Finding Your Brand Archetype
Updated: Mar 28
We always here the phrase 'nature vs nurture', so which on is it? What makes us the person we are with the thought, beliefs and desires that we carry?
The truth is, our similarities as differences are much further reaching than our environment or our experiences. People with the same background and experiences can still feel like they have nothing in common. We are each unique and what defines us is made up of many different things.
According to psychologist Carl Jung, there are 12 primary 'archetypes' that dictate our innate motivations and behaviors. These are the unconscious parts of our personality that have been with us since the beginning. This is where using archetypes in branding and community profiling can be so powerful as it acknowledges that we as humans are unique despite our surroundings. In many ways we are simply who we were born as.
Using archetypes is also a very powerful marketing tool as the decision-making part of our brains holds no capacity for language. Rather it functions off subconscious emotion. This means correctly typing your community allows you to really tap into and understand their feelings around a certain issue so you can communicate with them through cues and emotions rather than just words.
This approach can be wildly powerful in your business. Let's take a look at the 12 different Archetypes and what makes up each.
The Rebel archetype is most commonly identified as a disruptor, someone whose goal is to shake up the day-to-day. This may be for selfish reasons or to improve the lives of others.
When out of alignment, rebels easily take offense, can be quick to anger and find empowerment in others fearing them. When in alignment, rebels can inspire people to change!
Any brand that's goals are to disrupt the system, produce radical new ideas, or distance themselves from the norms of society would be considered a rebel.
If you are familiar with the Enneagram, this archetype aligns with the 8.
To leave a mark through liberty, to destroy what doesn't work, radical freedom
Revolution, liberation, change, independence, righteousness, retaliation, rebellion
Being powerless, conforming, complacency, dependence, traditionalism
Changing the status quo, disrupting establishment, fighting back
Disrupt, destroy or shock
Disruptive, combative, rebellious
"I'm doing it my way"
"Demand more and go and get it"
"Freedom for all"
"Rules were meant to be broken"
Rebel brand examples
The Magician Archetype is known to be dynamic, influential, charismatic and clever. This archetype makes dreams come true through its knowledge of the laws of the universe.
Brands that embody a magician archetype promise to bring some kind of transformation and/or 'dream come true' to their audience.
This brand, when out of alignment, can struggle to promise more than what is actually possible and can be dishonest, manipulative and distant. When in alignment the magician can be a great healer, very charismatic, driven and successful.
Transformation, to leave a mark through power, to turn dreams into reality
Vision, discovery, enchantment, invention
Ignorance, stagnation, uncertainty, repercussions, monotony
Magic and possibility, the mysteries of the universe
Create a unique vision and bring it to life
Informed, moving and reassuring
"I've got the world on a string"
"Dreams do come true"
"Through the magic and power of the universe"
Magician brand examples
The hero archetype is a natural born leader, often seen in athletes, politicians and military leaders. Typically businesses with strong social obligations and who seek to provide guidance for developing strength and discipline embody this archetype. Those who have overcome adversity and "pulled themselves up by their bootstraps" to become a leader in their field also take on this archetype.
The Hero is a continuous learner and seeks to understand the life and the fullest expression of self while coping while overcoming challenges and difficulty. This archetype lies in the sacrifice required to achieve the goal of transformation.
When out of alignment, the hero archetype can be arrogant, aggressive and unrelenting. However when in alignment this archetype is strong, brave and competent.
If you are familiar with the Enneagram, this archetype aligns with the 1.
To leave a mark through mastery, to prove worth through difficult action
Mastery, courage, determination, persistence, discipline
Incompetence, weakness, letting people down, idleness, timidity
Magic and possibility, the mysteries of the universe
Become as competent as possible
Brave, direct, daring
"You can do anything"
"Where there's a will there's a way"
"Never stop pushing"
"Nothing is impossible"
Hero brand examples
American Red Cross
The Lover archetype wants to achieve intimacy through relationships, particularly close and one-on-one relationships. They strive to create a special feeling in those they associate with and are unashamed to express appreciation. They prioritize love and friendship and do so through communication, beauty and closeness.
When the Lover archetype is out of alignment, they can become obsessive, dramatic and shallow. However when in alignment, the Lover archetype is passionate, magnetic and strives for self improvement.
Connection through intimacy, to build loving and committed relationships with others
passion, affection, sensuality, devotion, tenderness
Being unloved or rejected
luxurious living, standing out from the crowd, feeling special
To be desired and attract others
Sensual, soothing, soft
"It feels amazing"
"The diamond in the rough"
"You are worth it"
"Classic never goes out of style"
Lover brand examples
The Jester Archetype is akin to the class clown from high school. They joyfully live in the moment and seek to lighten up the world. This archetype is able to twist meanings and perspectives and portray people and events in unique ways.
The Jester pushes against tradition and societal norms and has a deep appreciation for intellect. This archetype takes its irreverent and mischievous personality and uses it to approach life as a playground.
If you are familiar with the Enneagram, this archetype aligns with the 7.
Connection through joy, to enjoy life while having fun
Bringing fun, joy and laughter to the world, positivity, humor, light-heartedness
Boredom, negativity, isolation
luxurious living, standing out from the crowd, feeling special
Being curious, not taking things too seriously, having a good time, keeping it light-hearted
Playful, light, cheeky
"Life is short, but these pants are long"
"Peace, Love, and Happiness"
"You're about to get a whole lot cooler"
Jester brand examples
Ben & Jerry's
The Everyman archetype believes that everyone matters equally, regardless of status, age, ethnicity, etc. The Everyman has a casual approach to life, seeks to do the right thing and is nonthreatening and helpful to all.
The everyman is great at getting along with all groups but must tread caution as they can easily blend into a group and be forgotten.
If you are familiar with the Enneagram, this archetype shares many characteristics with the 9.
Connection through belonging
equality, inclusion, acceptance, camaraderie, kinship
exclusion, attention, hostility, contention
treating people kindly, living harmoniously, not rocking the boat
Creating a sense of belonging and blending in
Friendly, humble, genuine
"Create a better day everyday for everyone"
"Feel-good moments for everyone "
"Make everyday living a little brighter"
Everyman brand examples
The Home Depot
The Caregiver Archetype has a deep desire to serve others and goes out of their own way for the greater good. This archetype displays parental tendencies and strives to make sure that people are taken care of in the best way possible.
The caregiver is selfless and lives to serve. This archetype is compassionate, generous, patient, self-sacrificing, and excellent multitasker and can see the positive in any situation.
If you are familiar with the Enneagram, this archetype aligns with the 2.
To provide structure through service
gratitude, recognition, support, appreciation, sacrifice
not being needed, selfishness, ingratitude, neglect, inconsideration, blame, sorrow, disloyalty
being responsible for others, taking care of each other, being thankful
Caring for others
Caring, empathetic, reassuring
"How can I help?"
"Love thy neighbor"
"Do something that matters"
"Go where you're needed"
Caregiver brand examples
The Salvation Army
Johnson & Johnson
The Ruler Archetype is a natural leader. In contrast to the Outlaw, the Ruler seeks to prevent chaos by taking power and control. The position of the Ruler is one that is earned or created rather than inherited and must display expertise, a proven track record and competence to get there.
Rulers are realists and find meaning in creating structures, organizations and environments that are lucrative, harmonious and effective. This archetype follows the rules and sees itself as a role model for leadership.
When out of alignment, the Ruler is power-hungry and seeks to gain control by any means. When in alignment, Rulers seek to provide for those in need and lead them.
If you are familiar with the Enneagram, this archetype has similarities with both the 3 and 8.
Create prosperity and success, to provide structure through control
Stability, power, control, status, prosperity, success, wealth, respect
Chaos, being dethroned, insignificance, failure, weakness, irrelevance, fragility
rewarding excellence, greatness, success, achieving status
Refined, commanding, articulate
"Live for greatness"
"The best or nothing at all"
"The power of rigor"
"Let us take it from here"
Ruler brand examples
The Creator Archetype is driven by creativity, imagination, invention and innovation. They are out of the box thinkers and value self-expression, good taste, hard work and achievement. They create as a means to bring more control to the world.
Any brand that strives to create something new, from nothing or from something out-of-date, would be classified as a Creator. This archetype typically is in the field of art, design, technology and marketing.
When out of alignment, this archetype can be narcissistic, melodramatic and a perfectionist. When in alignment, the Creator is expressive, imaginative and creative.
If you are familiar with the Enneagram, this archetype would correlate with a 4.
To create something of everlasting value, to provide structure through novelty, to give form to a vision / idea
originality, imagination, self-expression, ingenious, articulation
Having a mediocre vision or execution, duplication, stagnation, indifference, dullness
liberating the mind, being original, creation and change
Develop an artistic or technical skillset
Inspirational, provoking, bold
"Create and shape"
"The box is no place for thought"
Creator brand examples
The Innocent Archetype values simplicity and optimism. This archetype seeks to do the right thing and bring harmony to not only their lives but also the lives of those around them. They have positive outlooks and avoid conflict and their overall goal is happiness.
This Innocent is dependable and honest but usually predictable. When out of alignment, the Innocent can be irritating, boring and childish. When in alignment, they can be optimistic, moral and honest.
If you are familiar with the Enneagram, this archetype embodies the 9.
Spiritual journey through safety, To experience paradise
morality, simplicity, honesty, comfort, peace, faith, optimism
Upsetting other, doing something wrong to require punishment, deceit, negativity, convolution, depravity, corruption
purity of being, staying within the lines, being protected
Do things right
Optimistic, honest, reserved, moral
"True and pure"
"The glass is half full"
"Simple is beautiful and beautiful is simple"
"For the wholesome being"
Innocent brand examples
The Sage Archetype is a seeker of knowledge, truth and wisdom. This archetype spends much time gathering information on all the mysteries of the world and introspecting. They are not satisfied with superficial answers or opinions, instead they work to gather information on the principles and facts behind everything.
The Sage finds value through gathering reliable and factual information and sharing it with others to make the world a better place. This is normally a positive attribute, however when out of alignment the Sage can get caught up in gathering ALL the information around something before acting and can result in "analysis paralysis".
The truth, Spiritual journey through understanding
wisdom, intelligence, depth, expertise, enlightenment
ignorance, inaccuracy, idiocy, misinformation, insanity
the truth will set us free, education as the answer, depth of knowledge
Seek out information, understand processes
Dependable, knowledgeable, informed, dignified
"Everything is a learning experience"
"Most watched, most trusted"
"Truth beyond all else"
"For the wise"
Sage brand examples
New York Times
The Explorer Archetype strives to live an inspiring and fulfilling life, full of new experiences. This archetype is curious, independent and authentic and uses these qualities to forge a unique path in life and focus on self-discovery and the meaning of life.
The Explorer is a pioneer who forges their own path and offers products or services that are rugged, unique and help to provide their audience freedom.
While the Explorer values autonomy and desires to be free of the establishment, they differ from the Rebel or Ruler in the fact that they strive to do so in a way that doesn't cause challenge or contention with it. They also will do just about anything to avoid boredom or feeling "trapped", despite having to take risks to do so. They push boundaries, love the unexpected and have a "no limit" mentality.
To live an exciting and fulfilling life, A spiritual journey through freedom
Freedom, adventure, liberation, the unknown, discovery, sovereignty
Boredom, confinement, immobility, restraint, restriction, incuriousness, monotony
Having the freedom to explore and discover, going on a journey, breaking the shackles of the day to day
To take the road less traveled
Curious, independent, adventurous
"The path less travelled "
"You only get one life"
"Let's go anywhere"
"Forge your own path"
Explorer brand examples
Now that you have a better understanding of the 12 brand archetypes, hopefully you have an idea of where your brand falls and how you can use this insight to leverage your messaging. Which is crucial for the success of your business as defining your brand message is essential to bridging the gap between your business, the consumer and their wants/needs. The ultimate key to selling and growing!
If you are interested in getting clear on your brand archetype, messaging and identity, reach out to Madi Miller Creative to see how we can best serve you and your business.