What are brand archetypes?

A brand archetype is a universally familiar character that transcends time, place, culture, gender and age. It is a genre you assign to your brand, based upon symbolism. Brand archetypes help to anchor your brand against something iconic—something already embedded within the conscious and subconsciousness of humanity. Archetypes provide a way of understanding and unlocking the power of your brand for both you (the brand owner through language and visuals) and your audience to identify with.

Why identifying your brand archetype is important? 

Brand archetypes are a tool that can help you differentiate your brand. Archetypes give your brand depth of personality and are aspirational. They can be used to truly connect with your audience so they begin to relate to what you are truly about. Your brand identity needs to be clear and create a human connection with your audience. Brands that lack an identity usually have a short lifespan – to sustainably grow your business and build long-term relationships with your audience, your brand needs a human connection.

Here are some questions for consideration of your brand archetype or personality:

1. What is the power and potential of my brand? Customers typically have an emotional connection with a brand.  A brand archetype must make sense psychologically and strategically. What am I offering my customers in ways that go beyond the rational and logical. 

2. Understand my customers and their buying decisions. Why do they use my product or why do they buy other similar products? What do they feel emotionally when they choose to purchase my product or service? What emotional connection do they have with my brand or with those of competitors?

3. Build on their emotional connection by shaping how you interact with customers in every way. Be authentic and be consistent.  

4. Use visual design to build on the customer connection via images, colours, fonts and symbolism. In addition to describing your brand verbally, use strong, authentic and consistent visual imagery.  

Once you have a solid and clear picture of your brand and your audience, think about the classic archetypes. Think about what fits most closely with your business and offering. Take time to explore how you might work with that archetype so that your company can build a deeper connection with customers and prospects.

Fast Track: Here is a pretty cool quiz by Brand Chemistry that can help you determine the right fit between your brand and the 12 brand archetypes.