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Brand Archetypes fundamentals & helpful questionnaire

Karolina Karolina • 10 Dec, 2023 4 min read • Blog• Marketing
brand-archetypes-fundamentals-&-helpful-questionnaire

Have you ever wondered why certain brands seem to speak to you on a personal level, creating an almost magnetic attraction? This isn’t just a coincidence; it’s the power of brand archetypes at work, a concept rooted in universal stories and characters that resonate with our deepest emotions. In today’s competitive marketplace, understanding and leveraging these archetypes can be the key to transforming a simple brand into a compelling narrative that captivates the audience.  

Storytelling grabs attention and sparks curiosity. It makes your message memorable and connects deeply with your audience. Stories simplify complex ideas, turning dry facts into engaging narratives. This keeps your audience hooked and eager for more. By weaving stories into your content, you make it more engaging and effective. Ditch the boring stuff and start telling stories to make your content unforgettable. In marketing, storytelling is a game-changer. Embrace it and watch the magic happen.

Brand Archetypes Overview 

 

Brand archetypes are derived from the concept of archetypes introduced by Carl Jung, a renowned Swiss psychiatrist. Jung believed that archetypes are universal, mythic characters residing within the collective unconscious of people all over the world. In the realm of branding, these archetypes embody foundational human motivations and values, providing a framework for brands to connect with their audience on a deeper, more emotional level. 

 

Each archetype represents a specific set of values, attitudes, and behaviors. When a brand aligns itself with an archetype, it’s not just choosing a character; it’s embracing a narrative that resonates with its audience’s inherent desires and worldviews. This alignment can profoundly influence how consumers perceive and interact with the brand. It transforms the brand from a mere provider of goods or services into a character in the customer’s own life story, one that mirrors their aspirations, challenges, or desires. 

Types of Brand Archetypes 

Each of the twelve classic archetypes has distinct characteristics and appeals to different aspects of the human experience: 

 

The Innocent: Exudes optimism and simplicity. Brands under this archetype often promote happiness, safety, and goodness. Example: Dove. 

The Everyman: Emphasizes belonging and realism. Brands here are down-to-earth, supportive, and like a good neighbor. Example: IKEA. 

The Hero: Embodies courage and boldness. These brands inspire and motivate, encouraging people to overcome challenges. Example: Nike. 

The Outlaw: Represents rebellion and liberation. Outlaw brands challenge the status quo and fight against conventions. Example: Harley-Davidson. 

The Explorer: Symbolizes adventure and independence. Explorer brands prompt discovery and new experiences. Example: The North Face. 

The Creator: Focused on innovation and imagination. These brands value originality and creating lasting work. Example: LEGO. 

The Ruler: Exudes control and authority. Ruler brands often create a sense of stability and order. Example: Mercedes-Benz. 

The Magician: About transformation and visionary ideas. Magician brands promise a transformative experience. Example: Disney. 

The Lover: Represents passion and intimacy. These brands foster closeness and sensual pleasure. Example: Victoria’s Secret. 

The Caregiver: Emphasizes nurturing and compassion. Caregiver brands protect and care for others. Example: Johnson & Johnson. 

The Jester: Values enjoyment and play. Jester brands bring joy, humor, and light-heartedness. Example: Ben & Jerry’s. 

The Sage: Seeks truth and wisdom. Sage brands provide expertise and knowledge. Example: Google. 

Identifying a Brand’s Archetype 

 

To identify a brand’s archetype, start by analyzing the brand’s core values, mission statement, and the emotions they evoke in their customers.  

This questionnaire is designed to help you discover which of the 12 classic brand archetypes best aligns with your brand’s identity, values, and mission. Answer each question honestly and think about how your brand would act if it were a person. 

 

What is the primary goal of your brand? 

a) Inspire and motivate

b) Provide stability and control

c) Foster innovation and creativity

d) Offer care and nurturing

 

How does your brand communicate with its audience? 

a) Through humor and playfulness

b) By offering wisdom and advice

c) By encouraging adventure and exploration

d) Through straightforward, down-to-earth messaging

 

What emotions do you want your brand to evoke in customers?

a) A sense of belonging and comfort

b) Feelings of excitement and boldness

c) A sense of wonder and possibility

d) Feelings of safety and trust

 

What kind of experience does your brand offer?

a) Transformative and magical

b) Practical and reliable

c) Rebellious and unconventional

d) Luxurious and elite

 

What values are at the core of your brand?

a) Curiosity and freedom

b) Joy and fun

c) Compassion and caring

d) Quality and tradition

 

How do your customers see themselves when they interact with your brand?

a) As unique and artistic individuals

b) As part of a community

c) As ambitious and driven achievers

d) As thoughtful and introspective

 

What is the primary message your brand conveys?

a) Challenge conventions and break rules

b) Achieve perfection and control

c) Protect and care for others

d) Explore new horizons and adventures

 

How does your brand position itself in the market?

a) As a source of knowledge and expertise

b) As a provider of fun and escape

c) As a leader and influencer

d) As a supportive and nurturing presence

 

Which of these best describes your brand’s storytelling style?

a) Romantic and passionate

b) Inspirational and heroic

c) Humble and relatable

d) Sophisticated and authoritative

 

What kind of change does your brand seek to bring about?

a) Empowerment and overcoming obstacles

b) Innovation and new perspectives

c) Harmony and happiness

d) Rebellion and disruption

 

What role does your brand play in your customer’s life?

a) A guide or mentor

b) A companion or friend

c) A revolutionary or challenger

d) A dreamer or visionary

How does your brand approach problem-solving?

a) Through careful analysis and wisdom

b) With optimism and simplicity

c) Through creativity and innovation

d) With boldness and courage

 

Summary 

Aligning a brand’s archetype with its core values and mission is crucial for authenticity and resonance with the target audience. A mismatch can lead to a disjointed brand image and confuse customers. When the archetype aligns well, it strengthens the brand’s identity and enhances its ability to form meaningful connections with its audience. Understanding a brand’s archetype can inform its marketing and communication strategies. It dictates the tone of voice, the imagery used in advertising, the kind of stories told in marketing campaigns, and even the approach to customer service. By consistently manifesting the characteristics of its archetype, a brand can create a strong, coherent, and relatable identity.