What is brand archetype. 12 types with examples

brand archetype

¿What is a Brand Archetype?

Brand archetypes are derived from personality archetypes. This term is often confused with customer archetypes or buyer personas, which we have also detailed in our digital marketing dictionary.

Brand archetypes are defined under the theory of psychoanalyst Carl Jung, who proposed that humans tend to use symbolism to understand general concepts of behavior.

Jung identified 12 archetypes, each composed of a set of characteristics, attitudes, behaviors, and values.

From this, the marketing mix began to create brand archetypes, as they can determine the way people process sensations, the information that constantly comes from outside, the images, and symbols that are formed under any cultural context.

For this reason, brand archetypes determine how a company wants to present itself externally and thus define the best digital strategies to reach that audience.

Choosing a brand archetype is essential to understand the message you want to convey to your customers and is necessary to personalize the content marketing strategy and direct it towards the target audience.

The 12 Brand Archetypes

Here are the characteristics assigned to each brand archetype along with an easily relatable example for each.

1. Archetype Type: The Innocent

  • Objective: To be happy
  • Traits: Pure, youthful, optimistic, loyal, romantic.
  • Market Niche: Companies with solid values, associated with morality, simplicity, and good virtues; can be nostalgic.
  • Example: Coca Cola

2. Archetype Type: The Regular Person

  • Objective: Belong or connect with others
  • Traits: Supportive, faithful, with human connections.
  • Market Niche: Common touch, solid virtues, can generate a sense of belonging.
  • Example: eBay

3. Archetype Type: The Hero

  • Objective: Help make the world a better place
  • Traits: Brave, strong, daring, confident, inspiring.
  • Market Niche: Inspires leaving positive footprints on the planet. Solves significant problems or inspires others to be the change.
  • Example: Nike

4. Archetype Type: The Outlaw

  • Objective: Break the rules
  • Traits: Rebel, iconoclast, questions the world.
  • Market Niche: Agents of change, defenders of rights, allows or promotes breaking with conventions and venting against the system.
  • Example: Virgin Group

5. Archetype Type: The Explorer

  • Objective: Discover new things and experiences
  • Traits: Ambitious, restless, adventurous, independent, pioneer.
  • Market Niche: Exciting, risky, authentic companies.
  • Example: Red Bull

6. Archetype Type: The Creator

  • Objective: Create something of lasting value and meaning.
  • Traits: Creative, imaginative, nonconformist, entrepreneurial, inventive.
  • Market Niche: Helps customers express themselves, create, innovate; can be visionary.
  • Example: Lego

7. Archetype Type: The Ruler

  • Objective: Control the rules, create order.
  • Traits: Leader, responsible, organized, a role model.
  • Market Niche: Enables people to be organized, restores order, creates stability and security in a chaotic world.
  • Example: Microsoft

8. Archetype Type: The Magician

  • Objective: Make dreams a reality, create something special.
  • Traits: Visionary, charismatic, imaginative, idealistic.
  • Market Niche: Helps people to inspire change and raise awareness.
  • Example: Apple

9. Archetype Type: The Lover

  • Objective: Create intimacy and inspire love.
  • Traits: Passionate, sensual, intimate, romantic, warm, and idealistic.
  • Market Niche: Helps people feel loved, belong, connect with others, build relationships, enjoy intimacy.
  • Example: Victoria’s Secret

10. Archetype Type: The Caregiver

  • Objective: Care for and protect others.
  • Traits: Affectionate, maternal, selfless, generous.
  • Market Niche: Helps people take care of themselves, serve the public through medical assistance, education, or support.
  • Example: Johnson & Johnson

11. Archetype Type: The Jester

  • Objective: Bring joy to the world.
  • Traits: Fun, sense of humor, joyful, mischievous, irreverent.
  • Market Niche: Help customers have a good time, enjoy the moment, and be spontaneous.
  • Example: IKEA

12. Archetype Type: The Sage

  • Objective: Help the world gain more knowledge and wisdom.
  • Traits: Reliable information, wisdom, intelligence, reflective, analytical, can be a mentor.
  • Market Niche: Provides useful and practical information. Helps people be more analytical and understand the world better.
  • Example: Google

¿Why is it Important to Create a Brand Archetype?

As you can see, brand archetypes are the personification of these behavioral traits that provide a roadmap for the business.

It allows for more precise appeal to a specific desire with a particular personality.

Every brand has a way of seeing and thinking about life based on the products it sells, even if it sells products similar to the competition.

There are two main reasons why you would want to align your brand with an archetype.

1. Connection with Customers

Most brands today are competing fiercely over features, benefits, added value, and price.

If you want your brand to prevail and become a staple, you need to seek strategies to establish a deeper connection with your audience.

Often as customers, we look to identify with a brand, not just by what it sells but how it sells, the customer service treatment, business values, and the tastes and desires it satisfies.

Choosing brand personality traits is a step further in digital marketing strategies, which combine with inbound marketing tactics.

2. Differentiation from Competition

In the digital era, there’s a substantial competitive boom, as many companies can offer the same as you.

Designing a brand archetype can set you apart and help you stand out among the myriad of options in your market niche.

Personalities have infinite possibilities for construction, and when achieved strategically, you can highlight your brand over others.

Most importantly, it can generate brand recall and loyalty among your audience (engagement).

How to Build Your Brand Archetype

Since archetypes represent personalities, it’s important to consider both your customers and your brand itself.

Here are some tips to start building your brand archetype:

1. Identify Carl Jung’s Personality Archetypes Characteristics:

Delve into Carl Jung’s 12 archetypes, each embodying distinct traits, values, and behaviors. Assess these characteristics and consider which one resonates most profoundly with your brand’s essence and the preferences of your market niche. This alignment ensures that your brand’s persona authentically mirrors the ethos and aspirations it embodies, creating a strong, relatable identity.

2. Understand Your Audience Well

Deep audience understanding is key. Investigate their motivations, interests, and preferences. By identifying your buyer persona, you can align your brand archetype to connect with your audience’s core desires. This alignment between customer expectations and brand personality forges a stronger, more relevant connection, ensuring your brand’s messaging and positioning hit the right notes.

3. Consider Your Products in Context

Reflect on how your products or services fulfill your buyer persona’s aspirations. This involves not just the practical utility but also the emotional appeal. Consider the imagery, messaging, and overall communication style you use. It should resonate with the lifestyle, aspirations, and values of your target audience, thereby making your product an integral part of their narrative.

4. Give Your Brand a Face

Humanizing your brand can significantly enhance relatability. Choose a representative, like a founder, CEO, or a relatable figure, as the face of the brand. This person should embody the brand’s values and archetypal characteristics, serving as a tangible embodiment of what the brand stands for, thus forging a stronger emotional connection with the audience.

5. Reflect Admirable and Respected Values

Your brand should mirror the values and ethics admired by your target audience. This includes the symbology in your logo and branding materials. The key is to forge an emotional resonance through these values, making your brand not just a provider of products or services but a reflection of shared ethos and ideals.

6. Create an Origin Story

Crafting an origin story using your chosen archetype can significantly enhance audience connection. This narrative should encapsulate the journey, struggles, and triumphs of your brand, aligned with your archetype. It should inspire, connect, and resonate with your audience, making your brand’s journey a compelling part of its identity.

7. Create a Content Plan Aligned with Your Archetypes

Develop a content strategy that resonates with both your brand archetype and your customer archetypes. This involves tailoring your messaging, tone, and delivery to reflect the personality and values of your brand while also addressing the needs, aspirations, and pain points of your audience. This dual alignment ensures that your content not only attracts attention but also builds lasting engagement and loyalty.

Juan Esteban Yepes

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