Brand Archetypes

Quick Summary
Having a distinctive identity is essential to elevating the visibility of your company, your products and your marketing message. Archetypes are central to positioning your company and products in a unique, distinctive and effective way. They help your brand resonate more deeply with consumers by connecting with their emotions at a fundamental level.

What Are Brand Archetypes?

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 Brand Archetypes

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.

Using Archetypes to Define Your Brand

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.

Translate Your Brand Archetypes Into a Communications Platform

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.
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