They all have central characters with individual and personality traits.
This is basically what a brand archetype is, and there are 12 of them, which we will detail in this article.
A branding and a clear understanding of who you are as a company are essential. And one way to better understand who you are is by using archetypes.
Archetypes are frameworks that can be used to define a brand’s personality.
There are many different archetypes, but identifying which ones best represent your company is key to crafting an effective branding strategy.
What are the Brand Archetypes?
The 12 brand archetypes were first defined by Carl Jung and updated by marketer Margaret Mark.
These brand archetypes represent fundamental human desires and help to create an emotional bond between the customer and the brand.
Which archetype a brand falls into will depend on the products or services it offers and its brand personality.
Each brand archetype has unique values, emotions, and behaviors.
With that, understanding which brand archetype your business falls into can help you to better connect with your target audience and create a more cohesive brand identity.
What are the 12 Official Brand Archetypes?
The 12 brand archetypes are broken up into characters, here are all 12 of them.
1. The Caregiver
The Caregiver brand archetype is all about compassion, generosity, and care.
This archetype appeals to customers who want to feel like they’re part of a community and are loved and taken care of.
Caregiver Archetype Brands:
Caregiver brands are just that, brands that care for humans and animals; a typical caregiver brand would be Johnson and Johnson, the world’s largest healthcare company that makes products such as baby lotions and baby powder amongst their thousands of other healthcare products.
Their branding and advertising often feature caregivers like mothers and nurses to make customers relate to the caregiving nature.
Other brands which fall into this category are brands such as Pampers and Unicef.
Caregiver Brand Archetype Advertising Example:
2. The Ruler
The Ruler brand is all about power, success, and control. This archetype appeals to customers who want products to help them achieve their goals.
Ruler Archetype Brands:
A ruler brand would be a brand like Rolex. Its branding shows success, wealth, and luxury.
Rolexes are synonymous with luxury and high status, and their branding reflects this.
The Magician brand archetype is all about transformation, possibility, and mystery.
This archetype appeals to customers who want products that are innovative and cutting-edge.
Magician Archetype Brands:
A magician brand would be a brand such as Dyson; their branding is all about being at the forefront of technology and innovation.
They often use minimalist branding and advertising to capture the feeling of mystery and possibility that comes with their products.
Other brands in this category include Tesla and SpaceX.
Magician Brand Archetype Advertising Example:
8. The Rebel
The Rebel brand archetype is all about independence, non-conformity, and freedom.
This archetype appeals to customers who want to feel like they’re breaking new ground.
Rebels are often looking for products that help them to stand out from the the crowd. They prize uniqueness and individuality and tend to shun anything that feels too mainstream.
Rebel archetype brands:
Harley Davidson is a rebel archetype because it makes the customer relate to freedom and being an outlaw.
The brand of Harley Davison evokes a feeling of freedom and going against the grain, being an outlaw rebel; when you are on your Harley Davidson, the rules don’t apply to you.
This is how the brand makes you feel and is the definition of a rebel or outlaw brand archetype.
Other examples of rebel brands could include MTV or Virgin.
Rebel Brand Archetype Advertising Example:
9. The Hero
The Hero brand archetype is all about strength, courage, and protection.
This archetype appeals to customers who want to feel safe and secure.
They often look for products to help them overcome challenges or protect them from danger.
Hero Archetype Brands:
Nike would be classed as a here archetype because many sporting heroes people look up to are wearing and using Nike products.
Many high achievers who have overcome adversity are using Nike products, they are the figurehead of sporting achievement, have a sense of right and wrong and inspire people to push to find the hero inside themselves.
Other examples of hero brands include Adidas and Marvel comics.
Hero Brand Archetype Advertising Example:
10. The Lover
The Lover brand archetype is all about passion, romance, and intimacy.
This archetype appeals to customers who want to feel loved and desired.
They often prize products that help them feel more connected to the people around them.
Lover Archetype Brands:
Victoria’s Secret is an excellent example of a brand that falls in the lover brand archetype, the looks that Victoria’s Secret puts out to the public are that of sensual desire and lust; they evoke emotions of love and connection and the physical feeling of being human.
Lover bands also spark strong emotions of love and desire, intimacy, and a connection with others.
The Jester archetype is all about fun, joy, and laughter. This archetype appeals to customers who want to feel happy and carefree. They often prize products that help them forget their troubles and enjoy life.
Jesters are looking for products that make them feel light-hearted and amused.
They often shun anything that feels too serious or heavy.
Jester Archetype Brands:
Budweiser is a typical jester archetype brand because they are all about making people want a good time and feel happy and carefree; their advertising is humorous and plays on the light side of modern life to make customers relate to their brand experience.
The Everyman brand archetype is all about being relatable and accessible. This archetype appeals to customers who want to feel like they can connect with the brand on a personal level.
They often prize products that feel like they’re made for them, not a select few. The Everyman brand archetype is all about inclusivity and connection.
Everyman Archetype Brands:
A typical everyman brand would be something like Lynx; they are a very relatable brand that produces products made for the everyman; anyone can use their products and feel included in their branding.
Lynx doesn’t make you feel like an outsider; its branding is inclusive and makes people want to connect with the brand.
Other examples of everyman brands could be Ikea or Pepsi.
Everyman Brand Archetype Advertising Example:
Where did the 12 Brand Archetypes Come From?
Although the 12 official brand archetypes were first identified by German academic and theorist Dr. Martin E.P. Seligman in his book “Building Strong Brands,” he did not invent them.
Instead, he observed that many successful brands tended to embody one or more of these 12 brand archetypes and outlined how each archetype could create a more cohesive brand identity.
One of the people who developed these archetypes was Carl Jung, who believed that humans are drawn to specific patterns or symbols because they represent something deep inside us that we can’t quite articulate.
Carl Jung was a Swiss psychiatrist from the 1940s who founded the school of analytical psychology. He is also considered to be one of the most influential thinkers in the fields of psychiatry and psychotherapy.
The Importance of Brand Archetypes.
Brand archetypes are essential because they help customers understand a brand’s personality, along with a brand story.
When a customer sees a product associated with a specific archetype, it automatically tells them something about the brand.
For example, if a customer sees a product marketed as “magical,” they will know that the brand is all about innovation and cutting-edge technology.
This can be helpful for customers who are trying to decide which brands to trust and invest in.
It also makes branding more memorable since people are likelier to remember an archetype than an abstract concept like “innovation.”
Archetypes are also helpful for branding because they can create cohesion between different aspects of the brand identity.
For example, if a company has multiple products belonging to different categories, it can use archetypes to ensure each product feels like it belongs to the same family.
For companies to stay competitive, they must create meaningful and lasting connections with their customers.
And what better way to create lasting connections than by using archetypes?
How to Identify Your Company’s Archetype?
To create an effective brand, it’s essential to understand your company’s archetype.
A brand archetype is a universal pattern or model that can be used as a point of reference.
There are 12 different archetypes, as listed above, and each has its own characteristics.
When you know which archetype your company falls into, you can use that information to create a branding strategy that resonates with your audience.
There are some questions to ask yourself to identify your company’s archetype, such as:
What are our core values?
How do we want our customers to feel when interacting with our brand?
What kind of personality does our brand have?
What is our mission statement?
What are some words people use to describe our brand?
Once you’ve answered these questions, you should know which archetype your company falls into.
From there, you can develop a branding strategy to help you resonate and connect with your target audience.
The Benefits of Understanding Your Company’s Archetype
A company’s archetype is its fundamental identity, which drives all its decisions and actions.
Understanding your company’s archetype can be immensely helpful in making sure that it stays true to its identity and doesn’t stray too far from its core values.
It can also help you better understand your customers and what they are looking for from your brand.
Companies can identify with 12 different brand archetypes, and each has its unique set of values and characteristics.
So, finding the right archetype for your company can be a valuable exercise in clarifying your brand identity.
Once you understand your company’s archetype better, you can use it as a guidepost for your future decisions. This ensures that your brand always remains true to itself.
The 12 Brand Archetypes
The 12 brand archetypes are a framework that can be used to understand and define a brand’s personality.
The archetypes are not mutually exclusive, and many brands will exhibit characteristics of multiple archetypes. However, understanding which archetype or archetypes are most prevalent can help to communicate the essence of a brand and connect with consumers on a deeper level.
The 12 brand archetypes are sage, explorer, hero, outlaw, inventor, ruler, magician, caretaker, jester, everyman/woman, lover, and rebel.
Each archetype has its associated values and traits, which can be used to understand how consumers perceive a brand. By aligning with one or more of these archetypes, brands can create a strong identity that resonates with consumers.
Examples of Companies that Embody Each Archetype
Companies can embody four main category archetypes: the Innovator, the Challenger, the Dominator, and the Nurturer.
Each archetype has its strengths and weaknesses and is also best suited to specific industries and markets.
Here are some Examples of Companies that Embody each Archetype:
Innovators constantly seek new ways to do things and are always ahead of the curve.
They are risk-takers who are not afraid to experiment and push boundaries.
Lee, now the author of Learn Life Money, has started businesses in various industries such as E-commerce to social media marketing. He is an award-winning entrepreneur having received awards from Dragons Den Theo Paphitis, and winning awards for the fastest-growing social media marketing agency in 2019, You can read his full story here. Lee helps people to start and scale their businesses using their knowledge and experience. He has a passion is to help others achieve the success he has achieved and wants to help people pave their path to financial freedom from making the right decisions with money to starting their own businesses.