3 Tips to Building a Quality Brand Reputation

With the volume of competition and platforms available today, gaining a reputation for exceptional products and services has to go beyond hard work and marketing strategies. Companies need to think of smart ways to stand out from the crowd, attract a loyal following and keep their good reputation. If you’re looking to boost your brand, consider the following three tips:

1. Focus on One or Two Strong Brand Messages

Your brand messages should incorporate your company’s personality, values and goals and allow you to relate to your target audience. Don’t overextend yourself by trying to reach everyone, but rather focus your resources on a high-quality message.

Think of Louis Vuitton. This brand focuses on messages of luxury and premium craftsmanship, and all of their marketing and advertising campaign show off this reputation. Similarly, Amway has a brand message focused on building small businesses and helping their employees maintain a healthy work and family life. Even though the company has faced negative press, Amway has used it to talk about how their company works and how they’re working toward a greater cause.

Pick out a couple of key principles and incorporate them throughout your products, marketing and communication campaigns.

2. Incorporate the Latest Trends and Technology

Quality is mostly about ensuring that your products and services perform the best in the market; using modern technology is crucial in achieving this. Your company must remain up to date with technology that is fast tracking your operational, advertising and marketing processes. You also need to keep up with what’s setting your brand apart and keeping it fresh in your customers’ minds.

Apple serves as a good example of this. They pride themselves on being the biggest innovators in the industry by coming up with new and better ways to develop their smartphones, tablets, laptops and computers. As a representative of modern technology, they have become associated with high-quality products and are the leaders in their field.

Research new trends, such as virtual reality, social media and audience targeting techniques, to implement across your products, marketing and other processes. This enables your brand to stand out as progressive while also helping you fine tune your customer experience.

3. Be Aware of Competitors and Market Environment

Who you’re up against plays a huge part in how your brand is perceived by your audience. To maintain a good standing in your industry, you need to be aware of what your competitors are up to and the overall market environment in your industry. For example, you need to know what your audience needs and wants are and how much they are willing to spend.

Once you know what the market is like in your industry as well as who your target audience is, you can adjust your products and marketing campaigns to meet their needs. Ensure these needs are incorporated throughout all of your brand campaigns so you can maintain a trustworthy reputation.


Naomi Bagga is a young media professional living in Australia. She works at UK-based digital partner marketing firm, Performance Horizon. She is passionate about music, entertainment, freelance writing and the changing media landscape, and loves photography, fashion, travel and a good cup of coffee.

Infographic: The Power of Color in Branding

Many of us like to believe that we are unaffected by branding and advertising. However, with the vast quantity of messages we receive through various media formats throughout the day, it is almost impossible to completely avoid coming into contact with one brand or another. Ensuring that their message is effectively communicated to a certain demographic or target market is one of the primary goals of a brand, and in such a competitive environment every effort is made to utilize any factor that may result in an advantage being gained.

This infographic by Brushstrokes is aimed at increasing awareness of the importance of color in branding, and how our decisions can be influenced by colour. For example, studies have indicated that purple is a colour that is generally more attractive to females. Therefore a masculine brand would rarely use this. We hope to inform brand owners, and potential brand owners, on how to match brand personality with color, as well as educating readers about why certain brands use certain colors.

What are logos are you drawn to? Do you have any tendencies to favor one color over another? Share your experience in the comments below!

infographic color in branding

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Infographic: Can Celebrity Endorsements Influence Sales?

Celebrity endorsement has always been seen as a viable option for companies to promote their products. Many companies believe having their products associated with a popular celebrity will help drive sales. Consumers seem unsure of their influence with 51% stating that celebrity endorsement makes little to no difference on their purchasing decisions.

While the ROI on many marketing techniques is measurable, ROI on celebrity endorsements can be more difficult to quantify. There are many potential benefits associated with celebrity endorsements but there are also many potential pitfalls that need to be monitored carefully.

These pitfalls are created when you rely solely on one celebrity to promote your product. The reputation of your company is potentially in the hands of one person whose image can change overnight as a result of some celebrity scandal. Is it really worth running this risk?

As a result of this, the success of celebrity endorsements vary greatly and it really is a case of some working and others not. The importance of choosing an appropriate celebrity is paramount to minimizing the risk of negative publicity for your company. It is worth keeping in mind that the risks associated with celebrity endorsement can never be nullified completely, and reacting to the negative impact of celebrity endorsement will need to be dealt with carefully.

infographic celebrity endorsements

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This infographic from Sign A Rama Toronto provides you with the statistics on how influential celebrity endorsement really is, as well as the stories behind the successful and unsuccessful celebrity endorsements throughout the years.

What are the best examples of celebrity testimonials you know? What are the worst?

How to Increase Your Brand’s Credibility

brand credibility

Building trust with your consumers is essential for success in business. Trust leads to repeat business and loyal customers, along with increased sales and brand awareness. That trust, however, takes time, hard work, and consistency to earn.

It is important that business owners educate themselves on how to establish and maintain trust from their customers and community. Here are a few strategic tips that will lead to a strong, positive brand reputation.

1. Deliver Consistent Levels of Service

Customers feel comforted when they know what to expect from a business. In order to provide that to your consumers, every part of your brand should be consistent. This means your employees’ practices, answers, and service need to be in line with your brand. If your promise to your customers is that your customer service department will respond to inquiries within 24 hours, your employees must deliver on those expectations.

Amazon does a great job with this. It has been ranked as one of the top online retailers for good reason. If you need quick service and hit the “Call Me Now” button, an Amazon employee will virtually call you immediately using the information you provided. Customers expect a quick, efficient callback when shopping on Amazon.com.

2. Be Honest

Honesty really is the best policy especially when it comes to business. It is extremely important that your consumers feel a high level of honesty when buying your products or enlisting your services. They need to know that the security of their personal information is of utmost importance, and your business is taking the proper steps to avoid a security breach. If your customers’ information does fall in the wrong hands, notify them immediately. If they find out about it in another way, your reputation will be tarnished, and it will be extremely difficult to earn it back.

One company that failed terribly at being honest after a security breach is the very popular cosmetic company, Lime Crime. They went through a security breach where their customers’ financial information was compromised. Instead of being open and honest about the situation and alerting their customers so they could cancel credit cards and alert their banks, Lime Crime continued with business as usual. Many consumers lost thousands of dollars, and the CEO waited months before coming clean.

3. Act Immediately

If there has been a security breach that puts your consumers’ personal and financial information at risk, honest and immediate action will let your customers know that you are on top of the issue and doing everything possible to ensure a quick resolution.

A company that exemplified fast action was Barnes & Noble. In September of 2012, the bookseller giant had their credit card pin pad hacked and it was suspected that 63 of their stores were affected. Barnes & Noble contacted the Department of Justice for assistance and guidance, contacted credit card companies to alert them of possible unauthorized charges, and soon after, under the guidance of the Department of Justice, alerted their customers of the breach. The bookstore also removed 7,000 pin pads to prevent the problem from continuing. By acting quickly and seeking professional assistance, the retailer was able to maintain the trust of their customers and save other customers from theft.

In the unfortunate event that you do experience a security breach at your business, know that you and your customers are in good hands by enlisting the services of LifeLock. Visit its business reviews to see if its services are right for you.


Susan Finch is a freelance writer with a passion for travel and helping small businesses find their online voice through content marketing, blogging and beyond. She can be found at BySusanFinch.com.

Branding Basics for Businesses: How to Find Your Voice & Stick To It

branding basics for businesses

The December 2014 Webs Small Business Digital Trends Survey revealed that 63 percent of small businesses use digital tools to market to customers. When marketing online, businesses must present a coherent look and feel to successfully connect with the target audience. Below are creative ways to showcase your company’s voice, an important, yet often overlooked, part of developing a strong brand.

Understanding Voice

Voice refers to more than just the tone you use to communicate with your audience; it’s the personality of your brand, as Buffer notes. All of the elements that show who you are — colors, logo, brand aesthetics and overall style — combine to become your voice. If your brand appeals to youths, you might have an informal or casual voice; or if you’re a B2B business, a formal voice would be more appropriate.

These elements have to match. A business that has adopted the formal voice and B2B target audience should stay away from select bright colors like hot pink or electric yellow for the logo, but a business that targets adolescent girls, would likely find those colors effective.

Once you come up with the basic elements of voice, you must apply them consistently and routinely across all of your social channels to build brand trust and connection. If you experiment with different voices, you could potentially lose interest from the people you’d already won over.

Using Your Voice to Engage and Inform

When you can demonstrate a clear voice, and use that voice to engage and inform your target audience, you nurture the type of trust that leads to sales. Moreover, your fans will be talking about you and will mention your product or service as the solution, organically growing your brand’s reach.

To engage and inform without shilling, focus on creating and content that is true to your voice and helpful to your target audience. Gather Content has examples of how to engage users using different voices. Using these tips, think through how sample customer responses, Facebook posts or article headlines would be perceived coming from you. Once you’ve developed some prototypes, create and share content in your voice across your channels.

Businesses Doing it Right

It’s always helpful to have example of business that are creating and sharing engaging content in clear voices.

One company doing this well is Internet security and identity theft protection company Lifelock. On its Facebook page, Lifelock posts notifications of data breaches and scam warnings to help its fans stay safe by being informed. Sure, the company occasionally reminds fans of the service it provides. However, these posts are far outweighed by the other content produced and shared.

Another classic example is Apple. A marketing classic, their Think Different campaign showed iconic geniuses and historic figures from Albert Einstein to Cesar Chavez with the words “Think Different.” There were no references to Apple computers (again, no selling). But the ads suggested that Apple created different products to meet the needs of gifted people.


Lindsey is a regular blog contributor, social networking maven and research professional who makes a living freelancing and running a small business. She holds advanced degrees in creative writing and information science and recently worked as the digital repository coordinator at Framingham State University.

Marketing Idea #202: Pretend You’re a Celebrity

marketing ideas be a celebrity

LOL. From YouTube:

“On the night of July 27th, 2012, a huge prank was pulled in New York City and this is the video of what took place. Brett Cohen came up with a crazy idea to fool thousands of pedestrians walking the streets of Times Square into thinking he was a huge celebrity, and it worked! Not only did it work, it caused quite a stir. This social experiment, of sorts, makes a profound statement about how modern culture is so attracted to pop culture, without any real credibility needed.”

No kidding. Enjoy!

Matt

Branding 101: 12 Brand Archetypes

Marketing Ideas 12 Brand Archetypes

What is a brand archetype? Archetypes are a concept originally conceived by famed Swiss psychologist, Carl Jung. In marketing, a brand archetype is a genre you assign to your brand, based upon symbolism. The idea behind using brand archetypes is to anchor your brand against something iconic—something already embedded within the conscious and subconscious of humanity. In the minds of both the brand owner and the public, aligning with a brand archetype makes the brand easier to identify.

Remember: You have a personal brand you show to the world. You have the power to define your personal brand, just as you define an organization’s brand.

Comment! As you read through these 12 brand archetypes, decide which applies to you or your organization. Share your findings in the comments!

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Brand Archetype #1: The 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

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Brand Archetype #2: The 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

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Brand Archetype #3: The 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

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Brand Archetype #4: The Ruler

Quote: “He who is to be a good ruler must have first been ruled.” ~ Aristotle

Motto: Power isn’t everything, it’s the only thing.
Driving desire: control
Goal: create a prosperous, successful family or community
Strategy: exercise power
Greatest fear: chaos, being overthrown
Weakness: being authoritarian, unable to delegate, out of touch with reality
Talent: responsibility, leadership

Also known as: boss, leader, aristocrat, king, queen, politician, role model, manager or administrator

Ruler archetypes in the wild:

  • high-status product or service used by powerful people to enhance their power
  • make people more organized
  • offer a lifetime guarantee
  • empower people to maintain or enhances their grip on power
  • has a regulatory or protective function
  • moderate to high pricing
  • differentiate from populist brands or clear leaders in the field
  • market leaders offering a sense of security and stability in a chaotic world

Archetype examples: IBM, Microsoft

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Brand Archetype #5: The Creator

Quote: “Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.” ~ George Bernard Shaw

Motto: If you can imagine it, it can be done.
Driving desire: to create things of enduring value
Goal: to realize a vision
Greatest fear: mediocre vision or execution
Strategy: develop artistic control and skill
Task: to create culture, express own vision
Weakness: perfectionism, bad solutions
Talent: creativity and imagination

Also known as: artist, inventor, innovator, muse, musician, writer or dreamer

Creator archetypes in the wild:

  • promote self-expression, give customers choices and options, help foster innovation or is artistic in design
  • creative fields like marketing, public relations, the arts, or technological innovation
  • differentiate from “do-it-all” brands that leave little room for the imagination
  • “do-it-yourself and save money” approach
  • customer has the time to be creative
  • organization with a creative culture

Archetype examples: Lego, Sony, Crayola

marketing ideas brand archetype divider

Brand Archetype #6: The Caregiver

Quote: “When you’re a caregiver, you need to realize that you’ve got to take care of yourself, because—not only are you going to have to rise to the occasion to help someone else—but you have to model for the next generation.” ~ Naomi Judd

Motto: Love your neighbor as yourself.
Driving desire: to protect and care for others
Goal: to help others
Greatest fear: selfishness and ingratitude
Strategy: doing things for others
Weakness: martyrdom, being exploited
Talent: compassion, generosity

Also known as: saint, altruist, parent, helper, supporter

Caregiver archetypes in the wild:

  • give customers a competitive advantage
  • support families (products from fast-food to minivans) or is associated with nurturing (e.g. cookies, teaching materials)
  • serve the public sector, e.g. health care, education, aid programs and other caregiving fields
  • help people stay connected with and care about others
  • help people care for themselves
  • likely a non-profit or charitable cause

Archetype examples: Mother Teresa, Johnson’s Baby Shampoo

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Brand Archetype #7: The Magician

Quote: “Dream no small dream; it lacks magic. Dream large. Then make the dream real.” ~ Donald Wills Douglas

Motto: I make things happen.
Driving desire: understanding the fundamental laws of the universe
Goal: to make dreams come true
Greatest fear: unintended negative consequences
Strategy: develop a vision and live by it
Weakness: becoming manipulative
Talent: finding win-win solutions, making the complex appear simple

Also known as: visionary, catalyst, inventor, charismatic leader, shaman, healer, medicine man

Magician archetypes in the wild:

  • promise to transform customers
  • product or service is transformative
  • may have a new-age quality
  • consciousness-expanding
  • user-friendly or contemporary
  • spiritual connotations
  • medium to high pricing

Archetype examples: Disney, Dreamscape Multimedia, Oil of Olay

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Brand Archetype #8: The 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

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Brand Archetype #9: The Outlaw

Quote: “Love is the ultimate outlaw. It just won’t adhere to any rules. The most any of us can do is sign on as its accomplice.” ~ Tom Robbins

Motto: Rules are made to be broken.
Driving desire: revenge or revolution
Goal: to overturn what isn’t working
Greatest fear: to be powerless or ineffectual
Strategy: disrupt, destroy, or shock
Weakness: crossing over to the dark side, crime
Talent: outrageousness, radical freedom

Also known as: rebel, revolutionary, wild man, the misfit, or iconoclast

Outlaw archetypes in the wild:

  • appeal to customers or employees who feel disenfranchised from society
  • help retain values that are threatened by emerging ones
  • pave the way for revolutionary new attitudes
  • low to moderate pricing
  • break with industry conventions

Archetype examples: Harley-Davidson, Apple

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Brand Archetype #10: The Lover

Quote: “A true lover always feels in debt to the one he loves.” ~ Ralph W. Sockman

Motto: You’re the only one.
Driving desire: intimacy and experience
Goal: being in a relationship with the people, work and surroundings they love
Greatest fear: being alone, a wallflower, unwanted, unloved
Strategy: to become more and more physically and emotionally attractive
Weakness: outward-directed desire to please others at risk of losing own identity
Talent: passion, gratitude, appreciation, and commitment

Also known as: partner, friend, intimate, enthusiast, sensualist, spouse, team-builder

Lover archetypes in the wild:

  • help people belong, find friends or partners
  • help people have a good time
  • low to moderate pricing
  • freewheeling, fun-loving organizational structure
  • differentiate from self-important, overconfident brands

Archetype examples: Victoria’s Secret, Lady Godiva

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Brand Archetype #11: The 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

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Brand Archetype #12: The Regular Guy/Girl

Quote: “I understand the common man because I understand me in that regard, at least.” ~ Vince McMahon

Motto: All men and women are created equal.
Driving desire: connecting with others
Goal: to belong
Greatest fear: to be left out or to stand out from the crowd
Strategy: develop ordinary solid virtues, be down to earth, the common touch
Weakness: losing one’s own self in an effort to blend in or for the sake of superficial relationships
Talent: realism, empathy, lack of pretense

Also known as: good old boy, everyman, the person next door, the realist, the working stiff, the solid citizen, the good neighbor, the silent majority

Regular Guy or Girl archetypes in the wild:

  • giving people a sense of belonging
  • offers everyday functionality
  • low to moderate pricing
  • solid companies with a down-home organizational culture
  • differentiate from elitist or higher-priced brands

Archetype examples: Home Depot, Wendy’s

Not sure which brand archetype applies to you or your organization?

» Take the Marketing Ideas 101 Brand Archetype Quiz! «

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Reference
Peña-Bickley, J. PostDigital, 2007. http://joannapenabickley.typepad.com/on/2007/06/on_the_12_arche.html. Source: Archetypes, via BrandHouse, Denmark.

Would changing your business name help your brand?

Changing your organization’s name to better suit your market can be powerful. So many business owners feel they have built equity into their brand name. While this is true to some extent, the extent of that equity is often over-valued. Changing the name to something that better reflects your mission in the world can yield long-term benefits to the brand you are defining.

Besides, changing the name of your organization is an event that must be publicized, giving you another reason to reach out to your clients, prospects and the marketplace!

Would crafting a new business name help your brand?

Brand Archetype: Caregiver

Quote: “When you’re a caregiver, you need to realize that you’ve got to take care of yourself, because—not only are you going to have to rise to the occasion to help someone else—but you have to model for the next generation.” ~ Naomi Judd

Motto: Love your neighbor as yourself.
Driving desire: to protect and care for others
Goal: to help others
Greatest fear: selfishness and ingratitude
Strategy: doing things for others
Weakness: martyrdom, being exploited
Talent: compassion, generosity

Also known as: saint, altruist, parent, helper, supporter

Caregiver archetypes in the wild:

  • give customers a competitive advantage
  • support families (products from fast-food to minivans) or is associated with nurturing (e.g. cookies, teaching materials)
  • serve the public sector, e.g. health care, education, aid programs and other caregiving fields
  • help people stay connected with and care about others
  • help people care for themselves
  • likely a non-profit or charitable cause

Archetype examples: Mother Teresa, Johnson’s Baby Shampoo

See all 12 brand archetypes

marketing ideas brand archetype divider

Brand Archetype: Lover

Quote: “A true lover always feels in debt to the one he loves.” ~ Ralph W. Sockman

Motto: You’re the only one.
Driving desire: intimacy and experience
Goal: being in a relationship with the people, work and surroundings they love
Greatest fear: being alone, a wallflower, unwanted, unloved
Strategy: to become more and more physically and emotionally attractive
Weakness: outward-directed desire to please others at risk of losing own identity
Talent: passion, gratitude, appreciation, and commitment

Also known as: partner, friend, intimate, enthusiast, sensualist, spouse, team-builder

Lover archetypes in the wild:

  • help people belong, find friends or partners
  • help people have a good time
  • low to moderate pricing
  • freewheeling, fun-loving organizational structure
  • differentiate from self-important, overconfident brands

Archetype examples: Victoria’s Secret, Lady Godiva

See all 12 brand archetypes

marketing ideas brand archetype divider

Brand Archetype: Creator

Quote: “Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.” ~ George Bernard Shaw

Motto: If you can imagine it, it can be done.
Driving desire: to create things of enduring value
Goal: to realize a vision
Greatest fear: mediocre vision or execution
Strategy: develop artistic control and skill
Task: to create culture, express own vision
Weakness: perfectionism, bad solutions
Talent: creativity and imagination

Also known as: artist, inventor, innovator, muse, musician, writer or dreamer

Creator archetypes in the wild:

  • promote self-expression, give customers choices and options, help foster innovation or is artistic in design
  • creative fields like marketing, public relations, the arts, or technological innovation
  • differentiate from “do-it-all” brands that leave little room for the imagination
  • “do-it-yourself and save money” approach
  • customer has the time to be creative
  • organization with a creative culture

Archetype examples: Lego, Sony, Crayola

See all 12 brand archetypes

marketing ideas brand archetype divider

Brand Archetype: Regular Guy/Girl

Quote: “I understand the common man because I understand me in that regard, at least.” ~ Vince McMahon

Motto: All men and women are created equal.
Driving desire: connecting with others
Goal: to belong
Greatest fear: to be left out or to stand out from the crowd
Strategy: develop ordinary solid virtues, be down to earth, the common touch
Weakness: losing one’s own self in an effort to blend in or for the sake of superficial relationships
Talent: realism, empathy, lack of pretense

Also known as: good old boy, everyman, the person next door, the realist, the working stiff, the solid citizen, the good neighbor, the silent majority

Regular Guy or Girl archetypes in the wild:

  • giving people a sense of belonging
  • offers everyday functionality
  • low to moderate pricing
  • solid companies with a down-home organizational culture
  • differentiate from elitist or higher-priced brands

Archetype examples: Home Depot, Wendy’s

See all 12 brand archetypes

marketing ideas brand archetype divider

Brand Archetype: Outlaw

Quote: “Love is the ultimate outlaw. It just won’t adhere to any rules. The most any of us can do is sign on as its accomplice.” ~ Tom Robbins

Motto: Rules are made to be broken.
Driving desire: revenge or revolution
Goal: to overturn what isn’t working
Greatest fear: to be powerless or ineffectual
Strategy: disrupt, destroy, or shock
Weakness: crossing over to the dark side, crime
Talent: outrageousness, radical freedom

Also known as: rebel, revolutionary, wild man, the misfit, or iconoclast

Outlaw archetypes in the wild:

  • appeal to customers or employees who feel disenfranchised from society
  • help retain values that are threatened by emerging ones
  • pave the way for revolutionary new attitudes
  • low to moderate pricing
  • break with industry conventions

Archetype examples: Harley-Davidson, Apple

See all 12 brand archetypes

marketing ideas brand archetype divider

Brand Archetype: Magician

Quote: “Dream no small dream; it lacks magic. Dream large. Then make the dream real.” ~ Donald Wills Douglas

Motto: I make things happen.
Driving desire: understanding the fundamental laws of the universe
Goal: to make dreams come true
Greatest fear: unintended negative consequences
Strategy: develop a vision and live by it
Weakness: becoming manipulative
Talent: finding win-win solutions, making the complex appear simple

Also known as: visionary, catalyst, inventor, charismatic leader, shaman, healer, medicine man

Magician archetypes in the wild:

  • promise to transform customers
  • product or service is transformative
  • may have a new-age quality
  • consciousness-expanding
  • user-friendly or contemporary
  • spiritual connotations
  • medium to high pricing

Archetype examples: Disney, Dreamscape Multimedia, Oil of Olay

See all 12 brand archetypes

marketing ideas brand archetype divider

Brand Archetype: Ruler

Quote: “He who is to be a good ruler must have first been ruled.” ~ Aristotle

Motto: Power isn’t everything, it’s the only thing.
Driving desire: control
Goal: create a prosperous, successful family or community
Strategy: exercise power
Greatest fear: chaos, being overthrown
Weakness: being authoritarian, unable to delegate, out of touch with reality
Talent: responsibility, leadership

Also known as: boss, leader, aristocrat, king, queen, politician, role model, manager or administrator

Ruler archetypes in the wild:

  • high-status product or service used by powerful people to enhance their power
  • make people more organized
  • offer a lifetime guarantee
  • empower people to maintain or enhances their grip on power
  • has a regulatory or protective function
  • moderate to high pricing
  • differentiate from populist brands or clear leaders in the field
  • market leaders offering a sense of security and stability in a chaotic world

Archetype examples: IBM, Microsoft

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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marketing ideas brand archetype divider