personalities: Artisan, Innovator, Inventor
Key Attributes: Innovative, Imaginative, Creative, Artistic, Experimental, Willing to take risks, Ambitious, Desire to turn ideas into reality, Inventor, Musician, Writer, or Dreamer
The Explorer, Trailblazer, Pioneer or Adventurer
The Explorer brand archetype craves adventure and wants to just discover the world for themselves. They are independent, ambitious and spiritual but on the negative, they can be restless, aimless and a bit flaky.
The Explorer – Key Characteristics and Values
Goal: To experience a more authentic and fulfilling life
Strategy: To journey, seek and experience new things
Greatest Fear: To be trapped and conform
Personalities: Individualist, Seeker, Trailblazer
Key Attributes: Adventurous, Wanderer, Restless, Independent, Self-Directed, Self-Sufficient and Values Freedom
The Revolutionary, The Powerful, The Liberated
The rebel brand archetype is an expert in developing truly radical ideas, services and products. Some rebel brands can be seen as revolutionary, and these are the ones that must be careful about coming across as too reckless and shaking things up endlessly.
The Rebel – Key Characteristics and Values
Goal: To overturn what isn’t working
Strategy: Disrupt, Destroy or Shock
Greatest Fear: To be powerless
Personalities: The Troubleshooter, Game Changer, The Challenger
Key Attributes: Rebellious, Shocking, Outrageous, Disruptive, Feared, Powerful, Counter-Cultural, Liberated, Radical Freedom
The Idealist, The Sensualist, The Seducer
The Lover is about creating relationships and evoking emotions. No man is an island – they want to make people feel special and meet this need. They see the world from the perspective… what has love got to do with the journey we call life? Everything. Lover brands like to celebrate the physical joys of being human, fostering intimacy and bliss in their consumers.
The Lover – Key Characteristics and Values
Goal: To be in a relationship with the people, work and surroundings
Strategy: To become more and more physically and emotionally attractive
Key Attributes: Seek true love, intimacy, sensuality, passionate, sexy, seductive, erotic, seek pleasure, to indulge, follow emotions.
Greatest Fear: being alone or feeling unwanted
Personalities: Harmoniser, Connector, Partner
The Leader, The Powerful, The Role Model
The Ruler brand archetype is driven by its strong power and control. Ruler brands are known for speaking authoritatively and often spreading the idea that they are the leaders in their field. They are the headteacher, the monarch, the boss and the President, top banana and infused with a sense of wealth and success. Seen as ‘masculine’, rulers will be solid and polished to their consumers.
The Ruler’s Key Characteristics
Goal: To create a prosperous, successful community
Strategy: To exercise power
Greatest Fear: Chaos and being overthrown
Personalities: Peacemaker, Powerbroker, Conductor
Key Attributes: Manager, Organiser, Productive, Confidence, Responsible, Role Model, The Boss, The Leader
The Joker, The Fun, The Comedian
The Jester lives in the moment and just enjoy life. They fear boredom above everything. A Jester brand archetype tends to give out the impression that they live on the wild side and use outrageous imagery to often tease their customers affectionately.
The Jester – Key Characteristics and Values
Goal: To enjoy the journey and to stand out
Strategy: To live in the moment and not be too serious
Greatest Fear: To come across boring
Personalities: Comedian, Practical Joker, The Fool
Key Attributes: Joker, Playful, Carefree, Joyful, Original, Teaser and Foolish
The Healer, The Wizard, The Visionary
The magician wants to understand the universe and their position in the world, but they fear any unintended negative consequences of their exploration. Magician brand archetypes will promote themselves as the gate to transformative experience and they will focus on individuals rather than the group, they will also usually flatter the customer and tell them to trust their own instincts.
The Magician – Key Characteristics and Values
Goal: To make dreams come true
Strategy: Develop a vision and live by it
Greatest Fear: Negative Consequences
Personalities: The Envisioner, Healer, Catalyst
Key Attributes: The Visionary, Inventor, Spiritual, Values Magical Moments, Charismatic Leader, Holistic
The Teacher, The Investigator, The Mentor
The Sage brand archetype seeks the truth and wants to find the good and the wisdom in all situations. Sage brands will promise learning and teaching knowledge and therefore will often make use of their higher levels of vocabulary or symbolic imagery.
The Sage – Brand Archetype Key Characteristics
Goal: To use intelligence and wisdom to understand the world
Strategy: Seek out information and knowledge
Greatest Fear: Being misled or ignored
Personalities: Expert/Guru, Investigator, Mentor
Key Attributes: Expert, Thinker, Philosopher, Reflective, Advisor, Teacher, Confident, In-Control, Wisdom, Intelligence, Planner
START YOUR JOURNEY TODAY
If you’re new to Brand Archetypes, you may need a bit of help defining yours. Luckily, it’s one of our specialist areas, so please just get in touch – we’re a friendly bunch. We’ll look at your brand and category with the perfect balance of objectivity and truth. It’s an eye-opening, creative and fun process. We’ll work with you to combine market research and archetyping exercises to help tell your brand’s story – uncovering the essence, heart and emotion of your brand. It’s a pretty exciting journey that can redefine your whole outlook.