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Who is your brand

Brand archetypes aren't new, but many businesses are finding new ways to use these ancient character types to transform their brand in the new social economy.
Learn about the 12 brand archetypes, discover which ones suit your brand, and start developing your own brand archetype with this easy to follow guide.

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Who is your brand

  2. 2. BRAND ARCHETYPESAn archetype ( /ˈɑrkɪtaɪp/) is a universally understood symbol, term,[1] or pattern of behavior, a prototype upon which others arecopied, patterned, or emulated. Archetypes are often used in myths and storytelling across different cultures. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Archetype
  3. 3. IN THE BEGINNING…Brand archetypes aren‟t new. In fact,they‟re as old as Gilgamesh and otherancient stories. These narratives began toshape the myths and legends that havebeen passed on, translated, shared and re-imagined for centuries. They have helpedinspire new stories, built on the foundationsof rich story and character archetypes thattranscend time, borders and cultures. Photo thanks to http://healiganworld2010.blogspot.com.au/ Who Is Your Brand? Paul Chappell, 2012
  4. 4. PSYCHOLOGY 101These stories, told over the centuries, tapdeep into our “collective unconscious” asCarl Jung described.It‟s only when we watch Titanic, read anursery rhyme or share last night‟s dreamsthat we can identify with these age-oldmyths and characters. Carl Jung finger puppet can be purchased here http://www.philosophersguild.com/ Who Is Your Brand? Paul Chappell, 2012
  5. 5. THE FIRST STEPIt‟s no surprise then that brandarchetypes are a useful tool forbusinesses when they are trying toarticulate – or differentiate - theirbrand‟s personality.They have been an incredibly potentweapon for many of the world‟sleading brands as we will see.The first step is to understand thecharacter of each of the 12 mainarchetypes… and then identify which http://www.flickr.com/photos/niko_si/2512198982/ via photopin.comarchetype best suits your brand. Who Is Your Brand? Paul Chappell, 2012
  6. 6. TYPES OFARCHE…TYPESTypically, there are 12 characterarchetypes that make up a brandarchetype canvas.From the wise old Sage, to theHero, the Explorer, the Lover and theCreator - each of these brandarchetypes has an ability to shape abrand‟s story and provide an unfairadvantage in the marketplace.Not all brands fit neatly inside onearchetype, which is why some brandschoose a primary and secondaryarchetype. http://www.flickr.com/photos/rucken/4398988757/ via photopin.com Who Is Your Brand? Paul Chappell, 2012
  7. 7. 1. THE HEROThe hero archetype is perhaps the best known ofall archetypes. He or she is impossible to miss,usually because they‟re the main character. It‟sBatman, Indiana Jones, Wonder Woman, Rocky,Lara Croft.BRAND ARCHETYPETypically, brands that assume the Hero archetypeare in the business of helping people, ofchampioning a cause or providing unexpectedsolutions. They are fearless in the pursuit of theirgoals.These brands focus on consumer segments thathave a need they can‟t satisfy themselves, or whowant to join a good cause under another banner.Like any Hero, these brands are fallible. Bewarethe Hero whose words are louder than actions! http://www.flickr.com/photos/stephenpoff/2835635176/ via photopin.com Who Is Your Brand? Paul Chappell, 2012
  8. 8. 2. THE CREATORThe Creator is powerful and innovative. They arethe champion of their domain, always focused ontheir task. Their goal is to create something new,and usually something that adds value to others.BRAND ARCHETYPECreator brands are often found in the disruptivetechnology and innovation space. They are thepioneers of new stuff, typically having thewherewithal to make a few mistakes but at thesame time, able to forge ahead as leaders in theirindustry. The changes they create aren‟t just 2.0upgrades – they‟re breakthrough ideas thatusually provide unfair advantage.The people who follow these brands are http://www.flickr.com/photos/kwl/5127099146/ via photopin.comconsidered the early adopters: willing to trial,change, upgrade and advocate the latestproducts and services. Who Is Your Brand? Paul Chappell, 2012
  9. 9. 3. THE OUTLAWThe Outlaw doesn‟t make the rules. He breaks„em! Often inspired by revenge or by revolution,the Outlaw sits at the fringe of society, despisedby many, but loved by a loyal few. Their purposeis to achieve a better or fairer outcome. Just likeRobin Hood, they‟re prepared to break the law aslong as they stay true to their moral compass.BRAND ARCHETYPEBrands that imbue the Outlaw archetype usuallyappeal to a part of society that feeldisenfranchised or mistreated. These brands leadthe charge on behalf of this community, creatingopportunities that the average person would notbe able to achieve alone.There is no room for elitism here. The Outlawbrand is about balancing the scorecard, and aslong as they play fair, their followers will stay true. http://www.flickr.com/photos/peteradams/2272928740/ via photopin.com Who Is Your Brand? Paul Chappell, 2012
  10. 10. 4. THE MAGICIANThe Magician, also known as the Wizard, cansometimes be confused as a Sage. Thedifference is that the Magician‟s knowledge isfocused on a particular interest whereas the Sageknows all. In other words, the Magician knows theHow but not necessarily the Why.Magicians have a unique ability to transform onething into another. This power creates mysteryand surprise.BRAND ARCHETYPEBrands that take on the magician archetype areable to surprise and delight their consumers withexperiences that provide a sense of escape orempowerment. Their products and services havethe power to transform habits, preferences andloyalties. http://www.flickr.com/photos/theshadowknows/3198960592 /via photopin.comMagician brands should always focus on creatingmagical customer experiences, not using theirpower to simply transform their bottom line! Who Is Your Brand? Paul Chappell, 2012
  11. 11. 5. EVERYDAY GUYMost of us mere mortals would feel most at homewith the Everyday Guy/Girl archetype. Thischaracter is as reliable as they come. Whilst theymay not stand out from the crowd, they are theones who keep the wheels turning. Positive,attentive and predictable, the Everyday Guy/Girlunderstands their modest but important role in theworld and is happy to pursue it.BRAND ARCHETYPEThe Everyday brand is often a quiet achiever,always delivering consistent quality day after day.They may not have a high profile brand, but theircustomers rely on them to be there for themwithout fuss or fanfare. http://www.flickr.com/photos/andresthor/3873690817/ via photopin.comEveryday brands need to be careful that theydon‟t become complacent or lose their sense ofpurpose. Who Is Your Brand? Paul Chappell, 2012
  12. 12. 6. THE INNOCENTForrest Gump. Those two words sum up theInnocent archetype perfectly. There is a simplicityand innocence that is endearing and enduringwith the Innocent. Sometimes accused of seeingthe world through rose coloured glasses, theInnocent actually has a strong moral code thatthey adhere to without fail. They naturally trustothers because they believe in the goodness ofpeople, even though this can be easilymanipulated.BRAND ARCHETYPEThere is a strong attraction to Innocent brandarchetypes for those who believe in the goodnessof others. These brands can be very alluringbecause they reinforce the goodness of„humanity‟. There is also a sense of romanceabout brands who see the world as a happyplace. http://www.flickr.com/photos/sam-wood/3215822135/ via photopin.com Who Is Your Brand? Paul Chappell, 2012
  13. 13. 7. THE JESTERAlso known as the Joker or Fool, the Jester isquick-witted and irreverent. But the fool shouldnever be underestimated! The jester‟s power ishis ability to question others without confrontation.Their role is to question habits, traditions andstatus quo – the things that most people eithertake for granted or accept without question.Essentially they are change agents who go abouttheir work under the radar.BRAND ARCHETYPEJester brands appeal to consumers who like tochallenge convention – or have their ownconventions challenged. They work well in issue-rich territories where they can highlight problemswithout being confrontational or aggressive. Theycan be very effective at affecting change in apositive way. http://www.flickr.com/photos/61961870@N00/709942314/ via photopin.com Who Is Your Brand? Paul Chappell, 2012
  14. 14. 8. THE LOVERIt‟s like falling in love all over again!The Lover is high on passion and romance butunderstands little – or cares little – about therational, logical things in life.There is a deep commitment to relationships anda high level of intimacy that the Lover seeks. Leftalone, the Lover will wilt and die, unable to bearthe loneliness and silence.BRAND ARCHETYPEBrands that assume the Lover archetype are inthe business of relationships. They are oftenservice-led businesses that aim to bring peopletogether in a fun and mutually-beneficial way.Lover brands focus on emotional benefits ratherthan functional benefits. http://www.flickr.com/photos/toymaster/477394848/ via photopin.com Who Is Your Brand? Paul Chappell, 2012
  15. 15. 9. THE RULERIf you had an appointment with the Godfather, youwould know the power and fear that the Rulerpossesses. The shaking in your boots would giveit away! The Ruler seeks power and control. Theirmission is to create happiness but their means ofachieving it can be ruthless.BRAND ARCHETYPERuler brands sit at the top of the food chain. Theyusually possess a lot of heritage in their categoryand have risen to the top with conviction andpurpose. These brands usually own a high-statusproduct or service, and being the leader of thepack, these brands offer a great sense of securityand stability.Sometimes their power can also be their undoing, http://www.flickr.com/photos/rhyick/4750313718/ via photopin.comlosing the ability to react quickly to change andbeing overthrown by younger innovative brands. Who Is Your Brand? Paul Chappell, 2012
  16. 16. 10. THE SAGEOh Wise one… tell me what I should do?The all-knowing Sage can see things mostordinary people can‟t. As they say, wisdom is notjust about knowing things, it‟s aboutunderstanding them and this is the Sage‟s skill.Always willing to offer advice and mentor thosewho seek knowledge, the Sage is empowered bygiving – not hiding his wisdom.BRAND ARCHETYPEAny brand that helps consumers understand orgain knowledge about particular subjects fits intothe Sage archetype. Research institutes, newsservices, education facilities and legal servicesare often using the Sage archetype to define theirbrand. http://www.flickr.com/photos/kanelstrand/3512215395/ via photopin.com Who Is Your Brand? Paul Chappell, 2012
  17. 17. 11. THE EXPLORERThe Explorer is never idle. To find meaning in theworld, they know they must go in search of it.Unlike Adventurers, Explores want to understandthe meaning of their purpose rather than just seekhigh thrills.Learning and knowledge are the two mainpursuits of Explorers, and for most, finding theanswer is just the start of the next journey.BRAND ARCHETYPEExplorer brands aren‟t content to just „be‟. Theyare constantly seeking more understanding of theworld they live in, and they often challenge theircustomers as well. This restless pursuit is likehoney to a bee for many consumers who like totake a challenge head-on.Boredom is worse than death for Explorer brandswhich is why many of these brands break thoughwith new products, services and technology. http://www.flickr.com/photos/michaeldreves/4551996649/ via photopin.com Who Is Your Brand? Paul Chappell, 2012
  18. 18. 12. THE CAREGIVERPutting the needs of others before their own is avery typical trait of Caregivers. Their role in life isto protect and care for others, tapping into theirdeep wells of compassion and generosity.Any parent will understand the almost automaticrole of the Caregiver, placing their child‟s needsfirst and only attending to their own once the childis happy again.BRAND ARCHETYPEBrands that offer a sense of nurturance and carewill do well adopting the Caregiver archetype.Not-For-Profits and community focusedorganisations are obvious examples of Caregiverbrands, however certain consumer brands suchas baby care and financial services for the elderly http://www.flickr.com/photos/selva/793550/ via photopin.comcan also assume this brand archetype. Who Is Your Brand? Paul Chappell, 2012
  19. 19. BRAND ARCHETYPESAND THEIR INFLUENCE ON CONTENTOne of the benefits of employing brandarchetyping is not just in delivering a clearand easy-to-understand brand identity, butit also helps to shape a brand‟s contentstrategy.When your brand claims to be the RobinHood of the industry, it makes it incrediblyeasy for customers to identify with the storyof your brand and what you stand for…or in Robin‟s case, what you won‟t standfor! http://www.flickr.com/photos/tom-margie/1546045630// via Photopin Who Is Your Brand? Paul Chappell, 2012
  20. 20. BRAND ARCHETYPESAND THEIR INFLUENCE ON CONTENTApplying this brand archetype to yourcontent strategy gives your business aready-to-roll platform from which you candeliver fresh and compelling stories thattruly resonate with your audience.Why?Because framing your brand and yourmarketing efforts around the construct ofan archetype creates abelievable, meaningful brand story that http://www.flickr.com/photos/jeffsmallwood/4740428924/ via Photopindetermines not only what your businesssays, but what it does, from the CEO downto the delivery guy. Who Is Your Brand? Paul Chappell, 2012
  21. 21. BRAND ARCHETYPESAND THE PERSONAL BRANDRichard Branson (Virgin) has built an empireplaying the role of Robin Hood – breaking allthe rules and reinventing the way business isdone.Steve Jobs (Apple) was convincing as theMagician, turning technology into a sexy wordand delivering the business out of debt tobecome the world‟s biggest company. http://www.flickr.com/photos/linniekin/527617055/ via photopin.comIn these instances, their personal brandhas been the living essence of the branditself.Interestingly, each one of these brandslives up to its brand identity every day, inevery way. Who Is Your Brand? Paul Chappell, 2012 http://www.flickr.com/photos/cogloglab/6216048568/ via photopin.com
  22. 22. BRAND ARCHETYPESKEEPING IT REALBut as we know, talk is cheap.If your brand doesn‟t deliver on its promise,if it cannot live up to what it claims to be andwhat it stands for, it won‟t take long at all foryour customers to drop your brand for onethat is authentic.Many good brands with good intentions havebeen swept up and tossed into the dustbin ofirrelevance. Intent is only worthwhile when itis acted upon.Remember, creating a brand archetype is theprocess of identifying human characteristicsthat fit your brand‟s disposition in themarketplace. Choose an archetype that istrue to your brand‟s heritage and worthy of http://www.flickr.com/photos/mel7ares/4453889852/ via photopin.comfollowing into the future. Who Is Your Brand? Paul Chappell, 2012
  23. 23. BRAND ARCHETYPESIN THE DIGITAL ERAFor the swarms of brands entering orchampioning the digital space, brandarchetyping can have a profound impacton the user journey and experience.The revelation of your brand story alongthe various digital and traditional touchpoints of your business can create anunfair advantage in your industry.A compelling brand archetype enablesthe brand story to be deliveredconsistently and compellingly. Coke hasre-engineered its entire digital presenceto deliver the story of Happiness. Coke sees a sale as a “transfer of enthusiasm” http://advertising-age.blogspot.com.auThis isn‟t just talk. This is happening! Who Is Your Brand? Paul Chappell, 2012
  24. 24. BRAND ARCHETYPESDISCOVER YOUR DNABusinesses should take care in choosingthe right brand archetype, particularly ifthe brand is firmly established. It hasimplications down the line if the brandwants to reposition or refresh. Mostbrands will feel a pull towards thearchetypes that reflect their currentvalues and positioning, and that makesit easier to select the primary andsecondary (yes you can have two)archetypes to pursue.If your brand is in the midst of arevitalisation process, then it would beworthwhile spending time acquaintingyourselves with all the archetypes to findwhich ones resonate most with yourbrand vision. Who Is Your Brand? Paul Chappell, 2012
  25. 25. BRAND ARCHETYPESWHO IS YOUR BRAND? So, are you ready? Can yourHero Creator Outlaw business build a story around a brand archetype that you can live and breathe on a daily basis? Wizard Everyday Guy Innocent If you think that there‟s a Hero inside, or you‟re ready to break all the rules and ride off with your posse to take on theJester Lover Ruler world like the Outlaw you truly are, it might be time to explore your brand archetype! Sage Explorer Carer Who Is Your Brand? Paul Chappell, 2012
  26. 26. ABOUT THE AUTHORPaul Chappell is Content Director at Visual Jazz Isobarin Melbourne, Australia. When he‟s not working on clientprojects, he writes feature film screenplays and findsinteresting things to do in the social innovation space.E: pchappell@visualjazz.com.au T: @pablochappo

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Brand archetypes aren't new, but many businesses are finding new ways to use these ancient character types to transform their brand in the new social economy. Learn about the 12 brand archetypes, discover which ones suit your brand, and start developing your own brand archetype with this easy to follow guide.


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