From lovers and outlaws to jesters and caregivers, every brand has an archetype. The question is which are you?
What are brand archetypes?
Kind of like how certain mannerisms and behaviours enable us to distinguish heroes from villains, a brand archetype is a perceived persona we attribute to a brand, based on aspects of its ‘character’ or ‘personality’.
The idea stems from the work of psychoanalyst Carl Jung, with 12 core archetypes identified.
The 12 brand archetypes
Never one to follow the status quo, Outlaw brands are disruptors: brands that come along to shake things up and make their mark. Outlaw brands aren’t content to simply quietly go about their business. They want to make a bang and show the world they aren’t afraid to do things differently.
Rules are made to be broken.
Outlaw archetype brands
Diesel, MTV, Harley Davidson.
Magician brands fill the world with wonder. They stretch our imagination and bring us something we’ve never seen before. They inspire hope in our hearts, dazzle us with their brilliance and make us feel as though anything is possible.
Dreams can come true.
Magician archetype brands
Dyson, Disney, Sky.
Hero brands strive to make the world a better place. Like a caped crusader swooping to our rescue they set a positive example and inspire us to do good things. The Hero brand is fearless, transformative and a beacon for change.
Where there’s a will there’s a way.
Hero archetype brands
Nike, BMW, The Red Cross.
Sometimes smouldering, at other times affectionate, the Lover is soft, sensual and playful. They tap into our hearts, engage our souls, and remind us that life is there to be shared.
Indulge your deepest desires.
Lover archetype brands
Chanel, Victoria’s Secret, Godiva.
Jester brands add a little fun to our lives. They’re the light relief when we need a pick me up and can always be counted on to never take themselves too seriously.
Experience little moments of joy.
Jester archetype brands
Cadburys, Haribo, m&ms.
Dependable and relatable, the everyman is full of substance. Down to earth and unpretentious, they’re a brand we’ve come to know and love, one we turn to time and again.
We’ll never let you down.
Everyman archetype brands
Ford, Tesco, Heinz.
Like a warm embrace that makes you feel safe, comforted and secure, Caregiver brands are there to nurture and protect us, always with our best interests at heart.
You’re safe with us.
Caregiver archetype brands
Johnson & Johnson, Nivea, NHS.
Full of charisma and a self-assurance that never borders on arrogance, Ruler brands are natural leaders, inspiring loyalty with their consistency, ingenuity and strength.
Power isn’t everything, it’s the only thing.
Ruler archetype brands
American Express, Rolex, Rolls Royce.
Creator brands don’t just engineer change, they inspire it in others. Full of bright ideas and innovation, they challenge our thinking and open our minds to new possibilities.
If it can be imagined it can be created.
Creator archetype brands
Lego, GoPro, Adobe.
Endearingly childlike, Innocents are joyful, pure and honest. They look at the world as if through rose tinted glasses, and give us reason after reason to feel optimistic.
Life is simple and simplicity is elegant.
Innocent archetype brands
Innocent, Dove, Nintendo.
Sage brands are wise, informed and knowledgeable. They don’t seek to preach but believe in freedom of speech and inspire others to take action.
The truth will set you free.
Sage archetype brands
BBC, Google, PBS.
Explorer brands are insatiable adventurers. Always pushing the boundaries and seeking a new horizon, they challenge our world view and amaze with their boundless enthusiasm.
Don’t fence me in.
Explorer archetype brands
NASA, Land Rover, The North Face.