Brand Archetypes

Brand Archetypes – A Character Framework

Nov 24, 2021 | Brand, Marketing

When you are in business and seeking to put the PERSON-ality into your business’ – I suggest you look to using Brand Archetypes to help you.

Whether you have a personal brand or a business/company brand, this framework will help you to:

  1. identify the personality that best suits you as a business,
  2. market a specific product/service to a specific audience, or
  3. identify your innate culture within your business (which helps to define recruiting the right people)

What are Brand Archetypes?

Brand Archetype frameworkArchetypes are a system to manage meaning and a tool that helps you to craft your brand character. They give brand owners the ability to connect quicker, and deeper, with their audiences and stand out in a crowded market place.

The premise is that the 12 Brand Archetypes, devised by Carol Pearson and Margaret Marks (in 1990) are based on and build on the early work and research of Carl Jung.

In a nutshell, Jung identified (and proved) that over thousands of years, and across multiple cultures around the world, there are these innate constructs that all humans identify with and relate to unconsciously.

Pearson and Marks took this a step further to relate these constructs to personality types that brands could use to market, communicate and serve their customer audiences better (and more authentically).

They have a book all about it, called “The Hero and the Outlaw” – it’s full-on, so get your coffee out.

Why use Brand Archetypes?

Archetypes stand outBy using this somewhat analytical process of archetype identification, you will have an unprecedented degree of confidence about your ‘archetypal place in the world’. It gives you an easy way to know how to think, act and behave in a consistent way as a brand.

This level of confidence and consistency will result in heightened success in your chosen market place, as well as provide an exciting and re-invigorated focus for your business as a whole. (Hell, you may even have FUN with it – imagine that!)

The deeper (behind the scenes) reasons you should be looking at using archetypes is that they are cleverly using a tried and tested ancient “knowing” about humans, what motivates them and what drives them. THAT is pure gold.

Most importantly – this confidence and clarity WILL make you stand out in a noisy world. (SCORE!)

Benefits of Brand Archetypes

The biggest advantage of using the brand archetypes framework is that you will finally have a formula that will help you to not only delegate to team members in a consistent way, but they will be completely empowered to act “as you” across all media. (Whether that is in copy, graphics, meetings, videos, etc)

However, if that wasn’t enough – here are a couple more benefits.

The archetype framework helps to:

  • act as a filter for brand behaviour. (A ‘lens’ through which you will think, act and behave.)
  • create a “true north” for the brand. (Reduces decision-making time and guides strategic decisions.)
  • define a tone of voice that’s yours. (Gives you clarity on how you communicate and at what level.)
  • open your brand up creatively. (Boosts your lateral ability to be creative in your messaging, campaigns, and relationship with your audiences.)
  • create emotional associations for your dream customers. (Those ‘deep’ human needs which are matched and met, just because the archetype-radar is built into every human – thank you, Jung.)
  • help to reinforce internal values and support your external vision. (When these two important areas are aligned – magic happens and you feel like you are showing up authentically to the outside world.)

How can you use Brand Archetypes?

The system of archetypes can be used in a variety of ways. You could, as a brand, have a specific dominant archetype, but then launch a product that requires its own archetype, because the audience is significantly different.

They can be used to:

  • Provide the brand with an identifiable personality. So you can captures how your brand acts, behaves and is perceived.
  • Identify or narrow the focus on an ideal customer (avatar). In other words – how they behave, act and make decisions – based on which universal motivators.
  • market a particular product or service to a particular ideal customer. (So, used exclusively for the purposes of advertising / marketing campaign designing.)
  • epitomise an organisational culture and create belonging and support vision engagement. (The characteristics of the archetype help to describe the culture of the business and provide a framework of values which can be used to recruit the right types of people.)

Which Archetype are you?

Which archetype are youFor your brand strategy, you will need to establish which archetype you are. The important thing to remember with the Pearson-Marks application of this work is that you will not solely be ONE archetype. Humans are complex – you can’t expect as easy answer here!

There is a way to use the framework which you can relate to your business (work life) and also in your personal life. (I work on this with brand builders in my Brand Compass Programme).

There are 12 Archetypes in this system. The best way to work out which archetype you are is to do an assessment, which helps to pull out some of your deeper characteristics you didn’t know you had. The first time I did mine – I completely bulked at the results.

I desperately wanted to be an Explorer. However, when I read into what lies behind the archetypes: “OH, ok, I see that now.” – was my response.

Here are the 12 brand archetypes or personalities which you could embody:

  1. Outlaw
  2. Magician
  3. Hero
  4. Regular Guy/Gal
  5. Jester
  6. Lover
  7. Caregiver
  8. Ruler
  9. Creator
  10. Explorer
  11. Sage
  12. Innocent

Identifying your brand archetype is only one part of working on your brand personality. The exercise is so helpful though in helping to narrow your focus and support writing engaging content, attracting the right customers (and dismissing the ones that are not right) and feeling truly confident in who you are as brand.

In my Brand Compass Programme, where we work on your full Brand Strategy, we work on assessing what your archetype is and I help you to translate that to make sense for you and your brand. AND we have fun doing it.

You can find out more about this group programme >> here <<, and pop yourself on a waiting list to know when the next one starts.

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