What on earth is a brand archetype, and which one are you?

Similarly to how fiction characters are often written according to a certain paradigm, brand archetypes are ways of presenting a brand as a persona.

It’s a way of understanding, broadly, what a brand stands for and how it behaves.

There are 12 brand archetypes: the Innocent, the Sage, the Explorer, the Outlaw, the Magician, the Hero, the Lover, the Jester, the Everyman, the Caregiver, the Ruler, and the Creator.

 

Innocent

The Innocent archetype is centred around trust and honesty, and is valued for their strong ethics, reliability, and authenticity.

Example: Dove, Coca-Cola

 

Sage

The Sage is wise, analytical, and thoughtful. They use their knowledge to help people tackle challenges and solve problems, and better understand the world.

Example: The Economist, Google

 

Explorer

Independent and curious, Explorers seek new experiences through discovery and risk taking. They are the pioneers, setting out to find excitement and adventures.

Example: Patagonia, NASA

 

Outlaw

The Outlaw archetype is a risk taker and revolutionary, breaking the mold to lead the way for others. A rebel at heart, Outlaws are an agent of change and breaker of conventions.

Example: Virgin, Diesel

 

Magician

The Magician archetype is intuitive and inspiring, making dreams come true with their charisma, imagination, and knowledge. 

Example: Disney, Xbox

 

Hero

The Hero is courageous, self-sacrificing, and determined, on a mission to save the world, and inspire others to do the same. Magicians are visionaries, helping people to achieve their dreams and create something truly magical.

Example: Nike, Duracell

 

Lover

The Lover archetype is passionate, intimate, and faithful, helping people belong and build relationships. 

Example: Häagen-Daz, Victoria’s Secret

 

Jester

The Jester is playful and humorous, bringing joy to the world and the people it works with. They help people have a good time, and make their work fun and exciting.

Example: Cadbury’s, Ben & Jerry’s

 

Everyman

The Everyman archetype is down to earth, connecting with people at their own level. They offer a sense of belonging, and take on a role of stewardship within their brand’s community.

Example: Ford, IKEA

 

Caregiver

The Caregiver archetype seeks to help others. Caregivers are nurturing and altruistic, using their work to do good, serve others, and really make a difference.

Example: Johnson & Johnson, UNICEF

 

Ruler

The Ruler creates order from chaos, bringing stability. An authority and a leader, Rulers take charge in their brand’s niche.

Example: Microsoft, British Airways

 

Creator

The Creator archetype is driven by imagination and an artistic drive to create something meaningful, and express their individuality.

Example: Apple, Lego

 

Not every brand fits perfectly into one archetype. You might see your brand values and characteristics reflected in several. But by understanding your archetype, you can start to build upon your brand’s identity, messaging, and ultimately feed this into your marketing strategy.

 

Get in touch with Astley Media to find out how we can help take your brand to the next level with our 5 Steps to Success model: hello@astleymedia.co.uk