At iCreate, we believe that your business can become even more successful by understanding how to connect to your customers on a personal level
People don’t just want to buy products or services — they want to connect to recognisable characters that embody a brand. When people understand and recognise who your brand is, it creates a bond of trust.
In The Hero and the Outlaw, authors Carol Pearson and Margaret Mark unearth twelve archetypal personalities. From Heroes to Jesters, each carries its own set of traits that could make or break your brand. Unlocking their secrets can give you an edge in building an extraordinary brand by creating a brand identity that resonates with customers, establishes authenticity and kindles lasting brand loyalty.
What Are Brand Archetypes?
Think of brand archetypes as the personality blueprints for your business. Just like people, brands have different traits that define who they are. These archetypes help businesses show off their unique feel and connect with customers on a deeper level. Each archetype brings a distinct flavour to how your brand talks, looks and behaves, and it can help you resonate with the type of customer you want to reach.
Did you know?
Archetypes have been around since the days of Ancient Greece. The Greek words ‘arche’ and ‘typos’ mean ‘beginning’ and ‘imprint’, implying that an archetype is so powerful it leaves its mark — just like a strong brand should aim to do.
Meet the Gang
Below are the 12 core archetypes used in branding based on core human desires, motivations and emotions.
The Sage is a seeker of truth, knowledge and wisdom. Their drive comes from the desire to not only understand the world but to share their understanding with others. They’re life-long learners and are more likely to pass on their wisdom to someone who can use it to change the world, rather than change the world with it themselves.
The Caregiver is a selfless personality who is driven by the desire to protect and care for others, especially those in need. They’re often motherly figures and take those in need under their wing until they’re strong enough to take care of themselves. Caregivers are not just reactive, they’re also preventative and tend to be in and around an event of harm, before or after.
The Creator has the desire to create something new and exceptional that has enduring value. They need to express themselves with their individual talent and strive to bring their vision to life through that expression. Creators believe that if you imagine it, it can be created, but are often stifled by their own desire for perfection.
The Everyman Archetype is everyone’s BFF. They’re focused on building a community, believing in hard work and being humble. They help people come together, find common ground and relate with each other. They’re relatively positive and strive to fit into the group. They tend to have a liking for most things without being overly passionate about just one.
The Explorer has an inner drive to push themselves outside their comfort zone and the conformity of everyday life into the rugged environment they feel at home in. They’re brave, adventurous and love a challenge. The challenges are more about understanding themselves than proving themselves to others, and they’re on an everlasting journey of discovery.
The Hero’s main motivation is to prove their worth through courage and determination. They work hard in order to have the skills they deem required and take pride that their work rate sets them apart from the rest. They need to meet challenges head-on and carry defeats or failures until they’re corrected.
The Innocent is a positive personality with an optimistic outlook on life. They crave safety but ultimately want themselves and everyone else to be happy. They’re honest and pure and have no ill will towards anybody. They don’t hold grudges and believe everyone has the right to be who they truly are. They see beauty in everyone and have a knack for seeing the inner beauty in things that others don’t.
The Jester is all about having fun and living life in the moment. They not only love having fun themselves, they see it as their duty to be a ray of sunshine in everyone’s life around them. Jesters are young at heart and have a childlike nature. They’re optimists and can’t be kept down long due to their ability to see the good in every situation.
The Lover desires to be desired. The experience of intimacy, closeness and sensual pleasure is what the Lover seeks and will use any means they have to achieve it. They’re motivated to become more physically and emotionally appealing to increase their capacity to attract others. But even when Lovers achieve all their desires, they’re still fearful of loss.
The Magician strives to make dreams come true through somewhat mystical ways. They have a thirst for knowledge and the ability to take people on a journey of transformation through the experience of a magical moment. They believe that we’re limited only by imagination and defy the common belief of the laws of reality to lead us to a better future.
The Outlaw has a desire for revolution partly to change the world for the better and partly for the anarchy involved. They have a disdain for rules, regulation and conformity that could remove their freedom of choice (or anyone else’s). They’re good at the core, but anger is part of their motivation, which can become the dominant force. They always want to be part of the fight.
The Ruler is a dominant personality. They’re authoritative in their communication and actions and carry a sense of intimidation. Their goal is for prosperity and success, and they want that prosperity to trickle down to those who are loyal to their rule. They’re confident, responsible and in control of their lives and expect the same from others. Rulers see themselves at the top of the food chain and aggressively defend that position.
Your brand archetype and how to use it
Most brands have a primary and secondary archetype. Your unique archetype blend will help you craft the voice and tone you use to communicate who you are as a brand.
Your unique brand personality comes from:
- Your customer’s primary motivation
- The way you want to resonate with your customer
- The role your brand plays in their life
We’ve made discovering your brand archetype easy with our Brand Archetype Quiz. Click here to take the quiz for free!
Once you know your archetypes, it’s time to weave them into your branding and marketing. Here are a few ways you can do this:
- Language and Tone: Probably the most important! Use language that resonates with the qualities of your archetypes. For instance, a Jester archetype might use humour, while a Magician archetype might go for language that sparks curiosity and awe.
- Narratives and Storytelling: Crafting narratives that embody your archetype’s characteristics can create an emotional bond between you and your customers. If your archetype is the Everyman, telling relatable life experiences and everyday challenges could make your brand feel like a trusted friend in your customer’s journey.
- Visuals: Select images and visuals that capture the spirit of your archetype to reinforce your brand’s personality. The Caregiver, for example, would have pictures of people supporting and nurturing each other, such as a parent comforting a child, a volunteer helping the elderly, or friends sharing a heartfelt moment.
A closer look at brand archetypes in action
Now you know all 12 archetypes and how to implement your own into your branding and marketing, let’s take a look at some big brands we all know and love to see how they do it.
The BBC — The Sage
Through its carefully crafted narratives and thought-provoking discourse, the BBC conveys wisdom and encourages intellectual growth. The language used in its documentaries, news reports and educational programmes speaks to curiosity and a commitment to unbiased information. This language choice reinforces the Sage’s qualities of wisdom, objectivity and the pursuit of truth, ensuring that audiences turn to the BBC as a trusted source for reliable info.
Rolex — The Hero
The Hero archetype comes to life through Rolex’s language, emphasising accomplishment, courage and achievement. Descriptive phrases like ‘timeless precision’, ‘iconic mastery’ and ‘crafted for the extraordinary’ amplify the Hero’s qualities of resilience and triumph. By using language that elevates the wearer’s sense of purpose and pursuit of excellence, Rolex connects with those who seek to conquer challenges and make their mark on the world.
How iCreate makes brand archetypes work for you
Let’s take a look at one of our clients to see how we found their brand archetype so they could connect with their customers.
We sat down with Lumo Property Investing for a workshop to discuss their ideal customer — their dreams, their fears and their goals. By piecing together a marketing playbook, we determined Lumo’s target audience — homeowners who want to purchase an investment property. With Lumo’s goal and audience in mind, we narrowed down their brand archetypes to the Sage and the Everyman. By using these two archetypes, Lumo Property Investing is able to position themselves as not just a trusted guide, but as a partner who genuinely cares about their customers’ success.
Harnessing the power of archetypes is an invaluable tool
By understanding and implementing archetypes, your brand can create an identity that captivates and inspires loyalty. Unlocking their secrets can pave the way for a journey of crafting narratives, building trust and leaving a lasting imprint in the hearts of your customers.
Ready to find your archetype and transform your messaging? Book a private playbook workshop with us today.