Archetypes – it is that magical tool which makes your customer feel connected to you, your brand. Archetype is the persona of any brand that guides its communication with the world outside. It is the soul of the brand shaped by its core purpose of existence, its vision and mission. Archetype does not just represent a brand, it represents where that brand has come from and where it is ready to go. It is a long-term picture, a long-term feeling, a long-term connection! It is a medium of communication that, scientifically speaking, hits right on the subconscious mind, and hence, largely influences a customer’s perception about a brand, very effortlessly, seamlessly and so much more intuitively.
The world recognises 12 major types of archetypes as denoted by Carl Jung. Every successful brand is guided by its archetype to interact with its customers. Before we dig into archetypes furthermore, let’s understand why they are the first and foremost step in the process of building a brand.
Why are archetypes so important for branding?
Imagine you are watching a movie featuring different characters with different traits and behaviours. Some are soft-spoken and understanding, some are old and grumpy, some are jolly and childish, some are simple and naive, etc. Every character has a different personality and that is also reflected in their dressing sense, lifestyle, way of talking, etc. In the same manner, every brand has its own personality — and that gets reflected through its logotype, typography, colour palette, behaviours, communication pattern, website layout, product properties, etc.
When Brand Personality matches with the Customer Personality, a connection sparks and that is what successful brands or brands aspiring to be long term players are looking for. That connection is timeless, it only stays and flourishes!
12 Types of Brand Archetypes by Carl Jung
The 12 types of archetypes are: The Innocent, Creator, Ruler, Magician, Everyman, Hero, Outlaw, Explorer, Lover, Caregiver, Jester, and Sage.
Every archetype arouses a unique feeling and attracts different human beings with certain desires. Let’s take a basic tour of the various archetypes to understand them better.
“The Ruler” archetype
Core Value: Leader, Top of the game
Example: Ritz Carlton
Human desire that matches: Control
Now let’s dig a little deeper in “The Ruler” archetype. This archetype is about showing control and asserting power. It is suited for luxurious and expensive brands. People feel powerful when they stay in Ritz Carlton, when they wear a Rolex timepiece, when they buy a Georgio Emporio T-shirt – which are some of the brands that fall under this archetype.
Most popularly used fonts for the Ruler archetype are Trajan and Garamond. Brands falling under this archetype associate themselves with famous personalities. They also show their control by showing the good work they are doing for the world through donations and large-scale social associations. The websites and social appearances are clean, minimalistic and effortless with white accents.
“The Caregiver” archetype
Core value: Caring, Nurturing
Example: Johnson & Johnson
Human desire that matches: Service
Let’s talk about “The Caregiver” – an archetype that is increasingly grabbing a lot of attention from Dubai and Arab brands as well as UAE target markets.
This archetype is all about showing that you care. Brands promising to deliver farm-fresh vegetables to nurture their customers, Dove promising to take gentle care of the skin, Nintendo promising a happy and pampered time are just a few examples of brands following the Caregiver archetype. The idea is to create a pure and safe world, with no adulteration and preservatives.
Dove is cruelty free and hence, makes the consumer feel guilt-free while using its products. Naturally grown products – be it perfumes, creams or vegetables are trending and if you are one such brand offering love, nourishment, nurturing, then you fall under Caregiver archetype. Soft green, peach, purple, blue and of course white are the colours associated with this brand personality. The suitable fonts are Manu and Omnes.
“The Everyman” archetype
Core Value: Supportive, friendly
Example – IKEA
Human desire that matches: Belonging
Next, let’s talk about Everyman. Brands providing solutions to daily problems and making life easier for one and all, fall under this archetype. Whether it’s eBay which provides easy access to goods across the world or Levi’s which makes a pair of jeans for every gender, all sizes and income groups. These brands become a household name and people feel like they belong here. Classic examples of everyman brands invoking belongingness are Facebook and Instagram. Rather than opting for a celebrity endorsement, these brands hire common-looking artists to advertise for them. The fonts used are Motiva Sans and Myraid.
A common mistake that some brands do to save on budget is integrate a few characteristics of a certain archetype through the brand colours and communication as that is something which can be imitated or searched directly on the internet without brainstorming about the different aspects of their own unique brand. However, archetype is an overall persona of the brand, which suggests the brand’s perception about life and what kind of lifestyle it supports.
Let the perfect archetype guide you in humanising your brand and connecting with your target audiences with a vibe so good, it’s hard to go unnoticed! Like all successful brands do, it is advisable to consult professional branding experts who strategically pick the best archetype for you and holistically humanise your brand based on that, taking customer connection to an altogether new level!
We’d love to know what your brand archetype is in the comments below. If you are a new brand or an existing brand looking for picking the perfect archetype as part of your rebranding process, we’ve got you covered. From India and the Middle East to the US in the West, our brand consultancy is spread across different countries to assist all new and existing businesses with brand archetyping, brand identity and all things branding. If there is any question you might have, please feel free to contact us or mail us here – firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to hear from you!