How to Build a Strong Brand Personality with Brand Archetypes

brand archetypes


We all feel drawn to certain brands more than others, have you ever wondered why that’s is? Brands that have a identifiable personality, can easily connect with there audience on a more deeper level. But are you find yourself struggling in knowing how to build a your brand personality to achieve this? And isn’t it frustrating that us brand designers and strategist gone on about building this deeper level with your and having a personality but we rarely open up and tell you how to do it.


That’s why in today’s episode I’m sharing my process, so you know how to start building the foundation level of your brand personality. I’ll be introducing you to brand archetypes how they work and more importantly help you confidently pick the right one for yourself. This process will give you a newfound confident by having complete clarity around your brand personality and how to use.



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What are archetypes?


What actually is a brand archetype? The word archetype means an example of a certain person or thing. A brand archetype is a set of personalities that are designed to help business owners to present their brand in a specific kind of way.


Misconceptions around archetypes


Archetypes sometimes can be misinterpreted and are thought of as stereotypes and that they just produce cookie cutter brands. This is not the case, Nyla Smith says it best in her article “archetype it’s not a cookie cutter, it’s the cookie dough. You can and will mould the dough into whatever shape fits best. You’re not locked into a stereotype. You still have freedom of expression.” Think of archetypes as more of a prototype of a personality that can be edited and developed.


How powerful archetypes can be


What a lot of you may not realise is that 95% of our purchasing decisions are made in the subconscious mind. This is why brand strategist and designers keep chewing your ear off on how important it is to form that deeper connection and evoke an emotional response from your ideal audience. The brands that do this BEST are ones with a strong archetypal personality. Their is proven research that shows business with a single archetype were most profitable! But don’t misinterpret archetype’s as a get rich quick schemes or hack.


How archetypes can help you


We relate to brands as if they are humans, and just like with people we get on with some more than others. We’ve been previously told to build our brand as if they are a person and have a personality, this is good advice but can be misleading for you. Because successful and strong brands can’t be as complex as real human being. We need remember that your brand personality needs to be simplified in order for it to be powerful.


A brand without an archetype


Brands who don’t implement archetypes are likely to miscommunication what they stand for. I’ll hold my hands up and say that I have previously been a brand with a discount between what I thought I was communicating and what my ideal audience was actually hearing. Language is so important and by knowing your archetype you can start to communicate with a universal language that your audience with understand and love.



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The 12 brand archetypes overview


There are 4 brand Archetypes sub group categories in each are 3 different types of archetypes. The 4 groups I like to refer to them as Freedom, belonging, legacy and structure. I’m going to give you a short overview of each archetype within each of these categories.


Freedom sub group

Within the freedom group we have the: Innocent, sage and explorer.



First up is the Innocent brand archetype, they crave safety and believe that life can be simple, uncomplicated and good. Ultimately they want themselves and everyone to be happy.



The Sage brand archetype, seeker of trust and knowledge, they are life-long learners and believe education is the path to wisdom. Ultimately they like to pass on their knowledge to help other better understand this world.



The Explorer, is all about living with an open mind and pushing their comfort zones. Not to prove themselves to anyone. But more about everlasting self discovery through new experiences.


Structure sub group

The next group is structure we have: Creator, Ruler and Caregiver.



First up is the Creator, they admire innovations and originality they love to make something that didn’t not previsions exist and has enduring value. They believe in self-expression and bring a vision to life.



The Ruler archetype, is all about control and authoritative figure. Their goal is to help the rest of the world to be more successful. They believe themselves and everyone should be confident and responsible and be fully in control of their own lives.



The Caregiver archetype is the most selfless personality, mostly driven to protect and care for others. They are all about others before themselves and the greater good.


Belonging sub group

The second last group is belonging: within this group we have Lover, Jester and Everyman.



The lover archetype, as you can probably guess is all about passion, closeness and intimacy. They believe in helping other feel appreciated, attractive, desirable. Essentially they want to build connections and relationships with others.



The Jester archetype is all about just having fun in the moment. There goal is about bring you joy whether being the joker, optimist or that rainbow on a particularly rainy day. They believe anything worth doing, can be done in a fun way.



The everyman or everyperson archetype, they just simply want to belong. They are the wallflowers at a party, friendly and easy to get along with but you’ll never the loudest. There goal is to make everyone feel accepted and having meaningful connections.


Legacy sub group

The last groups is legacy this includes: outlaw, magician and hero.



The Outlaw archetype is all about revolution breaking away from conventions. They’re goal is to disrupt and change the world by taking risks. They believe in standing out from the rest to stand for something.



The Magician Archetype is about helping you make your dreams come true. They value transformation, knowledge and visions. They’re goal is to help people transform and improve their lives for better.



Lastly but not least is the Hero Archetype, this one having the courage to take on a challenge. They’re ultimate goal is to leave a mark on the world, solve a problem or to inspire others to.



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How to choose the right one?


Now it’s time to give you the play by play in how to actually the pick the right archetype for your brand. As much as I think your archetype should align authentically with yourself, we still do need strategy behind your heart lead decisions. Remember that your primary archetype should be 90% of your brand and the secondary is mere 10%. When we split two archetype 50/50, there is far more room for confusion and wishy washy messaging.


Do the Research into each archetype


First of all the research that i’ve previously shared with you isn’t enough to decided, so make sure you get onto google and do more in-depth research about each of the 12 brand archetype. Don’t just pick one or two to look into really get to know them all. I have included more information about each of the 12 archetype within this episode show notes, If i went anymore in-depth in this episode I really would of chewed your hear off for hours and I know you have other thing to be get on with! So first step is research into the brand archetypes.


Which one feels most like you?


As I was reading out the 12 brand archetypes you may have felt an instant connection towards one make note of that. When it comes to choosing your brand archetype don’t make it harder for yourself by picking one that really isn’t you! Because you cannot fake it till you make it! It’s far better and easier to embrace the one you are similar too. It will provide you with a north-star a direction, that will help you make decides. Ask yourself the following questions


What is the reason behind your brand?


What are your strengths?


What do love to do or how do you want to help people?


What is important to you?


Start evaluating which archetype best suits the majority of your answers. The one you see yourself in the most, you might think picking an archetype that you’re very much alike is too subjective. But as solopreneurs we are heavily involved with all our branding, by not having to pretend to be something we not is far easier when it comes to making decisions!


Who do you want to attract?


We need to take into account your ideal audience, who are you targeting, who is it you want to attract. Start of by recognising the archetypes your family and friends are. Let this guide you into the people you would like to work. Usually they’ll be similar to the people you naturally surround yourselves with day-to-day and probably similar to you.


We must remember that like attracts like, therefore your primary archetype should be the group you want to attract the most. The archetype you choose will attract the people who have a stronger connection with that particular brand archetype. So for example, customers/clients who embody more of the innocent personality, they’ll gravitate towards more innocent brands, such as Dove, OrganicBasic and Evian. This brand speaks their language, the customer will naturally feel aligned with their values. This is why you may have experienced in the past a human connection towards a brand. Because it feels like they are talking to us only and it just feels right, their voice, values and look.


Comparison brand archetype research

Hopefully you’ve either reached a decision or narrowed your list down to 2 or 3. If you’re the later and finding it difficult to make your definitive decisions. You can look into businesses within your industry and identifying both the most popular and underused archetypes. Ask yourself do you want to be more like them and why? Do you want to work with the type of people they are and why? Do you want to stand out?



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Start building your brand personality with brand archetypes


Brand archetypes is the secret sauce you’ve been missing all these years! It’s time for you to build the brand personality you’ve be previously struggling too. Without any frustrations because you now exactly what to do, and how to do it too, with my step by step guide in helping you choose the right archetype for your brand! I can’t wait for you to discover your perfect brand archetype. Feel confident with your brand personality and gain that much needed clarity. What are you waiting for start building that deeper connection with your ideal customers and clients today. If your still a little unsure how to build other parts of your brand strategy tune into episode 03 and learn my 5 simple brand strategy steps.