The Power of Brand Archetypes

Creating and nurturing a brand personality is essential to business. But what constitutes a “brand personality” and how can something intangible have a personality?

A brand personality is what the consumer relates to. It’s an added-value aside from the company’s functional benefits. Let’s be honest, people don’t buy because they go through your features and benefits; they buy from you because of the feeling you give them and from how they perceive your message.

“Your brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room”
— Jeff Bezos, Founder of Amazon


Accurately understanding brand personality is important to brand success. A successful marketing strategy should host a brand personality that is relatable to its target customer and understanding brand personalities allows companies to deliver consistent messages and experiences that connects with consumers, leaving a deeper and more sustainable impression. We can all recall brands that consistently evoke some sense of personality — Dove, Coca Cola, McDonalds. They each have a human component that helps people relate to their brand and, ultimately, become brand loyalists.

Throughout history, many of the same characters — archetypes — appear in literature, mythology and folklore. Archetypes are timeless and universal which allows companies to develop a brand using the same techniques used to define ourselves. Using archetypes to develop visuals and messages evokes certain feelings by the customer.

Brand personality characteristics often suggest a brand’s latent appeal. When identified and cultivated they can effectively guide the creative tone of communication. For example, Mercedes is “confident” and “prestigious” — noted by it’s tag line “The Best or Nothing.” BMW is more “sexy” and “well crafted,” it is “Designed for Driving Pleasure.” Both brands have different personalities and, ultimately, different brand strategies.

Without further ado, here is a compilation of the 12 archetypes and corresponding brand campaigns.

The Innocent
Motto: Do the right thing
Ideals: Pure, simple, honest

The Everyman
Motto: All men and women are created equal
Ideals: Humble, hardworking, connect with others

The Hero
Motto: Where there’s a will, there’s a way
Ideals: Improve the world, courageous

The Caregiver
Motto: Love thy neighbour as thyself
Ideals: Protect, nurture, provide

The Explorer
Motto: Don’t fence me in
Ideals: Freedom, adventure

The Rebel
Motto: Rules are made to be broken
Ideals: Revolution, Nonconformity, Maverick

The Lover
Motto: Guilty pleasures
Ideals: Intimacy, Pleasure, Physical

The Creator
Motto: If you can dream it, you can do it
Ideals: Craftsmanship, Value

The Entertainer
Motto: Live in the moment
Ideals: Humor, Enjoyment, Fun

The Philosopher
Motto: The truth will set you free
Ideals: Intelligence, Truth, Diligent

The Magician
Motto: Achieving the unimaginable
Ideals: Transformation, Supernatural

The Ruler
Motto: Power isn’t everything, it’s the only thing
Ideals: Influence, Prosperity, Assertive

What are some of your favorite brands and ad campaigns? Let us know by responding below.

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