The 12 Brand Archetypes: How They Can Help Shape Your Brand

Aug 8, 2018

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:

The innocent

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


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

The Nurturer

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

The CreatOR

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

The Jester

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?


Photo by Zhen Hu on Unsplash

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