Humans tend to use symbolism to understand their world, according to Swiss psychologist Carl Jung. He identified 12 archetypes – or powerful identities or personas:
The 12 classic brand archetypes cover the full range of personas, from those that make us feel secure and loved to those that excite us. They range from the “Innocent” to the wise and experienced “Sage” and from the “Hero” to the “Outlaw.” What’s the right archetype for your brand? You’ll need to consider the personality of your company and how it is perceived by your customers. First, explore the 12 archetypes, including their characteristics, and how they can be applied, and read about how some companies have used these archetypes effectively.
The advertising industry’s 12 classic archetypes create a deeper connection with consumers and help persuade people to buy their products or services. These are strong, distinctive and diverse iconic images, from the Jester (Motley Fool; Ben & Jerry’s) to the Rebel (Harley-Davidson; Virgin) to the Lover (Godiva; L’Oreal). To make your brand archetype most effective, first understand your customers and how they relate to your brand and then build on that.
Once you know how your customers feel about your company, have selected an archetype, and have begun to see how the archetype can define your brand, you can begin to tell your story in a way that deepens your connection with customers. Make sure you are authentic, consistent and thorough in your communications. Differentiate your brand in a way that inspires and involves your customers: They can have an important role to play in helping you tell your story.