Archetypes are everywhere in our world. Our brain uses them to categorize patterns, habits and structures, and because the brain is amazing, it does it automatically. One of the key places we see archetypes in marketing, companies structure their different campaigns around brand archetypes.
There are 12 primary brand archetypes that most large companies use when building out the brand persona they will put forward in their communication strategy. Using a brand persona or brand archetype can really help your business or startup stand out in a crowded market space.
Great examples of companies that use brand archetypes are Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream, TOMS shoes, and Oprah Winfrey’s OWN Network. Nike is the quintessential Hero type. Ben and Jerry’s uses the Jester archetype, TOMS the Humanitarian, Oprah the Sage and Steve Jobs the Alchemist.
There is no archetype that is better or more desirable than another. Every company has their own primary, secondary, and tertiary archetypes used in marketing.
USING BRAND ARCHETYPES IN MARKETING
Most companies don’t consider their brand persona. Content tone, content topic, being friendly or authoritative are all aspects of a communications plan that are usually thought through and understood. Really building out a brand persona or archetype, and bringing that into the strategy, brings so much more to the table than just brand tone.
Nike’s strategy of building out their marketing has to do with the customer being the Hero of the day. They bring that concept into every aspect from their logo design, their colors that they’ve chosen, all the way down to the types of advertisements that they create.
When Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream uses the Jester archetype, they use cartoon-like bright colors, in a playful way to share their activist thoughts and opinions on their different ice cream containers. The different flavors are named from politically field or inspired ideas, as well as notions that are happening in popular culture. This creates a feeling in the customer that by using or consuming the product they are stepping into the shoes of who they want to be on a larger scale.
On the flip side, if a customer isn’t into the type of humor that Ben and Jerry’s employs in their marketing, or Nike’s Hero persona doesn’t inspire them, they are mostly likely not to buy from them.
USING BRAND ARCHETYPES IN YOUR EARLY-STAGE STARTUP
Using a brand persona and diving deeper into the different brand personas is absolutely essential to founders when building out a startup or soon-to-be company. When you start to pitch to investors, when you start to acquire customers, and as you move up the funding stages, having a brand archetype allows you to better position yourself and help them understand why they need to invest in your company.