By aligning your brand with a specific archetype, you can tap into the deep-rooted associations and emotions that people have with that archetype and use them to create a memorable and meaningful brand experience.
Every day, we see many ads and brand messages trying to get our attention. Most of them don't interest us, and we ignore them. But a few catch our attention. Here is why?
Brand messages that align with our values, beliefs, and emotions catch our attention and create a personal connection with the brand, while irrelevant messages get ignored.
Today, brands must communicate in a way that appeals to their target audience's values and emotions to create a lasting connection. Brands must also have a personality and a unique way of speaking to communicate well.
Brands that use ideas people already know about to help them understand and remember their messages do better. One way to do this expertly is to use archetypes.
Brand Archetypes are universal symbols representing different ideas, emotions, and values that are part of the human experience. They are like templates or models that embody specific characteristics, such as the hero, the caregiver, or the explorer. These archetypes are deeply rooted in human culture and history. They have been used in storytelling, art, and mythology for centuries to convey powerful messages and ideas.
By using archetypes in branding, companies can tap into these universal symbols to create a strong and meaningful connection with their target audience based on shared values and emotions.
Dove uses the Innocent archetype, representing purity, simplicity, and goodness. On the other hand, L'Oreal employs the Explorer archetype, whose branding message is centred around empowering people to explore and express their unique beauty through self-discovery and experimentation.
Now that you understand how brands use archetypes, let's learn how you can successfully employ this idea for your brand.
The Archetypal Framework
Brand Archetypes were a concept introduced by Carl Jung, who believed 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 — the core archetype. Companies do best when they are explicit about the archetype most faithful 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 somehow, they would have a relationship with it and care about it.
The Twelve Archetypes:
Many different archetypes have been identified by various scholars and experts. But, Swiss psychologist Carl Jung's system is the most widely recognized and used system of archetypes and identifies 12 primary archetypes.
These 12 archetypes are the Innocent, Explorer, Sage, Hero, Outlaw, Magician, Regular Guy/Girl, Lover, Jester, Caregiver, Creator, and Ruler.
Importance of Brand Archetypes:
We see many small businesses competing solely on generic values such as price, features and benefits. This can quickly become ineffective because it fails to differentiate a brand from its competitors.
Brands that focus on emotional connections and values, such as those embodied by brand archetypes, can create a unique and lasting relationship with their customers, leading to increased customer loyalty, profits, and business growth.
So yes, Your brand needs a real personality and a tone of voice.
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 natural person.
In other words, if you want your audience to know who you are as a brand, your brand needs to know who it is.
Finding your brand archetype
To select an archetype for your brand, you'll want to consider the following steps:
- Identify your brand's core values and personality traits. What do you stand for, and what personality do you want your brand to have?
- Research different archetypes and consider which aligns best with your brand's values and personality.
- Think about incorporating the archetype into your brand's messaging, imagery, and overall brand identity. This might involve creating a brand story that aligns with the archetype, selecting imagery and colours that evoke the archetype and developing a tone of voice that is consistent with the archetype.
- Test your chosen archetype with your target audience to ensure that it resonates with them and effectively communicates your brand's personality and values.
Remember that your archetype should be authentic to your brand and resonate with your target audience.
Maintaining consistency in your brand's messaging and identity is essential to ensure that the archetype is effectively communicated across all touch points.