Have you ever worked in a corporate environment? These days, the moment you step in the door you’ll be given a Myers-Briggs/DISC/Four Tendencies personality archetype quiz before they even offer you a cup of coffee. Giving you a brand archetype of INFJ/Dictator/Upholder will be a higher priority than getting your bank details to HR.
Most people feel one of two ways about personality tests and these variables can be compared almost directly to the way people think about football.
Option A) Football is the greatest thing on earth
Option B) Football is garbage
It’s the same with personality quizzes. You either love them, or you don’t. The thing with personality quizzes is that there’s no need to be so black and white about them. They’re not real or false or prophesy or myth; they’re merely guides to help people navigate work and business environments in a more honest and informed manner. Personality quizzes tend to get filed in the corporate-fad box, but they’re way more useful than you think. Like step ladders. Seriously, step ladders are unbelievably useful. Your Dad was right. Get one from Bunnings this weekend.
If it takes a personality quiz for someone to realise they’re a bit of a time waster in the office but that they work brilliantly in a team, what’s there to lose by knowing this information? It’s empowering. You can’t change a bad habit unless you know you have that bad habit. That’s what these quizzes are for.
Archetype tests are also a pretty fabulous way of making people get along. If someone in your office or workplace is a total jerk, it’s much more diplomatic to label them as Oppositional or Directorial under a personality quiz than to just write them off as being thoroughly unpleasant. You see how personality quizzes can help make a workplace function?
So how do you apply this to your brand? With brand archetypes you dingus!
There are twelve traditional brand archetypes. The categories vary slightly, but these are the basic one; Healer, Rebel, Alchemist, Innocent, Explorer, Everyman, Hero, Jester, Lover, Sage, Queen, and Creator.
Most brands or business owners will have a primary archetype and one or two secondary archetypes. It’s entirely reasonable to have a mixture of a few, but most people will have a main archetypal leader.
Here’s why it’s essential that you know your archetype…
1. It will help you run your business in a way that works for you
If your archetype is Lover, where your main motivation is creating a world full of love then running your business with a Sage (intellectual) hat on is not going to be super helpful. It stands to reason that you attract customers and clients who are similar to you or who crave what you offer. If what you propose is love and you start dishing out researched facts about your product or service, that’s going to be a very confusing message for your followers. It’s like telling them you bought them a movie ticket for Love Actually and then when they sit down in the cinema a documentary about sand flies starts playing. That’s what it feels like to customers when brands play outside their archetype. Like if Paris Hilton became a minimalist. It would break the world… and the economy.
2. It can help you choose your next course of action
When you find yourself at a crossroads in your career or small business, knowing your archetype can help you choose the right direction. Let’s say you have the opportunity to collaborate with another person in your field or you have the chance to write a book. You don’t have time for both; you have to choose just one. Being a Creator, you’d probably pick the book because you’re in your element when you’re creating this. Being a Queen would also make you choose the book but only because Queens like power and collaboration doesn’t suit them. The Alchemist might decide to collaborate because they’re all about transformation and making magic. The Explorer might also choose the partnership as they love trying new things and chartering un-explored horizons. There’s no right answer but knowing your archetype might help you make the decision you’re most comfortable with.
3. It gives a good insight into your strengths and weaknesses
Humans are pretty rubbish at admitting their faults to themselves and even worse at hearing them from other people. If you just thought ‘NO WE AREN’T!!!’ then I just proved my point. Interestingly enough though, when we get told about our weaknesses from the results of an anonymous online quiz, we tend to take this advice as gospel. ‘Oh my god I DO get defensive when people question me!’ or ‘I get distracted WAY too often!’ Personality quizzes are an excellent, non-confrontational way to find out what your weaknesses are so you can work on them. You also get to find out your strengths so you can play to them too. Hot tip: Think of your strengths as particularly fabulous body parts like an excellent rack (amazing public speaking skills) or some full-on up-to-your-armpits legs (your fabulous management skills). Show ’em off. That way no one will notice your too-thin eyebrows (your tendency to get offended easily) or your dry, lifeless hair (your habit of making meetings take FOREVER!).
4. It helps you understand your customers
Knowing what brand archetype you are will help you speak to the customers who are seeking you out. It’s fair to assume that most of your customers are a similar archetype to you and if they’re not, they probably want to be, which makes you their inspiration. By looking at your business model through the lens of your customer you can create copy and branding that is irresistible to them.
5. It gives you the confidence to make decisions based your methodologies
Sometimes you need to make decisions in your business and knowing your archetype can help you to make the correct decision. A Rebel would make the decision that’s going to give them the biggest thrill whereas an Innocent would go down the path that looks the most joyful. The Everyman would do the most sensible and predictable thing, and the Jester would do whatever was the most entertaining. Although if there’s ever an obscene amount of money on offer, follow that path. All archetypes like money.
If you want to know what kind of brand archetype you are, just take our quiz!