Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Brand Archetypes


Whereas the brand personality uses adjectives to describe the brand as if it were a person, the brand archetype, based on Jungian archetypes, indicates the brand’s driving force or motivation. Several books describe brand archetypes. Two of my favorites are: (1) The Hero and he Outlaw: Building Extraordinary Brands Through the Power of Archetypes by Margaret Mark & Carol S. Pearson and (2) Winning the Story Wars: Why those who tell – and live – the best stories will rule the future by Jonah Sachs.

Following are my favorite archetypes:
·      The pioneer – one who is first or among the earliest in any field of inquiry, enterprise or progress
o   Famous pioneers: Henry Ford, George Eastman, Steve Jobs, Patagonia, Tesla Motors
·      The rebel – one who rises in opposition or armed resistance against an established government or ruler
o   Famous rebels: Ron Paul, Apple, Occupy Wall Street, Edward Snowden
·      The defender – one who makes or keeps others safe from danger, attack or harm
o   Famous defenders: John Muir, Jane Goodall, The Nature Conservancy, Tea Party, Boy Scouts of America, ASPCA
·      The savior – one who frees or delivers others from confinement, violence, danger or evil
o   Famous saviors: Jesus Christ, Greenpeace, Amnesty International, Doctors without Borders
·      The achiever – one who brings to a successful end, follows through, accomplishes
o   Famous achievers: Titleist, FootJoy, General Electric
·      The magician/wizard – one who practices magic or who displays amazing skill or accomplishment
o   Famous magicians/wizards: Merlin, Nikola Tesla, Lucent Technologies, Samsung Electronics
·      The guide – one who assists others to travel through or reach a destination in an unfamiliar territory
o   Famous guides: Google, Wikipedia, TripAdvisor, Urbanspoon

Each archetype has a unique set of values, fears and desires. Given this, it also has specific strengths and weaknesses. For instance, while defenders are deeply convicted, resolute and unwavering in their beliefs. And while they strongly believe in justice, their weakness is that they do not always discern shades of grey and they are often slow to adapt to a changed environment.


Other archetypes include advocate, alchemist, artist, athlete, caregiver, chief, creator, explorer, healer, hero, innocent, lover, martyr, mentor, mother, muse, outlaw, perfectionist, philanthropist, poet, politician, prince, regular guy/gal, ruler, sage, scientist, servant, trickster/fool, underdog and workhorse.

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