For business leaders, there has never before been so many resources available when it comes to shouting about your brand, products and services.
But in this competitive digital multiverse of content, social media platforms, celebrities and influencers, it is easy for your brand to become lost in all of the noise without a clear personality that shapes all of your online presence.
All brands have an identity – defining it depends on how you want to interact with your target audience, the products and services that your company offers and where your specialisms lie.
Do you sell advice, technology or something you’ve created?
Do you use specialist skills, rely on your industry contacts, or invest heavily in research and development to stay ahead of the competition?
How should consumers feel when they see or buy your product or service?
The answers to these questions are a good place to start when defining your brand’s personality – in the early 20th century, Swiss psychiatrist and psychoanalyst Carl Jung developed a list of universal brand archetypes that can be identified in all aspects of life, from our dreams and religions to our art and fairy tales.
Now, these brand archetypes have been adopted by advertising professionals all over the world as a way of visualising and summarising a brand’s identity, helping it to connect more effectively with the consumer.
Brands can fit broadly into one, sometimes two, of the following 12 Brand Archetypes:
- The Innocent – pure, simple, trustworthy and safe
Example: Coca Cola
- The Sage – wise, understanding and truth-seeking
Example: Trip Advisor
- The Explorer – adventurous, free, ambitious and spiritual
Example: North Face
- The Outlaw or Rebel – free-spirited, brave, agent of change and unconventional
- The Magician – making dreams come true
- The Hero – determined, skilful and ruthless
- The Everyman – relatable, reliable, empathetic and connects with others
Example: PG Tips
- The Jester – playful, joyful and carefree
Example: Paddy Power
- The Lover – passionate, romantic and committed
- The Caregiver or Nurturer – compassionate, generous and strong
Example: Johnson & Johnson
- The Ruler – in control, confident, firm but fair
- The Creator – innovative, imaginative and expressive
Which archetype best aligns with your company’s products, industry reputation and specialities?
Once you’ve decided, have a look at globally renowned brands and see what they are talking about on social media, on their website and in their adverts. You’ll begin to notice the consistencies and patterns in the language they use and the images they portray – and you can do the same with your brand’s online presence and marketing materials, to build an identity that your customers will come to recognise and trust.