Skip to content

Explore How to Use the 12 Brand Archetypes for Your Business

July 8, 2020

Marketing to the right audience will be the main ingredient behind the success of your business.

It might sound like a piece of cake, but it actually takes a lot of time and research to really capture your customer persona. But it’s well worth it. When creating your next marketing campaign, find your brand’s archetype to resonate with your audience and turn potential customers into returning customers.

What is a brand archetype?

In 1919, Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung developed 12 archetypes. Based on his studies that theorized humans use of symbolism to understand complex concepts. These archetypes model the behaviors of different personalities based on universal patterns. Influenced by these distinct human behaviors and personality traits, brands are able to identify with their core customers.

Once you find the correct archetype, align a cohesive marketing plan to market towards this audience. This quote by Carl Jung really summarizes the meaning behind archetypes well:

This marketing tool is used to improve the way your brand markets to your audience to connect on a deeper level for a more authentic brand purpose. Brands have been using archetypes for decades to build a connection to their customers and attract new customers by creating a difference among their competition. 

The 12 brand archetypes

  • Innocent
  • Everyman
  • Hero
  • Outlaw
  • Explorer
  • Creator
  • Ruler
  • Magician
  • Lover
  • Caregiver
  • Jester
  • Sage

Get to know the 12 brand archetypes

Before you can really dive into your marketing plan, you need to explore the 12 different archetypes to find which one identifies best with your brand. You will usually want to choose two that best represent your, but always choose a primary archetype to be your main focus. And then add just a little sprinkle of the secondary archetype.

All of these are unique in their own ways with different traits and characteristics. Each archetype even has their own color scheme, so you can attract more customers by using these enticing colors in your marketing. A great way to really understand each archetype is to explore examples from well-known brands.

1. The caregiver

The caregiver is just like it implies. These people tend to be nurturing, protective, and reassuring. As a caregiver, they tend to care for others and have a desire to show their compassion. That is why they relate so well to brands that keep in touch with others and appear to be generous. The color scheme to use in your marketing should focus on mainly pastel colors such as blues, pinks, and purples. Commercials and products by Huggies and Pampers really use these colors to attract the caregiver.

Brand example of the caregiver 

There are a few brands that come to mind when talking about the caregiver archetype. The top brands tend to be geared towards babies. Like we mentioned, Huggies and also Johnson & Johnson. Their products are not only geared towards the caregiver, but they also use their ads to get the job done. But Campbell’s Soup is also a great example, especially with their commercials that are geared toward warming the soul.

2. The creator

The creator archetype goes for brands that use their imagination and innovation. They truly believe that inspiration and imagination builds value. Using their minds to explore, they also believe in doing things yourself. Colors behind the creator are bold like oranges and reds. Sometimes brands also add a hint of teal and black to really stand out, this is done often by computer brands like Adobe and Apple.

Brand example of the creator

Brands like Lego, Apple, Adobe, and Crayola are all great examples of brands that market to the creator. Lego and Crayola really capture this archetype with the colors they use in their marketing such as the reds and oranges. Where brands like Apple and Adobe rely on their creative products to promote thinking outside the box and market towards creators. Especially with Adobe’s product Photoshop, they are able to create ads that spark interest with the creator.

3. The everyman

The best way to describe the everyman archetype is friendliness. The everyman represents equality and these people tend to be very supportive, faithful, and humble. The goal of the everyman is to make everyone feel welcomed and like they belong, all through kindness and honesty. Calming colors represent the everyman such as blue greens, sage green, and navy blue. This is why you might see these colors in ads from stores like Old Navy and Target.

Brand example of the everyman 

Brands like Home Depot and Target are well-known companies that market towards the everyman. Old Navy and Target really use their commercials by always including every type of person, from children to the elderly. Plus, they use catchy music to spread the idea of love and unity.

4. The explorer

It is no surprise that the explorer archetype is fearless, adventurous, and exciting. The explorer is a traveler that likes to try new things and takes risks. Full of ambition, they want to be spiritually free. Colors to use geared towards the explored are more natural colors like browns, grays, and even dark oranges. Car companies advertising SUVs tend to use marketing that attracts the explorer.

Brand example of the explorer 

Jeep and Red Bull are the main brands that come to mind when talking about the explorer archetype. Jeep uses marketing tools about going off road and exploring new adventures, which is what the explorer craves. Where Red Bull gives the explorer that fearless feeling, with their “Red Bull gives you wings” slogan.

5. The hero

The hero archetype is courageous, bold, and brave. They believe in honesty and making the world a better place through courage and determination. Marketing should be focused on energy and discipline for all. Colors associated with the hero tend to be blues and brighter yellows. Think brands that use bright colors like Gatorade and Powerade.

Brand example of the hero 

While Gatorade comes to mind when thinking about brands that use blues and yellows the right way in their marketing plan. Nike is the perfect example of how to market to the hero. Their ads are always geared towards determination and even use the bold slogan, “Just Do It.” And when it comes to using the right colors, not only do they use them in their ads, they also consider those colors when designing their shoes. 

the hero nike

6. The innocent

The innocent archetype is described as happy, romantic, and youthful. They like to be reminded of the simplicity of childhood and believe in inner peace. Spring and pastel colors that are lively such as teal, light green, and bright pinks are the colors to focus on when marketing to the innocent. Sometimes it is hard to pinpoint the perfect strategy when attracting the innocent, but think of wholesome brands like Aveeno.

Brand example of the innocent 

Coca-Cola is known to do some marketing towards the innocent, by taking their consumers back to the days of their childhood. But Dove really stands out when thinking about a brand that most accurately represents the innocent. Using the right colors on their products and in their marketing campaigns, they also use their campaigns wisely by really bringing out the good in people, which is what the innocent archetype is all about. 

drink coca-cola

7. The jester

Of course, the jester is humorous, playful, fun, and mischievous. This archetype is always about having a good time and a good laugh, all while also being optimistic. The colors used for the jester also comes to no surprise as they are fun and creative. Colors like teal, dark purple, and even hot pink should be used. Many brands tend to identify with the jester such as Old Spice and M&M.

Brand example of the jester 

When thinking about M&M, these use the right colors in their ads and also use silly candy to attract the jesters. Old Spice is another brand that uses humor in their ads to connect with the jester archetypes. Or even Dollar Shave, who use the slogan, “Shave Time, Shave Money.” The list is really endless when it comes to brands that market toward the jester, and it seems to work. 

the jester

8. The lover

The lover is known to be intimate, passionate, and fully committed. They want to be desired and show their affection. Some of the best ads that represent the lover include beauties like Marilyn Monroe. Or other iconic models like Cindy Crawford and Tyra Banks. To attract the lover, focus on using romantic colors such as pinks, reds, and purples.

Brand example of the lover 

Many beauty brands and perfume companies like Estee Lauder use marketing towards the lover with their sexy commercials. But Victoria’s Secret is the ultimate lover brand. From using the right colors in their marketing to even using the name of their sales, they really know how to target the lovers.

9. The magician

The magician is just that, magical. They are spiritual, powerful and well-informed. The magician archetype believes that all dreams can come true, if you can just have a little bit of hope and faith. The colors of the magician remind me that of a unicorn, bright blues, pinks, and purples. Dyson may not really use the colors, but they do offer wonder and amazement with their commercials and ads.

Brand example of the magician 

But of course the most magical brand of them all is Disney. They are the perfect example of how to market to magicians. From marketing with their parks by stating it is the place where all dreams come true, to their hopeful and inspirational movies. Disney really can attract magicians of all ages.

10. The rebel

The rebel is of course disruptive, rebellious, and very independent. They like to break all the rules and question authority. This archetype believes in freedom for all, while also being rough and tough. The rebel is attracted to bold colors like orange, red, black and silver. Think of brands like Harley Davidson when it comes to using these colors the right way in marketing campaigns.

Brand example of the rebel 

A few radical and rebellious brands come to mind, like Virgin and Harley Davidson. But like we mentioned, Harley Davidson is the perfect example, especially the way they use the colors. The colors are well represented in their logo and ads. And they also use their ads to talk about freedom for all. 

the rebel

11. The ruler

The ruler is responsible, reserved, and stern. They prefer order over chaos. The ruler also believes in rewarding their accomplishments with luxurious items, which is why high-end fashion brands like Louis Vuitton usually market to them. The colors are basic, but full of power like green, blue, and red.

Brand example of the ruler 

Luxury car companies stand out the most when it comes to brands who market to the ruler. Fashion Brands like Burberry are also good examples. But brands like Lexus and Mercedes Benz really use their commercials to attract the ruler archetypes by showing their luxurious cars and hinting at ways to reward yourself with their cars.

12. The sage

The sage archetype is influential, experienced, and full of knowledge. Think of a mentor that is full of wisdom like Yoda. The colors that should be used to market the sage include all shades of green, from sage green to dark forest green.

Brand example of the sage 

Barnes and noble really comes to mind, especially when thinking about their colors. The dark green in their logo and the idea behind their products, which are books full of knowledge. All of these things intrigues and sparks the interest of the sage archetype.

How to use archetypes to define your brand

It is not an easy task to not only find the right archetype for your brand, but to also execute it in your marketing plan. Using a creative agency to help you find the right archetype is wise investment. A knowledgeable agency will not only identify the correct archetype you’re your brand, but also provide a guide that will give you all the information you need to implement the findings.

This includes a detailed description of the archetype with common words to use in your content, characteristic traits, colors that should be used, and even helpful examples. This will help you create a marketing campaign targeted to your archetype.

Conclusion

The first step to using archetypes for your brand is to really understand the power and the potential behind archetypes. Once you understand the importance of this tool and take the steps to find the right archetype by getting to really know your customers, you can then work on building a connection to shape a powerful brand.

Never miss a post.

Subscribe to keep your fingers on the tech pulse.

By submitting this form, you are agreeing to receive marketing communications from G2.