Brand archetypes have done a fantastic job in borrowing from the archetypes of psychology. The 12 different choices can help brands think about what role they want their brand to play, with various word choices to help drive your overall brand idea.
The brand idea blueprint
Let me back you up, before we get into the role of archetypes in the brand discussion. I created a brand idea blueprint, which has five areas that surround the brand idea.
On the internal brand soul side, describe the products and services, as well as the cultural inspiration, which is the internal rallying cry to everyone who works on the brand. On the external brand reputation side, define the ideal consumer reputation and the reputation among necessary influencers or partners. The brand role acts as a bridge between the internal and external sides.
- Products and services: What is the focused point of difference your products or services can win on because they meet the consumer’s needs and separate your brand from competitors?
- Consumer reputation: What is the desired reputation of your brand, which attracts, excites, engages, and motivates consumers to think, feel, and purchase your brand?
- Cultural inspiration: What is the internal rallying cry that reflects your brand’s purpose, values, motivations, and will inspire, challenge, and guide your culture?
- Influencer reputation: Who are the key influencers and potential partners who impact the brand? What is their view of the brand, which would make them recommend or partner with your brand?
- Brand role (archetype): What is the link between the internal soul and the external reputation?
Using archetypes to determine the brand role
Borrowing from the world of psychology, where they use personality archetypes to describe people, we can use brand archetypes to help you figure our the role of your brand, which adds to your brand idea. When a brand offers spiritual, freedom or knowledge they fit with the explorer, sage or innocent archetypes. Brands delivering stability, structure and control fit with the ruler, creator or caregiver. Brands that take risks, create an impact or reach for achievement, they fit with the hero, rebel or magician. Then, brands that focus on belonging or connections, they may look to everyman, lover or jester.
Types of Archetypes
- Creator: The artist and dreamers, who are imaginative, expressive and innovative. They believe they can see a better future.
- Ruler: Industry leader, who are confident, responsible and authoritative. They promise power, control and stability to their consumers.
- Caregiver: The helping hand, who is selfless, empathetic and nurturing. They offer protection, safety and support.
- Everyman: The approachable brand who is down-to-earth, dependable and honest. They offer a sense of belonging and comfort.
- Jester: The carefree brand who is joyful, carefree and unusual. They give consumers permission to have fun and be happy.
- Lover: The idealistic dreamer who is passionate, magnetic and committed. They exude passion and create desire with their consumers.
- Innocent: The romantic dreamer brands, who is optimistic, wholesome and pure. They want a safer and more beautiful world.
- Sage: Trusted advisor and teacher, who is wise, articulate and open-minded. They promise wisdom, wanting to help their followers.
- Explorer: The self-discovery brand, who is worldly, independent, and purpose-driven. They promise freedom, innovation and experiences.
- Magician: The visionary brand who is unrelenting, driven and charismatic. They offer a transformative knowledge and new experiences.
- Rebel: The anti-establishment brand who is unconventional, defiant and free-spirited. The promise of a disruptive revolution.
- Hero: The winner brand, who is determined, skillful, and selfless. They fight off the enemy with the promise of triumph and success.
Here are the examples for some of the world’s most famous brands.
And, for B2B brands, here are some examples to show how this model works equally well for B2B.
How to find your brand idea
Step 1: Keywords brainstorm for each of the five areas
With a cross-functional team working on the brand, start off with a brainstorm of keywords for each of the five areas around the brand idea. Expose the team to the work you have done on the brand positioning statement, including details on the target profile, consumer benefits ladder work, and the consumer benefits sort. Ask participants to bring their knowledge, wisdom, and opinions from where they sit within the organization.
The first step is generating 15-20 words that describe each of the five areas.
Step 2: Turn keywords into key phrases for each of the five areas
Next, get the team to vote to narrow down the list to the best 3-5 words for each section. You will begin to see certain themes and keywords. Take those selected words and build phrases to summarize each section.
Step 3: Summarize it all to create a brand idea
Once you have phrases for all five areas, the team should feel inspired to use their creative energy to come up with the brand idea. Find a summary statement that captures everything around the circle. Try to get a few different options for the brand idea you can test with both consumers and employees.
Here’s how the brand map comes together:
And here is an example for a B2B brand:
To back up and learn about brand positioning, click on this link below:
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