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Brand Archetypes

Explore The 12 Key Archetypes For Brands

Brand Archetype Wheel

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.

Brand Archetypes

The Innocent

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.

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The Hero

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

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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

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

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The Creator

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

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

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The Rebel

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

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The Lover

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

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The Ruler

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

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The Jester

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 Magician

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

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The Sage

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

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The Innocent Brand Archetype Vision One
The Hero Brand Archetype Vision One
The Regular Guy Brand Archetype
The Caregiver Archetype Vision One
The Creator Archetype Vision One
The Explorer Brand Archetype Vision One
The Rebel Archetype Vision One
The Lover Brand Archetype Vision One
The Ruler Brand Archetype Vision One
The Jester Brand Archetype Vision One
The Magician Brand Archetype Vision One
The Sage Brand Archetype Vision One

Brand Archetype Quiz

Unsure what Brand Archetype your brand falls under? Why not try our quiz, designed to align your archetype with ease?

Start The Quiz Now!

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.

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