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The 12 brand archetypes - which one is your business?

Published: 5 November 2018
The 12 brand archetypes - which one is your business?

If you've read our ultimate guide to SME branding, you'll know how beneficial good branding can be for business.

Giving your business a brand personality can help customers relate to it like they do to other people. It sparks loyalty, community, engagement and conversions.

And in business, that's a powerful connection to have.

But how do you create a personality for your business?

A popular way to define your brand personality is to match your business to the 12 archetypes defined by Swiss psychiatrist, Carl Jung.

These character traits work well in marketing and branding because they categorise behaviours.

When your business reflects an archetype it helps customers decide, "I like that business. I relate to them. They are like me and they get me." Or, if they don't feel it's a good match.

To see which archetype best matches your business, start by answering these questions:

  • How do you help customers solve their problems/achieve their dreams?
  • What are your business values?
  • What are three words that best describe your culture?
  • How do you want your customers to perceive your brand?
  • Who are your major competitors?

Once you have answered these questions honestly, take a look at the archetypes below to see what sounds most like your brand personality.

There's a good chance you'll match with a few archetypes. Your goal is to identify the one you relate to most. Your primary archetype.

The 12 brand archetypes

Explorer archetype

All about freedom, excitement and adventure.

  • Goal: New and better experiences and escaping boredom.
  • Fears: Being trapped, conforming, feeling empty inside.
  • Examples: Subaru, Lonely Planet, Corona

Hero archetype

Prove worth through courageous and difficult action.

  • Goals: Value quality over quantity, want to exert mastery to improve the world.
  • Fears: Failure, weakness, not being the best.
  • Examples: Nike, Duracell, FedEx

Everyman archetype

Wants to connect with everyone and highlight everyday life moments.

  • Goals: To fit in and belong.
  • Fears: Standing out, being seen as fake, being rejected.
  • Examples: IKEA, Kit Kat, Target

Innocent archetype

Optimistic and driven to find the good in situations, paradise.

  • Goals: Happiness, nostalgia, simplicity.
  • Fear: Doing something wrong that results in punishment.
  • Examples: McDonald's, Dove, Qantas

Creator archetype

Want to create something of enduring value.

  • Goals: Bring a vision to life with work that lasts.
  • Fear: Mediocrity.
  • Examples: Google, Lego, Apple

Outlaw archetype

Revolutionary, break the rules

  • Goals: Innovate, destroy what's not working and challenge the norm.
  • Fear: Be powerless, inconsequential.
  • Examples: Harley-Davidson, Diesel, Virgin

Magician archetype

Likes inspiring and transformative experiences.

  • Goals: Make dreams come true.
  • Fears: Unexpected negative consequences.
  • Examples: Disney, Lululemon, Dyson

Ruler archetype

Speak with authority, is in control.

  • Goals: To create a prosperous, successful family or community.
  • Fears: Being overthrown, chaos.
  • Examples: Rolex, Microsoft, Mercedes-Benz

Lover archetype

Enjoys human connections, offer joy, delight or indulgence.

  • Goals: Pleasure, beauty and close relationships.
  • Fears: Being a wallflower, alone, unwanted.
  • Examples: Victoria's Secret, Ferarri, Magnum

Caregiver archetype

Provide support or safety for others

  • Goals: Caring for and protect others.
  • Fears: Being selfish. Not receiving gratitude for sacrifices they make.
  • Examples: UNICEF, The Salvation Army, J&J

Jester archetype

Having fun and living life in the moment.

  • Goals: Be a ray of sunshine in everyone's life around them.
  • Fear: Boredom, negativity, sadness
  • Examples: M&M's, Old Spice, Dollar Shave Club

Sage archetype

Understand the world and share that with others.

  • Motivators: Finding the truth and gaining wisdom.
  • Fears: Fake news, false information and being seen as ignorant.
  • Examples: Google, BBC, Harvard University

How did you go? Did you find your spirit archetype?

It's important to remember that you need to truly believe in the goals of an archetype to be believed by customers. It's no use saying you stand for one thing and then behaving in a different way.

If the audience instinctively recognises an archetype in your brand they'll automatically trust and like you.

And if you need some help bringing your brand archetype to life through graphic design, web design and printing, talk to the brand experts at your local Snap Centre today.

Author:Snap Franchising Ltd
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