Archetypes are subjects we all intuitively know. Something about them just feels right, so they’re powerful tools for connecting with people, or telling any kind of story. (You may even recognize your brand archetype from your favorite movie.) Universal archetypes come from the work of Swiss psychologist Carl Jung.
These archetypes can be used to find out your brand personality. Want the computer to figure it out for you? Do the interactive brand voice quiz.
Magicians make dreams come true. They are known for being visionary and imaginative. When channeled properly, the Magician archetype spurs people to change the world. The Magician can use a variety of traits, including charisma and idealism, to inspire others.
The Sage offers wisdom and trusted information. The Sage can function as a guru or analyst. Not surprisingly, television and radio news companies use the Sage archetype. To make the most of the Sage archetype, avoid being opinionated or too cerebral, which can exclude some people.
Rulers don’t just want to control. They’re also exceptionally skilled at bringing order to chaotic environments. Businesses that want to stress safety and security are a good fit for this archetype, as are companies that help people with organization or becoming more responsible.
Caregivers are, of course, nurturing and protective. The Caregiver is a popular archetype among pharmaceutical and insurance companies, as well as comfort food manufacturers. As well as lending a maternal or paternal feeling, this archetype espouses helping people to help themselves.
The Outlaw archetype is all about breaking the rules and bucking authority. Iconoclasts and rebels fit this model. This archetype works well with people who feel disenfranchised, such as for political or social causes. In the corporate world, the Outlaw lets people break free of conventions to find their true essence.
The Lover, as the name suggests, represents love and intimacy. Passion, warmth and sensuality are the hallmarks of this archetype. To make this archetype work well, find a good balance between dreaminess and a reality-based vision of what is desired.
The Innocent is pure, optimistic and youthful. Companies that want to project high moral integrity often use this archetype. Sometimes they want to create a feeling of nostalgia or child-like wonder. The greatest goal of the innocent is to make people feel happy.
For fun, joy and mischief, there’s no better archetype than the Jester. This is a great archetype to employ if a business wants its customers to enjoy themselves or be more spontaneous. The Jester gets away with being a bit irreverent because this archetype brings so much amusement to life.
As one would imagine, the Creator is imaginative, artistic and visionary. Companies that harness this archetype help their clients use their imaginations, and are often marketing products to kids. The Creator is also about leaving a lasting legacy of beauty or meaning.
The champion of travel, discovery and pioneering, the Explorer archetype can be used in a number of ways. Brands might use the Explorer to help customers get out of a rut or encourage them to fight mainstream behavior. This is an ideal archetype for anything related to the outdoors, and it can even involve adventure or risk-taking.
The Everyperson is a regular gent or gal who can connect easily with others. Brands that use this archetype want customers to feel like they belong and want their brands to feel highly inclusive. This archetype emphasizes virtue, folksiness, and maintaining individuality while being part of a group.
Heroes want transformation. This archetype is known for its boldness and confidence, as well as its problem-solving abilities. The tech sector often taps into this archetype, as do businesses that build trust in doing the seemingly impossible. The Hero often creates change by encouraging people to work together.