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Brand Archetypes: The Secret to Creating a Memorable and Relatable Brand Identity

Brand Archetypes: The Secret to Creating a Memorable and Relatable Brand Identity

Understanding and leveraging brand archetypes has become a crucial strategy for businesses aiming to forge deeper connections with their audience. Brand archetypes are not just theoretical concepts; they are rooted in fundamental human desires and emotions, making them powerful tools for creating relatable and memorable brands.

The Essence of Brand Archetypes:

Brand archetypes are essentially a set of personas that embody specific human desires and characteristics. These archetypes help in shaping a brand’s personality, making it more appealing and relatable to its target audience. The concept of archetypes was profoundly influenced by the work of Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung, who believed that archetypes are universal, archaic symbols and images that derive from the collective unconscious.

We have created a table that details the aspects of the 12 brand archetypes. This will help provide valuable insights for creatives and business owners looking to develop a strong brand identity. Here’s an outline of each archetype, including brand voice, personality, message, brand examples, color psychology, and typography examples:

 

Archetype Brand Voice Personality Traits Brand Message Brand Examples Color Psychology Typography Example
The Outlaw Rebellious, bold Rule-breaking, liberated, revolutionary Challenge the status quo Harley-Davidson, Virgin Dark reds, black Bold, rugged fonts like “Impact”
The Magician Enchanting, visionary Charismatic, imaginative, transformative Transform and inspire Disney, Apple Deep purples, gold Script fonts like “Freestyle Script”
The Hero Confident, inspiring Courageous, bold, honorable Overcome challenges Nike, FedEx Reds, oranges Strong, sturdy fonts like “Arial Bold”
The Lover Sensual, intimate Passionate, empathetic, romantic Create lasting relationships Chanel, Victoria’s Secret Reds, pinks Elegant, curvy fonts like “Snell Roundhand”
The Jester Humorous, light-hearted Fun, whimsical, playful Enjoy life and have fun Old Spice, M&M’s Bright, varied colors Casual, playful fonts like “Comic Sans”
The Everyman Friendly, honest Down-to-earth, supportive, realistic Belong and connect IKEA, Levi’s Earth tones, blues Simple, legible fonts like “Verdana”
The Caregiver Nurturing, empathetic Protective, generous, compassionate Care and nurture Johnson & Johnson, TOMS Soft blues, light greens Soft, rounded fonts like “Calibri”
The Ruler Authoritative, confident Commanding, refined, responsible Control and lead Mercedes-Benz, Rolex Dark blues, gold Classic, imposing fonts like “Times New Roman”
The Creator Innovative, artistic Creative, original, visionary Inspire and create LEGO, Adobe Bright yellows, oranges Modern, clean fonts like “Helvetica”
The Innocent Optimistic, sincere Honest, optimistic, youthful Simplicity and goodness Dove, Coca-Cola Whites, light blues Clean, sans-serif fonts like “Gill Sans”
The Sage Wise, knowledgeable Intelligent, reflective, trusted Seek truth and understanding Google, BBC Dark greens, blues Traditional, serif fonts like “Garamond”
The Explorer Adventurous, independent Daring, pioneering, resilient Freedom and discovery The North Face, Jeep Earthy greens, browns Sturdy, clear fonts like “Tahoma”

 

Note: The color psychology and typography examples are general suggestions based on common associations with each archetype. However, these can vary depending on the specific brand identity and target audience. It’s important for brands to tailor these elements to align with their unique vision and the preferences of their audience.

 

The Twelve Brand Archetypes and Their Core Desires:

brand-archetype-wheel

  1. The Outlaw (Liberation): Brands like Harley-Davidson embody the Outlaw archetype, representing freedom and rebellion against the status quo.
  2. The Magician (Power): Apple, with its innovative products, exemplifies the Magician, creating a sense of wonder and possibility.
  3. The Hero (Mastery): Nike’s “Just Do It” ethos aligns with the Hero archetype, inspiring achievement and courage.
  4. The Lover (Intimacy): Luxury brands like Chanel often personify the Lover archetype, focusing on sensuality and connection.
  5. The Jester (Enjoyment): Brands like Old Spice use humor and light-heartedness, characteristic of the Jester, to engage their audience.
  6. The Everyman (Belonging): IKEA, with its focus on simplicity and accessibility, reflects the Everyman archetype, emphasizing inclusivity and comfort.
  7. The Caregiver (Service): Johnson & Johnson’s nurturing approach to its products and consumers resonates with the Caregiver archetype.
  8. The Ruler (Control): Luxury car brands like Mercedes-Benz, which symbolize control and status, align with the Ruler archetype.
  9. The Creator (Innovation): LEGO, known for fostering creativity and imagination, embodies the Creator archetype.
  10. The Innocent (Safety): Brands like Dove, which promote purity and simplicity, reflect the Innocent archetype.
  11. The Sage (Understanding): Google, a brand synonymous with knowledge and information, represents the Sage archetype.
  12. The Explorer (Freedom): The North Face, encouraging exploration and adventure, aligns with the Explorer archetype.

Why Archetypes Matter in Branding:

Archetypes are incredibly effective in branding because they tap into deep-seated emotional responses. They provide a framework for brands to tell their story in a way that is instinctively understood and felt by the audience. This connection goes beyond the transactional nature of business and fosters loyalty and emotional engagement.

 

The Historical Significance of Archetypes:

 

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The concept of archetypes dates back to ancient times, with philosophers like Plato discussing the idea of intuitive forms. This historical depth underscores the enduring relevance of archetypes in understanding human behavior and, by extension, in effective branding.

Incorporating brand archetypes into your marketing strategy is not just about creating a brand identity; it’s about connecting with your audience on a deeper, more emotional level. By understanding and utilizing these archetypes, brands can create a unique and memorable identity that resonates with their audience’s core desires and emotions.

 

brand-archetype-wheel

 

We have also created an Archetype Wheel for download on Gumroad. This archetype wheel is perfect for All Freelancers, Designers, Branding Enthusiasts, Agency Owners, or simply the Curious Learner. You will find

  • A beautifully designed, printable, easy-to-use Archetype Wheel in PDF format.
  • A table detailing each aspect of all 12 personality types

Our archetype wheel will provide you with insights on how to develop a strong brand identity based on any of these personalities – The Innocent, Everyman, Hero, Outlaw, Explorer, Creator, Ruler, Magician, Lover, Caregiver, Jester, and Sage. We have mapped out each personality’s brand voice, message, brand examples, color psychology, and typography so that you can reference the heart and soul of any brand easily.