Brand Archetypes

How do brands create a personal connection and craft messaging that have consistent appeal?

Every day, we get bombarded with ads or brand messages vying to capture our attention. Most of them get deflected by our unconscious minds and hold little relevance or appeal to our daily lives. But at the same time, a select few of these messages get through to us, and we may even feel a sense of personal identity with them.

The way your brand communicates is critical. In the search to communicate better, every brand discovers a need for a personality and a voice.

There are many strategies and techniques used by marketers to accomplish this. Still, one interesting way to view it is through the lens of archetypes. Brands can anchor their communications to enduring personas or profiles that feed into the human experience allowing consumers to identify narratives and symbolism quickly and effectively.

Brand Archetypes

Brand Archetypes were a concept introduced by Carl Jung, who believed that they were models of people, behaviours, or personalities. Archetypes, he suggested, were inborn tendencies that play a role in influencing human behaviour.

In branding, the archetypal framework helps us build human-like brand personas. And best brand personas are forged by identifying solidly with one — and only one — core archetype. Companies do best when they are explicit about the archetype that is truest to their values, mission, and vision.

Archetypes are the heartbeat of a brand because they convey a meaning that makes customers relate to a product. If it were alive in some way, they have a relationship with it and care about it.

The Brand Archetype Strategy Goes Beyond Selecting Characteristics

Suppose you don’t want to be just another business in the market competing on price, benefits and features. In that case, you will need to connect with your audience on a deeper level.

Your brand needs a real personality with a tone of voice.

Less experienced brands may pick a couple of traits that they think their audience will relate to. But archetypes are fully formed personalities with an outlook on life, an opinion on the world and firm beliefs that allow brands to connect as though they were human.

> How to pick your Brand Archetype

In other words, if you want your audience to know who you are as a brand, your brand needs to know who it is.

Aligning your brand as tightly as possible to a single archetype will allow your brand personality to feel familiar to your audience. It will enable you to communicate with the consistency and humanity of a real person.


The Hero

Does your business prides itself on helping people solve problems?

Are your products/services leadership focused?

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Maximus Decimus Meridius

Productively, energetically and efficiently save the day!

Brand Example

Just do it
— Nike

The Magician

Does your business provide life-changing products and services?

Is your business on the cutting edge of your industry?

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Transform! Make dreams come true.

Brand Example

Where dreams come true.

— Disney

Lord of the Rings

The Outlaw

Is your team willing to bend/break the rules to get things done?

Do your customers feel energized and revved up?

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Jack Sparrow
Pirates of the Caribbean

Rules were made to be broken!

Brand Example

All for freedom. Freedom for all.
— Harley Davidson


The Lover

Does your business provide high-end products that encompass the senses?

Is your business extremely passionate about what you do?

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Marilyn Monroe
Some like it hot

Follow your passion!

Brand Example

The mechanics of emotion — Alpha Romeo

The Everyman

Is your business easy to understand?

Are you seen as trustworthy because you're just so easy to work with?

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Everyone is invited and everyone belongs!

Brand Example

Expect More. Pay Less.
— Target

Will Smith
Pursuit of Happiness

The Jester

Does your business helps people have a good time?

Are your employees enjoying what they are doing?

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Jim Carrey
Ace Ventura

If you’re not having fun, you’re doing something wrong!

Brand Example

I would live by everyday.

— Ben & Jerry


The Explorer

Do your customers feel adventurous, cultured, amazed, alive?

Can you hear your customers say, “I have no limits”?

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Harrison Ford
Indiana Jones

Be ambitious, seek new vistas.

Brand Example

Never stop exploring
— North Face

The Sage

Does your business provide expertise/information to your customers?

Does your business encourage customers and clients to think?

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The truth will set you free!

Brand Example

Don't be evil
— Google

Star Wars

The Innocent

Does your business provide happy, simple experiences?

Does your business encourage a feeling of contentment?

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Will Ferrell

Seek simplicity and be chaos-free.

Brand Example

Real Beauty
— Dove


The Caregiver

Do your customers feel supported and care for?

Is customer service a high priority?

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Robin Williams
Patch Adams

Do nice things for others! Be caring.

Brand Example

For every child

The Ruler

Does your business set the standards of excellence in your industry?

Is your business refined and high achieving?

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We've got the power

Brand Example

A crown for every achievement
— Rolex

Marlon Brando

The Creator

Do your customers feel inspired by you?

Do your customers value uniqueness and creativity?

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Tony Stark
Iron Man

Bring visions to reality with creativity and talent.

Brand Example

Keep Building
— Lego

A project on your mind?

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