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What is a Brand Archetype (And Why Should You Care)?

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So you put all of this time into building a brand you could be proud of, but now that it’s time to find your ideal customers, you’re not sure where to look. You might not be able to pick them out of the crowd in a bar, and unfortunately, there’s no such thing as a B2C version of Bumble (yet), so how do you convince the RIGHT customers to give your brand a shot? This is where a brand archetype comes in handy.

A brand archetype is like a character profile of a particular type of brand based on certain traits and characteristics. This might sound like some sort of quiz from a teen magazine, but it’s a little more scientific than that, being the brainchild of renowned Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung.

Even if you think your brand is too unique to be classified or measured, these twelve archetypes have got you (and your target audience) covered.

Guess what?

That’s a good thing.

Classifying yourself into an archetype can help you narrow down your own set of goals, traits, and drawbacks. Not only will you be able to present the human side of your brand to your clients, but you’ll also have the chance to align their personality traits with yours (and remind them how FABULOUS you are in the process).

Without further ado, here’s a rundown of each of the 12 archetypes and where you’ll see them in action.

Innocent

Innocents look REALLY good in rose-coloured glasses. They see the goodness in those around them and themselves, and you probably wouldn’t be surprised if you caught them twirling around in a field. If you love nothing more than watching Disney movies and practicing your smile, you fit into this archetype like Cinderella’s foot into the glass slipper.

This brand archetype is a good fit for: Dove, McDonald’s

Everyman

Everyman personalities can be identified by one telling statistic: the number of clubs they were part of in high school. As true “people people”, they tend to seek connections with others and a sense of belonging. If you would consider yourself a fiercely loyal, inclusive friend, congratulations! You’re now a member of the everyman club (bonus points if you are, or have ever been, a cheerleader).

This brand archetype fits: IKEA, Target

Hero

The word “hero” gets thrown around a bit, but what it really comes down to is a burning desire to make the world a better place. They may not wear a cape or fly around shooting lasers, but their true superpower lies in their ability to inspire others towards action, like personal trainers for the soul. It’s worth noting that you don’t need to own a leotard and a pair of offensively bright leggings to fall within this archetype, but it helps.

This brand archetype fits: Nike, Adidas

Outlaw

If an outlaw type was to write a Tinder bio, it would probably read like this: “Hate authority, love rule-breaking. Ideal first date would be at a protest.” Outlaws know things could be better, and they won’t give up fighting (or tweeting about it) until that happens. If your free time is spent looking up political press conferences to attend or burning your bras, you are officially an outlaw initiate.

This brand archetype fits: Harley-Davidson, Virgin

Explorer

Explorers crave adventure like online business owners crave the sound of courses flying off the virtual shelves. A strong blend of ambition and independence is the magic potion that leads them on mountain-climbing expeditions and then off to the club in a daring combo of faux fur and tartan. Needless to say, if that sounds like the best day ever, you’re an explorer to the bone.

This brand archetype fits: Jeep, Amazon

Creator

Being a creator is about much more than wearing a smock to work and experimenting with neon hair dye – although that is one way to send a message. Creators spend their time walking the fine line between free-flowing self-expression and essential Parameters of Control – it’s a good thing they’ve got great balance. If you turn your nose up at conventional thinking and conformity, consider yourself a star member of this creative club.

This brand archetype fits: Lego, Adobe

Ruler

Rulers are the people you want to know when things seem to be falling into chaos around you. Calm, cool, and yes, maybe a tad controlling, they know how to bring order back into even the craziest of situations. If you pride yourself on achieving great things (and subscribe to the treat yo’self mentality) you’re a great ruler in the making – just don’t be too upset if you miss out on a crown.

This brand archetype fits: Mercedes Benz, Rolex

Magician

We all like to think that magical things are possible, but it takes a true magician to bring those thoughts to fruition. A true magician doesn’t need a wand or a book full of mystical incantations (although it would make a great Christmas gift) – just an opportunity to harness their brain power and work their magic. If you have big dreams and a plan to bring them to life, this archetype fits you like a cloak.

This brand archetype fits: Disney, Coca Cola

Lover

While other archetypes might run (fast) at the first sign of long-term commitment, lovers are not as easily intimidated. Sensuality and empathy are central to their personality, but they also like to feel the love for themselves. If you get a kick out of looking, smelling, and feeling fabulous (and of course you do), there could be a place for you at the lovers’ table. You don’t need a date to sit there, but it helps.

This brand archetype fits: Chanel, Victoria’s Secret

Caregiver

When you need a hot water bottle and a cup of tea, caregivers will be the first to deliver. These naturally compassionate souls see acts of service as the ultimate love language (yes, even more important than gifts). If your hobbies include rescuing dogs from shelters and making chicken soup for sick friends, you better believe that this is your crowd.

This brand archetype fits: World Vision, WWF

Jester

If there was a class vote for “most likely to laugh at a completely inappropriate moment”, jesters would win by miles. A good sense of humour is a true gift, and these aspiring clowns have buckets of it. If you like to have fun (and we mean LOTS of fun), you’ll fit in just fine with the jester crowd – dad jokes and all.

This brand archetype fits: M&Ms, Budweiser

Sage

Sage types are all about authentic wisdom and insight – the kind you find inside your mind or in the minds of others, rather than in a magic 8 ball or a formation of tea leaves. On any given day, you can find them in a state of deep spiritual connectedness with themselves. If your friends often turn to you for advice about everything from their latest relationship dramas to the spots on their noses, you’re the chosen one.

This brand archetype fits: Oprah, Harvard University


Classifying your brand by archetype might not fix the Facebook algorithms in your favour, but it will help you attract the right clients and customers.

Ready to discover your true brand personality, attract your tribe, and flourish? Of course you are! Click here to take the brand archetype quiz.

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