Why I Use Brand Archetypes to Build Strategic Brands
Ever wonder why we feel so attracted to certain brands? Like there is just something that connects us to them? Like we know them?
It's not their pretty products, their perfectly curated Instagram feed or their amazing websites...
It's their personality.. more importantly... their BRAND ARCHETYPE.
What are Brand Archetypes?
A brand archetype is a universally recognizable and innately understood personality that a brand embodies. They represent a pattern of characteristics, values, attitudes and behaviors that are consistent across time, generations and culture. In other words, they are personalities that we innately know, understand and connect with.
Famous psychologist, Carl Jung theorized that certain characteristics or archetypes have alluring personalities that connect with us deeply at the core of our human psyche. Just like people, brand's have personalities that evoke emotional responses.
Jung, who developed the concept of the "Collective Unconscious", referred to the structure of the unconscious mind which contains memories and impulses of which we are unaware. Our unconscious mind contains universal mental images, or archetypes, that we have inherited from our past experiences or were passed down from generation to generation. Whether we are aware of it or not, there is a very real and compelling reason why we fall in love with certain brands.
So, what do archetypes have to do with branding?
Archetypes give your brand a personality to embody. They give you a clear vision of what you should focus on, your behavior or brand message and your core values.
In this age of being more connected than ever, the old ideas of marketing and branding are out and a new way of social connection in. People are more connected than ever, and that includes being more connected with the brands and businesses they purchase from. People want authenticity and sustainability and if your brand is intentionally cultivated on an archetypal foundation, it will have an impact.
In a recent study conducted by Consumer Thermometer, they found that a whopping 64% of women and 68% of men have felt an emotional connection with a brand. Strong, connection-building branding provokes emotions, and no one is immune to this effect. Interest, trust, and optimism are the top three feelings people experience in relation to the brands they know, like and trust, and if you can stir up such feelings with your branding, the products & services you offer, and the way you engage with your community, you have a shot at gaining loyal customers.
Archetypes create a human connection to a brand. They connect with our basic human desires. Carl Jung said it best when he said, "We all have the same instinctive and unconscious understanding of behavioral patterns." Our desires may not be something we are consciously aware of but they are a natural part of who we are as humans.
There are 12 Archetypes that match up to a different human desire. Although many of us may have several desires, we will all relate more closely to one or two as our core desires. Our heart rate will start to increase for some more than others, making us feel more alive, more connected and more attracted to the personalities that reflect those desires.
Understanding and utilizing archetypes in branding is about identifying the core desires of your ideal audience - and embodying an archetype or archetypal mix that appeals to them.
Before I go further - I want to debunk two of the biggest myths around archetypes that seem to mess people up when they start researching and learning about them.
Myth 1. Brand archetypes are based on the brand’s personality.
No. Your brand’s archetype or archetypal mix should be based more on who your audience is (or needs you to be) than who you - as a business owner or a brand resonate with. I have seen SO MUCH information out there about how to apply brand archetypes to a brand based on the brand - but the archetypes your brand embodies should speak directly to your audience and resonate with their core desires - not yours. For instance - say I’m a holistic health & wellness coach looking for a business coach to help me take my business to the next level. My personality may be more aligned with the Innocent or Caregiver type - however my core desire is to grow a powerful brand and take it to the next level - so I may be drawn to the Royal type who is a powerful leader and can help me achieve my business dreams.
Myth 2. Brand’s should try to be everything to everyone to get a larger customer base.
No. When brands try to be everything to everyone - they actually end up diluting their message and connecting with no one. When it comes to identifying your brand archetype, you should never embody more than 2 archetypes. Anymore than that, and you’ll just appear confused and inauthentic. Similarly, when it comes to your products and offerings, being a jack of all trades means you aren’t an expert at anything. Niche down in both your brand’s personality, messaging and services so that when your ideal client lands comes in contact with your brand - they know you are EXACTLY the right one for them.
Once you identify your core archetype, based on a strategic mix of both your brand personality and your ideal client's desires- you will be able to genuinely and authentically connect with your customers on a deeper, more connected level.
People want to feel connected to and a part of the brands they love. They want to feel like they are valued and making a difference in some way. They want to know they are the same as and fit in with the brands they love. It's not about mirroring a personality or archetype, it's about allowing your brand to embody an archetype in an authentic and unique way that stays true to your brand. When your brand aligns with the emotions and desires of your customers in an authentic way, you are better able to get to the core of your audience's human desires and stand out from your competition.
How do I figure out my brand‘s archetype?
Not to worry! I’ve got you covered! To find out which archetypes your brand is most aligned with, click the link below to take our free Brand Archetype quiz. It will walk you through a series of questions to get to the core of your brand's message, mission and vision and give you a set of 3 archetypes you most align with.
Then head over to your Brand Archetype Resource Guide to learn more about how to inject their personality traits into your brand.
Want to learn more about primary and secondary archetypes, choosing the right one for your brand, and how to apply each archetype to your brand? Once you take the quiz, you'll be added to the email list where I'll send you all my very best stuff on brand archetypes and how to use them!
So grateful and glad you're here!
"Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart as working for the Lord, not for man." - Colossians 3:23