Thursday, March 19, 2015

Discover your brand archetype

If your brand was an animal, which animal would it be? What if it was an emperor, an explorer, a magician, or a hero? Interested? Then let’s discuss archetypes.
Archetype is a primitive mental impression inherited from earliest human ancestors present in collective unconscious. And this can be used to establish a distinctive identity for a brand and its messaging. Brand Identity designed around archetypes connect unconsciously with the audiences and attract brand loyalty from them. Archetype creates a sense of belonging, increases trust and instantly connects with the consumer.
Designers and brand strategists should ensure to work with the right archetype for their brand to build this cognitive connection.

Creator archetype has a characteristic of self-expression. Lego is a brand that enjoys being a creator brand and can be brought under this archetype. Even the tagline ‘Let’s build’ goes hand in hand with the brand personality.


Play the lead. A ruler has the authority and establishes a majestic presence. Mercedes is a perfect example of this archetype.

When you are looking for trust, a brand that is compassionate and empathizes with the audience wins. This archetype can be exploited by NGOs, healthcare brands and banks. Johnson and Johnson has cracked this archetype and has shaped its personality under this.

The character of this archetype is on that looks at the positives in everything, even when others don’t. Dove is a good example of this type of archetype .

Comprehends things in a humane way, based on knowledge. The other side of this type of archetype is that it is not open to others’ ideas. Google could be an example.
At the heart of adventure, this archetype is the one that is brave and accepts challenges to discover the real self. Red Bull and the outdoor clothing gear brands REI and Patagonia are appropriate examples of this archetype.  


This archetype has similarities with the explorer and outlaw types. Hero is the one that many times never wished to be a hero, but circumstances made him to embrace the situation and be a hero is the process. Nike and Adidas are good examples of this archetype.

Clever, intelligent, crowd puller, entertainer and the one who possesses supernatural powers. Many technology brands have applied this archetype to demonstrate their ingenuity. Apple is a brand that has successfully used this archetype.

A rebel, breaks rules and conventions. Is aware of constrictions society creates. Betabrand is an example of this archetype.

Energetic and spontaneous. The ability to tell the truth with a pinch of humour is the speciality of this archetype. It also has the characteristic of making lives easier by providing joy. Old spice is an example of this archetype.

An idealist by nature. While some amount of sensuality is connected with this archetype, there is a deep and strong longing for the perfect love. Baileys is perhaps a suitable example.

If one can associate a brand with one of these archetypes, brand stories will relate better with the audiences and have more depth and meaning. Once a brand is identified or associated with the right archetype, defining the brand values and personality becomes more refined. With that comes the selection of colour, imagery, typeface and tone of voice that suits the brand personality.

A brand custodian should hence continue to learn the archetypal nature of the audience and analyse demographic data Google Analytics offers about users to have the right archetype for the brand.