How brand archetypes help you build a crystal clear brand

When you think of a brand the first thing that might come to mind is its name or its logo. But you might also think of its personality based on the brand's messaging, the color palette or typographic choices and more. And that brand personality is exactly you'll want to consider to establish a deep connection with your audience.

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Mohammed Hamza

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  • Branding

One of the many tools in our toolbelt to think about brand personality is using brand archetypes. Finding out which of the 12 brand archetypes your brand gravitates towards most will help you build a clearer brand identity.

Build a clearer brand how?

If you think about it, a brand is kind of like a person. They have their own personality and human like characteristics that let you connect with that person through emotions. And you probably feel a certain way about that person. What this means for your brand is this: when your brand identity is taking shape, paying close attention to that personality can play a huge role in how others will be able to connect to you. It helps you make decisions by having a personality to run your messaging and look and feel to by and make it consistent and engaging. That is where brand archetypes come in.

What are brand archetypes?

Brand archetypes are models universally known and understood that serve as a mirror for your brand's personality. More specifically, a brand archetype is a representation of your brand based on human desires and values.

The reason brand archetypes work so well is because people are more easily drawn to brands that have a easy-to-recognize humanlike personality. Especially if that personality is relatable, relevant and shares the same values as someone.


Why we use brand archetypes at Yummygum?

Besides the fact that brand archetypes help you connect to an audience, there is beneficial side effect of brand archetypes. And that is; it helps us, at Yummygum, align when we're developing brands. If you think about your own brand, or your product or service being a brand, you might have an idea of what its personality looks, feels or sounds like. Putting that personality in words however is whole other thing. Let alone communicating it to others. Brand archetypes help us get on the same page with internally but more importantly with our clients.

12 Brand archetypes

There are 12 primary archetypes, each representing a model of a 'person' with certain characteristics and values. They can be grouped into four clusters: order, self-knowledge, group belonging, and change.

Each cluster has its own goal. order means an emphasis on quality over quantity; self-knowledge focuses on understanding oneself; group belonging means an emphasis on sharing interests with others; and change is all about embracing change.

1 . The Outlaw

The first of the 12 archetypes we’ll cover is the Oulaw. The Outlaw is a renegade who refuses to conform to the status quo and instead challenges authority. They love to break rules, challenge norms or pushing boundaries to do what they feel is right. They're often seen as troublemakers and misfits because they don't fit in the mold of what society defines as 'normal'. However this outlook also makes outlaws very creative thinkers. They see opportunities where others only see problems or limitations.

Brand belief

You forge your own path. You have a strong desire for freedom, and you make your own rules.

Brand message

And example of what the a brand message could look like for a brand that gravitates towards the Outlaw archype is: You don’t have to settle for status quo. First, demand more. Second, go out and get it.

Brand voices

The brand voice of an Outlaw-centered brand could feel:

  • Disruptive

  • Rebellious

  • Combative

Examples of brands that fall under the Outlaw archetypes are:
  • Harley Davidson

  • Jack Daniels

  • Virgin

  • Lush

  • Uber

  • Paypal

  • MTV

  • Bitcoin

  • Levi's

2. The Magician

The Magician archetype is all about the power of creating magical moments. It's also about transforming reality into something more beautiful. Something more thrilling. Something more entertaining than what it actually is. This archetype can help you to become a magician, a master of your craft who can use their talents to thrill and amaze others. The magician archetype represents mystery and magic. They have the ability to make things happen that are impossible in real life. In other words: they're wizards with incredible powers!

Belief

Transformation is your magic word. You use your power of imagination to create a better life for yourself, your family, or the world.

Brand message

Tomorrow is brighter than today and all your dreams can come true if you believe.

Brand voices
  • Mystical

  • Informed

  • Reassuring

Brands
  • Coca Cola

  • Disney

  • Dyson

  • Sony

  • Mastercard

  • RedBull

  • MAC

  • IBM

  • Snickers

3. The Hero

The hero is an idealized self. It's the person you want to be and love, the person you hope to be when you grow up. It's also the type of person who helps others kinda like a superhero, someone serving in the armed forces or your favourite soccer player. This archetype can be represented by any profession that involves helping others to achieve their goal such as sports.

Belief

Ambition is what will guide you to success. You want to be the best, and you work hard to achieve your goals. You never give up!

Brand message

We can make the world better. We have the grit and determination to outwork the rest.

Brand voices
  • Honest

  • Candid

  • Brave

Brands
  • Adidas

  • Nike

  • FedEx

  • Duracell

  • Jordan

  • Marvel

  • Gatorade

4. The Lover

The Lover likes to put others in the spotlight. They like to make others feel special again by putting them in the center of attention. The lover tries to win the heart of people through an emotional connection.

Belief

You give others the feeling of being special, because you care about them. 

Brand message

Your striking beauty is impossible to ignore

Brand voices
  • Sensual

  • Empathic

  • Soothing

Brands
  • Alfa Romeo

  • Chanel

  • Victoria's Secret

  • Hallmark

  • Godiva Chocolate

  • Marie Claire

5. The Jester

The Jester is a fun-loving person who likes to have a good time. They try to inject humor into every situation and take the serious with a grain of salt. It is important for them to use humor as a weapon to tackle serious matters. With a Jester you will never be bored.

Belief

You're fun and loving and you believe in  breaking through the monotony of everyday life. You make life more exciting.

Brand message

We’re here for a short time, not for a long time. Let your hair down and start living life.

Brand voices
  • Fun Loving

  • Playful

  • Optimistic

Brands
  • M&M's

  • Old Spice

  • Dollar Shave Club

  • Geico

  • Motley Fool

  • Ben & Jerry’s

  • Pepsi

  • The Onion

  • Mailchimp

6. The Everyperson

The everyperson is someone who is there for everyone and is there for everyone, regardless of gender, age, status or ethnicity. Inclusiveness is what they breathe. They love to communicate and are also known for being sociable. You can see them as a good neighbor.

Belief

You are down-to-earth and open. For you everyone counts because of your generous nature. 

Brand message

When we treat each other with honesty and friendliness we can live together in harmony

Brand voices
  • Sensual

  • Empathic

  • Soothing

Brands
  • Ikea

  • Target

  • Lynx

  • Wendy's

  • ASOS

  • Home Depot

  • eBay

7. The Caregiver

A Caregiver is someone who enjoys helping others. They're compassionate and want to be there when you need them, even if that means they're taking care of you until you're strong enough to take care of yourself.

Belief

You are kind, compassionate, and generous. You want people to feel safe around you. And you seem like they can count on you.

Brand message

Everyone deserves care and we must all strive to bestow service upon one another.

Brand voices
  • Caring

  • Warm

  • Reassuring

Brands
  • Unicef

  • WWF

  • TOMS

  • Volvo

  • Campbell’s Soup

  • Johnson & Johnson

  • Heinz

8. The Ruler

The Ruler is a natural born leader who inspires others to achieve success. They have the ability to create order out of chaos and always take the lead whenever necessary. With their inspiring vision, they lead you on the path to achieving your goals in life.

Belief

You set the standard in your market. With a clear and inspiring vision, you create order out of chaos. You point the way to prosperity.

Brand message

You are succesful in work and life. Reward your excellence and your achievements.

Brand voices
  • Commanding

  • Refined

  • Articulate

Brands
  • Louis Vuitton

  • Mercedes

  • Rolex

  • Barclays

  • Microsoft

  • Hugo Boss

  • American Express

  • Rolls Royce

  • Verizon

  • Qantas

9. The Creator

Creators are willing to take risks because they see possibilities in everything around them. They see new ways to do things better than before by applying their creativity and intelligence in new ways that others might not have thought about before. Creators can be found anywhere, like entrepreneurs that start companies, artists creating art, scientists inventing new technology and engineers designing new bridges.

Belief

When the situation falls short, you can conjure up ideas for new possibilities. You have the ability to see what could be, rather than what is.

Brand message

See potential everywhere and uncover originality with liberated imagination.

Brand voices
  • Inspirational

  • Daring

  • Provocative

Brands
  • Lego

  • Apple

  • Dollar Shave Club

  • Adobe

  • Crayola

  • Pinterest

  • Pixar

  • Nintendo

  • Tesla

  • Youtube

  • Burberry

10. The Innocent

The Innocent believes that people are inherently good and will never have bad intentions toward others. They can also be seen as idealists who believe in a perfect world, which can come across as naive. However, their desire to connect with others can lead to practical solutions that benefit everyone involved,  allowing them to participate in the solution rather than just sit back and do nothing.

Belief message

The most wholesome things in life are unadulterated and pure.

Belief

You have a sunny view of the world, which allows you to see the big picture. You seek connection by showing how it can be done.

Brand voices
  • Optimistic

  • Honest

  • Humble

Brands
  • Aveeno

  • Dove

  • Innocent

  • Whole Foods

  • Cottonelle

11. The Sage

The Sage is always in search of the truth. Knowledge, wisdom and truth are important pillars for them and they seek connection by sharing knowledge with others. They share knowledge by making it understandable and transparent for others.

Belief

You are the expert in your field. And you seek to connect with your customers by providing them with valuable information.

Brand message

Education is the path to wisdom and wisdom is where the answers lie.

Brand voices
  • Knowledgeable

  • Assured

  • Guiding

Brands
  • Google

  • BBC

  • CNN

  • University of Oxford

  • MIT

  • TED

  • PBS

  • Philips

12. The Explorer

The explorer is all about discovering as the name suggests. The explorer likes to wander and go places others  wouldn't go. They feel in tune with nature and show this by often being in nature. Rugged landscape, mountains, ice, you name it.Nothing will stop or deter them. Being the hrill seeker they are, they live for it.

Belief

You are always looking for new experiences. You explore new places, learn about different cultures, and make bold changes in your life.

Brand message

You only get one life. Get out and make it count. 

Brand voices
  • Exciting

  • Fearless

  • Daring

Brands
  • Patagonia

  • The Northface

  • Jeep

  • REI

  • Indiana Jones

  • Red Bull

The next time you’re thinking about your brand and how it fits in with the world, take a look at these archetypes.  I’m sure you can find one that matches your brand's identity perfectly.
If you need help with creating a new brand or if you want to take the strategy of an existing brand to the next level, we're here to help bring your brand to life.


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