Brand Tools: Brand Archetypes

Ever wonder why it is we feel so attracted to certain brands? Like there is just something that connects us to them? Like we know them?


It's not their pretty products, their perfectly curated Instagram feed or their amazing websites...


It's their personality.. more importantly... their BRAND ARCHETYPE.

What are Brand Archetypes?

A brand archetype is a universally recognizable and innately understood personality that a brand embodies. They represent a pattern of characteristics, values, attitudes and behaviors that are consistent across time, generations and culture. In other words, they are personalities that we innately know, understand and connect with.


Famous psychologist, Carl Jung theorized that certain characteristics or archetypes have alluring personalities that connect with us deeply at the core of our human psyche. Just like people, brand's have personalities that evoke emotional responses.


Jung, who developed the concept of the "Collective Unconscious", referred to the structure of the unconscious mind which contains memories and impulses of which we are unaware. Our unconscious mind contains universal mental images, or archetypes, that we have inherited from our past experiences or were passed down from generation to generation. Whether we are aware of it or not, there is a very real and compelling reason why we fall in love with certain brands.


So, what do archetypes have to do with branding?

Archetypes give your brand personality to embody. They give you a clear vision of what you should focus on, your behavior or brand message and your core values.


When working with clients on branding projects, I always start with identifying their archetype with a focus on their primary and influencer archetypes.


In this age of being more connected than ever, the old ideas of marketing and branding are out and a new way of social connection in. People are more connected than ever, and that includes being more connected with the brands and businesses they purchase from. People want authenticity and sustainability and if your brand is intentionally cultivated on an archetypal foundation, it will have an impact.


Archetypes create a human connection to a brand. They connect with our basic human desires. Carl Jung said it best when he said, "We all have the same instinctive and unconscious understanding of behavioral patterns." Our desires may not be something we are consciously aware of but they are a natural part of who we are as humans.


There are 12 Archetypes that match up to a different human desire. Although many of us may have several desires, we will all relate more closely to one or two as our core desires. Our heartrate will start to increase for some more than others, making us feel more alive, more connected and more attracted to the personalities that reflect those desires.


Let's take a look at the 12 Archetypes:


The Maverick = longs for Liberation

The Magician = longs for Power

The Hero = longs for Mastery

The Lover = longs for Intimacy

The Entertainer = longs for Enjoyment

The Guy/Girl Next Door = longs for Belonging

The Caregiver = lives to Serve

The Royal = longs for Control

The Creator = longs to Innovate

The Innocent = longs for Safety

The Sage = longs for Understanding

The Explorer = longs for Freedom


Understanding and utilizing archetypes in branding is about identifying a desire or an answer to a pain point for your ideal customers and embodying that personality or desire to appeal to them. Let me be clear here - because I see this far too often with archetypes - Yes, your brand should embody 2 archetypes (a primary + an influencer- more on that later) but no more. And yes, they should resonate with you who your brand is. But more importantly, to build connection- your brand's archetypes should be speaking to your audience's core desires FIRST. For example- in the case of KAM Design Studio- by nature, I am a creator- which is very much aligned with my brand's personality and core values- I'm creative, like to innovate and find new ways to design something beautiful and new. However, my ideal clients are small business owners who are looking for an expert who can build them a brand and website for their business- someone who can direct them, lead them and will meet their high standards for their business- which is very aligned with being a Royal archetype- which is my primary archetype. I'm meeting my clients where their desires are- therefore I'm both a Royal and a Creator.


Once you identify your core archetype, based on a strategic mix of both your brand personality and your ideal client's desires- you will be able to genuinely and authentically connect with your customers on a deeper, more connected level.


People want to feel connected to and a part of the brands they love. They want to feel like they are valued and making a difference in some way. They want to know they are the same as and fit in with the brands they love. It's not about mirroring a personality or archetype, it's about allowing your brand to embody an archetype in an authentic and unique way that stays true to your brand. When your brand aligns with the emotions and desires of your customers in an authentic way, you are better able to get to the core of your audience's human desires and stand out from your competition.


How do I figure out my brand‘s archetype?

Not to worry! I’ve got you covered! To find out which archetypes your brand is most aligned with, click the link below to take our free Brand Archetype quiz (Linked Here). It will walk you through a series of questions to get to the core of your brand's message, mission and vision and give you a set of 3 archetypes you most align with.


Then download your free brand archetype resource guide to get started applying your primary archetype to your brand.

Want to learn more about primary and secondary archetypes, choosing the right one for your brand, and how to apply each archetype to your brand? Click the subscribe button and join our list to get notified every time we drop a new post. Over the next several weeks, I’ll be breaking down each archetype in detail and how to apply them to your brand for more impact.

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