Every brand is perceived in a certain way and that perception is concluded as its personality.
The personality of any brand is what is referred to as its archetype. Regardless of their geographical locations, size or nature, brands all over the world have different archetypes that distinguish them from others. It is based on this, customers are able to relate with or draw conclusions on a brand.
Now the simple question we would like you to answer is, what brand archetype (or identity/personality) are you assuming knowingly or unknowingly for your business? Whether you are aware or not, your business has been operating with an archetype that may be good or bad. Moreover, the personality your brand has taken is what it would be known for and its success will be largely dependent on it.
There are twelve basic archetypes (or identities) that a brand could assume. We have listed them below alongside a brief description of each one. As you read through, try to identify which archetype best describes your own business.
1. The Innocent: Always want to be happy
The innocent brand is driven by an ambition to get the best from life. Brands like this tend to look for happy ways of escaping negative traps and simply want to be free. They always want to get things right and would not want to do wrong things that may attract punishment. With their positive attitude, they are able to overcome challenges seamlessly. These kinds of brands aspire to keep their customers happy and hopeful. Under this category, we have brands like McDonald’s, Dove, ToysRus, and Coca-Cola.
2. The Explorer: Wants to break free and discover other things
The explorer brand as the name implies is given to adventure and new discoveries. They are ambitious and trendy, always seeking for new ways to cross hurdles. They find pleasure in exploring new opportunities and also pushing new initiatives. Explorer brands create products and services that are thrilling to their customers. Their products are usually designed to give customers more freedom. Brands that fall under this category are Go Pro, Jeep, and Timberland.
3. The Magician: Making dreams come true
Brands with this kind of archetype make everything dreamy. They awaken your imagination and make it run wild. They take you away from reality into a fictional world that speaks loud of their creative ability. The Magician brands run with a vision which they pursue with determination until they achieve it. Brands in this group act as a catalyst for new innovations. They are intentional about giving each customer a long-lasting personal experience. This set of brands is always searching for solutions to problems and ways to make the world better for their customers. They can also be referred to as healers or visionary. Some of such brands are Disney, Red Bull, and Mary Kay.
4. The Outlaw or Rebel: Revolutionary
The Outlaw or Rebel brand dreads dwelling in the box. They are radical and don’t enjoy restrains which is why they have the tendency to rebel against an opposing factor. They are fearless and can challenge existing rules. They move on to develop new standards. Outlaw brands form some sort of cult that pulls the crowd with their beliefs. Brands in this are Harley Davidson, Charley Boy, etc.
5. The Ruler: Wants to be totally in charge
Ruler brands are authoritative brands. They have a strong personality that tends to be controlling sometimes. They have a great sense of masculinity. The Ruler brands present themselves as experts in their industry. They are usually rated high and occupy leadership positions. They often use their power to promote order and produce more results. Budweiser although not a ruler brand completely, uses the ruler brand archetype for its slogan “King of Beers”. Regular examples of a Ruler Brand are Rolex, Google, Rolls Royce, Hugo Boss, Microsoft, and Donald Trump.
6. The Lover: Make you fall in love with them
The Lover brand evokes the emotions of their customers. They try to meet their needs and also make them feel special. The Lover brands believe love is the bedrock of everything and as such make it the center of their services. Their aim is to create an intimate relationship with their target audience. They are usually committed and passionate about their goals which are geared towards flooding the market with their irresistible offers. Examples of such brands include Chanel, Victoria’s Secret, and Celine Dion.
7. The Sage: Knowledge bank or seeking truth
The Sage brand is an intellectual brand that loves to seek and share knowledge. The Sage brand creates an environment that promotes teaching and learning. They are always in a search for answers to questions most brands have been avoiding. The Sage brand is known for intelligence and problem solving. Some of the brands that can be classified as Sage include Harvard University, National Geographic, Peter Drucker, Paulo Coelho, etc.
8. The Jester: Lives in the moment
The Jester brand is playful and full of humor. It operates with one clear goal which is to have fun. Brands under this category would never want to pass across as boring. They don’t worry about problems but rather live in the moment and see how things unfold. They try to create a cool impression of the present and use several means to lighten the hearts of their customers. The Jester brand infuses fun into all its activities even during critical brainstorming moments. They encourage people to play and embrace their inner child. Examples of such brands are McVities, Old Spice, and Saka.
9. The Nurturer: Loves to care
The goal of the Nurturer brand is to care for others selflessly. They are known for altruism, compassion, empathy, and generosity. This type of brand looks out for the safety of its customers. They often portray family image and promote service to humanity. They educate people on better healthcare tips. Baby care products such as SMA, Johnson & Johnson, and Pears are all examples of Nurturer. Other brands like Ford are also under this group.
10. The Creator: Wants perfection and inspires imagination
The Creator brand works with a big picture in mind – a vision. They are focused on creating, developing or revamping fresh ideas and would remain dogged until they accomplish it. Their fulfilment comes from the end result of their inventions or innovations. Most marketing and technology brands fall under this category. Most times they are considered perfectionists. Examples of such brands are Lego, Canon, and Apple.
11. The Regular Guy/Girl: Wants to belong or offers a sense of belonging
The Regular Guy/Girl brands are those that make efforts towards the satisfaction of their customers. They try to promote a sense of equality and humility in the minds of the customers through their products or service. They produce their products with quality in order to increase the level of trust customers have for them. The target is to always create a sense of belonging. Examples of such brands include Wrangler, Barack Obama, and Budweiser.
12. The Hero: Wants to prove itself
Hero brands are on a mission to succeed and show they are worthy. They despise failure and only leverage their strengths. Hero brands are determined to make a difference and impacting the world greatly. They present themselves as superior brands and often times use striking images and colors to communicate their brand values during marketing. Examples of such brands are Duracell, Nike, and the US Army.
As you aspire to be a global brand or conglomerate, ensure that you put these things in perspective to align accordingly, the market will give the verdict ultimately. Knowing the archetype your brand should be helps you become more intentional with your marketing communications (particularly what you say and how you say it).
Whether you like it or not, your business will assume its own personality and it’s best you don’t leave it to chance. Consciously design and harness the personality you want your business to represent as a brand.
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