Classifying your Brand Personality – Using Brand Archetypes

It is human nature to perceive, classify and stereotype whatever we see. It could be a person, group, object, a mobile phone, clothes, culture, food, race, tradition, and even a belief system. Brands are nothing but perception. Like I said, its only human nature to even consider even brands of businesses as living beings. So one should not be surprised if brands can have personalities of their own.

In the world of Branding, Brand experts have used several brand measuring told and brand assessment models to arrive at the correct brand positioning strategy before launching a brand.

One of the most effective models of brand assessment and brand audit and which serves as an important weapon in the armor of any brand positioning strategy is the Brand Archetype.

What is a brand archetype?

Archetypes are a concept originally conceived by famed Swiss psychologist, Carl Jung. In marketing, a brand archetype is a genre you assign to your brand, based upon symbolism. The idea behind using brand archetypes is to anchor your brand against something iconic—something already embedded within the conscious and subconscious of humanity. In the minds of both the brand owner and the public, aligning with a brand archetype makes the brand easier to identify.

In all there are 12 classified Archetypes devised by Carl Jung. They are as below:

Brand Archetype #1: The Sage

Motto: The truth will set you free.
Driving desire: to find the truth
Goal: to use intelligence and analysis to understand the world
Biggest fear: being duped, misled—or ignorance.
Strategy: seeking out information and knowledge; self-reflection and understanding thought processes
Weakness: can study details forever and never act
Talent: wisdom, intelligence
Also known as: expert, scholar, detective, advisor, thinker, philosopher, academic, researcher, thinker, planner, professional, mentor, teacher, contemplative, guru
Archetype Brand Examples: BBC, CNN, Gallup, PBS

Brand Archetype #2: The Innocent

Motto: We are young and free.
Driving desire: to get to paradise
Goal: to be happy
Greatest fear: to be punished for doing something bad or wrong
Strategy: to do things right
Weakness: boring for all their naive innocence
Talent: faith and optimism
Also known as: utopian, traditionalist, naive, mystic, saint, romantic, dreamer
Archetype Brand Examples: Dove soap, Ben & Jerry’s ice cream

Brand Archetype #3: The Explorer

Motto: Don’t fence me in.
Driving desire: the freedom to find out who you are through exploring the world
Goal: to experience a better, more authentic, more fulfilling life
Biggest fear: getting trapped, conformity, and inner emptiness
Strategy: journey, seeking out and experiencing new things, escape from boredom
Weakness: aimless wandering, becoming a misfit
Talent: autonomy, ambition, being true to one’s soul
Also known as: seeker, iconoclast, wanderer, individualist, pilgrim

Brand Archetype #4: The Ruler

Quote: “He who is to be a good ruler must have first been ruled.” ~ Aristotle
Motto: Power isn’t everything, it’s the only thing.
Driving desire: control
Goal: create a prosperous, successful family or community
Strategy: exercise power
Greatest fear: chaos, being overthrown
Weakness: being authoritarian, unable to delegate, out of touch with reality
Talent: responsibility, leadership
Also known as: boss, leader, aristocrat, king, queen, politician, role model, manager or administrator
Archetype Brand Examples: IBM, Microsoft

Brand Archetype #5: The Creator

Motto: If you can imagine it, it can be done.
Driving desire: to create things of enduring value
Goal: to realize a vision
Greatest fear: mediocre vision or execution
Strategy: develop artistic control and skill
Task: to create culture, express own vision
Weakness: perfectionism, bad solutions
Talent: creativity and imagination
Also known as: artist, inventor, innovator, muse, musician, writer or dreamer
Archetype Brand Examples: Lego, Sony, Crayola

Brand Archetype #6: The Caregiver

Motto: Love your neighbor as yourself.
Driving desire: to protect and care for others
Goal: To help others
Greatest fear: selfishness and ingratitude
Strategy: doing things for others
Weakness: martyrdom, being exploited
Talent: compassion, generosity
Also known as: saint, altruist, parent, helper, supporter
Archetype Brand Examples: Lego, Sony, Crayola

Brand Archetype #7: The Magician

Motto: I make things happen.
Driving desire: understanding the fundamental laws of the universe
Goal: to make dreams come true
Greatest fear: unintended negative consequences
Strategy: develop a vision and live by it
Weakness: becoming manipulative
Talent: finding win-win solutions, making the complex appear simple
Also known as: visionary, catalyst, inventor, charismatic leader, shaman, healer, medicine man
Archetype Brand Examples: Disney, Tide

Brand Archetype #8: The Hero

Motto: Where there’s a will, there’s a way.
Driving desire: to prove one’s worth through courageous acts
Goal: expert mastery in a way that improves the world
Greatest fear: weakness, vulnerability, being a “chicken”
Strategy: to be as strong and competent as possible
Weakness: arrogance, always needing another battle to fight
Talent: competence and courage
Also known as: warrior, crusader, rescuer, superhero, savior, soldier, dragon slayer, the winner, and the team player
Archetype Brand Examples: Nike, Ray Ban, Avengers

Brand Archetype #9: The Outlaw

Motto: You’re the only one.
Driving desire: intimacy and experience
Goal: being in a relationship with the people, work and surroundings they love
Greatest fear: being alone, a wallflower, unwanted, unloved
Strategy: to become more and more physically and emotionally attractive
Weakness: outward-directed desire to please others at risk of losing own identity
Talent: passion, gratitude, appreciation, and commitment
Also known as: partner, friend, intimate, enthusiast, sensualist, spouse, team-builder
Archetype Brand Examples: Victoria’s Secret, Durex, Lady Godiva, Hallmark

Brand Archetype #10: The Lover

Motto: You’re the only one.
Driving desire: intimacy and experience
Goal: being in a relationship with the people, work and surroundings they love
Greatest fear: being alone, a wallflower, unwanted, unloved
Strategy: to become more and more physically and emotionally attractive
Weakness: outward-directed desire to please others at risk of losing own identity
Talent: passion, gratitude, appreciation, and commitment
Also known as: partner, friend, intimate, enthusiast, sensualist, spouse, team-builder
Archetype Brand Examples: Victoria’s Secret, Durex, Lady Godiva, Hallmark

Brand Archetype #11: The Jester

Motto: You only live once.
Driving desire: to live in the moment with full enjoyment
Goal: to have a great time and lighten up the world
Greatest fear: being bored or boring others
Strategy: play, make jokes, be funny
Weakness: frivolity, wasting time
Talent: joy
Also known as: fool, trickster, joker, practical joker or comedian
Archetype Brand Examples: Amul , M&M, Jim Carrey, Kapil Sharma, Motley Fool, Muppets

Brand Archetype #12: The Regular Guy/Girl

Motto: All men and women are created equal.
Driving desire: connecting with others
Goal: to belong
Greatest fear: to be left out or to stand out from the crowd
Strategy: develop ordinary solid virtues, be down to earth, the common touch
Weakness: losing one’s own self in an effort to blend in or for the sake of superficial relationships
Talent: realism, empathy, lack of pretense
Also known as: good old boy, everyman, the person next door, the realist, the working stiff, the solid citizen, the good neighbor, the silent majority
Archetype Brand Examples: Home Depot, WalMart, Visa

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