What’s your brand archetype? Part two

Every business has one or a number of the primary brand archetypes. We look at the brands that do it well and what marketing their customers enjoy.

Welcome to part two in our series on brand archetypes. In our previous post, we look at how archetypes were developed by Carl Jung and dissected six of the twelve primary brand archetypes used by many creative agencies to help their clients develop their business identity and strategy. Let’s jump into the final six archetypes.

The Jester

The jester always lives in the moment and brings light and laughter to the world. Being considered boring or being bored is their greatest fear. In popular culture, you’ll see the jester characterised in Austin Powers, Merry and Pippin from Lord of the Rings and Jim Carry in everything.

Jester customer’s love advertising that finds the light in the serious situations in life. They appreciate brands that promise entertainment. They even enjoy affectionate teasing from a jester brand archetype – see brands such as Compare the Market, Skittles and Old Spice. The worst thing any of these brands could do is appear too strict with customers, by not matching their user experience and customer service with their marketing strategy. Jester brands need to be careful not err on the side of frivolity as this may cause customers not to take you seriously.

The Ruler

Rulers are driven by their desire for power and control. Their biggest fear is to be overthrown or cause unmanageable chaos. If their fears take over, they have a tendency to be too authoritarian and are unable to delegate. In popular culture, you’ll see the leader in people such as Jay Z and characters such as The Red Queen from Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan and Tony Soprano.

Ruler customers are mostly concerned with creating wealth and prosperity, therefore ruler brands must promise power. Due to their dominant nature, ruler customers appreciate marketing that reinforces their feeling of stability. Ruler brands should focus on ensuring their image is polished, strong and ‘masculine’. A ruler customer is likely to abandon a brand if they have cracks in their foundation. Brands who promise power are American Express and Microsoft.

The Creator

Creators are true visionaries. If they can imagine it, it can most certainly be achieved. Creators dabble in all things creative: art, music, writing and inventing. They want to create things of enduring value. If their fears of mediocrity are not kept in check they become perfectionists and are unable to develop positive solutions, often leaving projects unfinished. In pop culture, you’ll see the creator in characters such as Doc Brown in Back to the Future and in artist Frida Kahlo.

Creator customers appreciate the storytelling, favouring experimental, novel and boundary pushing advertising. Creator brands should focus on positioning themselves as the key to unlocking a creator’s creativity. Creator customers are good at seeing between the lines, so brands that are inauthentic will turn them off. A good branding agency can help you develop storylines that capture and delight a creator audience.

The Hero

Their core desire is to prove their worth via courageous acts that improve the world. The hero is brave, strong and competent, even in demanding situations. Their greatest fear is to appear weak or vulnerable, while their weaknesses include arrogance, ruthlessness and the need to always fight a battle. In pop culture, superheros can be seen in characters such as Katniss Everdeen, Harry Potter and Erin Brokovich.

Hero customers look for quality and efficiency in their product selection. They like to know their product selection will put them ahead of other consumers. They aren’t likely to be swayed by humour or carefree advertising. Hero brands must promote themselves as the superior to their competition.  They look for things like highly-rated reviews and value for money. Brands who do this well are Duracell and Nike.

The Magician

Magicians are in a world of their own. Think Gandalf from Lord of the Rings and Steve Jobs. They strive to understand the fundamental laws of the universe and their place in it. At their best, they are driven to find win-win solutions and have a capacity for healing. On a bad day, they are dishonest and detached from reality.

Magician customers need to feel as though they are getting wiser by using your product or service. Magician brands should promise knowledge throughout their integrated marketing and communications strategy and position themselves as the gateway to self-realisation and transformation. Magician customers like their ego stroked and appreciate flattery from magician brands. The worst thing a magician brand could do is be hollow or adopt a convoluted process. Brands who do this well are Lululemon and Disney.

The Lover

Lovers seek intimacy and experience. Their goal in life is to be in a relationship with the people, work and surroundings they love. They are deeply passionate and committed to whatever they put their mind to. If left unchecked, they can become obsessive and shallow.

Lover customers value pleasing aesthetics in products. They are usually drawn to premium brands to enhance their attractiveness to others. Lover brands should promise passion and excitement, yet need to be careful they don’t come across as cheap or businesslike. Lover brands should focus on the feelings a customer will get when using a product. Brands who do this well are Victoria Secret and Herbal Essences.

It’s normal to be thinking “my brand is a number of these archetypes”. That’s common for many businesses. Even iFactory (we’re part sage, part ruler). So now you know why brands present themselves in the way they do, what’s your businesses archetype?  If you’re unsure of your own identity, the branding experts at iFactory can help with one of our collaborative branding strategy workshops. Get in contact with us today to book an appointment.

Read more insights