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Exploring Brand Archetypes
Brent Closs—AVP Marketing, CAA Club Group
n our last Marketing Minute, we introduced the concept of Brand Archetypes. Originally made popular by Margaret Mark and Carol S. Pearson in their book The Hero and the Outlaw, the concept explores how brands can be defined by character types. Companies that focus on their Brand Archetype portray a consistent and relatable personality, which drives brand recognition, awareness and belief.
Last time we described 4 of the 12 Archetypes:
#1 — Innocent (Dove) #2 — Sage (Google) #3 — Explorer (Jeep) #4 — Everyperson (Costco… and CAA Insurance)
Now let’s dive into the remaining 8 Archetypes.
#5 — Outlaw Their motto is Rules are meant to be broken. Their desire is nonconformity and revolution. They challenge the status quo in hopes of evoking change. Harley Davidson is the quintessential Outlaw— riders thrive on the freedom from societal constraints that their hogs provide while living their inner outlaw personas.
#6 — Magician The Magician archetype conveys a sense of magic. They seemingly make the impossible real. At their foundation, they’re curious, want to understand how the world works and make dreams come true. Dyson is a good example—they take everyday objects and reimagine them well beyond expectation.
#7 — Hero Hero brands strive for triumph over adversity. They focus on their journey and don’t concern themselves with the competition. Typically, Heroes are charitable organizations and companies with strong social values. Nike is the epitome of a Hero—challenging people to find their greatness by battling any walls they might put up against an active lifestyle.
#8 — Lover Lover brands thrive on close relationships, intimacy and making people feel special. They’re motivated by a sense of connection and belonging. Customer appreciation is a big part of their business and marketing. Hallmark and Chanel are popular examples, but a good non-traditional example is Cesar dog food—they effectively tap into the love an owner has for their pet.
#9 — Jester The life of the party, the Jester likes to have fun. Their promise is If you’re not having fun, you’re doing something wrong. Jester brands market with humour. Like Rebels, they challenge the status quo, but in a light-hearted way. Old Spice is a good example—their success comes from not taking themselves too seriously and making fun of their competitors’ exaggerated claims.
#10 — Caregiver The goal of the Caregiver is to help others and protect them from harm. They’re compassionate, empathetic and generous. They want to nurture relationships by providing a sense of security. An example is the Salvation Army—their tagline is Doing the Most Good, and they live and breathe it by focusing on other people’s needs.
#11 — Ruler The Ruler is motivated by stability and control. They seek power and authority while managing chaos. Brands identifying with Rulers tend to be established, timeless and high quality. Rolex is an example—they stand for prosperity and power and make consumers believe that nothing matches the power of a Rolex.
#12 — Creator Embrace your creativity are words Creators live by. They’re visionaries and innovators who make something out of nothing. They strive for self-expression through creativity. And while freedom is a key motivator, they appreciate stability and control. Lego sparks that creativity and innovation—the possibilities you can build with their iconic bricks are endless, and what you create can be uniquely yours.
And there you have it—the 12 Brand Archetypes. No doubt you’ve been pondering what archetype your brokerage most identifies with. In our next Marketing Minute, we’ll look at ways to identify your brand archetype and how to apply it in everything you produce.
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