Recently, I got hired to build a brand strategy for a B2B organisation who were which was established in Melbourne, Australia. They were dealing in sports business, delivering the highest level of client service. Their services included providing interviews, articles and briefings, on a broad and high profile range of sports topics , to national media outlets.
From 7 years in the industry they were ready to scale Internationally. With their mission to expand globally, they needed brand strategy to help them reach targeted audiences. Also, to bring clarity to business, solve problems which are being faced, and other important aspects of the company.
The founder of the company is very nice, understanding and a creative designer. The ability to craft things into masterpieces was his speciality which I really loved.
He wanted to re-design the system by finding the gaps and providing better solutions.
“As no one is perfect, they lacked a strategy which could solve many problems.” – Words came out from the founder.
We knew we had to work on this project so that we could become a part of his journey.
So the project started very well and at one point they got stuck which was related to Brand Archetype. The questions they were asking were making sense and wanted more clarity on things. So I cleared everything with them and thought this can be discussed with others too.
After all we all get stuck at one point and look for solutions especially when it comes to brand positioning and building it stronger. We need to have clarity in business to move ahead.
So I’ll be explaining everything about Brand Archetype. Why are they so important? How Can founder’s Identify Their Brand Archetype on their own?
Let’s get started
What Is A Brand Archetype?
When it comes to brand positioning, brand archetype can really be helpful. They help present a brand, its values and the message the brand wants to convey to its audience. From the ancient times till now, companies always wanted to connect with their audience. They wanted their brand to feel more like human, relatable, more known in their market. The values which they have can be shared by others too and thus brand archetypes help in doing so.
Think of brands as human beings which are always there to help you. But you need to identify their traits to build trust. Brand Archetype helps brands in a categorization system that uses psychology to make them more understandable to humans.
How Brand Archetype Helps Building A Brand?
It doesn’t matter whether you are shipping paper clips, fishes, or skateboards, you need to build a human-like brand persona.
“People don’t buy WHAT you do, they buy WHY you do it” – Simon Sinek
The ability to make us feel like we belong, to make us feel special, safe and not alone is part of what gives them the ability to inspire us. Brands which understand this, can truly be the brand which connects with their people. Emotion is what really drives the purchasing behaviors, and also, decision making in general.
“Quality is perfection and it takes time”
When people know what you stand for, what are your values, mission and vision, they feel connected. As they see themselves as a part of your goal. Brand archetypes help a lot in this and it cannot be ignored.
Why Do You Need Brand Archetype? Does Brand Archetype Help In Brand Positioning?
Brand Archetype helps you in differentiating your brand from others. The best brand stands for something: a big idea, a strategic position, a defined set of rules, a voice that stands a part.
Having a brand persona which helps you set apart. With Brand Archetype this is possible and yes you need it.
When we say we want to position our brand, we want to seize every opportunity to build awareness, increase recognition, communicate uniqueness and quality and express a competitive difference. So having a brand archetype which helps us in doing this is an advantage.
Before You Establish Your Archetype: 3 Things You Should Consider
There are 3 things that you should consider while establishing Brand Archetype. If you are running a small or medium size company that does not have defined brand identity yet, this is very important for you.
You cannot choose any random brand archetype. There are certain facts you need to clarify for your company in order to define which brand archetype you should go for.
3 Most Important Things You Should Consider While Defining Brand Archetype
1. Your Mission/Vision Values
2. Your Target Audience
3. Your Niche and Industry
Let me explain them so that you can get more clarity.
1. Your Mission/Vision Values
You should know your values at the very beginning. There are several cases where we saw clients do not have clarity of their business. They don’t know “Why, How and What of the company, The Onliness Statement” of the company. It’s very important to establish the core of the company. Why does your business exist? What Problems are you solving and how are you solving them?
How are you unique from other competitors in the market? This question once answered can bring so much clarity to the brand that you can reach your true potential.
If you don’t know, branding experts can help you with this.
2. Your Target Audience
If you don’t know who your customers are, you are in big trouble. You can’t be there for everyone. If you are available for everyone, you are just like a normal company lost in a big market.
Defining your target audience based on demographics is very important. Some of these demographics and behavior areas are:
Here is an article from HubSpot where they are explaining How to Find Your Target Audience. It’s very helpful and you should go through it.
3. Your Niche And Industry
You have to be very specific to whom you want to work with. If you are working for skateboard manufacturing, your brand should convey that in simple language. If you don’t know how to start with, just name any 5 industries you want to work with. For Example:
1. A Mexican Restaurant
2. An Energy Drink Company targeting the age group of 18-24. Choose the type of work you want to do for them
3. Packaging for sustainable backpacks
4. Packaging for organic soap who is targeting hotels, restaurants, AirBNB, OYO Rooms, etc.
5. Branding and Packaging for cycle helmets.
These are a few examples that I am giving. You can choose any industry, from retail business to manufacturing, from B2B to B2C.
“The Goal is not to do business with everybody who needs what you have. The goal is to do business with people who believe what you believe”.
TIP: DON’T GO FOR A VERY BROAD INDUSTRY LIKE A RESTAURANT, narrow down just like I’ve given example of Mexican Restaurant who is serving fast food may be.
Being A Founder How Can I Identify Brand Archetype Myself?
The answer is YES, you can. Do this brainstorming exercise and follow these steps:
Step 1: Make a table where Culture, Clients, Voice, Feeling and Impact are the main headlines.
Step 2: Write down as many words you can think of which are related to your brand. It can be 10 or 20. Start with culture first, then client and so on. Two words can be repeated in other columns but don’t be too repetitive.
Step 3: Think of the overall impact in the end which your brand will leave on people, investors, employees, etc.
Step 4: Highlight the main words and at the end see which words are more suitable to your brand. It will be 6 or 7.
Step 5: Check our brand archetype guide to see where you fit in. Make sure to choose only 3 words when everything is completed.
Here is a Case Study of Esporto-X from where you can see how to conduct brand archetype for your own brand.
Once you have shortlisted 6 to 7 words, follow these 12 Brand Archetypes to see where you fit the best:
12 Brand Archetypes To Align Your Brand
Let’s discuss them one by one to get better idea what they are and how they can align your brand:
1. The Innocent
When you think of a brand which drives positivity and Innocence, that can be categorized into the Innocent brand archetype.
The Innocent’s brand voice is:
Their brand messaging can be summed up as “the most wholesome things in life are pure”.
The Innocent branding is driven by:
The Innocent branding rejects:
The Innocent brand slogan example would be Dove’s “Real Beauty”.
2. The Sage
Brands presenting itself as the seeker of truth and wisdom, profess knowledge and being informed fall under the The Sage brand archetype category.
The Sage’s brand voice is:
These brands’ messaging is summed up in using education as the path to wisdom.
These brand are driven by:
The Sage’s brand slogan example is Google’s “Do the right thing”
3. The Explorer
Brands that drive to push themselves outside the comfort zone and into the unfamiliar environment where they feel natural. These brands advocate bravery and love for adventure and challenge.
The Explorer’s brand voice is:
Its brand messaging can be summed up as having only one life and making it count.
The Explorer brands are driven by:
– The unknown
The Explorer brand slogan example is North Face’s “Never stop exploring”
In a podcast session of mine with Saurabh Bhatt, I was asked to answer “How do you define your life” and my answer was “Discovery”. As I believe I still have to explore many things in life this was the perfect one word answer which summarizes everything.
4. The Outlaw
Outlaw is slightly anarchistic and displays a desire for evolution. Brands which avoid conformity and regulation, embracing the freedom of choice.
Its brand voice is:
Its brand message can be summed up as inviting people to demand more, get more and don’t settle for the status quo.
The Outlaw brand is driven by:
The Outlaw rejects:
The Outlaw slogan example: Harley Davidson’s “All For Freedom, Freedom For All”
5. The Magician
Brands which make dreams come true and they use ways that appear mystical to make that happen. They promise a transformative journey and magical moments.
The Magician brand voice is:
Their brand messaging’s gist is about making dreams come true.
These brands are driven by:
– Developing a vision to live by
An example of The Magician brand slogan is Disney’s “Where dreams come true”
6. The Hero
The Hero brand archetype takes courage and determination as its main traits. This archetype’s philosophy is “Where there’s a will, there’s a way”.
The Hero’s brand voice is:
Its brand message is about making the world a better place and having the determination to outdo everyone.
The Hero brand archetype is driven by:
The Hero slogan example: Nike’s “Just do it”
7. The Lover
Brands of The Lover archetype desire and want to be desired. They put the experience of intimacy, sensuality and pleasure at the forefront of their values and messaging. They are about becoming more physically and emotionally appealing.
The Lover brand voice is:
Their brand messaging conveys the feeling of a striking beauty that is impossible to be ignored.
The Lover brands are driven by:
These brands stay away from:
The Lover brand slogan example is Alfa Romeo’s “The Mechanics of Emotion”
8. The Jester
Brand of The Jester archetype is to live life to the fullest and be fun for themselves and for all the others. These brands are optimistic and see good in every situation.
Young at heart, The Jester brands appeal to those young at heart and their inner child.
The Jester’s brand voice is:
These brands’ messaging can be conveyed as being here for a good time and living life to the fullest.
These brands are driven by:
The Jester brand slogan example is Dollar Shave Club’s “Shave Time. Shave Money.”
9. The Everyman
These brands see value in not standing out in the crowd and being just like a “common man”. Friendly and easy-going, The Everyman archetype lends trust, is positive and wants to fit into the group.
The Everyman brand voice is:
This archetype’s brand message can be summed up as following: treating your audience with friendliness, honesty and living in harmony.
The Everyman branding is motivated by:
These brands do not adopt:
– Standing out
An example of The Everyman brand slogan is Target’s “Expect more, pay less”
10. The Caregiver
The Brands which fall in this brand archetype have selfless personality and openly state they wish to protect and care for those in need. The Caregiver brands are reactive and preventive and are active wherever there is a harmful event.
The Caregiver’s brand voice is:
Its brand message can be summed up as everyone deserving care and bestowing service.
The Caregiver brands are driven by:
– Placing others before self
These brands reject:
The Caregiver brand slogan example is Toms’ “One For One”
11. The Ruler
The Ruler brand archetype communicates and exhibits dominance. These brands value control and are authoritative in their messaging and action. They exert leadership and demonstrate superiority
The Ruler’s brand voice is:
Their brand messaging is about communicating, being successful in life and work and rewarding oneself for these achievements.
These brands are driven by:
An example of The Ruer brand slogan is Mercedes-Benz’s “The best or nothing”
12. The Creator
The Creator brand archetype is that of being driven by the desire to create new and exceptional things.
The Creator’s brand voice is:
– Slightly provocative
Their brand messaging conveys the ability to see the potential and uncover originality and imagination.
The Creator brands are driven by:
They steer clear of:
The Creator’s brand slogan example is Apple’s “Think different”.
“Building a business is a marathon and not a sprint”
With time we learn things which are very important for business. Building a brand is a step by step process and brand archetype is that one step which helps you in alignment with the brand.
Can We Have Two Brand Archetype For My Brand?
Well, this was the question that my client asked me and the answer according to me is “NO”.
When we opt for multiple brand archetypes it can result in brand-personality disorder which no one wants. Our main focus is to bring clarity in brand not to confuse anyone. Also, companies do change in future but the core values remain the same. So it’s better to grab good things from other archetypes and implement them in our own brand. But focus on what our brand is and will be.
Do I Need To Do Competitor Analysis For Establishing Brand Archetype?
Yes, you can but here the importance is more focused on your brands core values not others. If you do competitor analysis, it will help you in future. But still, I would say the founders vision and mission, an organisation’s trust is more important. As we, always focus on making our clients an infinite player in the market, competitor analysis is a step to make you better, and brand stronger.
Brand Archetypes do play an important role in brand persona and building a brand stronger. Being a founder, we want to be unique and different from others. At the same time, we want to establish the bond, trust and feel more connected with our audience. So do whatever it takes to build that bond between your brand and audience. Understanding these 12 Branding archetypes will definitely help you align your brand.
If you are still confused about Brand Archetype, please reach out to us by commenting down below, we’ll try our best to resolve your queries.
Also, If you need any help in your project related to brand strategy or branding, always remember Mount Woods Studio is there for you. Contact us and let our expert team help you resolve problems you are facing in the organisation.