The 12 Brand Archetypes: What They Are and Why You Should Care (Part 1)

“The privilege of a lifetime is to become who you truly are.” – Carl Gustav Jung

We spend our entire lives trying to find out who we are; most don’t find it.

The same goes for brands; without knowing what you want your brand’s personality to be, you won’t get much success. But if it is so hard to figure out who you are, how can you manage to determine your brand’s personality?

For this, you can take a page out of Mr. Jung’s book and use the 12 archetypes coined by him.

Archetypes? What are Those?

Archetype is a universal pattern of behaviors that, once discovered, helps people better understand themselves and others.

So, every person fits into a particular archetype?

Well, yes… and no.

While Mr. Jung did coin these archetypes to help us better define ourselves, most of us are a combination of various archetypes.

Also, these 12 archetypes can apply to almost anything, not just people. This includes your pets (most cats are Explorers) fictional characters (which makes a writer’s life so easy), and brands (!!!).

But what’s that got to do with my brand and digital marketing?

As more businesses enter the market and older ones refuse to leave, your audience will only go to ones with the most pros in their eyes. This means they want a reliable, relatable brand that gives them value for their money and has a personality that matches theirs.

So traditional methods of marketing won’t help your brand; even most of the modern techniques won’t do you much good unless you develop a personality for your brand.
And this is where the Jungian archetypes come into play.

When people find a brand that supports the same causes as them, gives off the vibe they’re looking for, speaks in the same style they do, and basically falls in the same archetypes as them, they are more likely to gravitate towards that brand.
Kind of like when someone tweets something that happened to them and gets a slew of “same” and “mood” and “me”.

Finding your brand’s archetype and working with it makes your brand more relatable to your audience.

The 12 archetypes by Carl Jung

In this blog, I will be talking about the first 6 of the 12 archetypes coined by Carl Jung: The Innocent, The Caregiver, The Everyperson, The Hero, The Explorer, and The Rebel. The next 6 archetypes will be in part 2.

1. The Innocent

The Innocent archetypes always try to see the good in the world and have the power to uplift your mood even on your worst days. Even the ones who criticize this archetype to be one for naïve dreamers agree that, without their positive outlook, the world would be a little duller.

Coca Cola is the perfect example for The Innocent archetype

Brands with this archetype have one goal: to spread positivity. They always do the right things, are trustworthy, spread hope in their community through their ads and interactions, and share what makes them (and their audience) happy. Their biggest fear is taking an inadvertent action that may cause backlash or punishment.

Although their lovable nature seems to be their weakness, it is not. Because as soon as they see the world being influenced by negativity (another thing they dislike), it is their positive mindset that will make them take a stand against it.

These brands use hope, nostalgia, and simplicity as their motivators.

McDonald’s, Dove, Coca Cola are great examples of what brands in the Innocent archetypes should be like.

2. The Caregiver

Do you have a person in your life that you can go to for everything? A friend who rushes to your side at a moment’s notice? Or your sister who you can always go to for any kind of advice? Maybe it’s your Mom, who is always ready with homemade soup and a cosy bed when you’re sick.

These are the kind of people who fit into the “Caregiver” archetype. They are full of compassion and empathy. The only downfall to this archetype is that sometimes – when being too involved in caring for others – they forget to take care of themselves and their sheer inability to say ‘no’.

Whether for advice or for emotional support, you can always rely on The Caregiver archetype tp be there for you

And yes, sometimes people take undue advantage of their good nature. But they don’t let that bring down their generosity.

Caregiver Brands love helping others, whether it is through frequent drives or simply by offering comfort. They are constantly volunteering, raising money for one cause or the other, and are focused on helping others rather than profits. They dislike ungrateful, selfish attitudes and fear being seen as having those qualities.

Be assured that if you’re a part of their community, you will feel loved, safe, taken care of, and will never feel alone.

Brands like UNICEF and TOMS Shoes are the best ambassadors for the Caregiver archetype

3. The Everyperson

If you’ve seen even one episode of F.R.I.E.N.D.S, it is clear that each character in the sitcom has a unique personality.

The Every person is a person that all of those characters can relate to.

These people are dependable, down-to-earth realists (realists because they are straightforward and will tell you things as they are). They can be cynical at times but their honesty is what people appreciate about them.

The Everyperson archetype has a natural instinct and ability to make everyone feel included

The biggest goal of the Everyperson brand is to make everyone feel included and their biggest fear is being left out or leaving someone behind. These brands have the ability to make everyone in their community feel included and understood.

They are friendly, humble, honest, and practical which allows them to form real connections with their audiences.

Levis, IKEA, Volkswagen, and Dunkin’ Donuts are brands that represent this archetype. Even Fenty Beauty, with its all-inclusive makeup line, falls under this archetype.

4. The Hero

The Hero is an archetype for the courageous. They value quality over quantity and often stand up for those who can’t stand up for themselves.

Basically, they’re the Gryffindors of the muggle world.

Nike is the kind of brand to promote strength and courage in its audience, making it a part of The Hero archetype

The Hero archetype Brands strive to constantly improve themselves and the world through their courageous endeavors. They abhor feeling weak and are always looking for ways to one up to their competitors without bringing them down.

Their audience knows them for being decisive, strong, and competent. They overcome their challenges by taking action.

Beats by Dre, Nike, and FedEx are all brands that fall under the Hero archetype.

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5. The Explorer

Do you have an aunt who is always travelling to new and exciting places? Well, she’s an Explorer. And that one friend who keeps dragging you to new restaurants? They’re an Explorer too. So is your brother who is always trying out new, whacky trends.

The word ‘explorer’ is usually associated to ardent travellers, but the truth is an explorer is anyone who is never happy until they’re experiencing something new, whether it be a new place, food, trend, or simply a new idea.

The Explorer archetype is for people who love adventures, whether it be a new place, food, trend, or simply a new idea

Explorer brands, similar to explorer people, are always looking for new things to introduce their (eagerly awaiting) audience. This is why Starbucks, in true Explorer fashion, will come up with whacky new drinks like the unicorn frappuccino or the Cha Cha Latte.

These brands prefer the journey over the destination so much that as soon as they arrive at the destination (achieve an objective the set for themselves) they’re off to another adventure! They don’t like conformity or getting trapped into one trend (that more likely than not is created by them). They value their freedom to explore and wish for their community to experience the same freedom.

When you go to a Starbucks and order an elaborate drink customized just for you, or when you’re watching a NASA ad or reading about their achievements, do you catch yourself thinking, “I have no limits”? That is the feeling all Explorer brands want their audiences to feel all the time.

Along with Starbucks and NASA, brands like Jeep, Lonely Planet, and REI also occupy a place in the Explorer archetype.

6. The Rebel

The rebels are an often-misunderstood cohort of humanity, mostly because they dare to go against the status quo raise their voice against something that’s wrong or not working in the society. Movements like MeToo, Feminism, LGBT, and Black Lives Matter are all made up of rebels. Anyone who stands up to wrongdoing, whether a bully in high school or an entire system in the society, is a rebel.

When they see something wrong, rebels can’t just watch from the sidelines, they have to do something to stop or change it. This is why human history is full of revolutions that made the world a little bit better to live in for that minority.

People from The Rebel archetype cannot sit by and and watch any kind of injustice, they have a strong urge to fight against it

Brands that fall under the Rebel archetype often don’t conform to traditions and chose, instead, to pave their own path, taking along with them their equally rebellious community. Their motto is “disrupt, destroy, shock, defy, be disobedient. Never conform.”

They are candid, raw, and honest. They hate conforming and love challenging the norm. They make their community feel stimulated and thrilled.

Harley Davidson, Urban Outfitters, MTV, Diesel are some Rebels that walk the abstract world of brands.

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