The 12 Brand Archetypes: How They Can Help Shape Your Brand
Successful brands have their own unique identity. This particular sense of identity draws their ideal customer in. Brands appeal to customers on a very personal level as a brand reflects a customer’s desires or expectations.
Identifying your brand’s identity is essential for your business and this can be done by choosing the perfect brand archetype. These archetypes will immediately assist you in identifying your audience.
There are 12 classic brand archetypes. Psychologist Carl Jung created these based on characters we fall in love with in films or story books. He believed that people instantly connect with story characters because it is instinctive to do so; a part of a ‘collective unconscious’ we all share as human beings.
Archetypes have been studied and explored for many years; from spiritualists, psychologists, sociologists, and nowadays, branding experts.
There are 12 classic archetypes which we have listed below. it is important for you to understand who they really are and how they can create a deep connection with your own target market:
Type: The Dreamer, The Hopeless Romantic
Goal: To be optimistic, honest, enthusiastic, moral, romantic, loyal
Limitation: Can come across as inexperienced or boring
Marketing Niche: Companies with strong values, trustworthy, honest, associated with morality, good virtues, can be nostalgic
The innocent customer prefers straight-talking advertising, and is naturally drawn to optimistic brands. Ruthless or guilt-inducing advertising repels them.
Example: Coca-Cola, McDonalds
Type: The Superhero, The Warrior
Goal: To be a hero, courageous, bold, honorable, strong, confident, inspirational, to prove themselves, to be brave and determined
Limitation: Can be arrogant, ruthless
Marketing Niche: To put a positive stamp on the world, solve problems, inspire others to be better versions of themselves.
Hero customers enjoy the finer things in life, they seek quality in their products. They like to think their choices will elevate their success or stature. They will not be tempted by cute or funny adverts.
Example: Nike, Duracell
THE REGULAR GUY
Type: The Good Guy
Goal: To belong, to connect with others, they are down to earth, supportive, faithful, friendly, empathetic, reliable, honest.
Limitation: Could lack identity, can fade into the background, can come across as weak or superficial
Marketing Niche: Solid virtues, sense of belonging
The regular guy appreciates quality and dependability in their brands. They prefer the familiar to new products, and will emotionally invest in brands that they trust. It is very difficult, once a customer is loyal to a brand, to persuade them to try something new. Example: Vodafone, eBay
Type: The Saint, The Parent
Goal: To be caring, maternal, nurturing, selfless, generous, compassionate, has a need to protect, strong
Limitation: Can be taken advantage of, or exploited
Marketing Niche: Assists people in taking care of themselves, like to educate the public
Nurturer customers want to be recognised for their efforts, and cannot stand to be patronised. Aggressive advertising is a no-no, whereas emotionally-driven adverts really hit home.
Example: Johnson & Johnson, Heinz
Type: The Revolutionary, The Outlaw
Goal: Break all the rules, fights authority, rebellious, wild, paving the way for change, revolution, free-spirited, brave
Drawback: Can go overboard, can be destructive, out of control
Marketing Niche: Advocate for the disenfranchised, allow people to speak up and stand their ground
Rebel customers appreciate the unconventional and do not stick to the norm. They are rebels with a cause!
Example: Harley-Davidson, Levi Jeans
Type: The Adventurer, The Wanderer
Goal: Finds fulfilment through adventure and experience, restless, ambitious, independent, a pioneer, spiritual
Drawback: will not conform, inner emptiness, flaky
Marketing Niche: Exciting, risk-taking, authentic Explorer customers love brands that promote freedom and discovery, especially brands that invite their customers to embark on a journey with them. They will not be enticed by domestic type advertising.
Example: The North Face, Red Bull
Type: The Artist, The Dreamer
Goal: Creative, imaginative, innovative, entrepreneur, produces brilliant work, expressive, authentic
Limitation: Can be a perfectionist, melodramatic
Marketing Niche: Visionary, assist their customers to be more creative
Creator customers loathe advertising in general but may enjoy experimental or original advertising. Creator types are a difficult category to draw in, but once a brand is successful in appealing to their audience, they often have the most loyal fans.
Example: Lego, Apple
Goal: Leader, responsible, organised, role model, fair
Limitation: Can be too authoritative, rigid, controlling, entitled
Marketing Niche: Assists people in becoming more organised, and to create more stability in chaos.
Ruler customers are the dominant types and do not want to be patronised. They value ads that reinforce power and stability.
Example: Rolex, Mercedes-Benz
Type: The Shaman, The Visionary
Goal: Make dreams come true, to create something extraordinary, visionary, charismatic, imaginative, spiritual, driven
Limitation: takes too many risks, disconnected from reality
Marketing Niche: Assists people in transforming their lives, sets out to inspire others
Magician customers need to feel they can influence people by using a product. Advertising should be imaginative and inspiring.
Example: Lululemon, Disney
Type: The Dreamer, The Idealist
Goal: Create intimacy, to inspire love, passionate, sensual, intimate, romantic, magnetic, glamourous
Limitation: Not grounded enough, obsessive, fake
Marketing Niche: Assists people in feeling more appreciated, to enjoy intimacy
Lover customers enjoy the aesthetic appearance of brands. They are drawn to the highest quality brands that will elevate their own attractiveness to others.
Example: Victoria’s Secret
Type: The Fool, The Comedian
Goal: To bring laughter and joy to the world, fun, light-hearted, mischievous, youthful
Limitation: Can be frivolous, disrespectful, irresponsible
Marketing Niche: Assists people to be more impulsive and spontaneous
Jester customers finds mainstream advertising boring. They love the unusual or playful type of advertising.
Example: Ben & Jerry’s, IKEA
Type: The Scholar, The Teacher
Goal: Knowledgeable, trustworthy, wisdom, intelligence, thoughtful, mentor, guru, articulate
Limitation: Can be too opinionated, self-absorbed
Marketing Niche: Assists people to better understand the world
Sage customers are constantly looking for new sources of information. They love advertising that challenge a new way of thinking.
Example: BBC, National Geographic
And so there you have it! The 12 brand archetypes that should hopefully inspire you to create your own unique brand identity which will allow you to engage with your audience. So which brand archetype is yours?