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. Brand archetypes are literally 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 tests.
You either love them or hate them, but 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 is there to lose by knowing this information? It’s empowering. You can’t change a bad habit unless you know you have it, and 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.
So how do you apply this to your brand? With brand archetypes, of course!
There are twelve traditional brand archetypes. The categories vary slightly, but these are the basic ones; 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 brand 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 until they sit down in the cinema and a documentary about sandflies starts playing. That’s how customers feel when brands play outside their archetype.
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. A Creator would probably pick the book (for creative reasons), while 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 will 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 our faults to ourselves and even worse at hearing them from other people. Interestingly enough though, when an anonymous online quiz delivers the news, 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 pinpoint your weaknesses (and your strengths) so that you can work on them.
Hot tip: Think of your strengths as particularly fabulous body parts like an excellent rack (amazing public speaking skills) or a pair of 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 a bit about brand archetypes 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). Start looking at your business model through the lens of your customer and you’ll be creating the kind of copy and branding they can’t resist in no time!
5. It gives you the confidence to make decisions based on 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.
Want to sort through the brand archetypes and find yours? The answer is waiting for you at the end of our quiz!
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