A brand archetype is basically any symbolic genre or meaning that is assigned to a brand.

Carl Gustav Jung, a 20th century psychologist, described an archetype as “an inherited pattern of thought or symbolic imagery derived from past collective experience and present in the individual unconscious.” Everyone recognizes the archetypes but can not simply explain why.

The 12 Brand Archetypes:

There are 12 archetypes in total that are each used to depict a different type of person. This includes:

  1. The Caregiver – Represents people who are selfless, compassionate, generous and responsible. Often used to depict a parent and is coupled with “The Innocent” archetype.
  1. The Commoner – Shows their belonging to a group, is down to earth, sensual, and indulgent. Someone who supports mutual understanding, equality, and the idea of “being one of the guys”. 
  1. The Creator – Someone who makes a vision come true, is a dreamer and a perfectionist. This person is expressive, innovative, and is in possession of enduring value.
  2. The Explorer – Authentic, non-conforming, self-sustainable, intrepid people leading a fulfilling life. They are considered to be autonomous and true to their genuine selves.
  1. The Hero – Someone who is undaunted, unrelenting, courageous, and forged in fire. In other words, this person is the “expert that saves the day” due to his or her strong virtues, competence, and desire to constantly improve.
  2. The Jester – Someone who lives in the moment, wants to lighten up the mood of any situation, and experience life to the fullest. This person loves joking around, is playful and entertaining.  
  1. The Lover – Represents attraction, intimacy, social awareness and the human experience. This person loves building worthwhile relationships, is passionate and committed. 
  1. The Magician – This person understands why things happen, wants the ultimate knowledge, but is also a rainmaker who comprehends the fundamentals and desires to find a win-win result to any situation.
  1. The Outlaw – Someone who tends to breaks rules, starts revolutions, is radically free, and outrageous.
  1. The Ruler – Someone who likes being in control, prosperous, authoritative. A person who takes the lead and delegates.
  1. The Sage – The seeker of truth and holder of higher wisdom. This person is someone who is intelligent and considers themselves a scholar or analyst.
  1. The innocent – Someone who is young, naive, hopeful, and optimistic. This person loves the feeling of living in a paradise. 

When defining a brand archetype, it technically all comes down to choosing either one or more of these 12 archetypes. A unique relationship is formed between the company and its selected ‘personality type’, helping depict the brand in a clearer manner to its consumers.

Have another view, an anecdote that you would like to share, or just a question for the author? Feel free to comment below!

in Branding Definitions
Did this article answer your question?

Leave a Reply