Brand Archetype: Hero

Quote: “A hero has faced it all; he need not be undefeated, but he must be undaunted.” ~ Andrew Bernstein

Motto: Where there’s a will, there’s a way.
Driving desire: to prove one’s worth through courageous acts
Goal: expert mastery in a way that improves the world
Greatest fear: weakness, vulnerability, being a “chicken”
Strategy: to be as strong and competent as possible
Weakness: arrogance, always needing another battle to fight
Talent: competence and courage

Also known as: warrior, crusader, rescuer, superhero, savior, soldier, dragon slayer, the winner and the team player

Hero archetypes in the wild:

  • inventions or innovations that will have a major impact on the world
  • help people be all they can be
  • solve a major social problem or encourage others to do so
  • have clear opponent you want to beat
  • underdog or challenger brands
  • products and services that are strong and help people do tough jobs exceptionally well
  • differentiate from competitors with problems following through or keeping their promises (“brand enemy” positioning)
  • customers see themselves as good, moral citizens

Archetype examples: Nike, Superman

See all 12 brand archetypes

marketing ideas brand archetype divider

Brand Archetype: Explorer

Quote: “Exploration is really the essence of the human spirit.” ~ Frank Borman

Motto: Don’t fence me in.
Driving desire: the freedom to find out who you are through exploring the world
Goal: to experience a better, more authentic, more fulfilling life
Biggest fear: getting trapped, conformity, and inner emptiness
Strategy: journey, seeking out and experiencing new things, escape from boredom
Weakness: aimless wandering, becoming a misfit
Talent: autonomy, ambition, being true to one’s soul

Also known as: seeker, iconoclast, wanderer, individualist, pilgrim

Explorer archetypes in the wild:

  • helps people feel free, nonconformist or pioneering
  • rugged and sturdy or for use in the great outdoors or in dangerous settings
  • can be purchased from a catalog or on the Internet
  • help people express their individuality
  • can be purchased for consumption on the go
  • differentiate from a successful regular guy/gal brand or conformist brand
  • culture that creates new and exciting products or experiences

Archetype examples: Indiana Jones, Jeep, Marlboro

See all 12 brand archetypes

marketing ideas brand archetype divider

Brand Archetype: Innocent

Quote: “Innocence is always unsuspicious.” ~ Joseph Joubert

Motto: We are young and free.
Driving desire: to get to paradise
Goal: to be happy
Greatest fear: to be punished for doing something bad or wrong
Strategy: to do things right
Weakness: boring for all their naive innocence
Talent: faith and optimism

Also known as: utopian, traditionalist, naive, mystic, saint, romantic, dreamer

Innocent archetypes in the wild:

  • offer a simple solution to a problem
  • associate with goodness, morality, simplicity, nostalgia or childhood
  • low or moderate pricing
  • companies with straightforward values
  • differentiate from brands with poor reputations

Archetype examples: Dove soap, Ben & Jerry’s ice cream

See all 12 brand archetypes

marketing ideas brand archetype divider

Brand Archetype: Jester

Quote: “Cheerfulness is the best promoter of health and is as friendly to the mind as to the body.” ~ Joseph Addison

Motto: You only live once.
Driving desire: to live in the moment with full enjoyment
Goal: to have a great time and lighten up the world
Greatest fear: being bored or boring others
Strategy: play, make jokes, be funny
Weakness: frivolity, wasting time
Talent: joy

Also known as: fool, trickster, joker, practical joker or comedian

Jester archetypes in the wild:

  • give people a sense of belonging
  • help people have a good time
  • low to moderate pricing
  • fun-loving companies
  • differentiate from self-important, overconfident established brands

Archetype examples: Motley Fool, Muppets

See all 12 brand archetypes

marketing ideas brand archetype divider

Brand Archetype: Sage

Quote: “The sage wears clothes of coarse cloth but carries jewels in his bosom; He knows himself but does not display himself; He loves himself but does not hold himself in high esteem.” ~ Lao Tzu

Motto: The truth will set you free.
Driving desire: to find truth
Goal: to use intelligence and analysis to understand the world
Biggest fear: being duped, misled—or ignorance.
Strategy: seeking out information and knowledge; self-reflection and understanding thought processes
Weakness: can study details forever and never act
Talent: wisdom, intelligence

Also known as: expert, scholar, detective, advisor, thinker, philosopher, academic, researcher, thinker, planner, professional, mentor, teacher, contemplative, guru

Sage archetypes in the wild:

  • provide expertise or information to customers
  • encourage customers to think
  • based on new scientific findings or esoteric knowledge
  • supported by research-based facts
  • differentiate from others whose quality or performance is suspect

Archetype examples: BBC, CNN, Gallup, PBS

See all 12 brand archetypes

marketing ideas brand archetype divider