A basic principle of marketing is that your brand must have a personality that the recipient can identify with. By building a strong brand personality, you will be able to remain consistent through your content activities. How can this be done? 12 brand archetypes will be helpful here. Below we explain why you should find your archetype and use it in your communication strategy. Read on.
Brand archetypes – table of contents:
- What is a brand archetype?
- The importance of brand archetypes for marketing activities
- 12 brand archetypes
What is a brand archetype?
A brand archetype is a certain set of characteristics and a pattern of behavior in all activities undertaken by the company. Its main task is to show the character of the brand and the values it respects in its daily activities, and its goal is to ensure consistent communication across all channels (both online and offline). Thus, the archetype is the starting point for a deeper understanding of what our brand is and defining its personality.
A brand can be assigned more than one archetype – some brands choose to combine several in their communications. Then, however, it should be borne in mind that some of them may be mutually exclusive, which, when combined, may result in inconsistency in the carried out activities.
The importance of brand archetypes for marketing activities
Properly determining what our brand archetype is allows us to ensure consistent communication across online and offline channels, and thus – build brand recognition and brand loyalty. However, this is not all. Above all, choosing and describing a brand archetype provides a starting point for creating a brand story (and nowadays storytelling yields the best results). It also helps to establish the other most important issues from a marketing point of view, which are essential for communication, such as:
- a brand promise – the promise that the brand makes to the audience,
- ESP (emotional selling proposition) – the emotions the brand should evoke among customers,
- communication style – the way content is formulated.
12 brand archetypes
In marketing, we define 12 basic brand archetypes with specific characteristics, which are shown in various types of content creations (TV commercials, posts, videos, etc.). Below are their descriptions and the most popular brands that fit into the arranged patterns.
Return to childhood and tradition, purity, care – these three phrases are the basis of this archetype. Brands using it focus on portraying easy and happy everyday life, focusing on positive emotions. It is also important to care about the safety of the audience – providing it through the offered products.
Example: Gerber, Coca-cola, Dove
Revolution – this is what Orphans are trying to carry out in the world as they care about bringing a new and better order through anarchy. What matters to them is freedom and the ability to make their own decisions. Conformism, rules and regulations are not for them.
Brands showing how to overcome obstacles on the way to success have adopted the archetype of the Warrior. They promote hard work, proactive action, courage and determination, as well as fighting against their own limitations. They refuse to accept the status quo and strive to establish their own order.
Example: Nike, Leroy Merlin
Caregivers focus on surrounding their recipients with care – just as a mother or father cares for their toddlers. They emphasize safety, constant support (e.g. in development) or eliminating the feeling of loneliness. They communicate using simple and gentle language.
Seekers like trying new things and creating a space that gives them a full sense of freedom. They look for new solutions, are curious about the world, and like experimenting. Adventure and pushing boundaries are the keywords for brands with this archetype.
Example: Harley Davidson, Red Bull
Lovers put an emphasis on portraying beauty and sensuality in their content creations. They often refer to love relationships or relationships between friends. They are filled with all sorts of strong and positive emotions. An ideal archetype for jewelry, fashion, cosmetics or confectionery brands.
Example: Kinder Bueno, Apart
What matters to Sages are facts and data – not opinions and fantasies. They keep their feet on the ground, guided by the knowledge they have. They constantly try to understand the world and then explain it to their audience, guiding them through life. For them, objectivity is the foundation of the actions they take.
What is most important is the here and now, what matters most is having fun – such messages are promoted by a brand using the archetype of the Fool. Fools play the role of a concern-free optimists who always enjoy life. The messages (especially the advertising creations) are full of cheerful colors and playful motifs.
Example: Old Spice, Skittles
Creators are focused on innovation and providing audiences with experiences they have not encountered before. There are no boundaries for them and they don’t think anything is impossible to do. They inspire people to take action.
Any brand using the Ruler archetype should be associated with splendor, wealth, success, power. Rulers are in control of the world, marked by discipline and order. Ideal for premium brands or those acting as the undisputed market leaders.
Example: Mercedes, Rolex
Magicians focus on providing recipients with magical moments that absorb them completely, allowing them to relax, unwind, and feel better. They care about strengthening the body or spirit, although they don’t explain how this can be achieved – just like true magicians, they never reveal their tricks.
Regulars want to be close to the recipients in all their struggles – so they try to be as real and focused on everyday life as possible. They don’t impose anything on the recipient, but aim to earn their trust. They hide in the crowd without using loud messages.
You’ve just learned about the 12 archetypes that are the foundation for building a brand strategy – can you now identify “who your brand is”? To do so, ask yourself questions about the goals, values or nature of the brand you’ve created, and then confront the listed characteristics to determine the one that fits best. Remember, your brand can fit into more than one archetype.
Read also: Branding strategy for startups.