There’s something about brands, that makes humans feel a connection with them. There’s something that makes the consumers feel that they resonate with a brand, which makes them fall in love with the brand and be loyal to it.
It’s all because of the Brand Archetypes. Just like fictional characters, brand archetypes are written according to broadly defined paradigms that help us understand their actions. It is like personifying a brand and presenting its- symbolism, values, behaviours, and messages, thus making it more recognizable and relatable to the target audience.
The 12 brand archetypes were developed by Carl Jung, who believed that all humans have one dominant trait that leads to typical behavioural patterns, desires, values, and motivations; and these “archetypes” can also be applied to brands, to create brand personalities that connect with the target audience on a personal and emotional level.
The 12 brand archetypes are:
1. The Magician | Turning problems into solutions, making dreams come true
The brands that fall under the ‘Magician’ archetype, make dreams come true and make problems disappear. They deliver transformative experiences and turn the ordinary into extraordinary. These brands focus heavily on creativity and imagination but deliver experiences that are idealistic in nature.
Example- Disney is an example of the ‘Magician’ archetype, as its fantasy-oriented movies and songs, make the brand all about bringing magic and sparkles into ordinary lives.
2. The Creator | Inspiring creativity, creating an authentic brand story, fusing technology and artistry
The brands with the ‘Creator’ archetype have a vision, about how they feel the world should be, and they want to create a product that turns that vision into reality. These brands align their personality with the Creators- who crave authenticity, innovation, and freedom of expression to make sense of the world around them. These brands are usually the first ones to introduce a new technology or create a unique combination of features. Their goal is to solve a problem by inventing something that didn’t exist before. These brands appeal more to the creative or artistic audience, who values self-expression, experiments with new products, and likes to stand out from the crowd.
Example- Lego, the toy brand which helps everyone be it an adult or child explore their creative side.
3. The Ruler | Fostering stability and trust, creating high-quality products that lead the way
The brands with the ‘The Ruler’ archetype seek to eliminate uncertainty by taking control. More than following the rules, they like to make them. This archetype is powerful and dominating, which makes the brands strive to be the best of the very best. They have the ability to influence others through their authoritative personality and they like to associate themselves with wealth and success and are often portrayed as more masculine than others. They might appear quiet at times, but that’s because they’re known for their perfection and attention to detail.
Example- A leader in its own industry, Gillette has always rolled out an air of domination and masculine energy. Their campaign “The best a man can get”, is a great epitome of the archetype.
4. The Lover | Connecting people emotionally, providing sensuous experiences, making people and life more special
The brands in the ‘The Lover’ archetype are the true romantics. They value relationships above anything else and find strength in intimacy, passion, and emotional connection. These brands are also inclined to focus on aesthetic appeal. They are all about all things beautiful and sensual, as they want to appear as attractive as possible, and to stimulate a desire in the audience to be intimate and passionate.
Example- Cadbury has always brought out the romantic side of people and has been a brand that brings out the intimacy people share in their relationships.
5.The Caregiver | Making people feel safe, fostering trust, generating public support for the socially inclined product/service they provide
The brands from the ‘The Caregiver’ archetype are empathetic, compassionate, and nurturing. This personality is mostly suited for healthcare brands, non-profits, and baby brands. Their goal is to make customers feel secure and protected, by playing the role of a healer or a motherly figure.
Example-Lush the handmade cosmetic company based in United Kingdom, offers a variety of personal care products which are made of natural ingredients which do not harm the skin or hair and they do not test on animals at all.
6. The Jester | Helping people see the lighter side of life, spreading creativity through joy
The brands under the ‘The Jester’ archetype like to laugh and have fun. They don’t take themselves too seriously and encourage their audience to laugh along with them. They want to help people let go of stressful thoughts. The Jesters will bring fun to consumers wherever they are. They are extremely charismatic and are mostly found in food, entertainment, and everyday home niches.
Example- Chumbak through its quirky tone and designs, has always managed to make people smile, let go, and encourages them to be themselves.
7. The Sage | Illuminating the world through knowledge-sharing, earning respect through intellectualism
The brands in the ‘The Sage’ archetype strive for knowledge, truth, and wisdom- these brands not only crave valuable information but also to share it with others. Their goal is to empower people, in order to change the world. They are thought leaders and trusted sources of information. People rely on them to better understand the world around them. These brands dislike misleading or vague information and prefer using solid facts and statistics to back up their statements. These are typically found in education, as well as in the news and media industry.
Example- If someone has a question, Google has the answer. That’s how it has been working for a long time now. The brand has opened up a path to knowledge, truth, and guidance for people all over the world.
8. The Explorer | Inspiring change through innovative vision and force of personality
The brands from the ‘The Explorer’ archetype tap into their audience’s desire to travel and discover new places, people, and worlds. Explorers love their freedom, and they’re always looking for pathways to self-fulfilment, although they’re rarely ever satisfied with where they are.
Example-Lonely Planet is an Australian major travel guide, founded by married couple Maureen and Tony Wheeler. In 1972, they embarked on an overland trip through Europe and Asia to Australia, following the route of the Oxford and Cambridge Far Eastern Expedition.
9. The Rebel | Disrupting existing structures, rock ‘n’ roll sex appeal, promoting brand loyalty
This archetype is also called the Outlaw, and the brands in this archetype are a rebel at heart. These brands dislike rules and conformity. They value freedom and want to break through the status quo, even if it requires a fight. They are aggressive, and might even go against societal norms just because they’re bored. The Rebel archetype is best suited for brands and products that enable customers to express their unorthodox personalities and desires, such as statement jewellery, tattoos, and motorcycles.
Example- Harley-Davidson is a classic example of the Rebel archetype. The brand engages its audience by creating commercials that challenge them to be different and bold.
10. The Hero | Inspiring courage and achievement by overcoming adversity
The brands in the ‘The Hero’ archetype are a symbol of courage and a source of inspiration. These brands wear a superhero cape and their mission is to make the world a better place. Hero brands are brave; they’re not intimidating, but they embrace any challenges that come their way, have big ambitions, and inspire people to work harder. Hero brands are most commonly seen in sports, outdoor, and equipment, thanks to their bold and confident personality.
Example- Nike’s famous slogan- “Just do it”, is an example of The Hero archetype. The brand consistently creates bold and standout products and maintains an inspiring brand voice that empowers its customers to be courageous and daring. They are ready to meet challenges and defeat them in order to achieve their goals.
11. The Regular Guy | Bringing safety, reliability, trust, and comfort to a mass-market
This archetype is also known as the Everyman, and it simply wants to belong. These brands dislike standing out from the crowd and send the message that it’s okay to be normal. Unlike other brand archetypes that hold an elitist personality, the Regular Guy just wants to blend in with the rest of the society. These brands are typically affordable, inclusive and target the masses instead of a highly niche segment. This archetype is mostly seen in everyday brands, such as casual clothing, home decor and furniture, and food.
Example- IKEA offers everyday home products for the average joe- that too in many countries and cities around the world.
12. The Innocent | Spreading purity and joy in a cynical world
The brands in the ‘The Innocent’ brand archetype are pure and unadulterated, just like nature. These brands like simplicity and authenticity, and have strong moral values. Innocent brands don’t want to harm anyone or anything, and have an incredibly positive outlook on life- some would say even to the point of naivety. This archetype does well in industries that involve organic or natural ingredients, such as beauty, skincare, and food.
Example- Paper Boat has always brought out a very raw communication because it has always wanted the consumers to sit and travel back in a train of nostalgia. The brand talks about a person’s childhood which makes it a perfect example of innocence.
These are the 12 brand archetypes, where each brand adheres to one or more and communicates with its audience, maintaining that tonality, so that the consumers can relate to the brand and feel a connection with the brand.