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What are Brand Archetypes?
A Brand Archetype is an explanation of the characteristics and values of a particular type of brand by using unique and timeless characters often found in stories and movies. Many companies use them in their marketing strategies as a framework to operate within, rather than setting specific goals to hit.
Companies don’t necessarily use their business to embody the 12 archetypes, but instead create their mission statement, core values, and other high-level business aspirations that come from the truths that lie within an Archetype. Brand Archetypes are identified to help direct the overall direction of the company as it becomes a Brand. To give you a better understanding of them, we’ve listed the 12 archetypes.
What Are The 12 Archetypes?
There are many different brand archetypes circulating out there on the internet. We use the twelve most common brand archetypes when we consult our clients on branding. Here is a list of the 12 archetypes that are universally used the most:
- The Hero
- The Royalty
- The Maverick
- The Magician
- The Sage
- The Innocent
- The Explorer
- The Creator
- The Lover
- The Jester
- The Caregiver
- The Friend
What does each Brand Archetype look like?
Below is a paragraph of each of the 12 archetypes. At the very end of this post, you’ll find a document that provides even more detail on all of the following 12 archetypes. Let’s quickly go over each one:
- The Hero Brand Archetype’s goal is to act courageously in a way that helps improve the world around them. Brands that identify as The Hero Brand Archetype focus their marketing strategies on showing their strength and competency all the time. These brands fear vulnerabilities and weaknesses. A real-world brand that is a prime candidate for being called a Hero Brand is the United States Marine Corp.
- The Royalty Brand Archetype’s goal is to create success and prosperity and have a community around them that is completely bought into their own manifestation of a wealthy lifestyle. Brands that identify as The Royalty Brand Archetype focus their marketing efforts on creating a community that is all about success and making major progress on their goals. They often grow and show off their authority and their audience. Any loss of influence or control is a huge threat to them. Rolex is a quintessential Royalty Brand.
- The Maverick Brand Archetype’s goal is to break everything that doesn’t work right. Brands that identify as The Maverick aim to disrupt, shock, and defy the status quote. Conforming to standards or being trapped are the enemies of The Maverick. A great Maverick Brand to follow is Harley-Davidson.
- The Magician Brand Archetype’s goal is to help make people’s dreams come true. They help others transform their lives and are always using new ways of doing things. When things don’t work as intended, the Magician has lost everything. A classic example of a Magician Brand Archetype is the one and only Disney.
- The Sage Brand Archetype loves to understand the world around them with the goal of helping others understand it too. They use self-reflection and diligence on a daily basis to seek information and knowledge. If they are ever duped or outsmarted their world falls apart. Google is your brand look-a-like when it comes to the Sage Brand Archetype.
- The Innocent Brand Archetype is all about making and spreading happiness and optimism. Innocent Brand Archetypes put everything into doing things right and being a trustworthy source. The Innocent will lose its soul if the would around it becomes bent in the wrong direction. When it comes to Innocent Brands, Coca-Cola is on top.
- The Explorer Brand Archetype can’t wait to experience more freedom. They seek out new things and escape from the mundane and tediousness of life. If ever trapped or required to conform they will be rendered empty of value. An Explorer Brand to hang your hat on as a great example is Jeep.
- The Creator Brand Archetype’s sole purpose is to create in a way that is expressive, artistic, and visionary. As long as they are growing in their artistry, they are doing the right thing. If inspiration is ever lost or they produce mediocre work then they are doomed. Lego is built on the core principles of the Creator Brand Archetype.
- The Lover Brand Archetype loves relationships, desires, and feelings. Lover brands will work any angle they can to become more attractive and to create moments that excite all the senses. If a Lover brand is turned down, left all by themselves, or at a loss for something to be passionate about then they have lost the meaning of the Lover brand. A Brand that is very good at being a Lover Brand Archetype is Victoria’s Secret.
- Ah, the Jester Brand Archetype. At WunderTRE, we like this one a bit more than the rest because it’s us. A Jester is having the time of their life if they can lighten up the world and help others enjoy life. They will play, tell jokes, and use lots of humor. If they ever become boring then they’ve lost the entertainer’s spirit and might as well close up shop and go into dry cleaning. Geico is a brand to watch when it comes to embodying the Jester.
- The Caregiver Brand Archetype is all about taking care of others by doing things for them through service and focusing all their attention on anyone but themselves. A Caregiver is never selfish or ungrateful, which is the exact opposite of everything they stand for. Campbell’s brand of soups understands the heart and soul behind the Caregiver Brand Archetype.
- The Friend Brand Archetype just wants to belong, relate, and bring everyone along for the ride. They live by tried and true values, very relateable, awesome work ethic and just an all-around nice brand. If they forget to include someone or they are found out to have deep prejudices then they will lose all of the value they’ve established as the “Friend” brand. McDonald’s is the best Friend Brand Archetype example we could find.
Those are the 12 archetypes and a quick explanation of them. If you would like a full-page infographic of each of the 12 archetypes then click this link here!
Interested in our branding consulting? WunderTRE helps your business identify your brand’s primary, secondary, and tertiary Brand Archetypes by creating a customized Rulebook for you.
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