Part 2: Brand Archetypes: Let’s Discover Your Brand’s Personality
Just about every major brand is leveraging archetypes to better communicate with their customers. The trick is to identify your customer’s personality, then align your brand with the archetype that would most appeal to their wants. These are often - but not always - the same.
For example, your audience might be the Everyman, but you want your brand to appeal to the Explorer within. In this case, your brand should be more aligned with the Explorer archetype and use personality and communication to resonate with those desires.
To get (re)acquainted with the basics of brand archetypes and the power they bring to a business, check out Part 1: Brand Archetypes: Building a Brand with Personality.
Let’s explore the 12 brand archetypes in detail to determine which best aligns with your brand personality.
1. The Outlaw (aka the Revolutionary or the Rebel)
If you challenge the norm and break the rules, you’re likely an Outlaw brand. The Outlaw archetype has a gritty attitude and encourages individuality and revolution. Ferris Bueller and Robin Hood are both Outlaw characters who refuse to abide by society’s demands.
Brand Voice: Rebellious, disruptive, independent.
Driven By: Righteousness, freedom, and the unconventional.
Fears: Conformity, complacency, servitude.
Philosophy: Question the norm and forge their own path.
Overarching Goal: Leave a mark
Brand Example: Vans positions itself as a unique brand, unbothered by social conventions - much like their skateboarder demographic and “Off the Wall” slogan.
Industry Categories: Motorcycles, destruction tools, alternative apparel, body art
2. The Magician (aka the Visionary)
Anything can happen with the Magician archetype. It’s all about belief and magical transformation, fostering a sense of wonder and making miracles happen. Doc Brown in Back to the Future encapsulates the Magician archetype.
Brand Voice: Mystical, capable, powerful.
Driven By: Discovery, transformation, belief.
Fears: Uncertainty, doubt, stagnation.
Philosophy: Making the impossible possible.
Overarching Goal: Leave a mark
Brand Example: The Dyson brand is all about breakthrough thinking and taking risks to find a better way.
Industry Categories: Entertainment, beauty, relaxation, well-being or health
3. The Hero (aka the Warrior)
We all know the Hero: bold, dependable, and inspiring. Think Hercules or Achilles of The Iliad. If you empower your audience to succeed and embody the characteristics of determination and ambition, your brand is likely a Hero!
Brand Voice: Honest, candid, brave.
Driven By: Mastery, growth, and a desire to defend those they care about.
Fears: Incompetence and failure.
Philosophy: To become better, stronger, and more capable.
Overarching Goal: Leave a mark
Brand Examples: Nike and Adidas are Heroes who empower their customers and encourage them to stay resilient in the face of adversity. Nike’s slogan, “Just Do It” and Adidas’ “Impossible is Nothing,” exemplify those traits perfectly: they bravely yearn for strength and improvement.
Industry Categories: Sportswear, sporting equipment, outdoor/tactical equipment, emergency trade services (plumbers, electricians, locksmiths, mechanics etc.)
4. The Lover (aka the Idealist)
The Lover brand tugs on our heartstrings like no other. The Lover is Romeo Montague or Noah from The Notebook. If you appeal to the emotions of your audience and build trust through affection and sensuality, your brand may just be a Lover.
Brand Voice: Passionate, sensual, and empathetic. Driven By: Closeness, affection, love. Fears: Rejection, invisibility, isolation. Philosophy: Intimacy, lavish treatment, thoughtful attention. Overarching Goal: Connect with others
Brand Examples: Chanel and Victoria’s Secret perfectly represent the Lover archetype. They promote sensuality and intimacy, wooing their audience like a regular Don Giovanni.
Industry Categories: Fragrance, cosmetics, wine, indulgent food, indulgent travel
5. The Jester (aka the Optimist or the Fun-Loving Comedian)
If a brand exemplifies good times, laughter, and lightheartedness, it fits into the Jester archetype. It’s all about living in the moment and bringing joy to those around them. If you’re a fan of F.R.I.E.N.D.S., you’ll recognize the Jester archetype in Joey.
Brand Voice: Playful, positive, humorous.
Driven By: Laughter, fun, togetherness.
Fears: Negativity, boredom, sadness.
Philosophy: See the good in every situation, and don’t take yourself too seriously.
Overarching Goal: Connect with others
Brand Examples: Skittles. Have you ever seen a boring or gloomy Skittles ad? Their slogan is “Taste the Rainbow,” after all!
Industry Categories: Confectionary, professional services, beer, child services
6. The Everyman (aka the Regular Guy)
The Everyman is just like you and me. An Everyman brand is all about belonging, so they create an inclusive, down-to-earth community where anyone can feel welcome. Need a character reference? Think Winston Smith in 1984, or Jim Halpert from The Office.
Brand Voice: Friendly, relatable, and authentic. Driven By: Connection, togetherness, and inclusion. Fears: Exclusion and hostility. Philosophy: Treat everyone with honesty and friendliness to live in harmony. Overarching Goal: Connect with others
Brand Example: We can look to IKEA as an excellent example of the Everyman. They’re unintimidating, humble, and inviting.
Industry Categories: home/family life, comfort foods, everyday apparel, automobile (family/every day)
7. The Caregiver (aka the Nurturer or Society’s Savour)
The Caregiver is a protective, warm, and caring brand, all about service. Think Mary Poppins, or Calpurnia in To Kill a Mockingbird. A Caregiver brand seeks to support and care for those that are important to them.
Brand Voice: Caring, reassuring, and protective. Driven By: Support, help, service. Fears: Helplessness and neglect. Philosophy: Putting others before themselves, ie; loving your neighbour as yourself. Overarching Goal: Provide structure
Brand Examples: Unicef and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) are both brands that exemplify the traits of the Caregiver archetype, as they position themselves by their desire to protect.
Industry Categories: Health and aging care, not-for-profits, hospitals, education
8. The Ruler (aka the King or the Leader)
The Ruler is successful, powerful, and in control. They seek excellence and thrive on their achievements. A natural leader, The Lion King’s Mufasa is a great example of this archetype.
Brand Voice: Commanding, confident, capable. Driven By: Prosperity, success, power. Fears: Insignificance, weakness, failure. Philosophy: Lead the pack and demonstrate superiority. Overarching Goal: Provide structure
Brand Examples: Boss by Hugo Boss exemplifies refined power. Even the name shouts, “Ruler!”
Industry Categories: Automotive (luxury), watch manufacturers, hotels, formal wear apparel or any brands providing high-quality products or services.
9. The Creator (aka the Artist)
The Creator brand is all about imagination, innovation, and - you guessed it - creativity. They see the world through an artist’s eye, finding beauty all around them and inspiring others to do the same. Willy Wonka is a prime example.
Brand Voice: Imaginative, inspirational, optimistic. Driven By: Originality, self-expression, artistry. Fears: Duplication, unoriginality, stagnation. Philosophy: Turn their visions into reality and encourage originality. Overarching Goal: Provide structure
Brand Examples: The Lego brand is filled with colour and positivity, encouraging its audience to pursue their imagination and creativity.
Industry Categories: Arts, design, information technology, marketing, writing
10. The Innocent (aka the Dreamer)
Gentleness, warmth, and care are all markers of the Innocent brand archetype. Much like Tiny Tim in A Christmas Carol, the Innocent is honest and pure with an optimistic outlook on life.
Brand Voice: Caring, humble, pure. Driven By: Simplicity, positivity, happiness. Fears: Deceit, negativity, malice. Philosophy: Creating a safe, wholesome environment. Overarching Goal: Explores spirituality
Brand Example: Dove is an Innocent brand that exudes warmth, closeness, and gentle care.
Industry Categories: Beauty and skin products, organic cleaning, fresh food or any brands providing human body consumables.
11. The Sage (aka the Scholar or the Teacher)
The Sage brand is defined by understanding. This is The Oracle in The Matrix or the beloved Yoda from Star Wars. Brand Voice: Assured, knowledgeable, and guiding. Driven By: Intelligence, expertise, information. Fears: Ignorance, misinformation, powerlessness. Philosophy: Values education and life-long learning. Overarching Goal: Explores spirituality
Brand Example: Google is the perfect example; they’re all about expertise and the sharing of information.
Industry Categories: News and media networks, schools and universities, educational businesses, consultancy firms, search engines
12. The Explorer (aka the Seeker or the Wanderer)
The Explorer brand pushes the boundaries and challenges itself to try new things. They like to explore the unknown and they value the journey. If you relate to Sherlock Holmes or Huckleberry Finn, your brand may be an Explorer.
Brand Voice: Fearless, curious, daring. Driven By: Freedom, discovery, adventure. Fears: Confinement or standing still. Philosophy: Values exploration and the quest for the unknown. Overarching Goal: Explores spirituality
Brand Examples: Patagonia is all about adventure and exploring the beauty that the world has to offer.
Industry Categories: Sports, outdoor equipment, automotive (SUVs), adventure travel
Make the Most of Your Brand Archetype
Once you’ve identified an archetype (or two) that aligns with your brand and appeal to your audience, you can unlock the power of your brand potential and breathe new life into your brand’s personality and messaging.
At The Brand Brew™, we build brands that ooze personality, demanding attention and building powerful emotional connections. If you’re ready to transform your brand and generate a hoard of fanatic followers, our Branding Experience is just what you’re looking for.