Determining the Right Brand Archetype for Your Organization

Table of Contents

The great Greek Philosopher, Plato, was behind the concept of. It merges oneself to the environment and enables consumers to personify a particular brand’s product, campaign, or service. On the other hand, Carl Jung believed that humans use symbols to represent their ideas of their world.[1] Even Mythologist Joseph Campbell explored how these archetypes provided an inherent need for meaning through various mediums like arts, literature, pop culture, and more.[2] Today, archetypes are sometimes represented often as book or movie characters.

It’s important to remember that archetype branding isn’t just about the audience you are targeting. It’s also about identifying and appealing to the target market’s desires.   For example, appealing to a typical suburban youth who has a well-known set of personality types might make the most sense with the Outlaw or Hero brand archetypes. Appeal to their desire to not be like everyone else.

Your industry will often have a typical brand personality your audience might expect. Those in the healthcare sector are seen as The Caregiver, for example. Although differentiation is key to a strategic brand, communication to would-be healthcare customers, going too far to have an Outlaw or a Jester would not make much sense.

As you plan your brand strategy, consider having a primary archetype enhanced or differentiated with another archetype theme.  For example, an organization might be in the health care industry, but they are changing up how things are done for the better.  A mix of the primary archetype being the Caregiver but with some Outlaw elements to indicate you are care but aren’t going to do things the traditional way.  Or a mix of Caregiver and Hero might make sense if your organization will go above and beyond what a customer typically expects.

Remember that humans are social beings and are built to connect and communicate. That is why businesses, organizations, and products need to focus on archetypes to distinguish themselves from competitors and connect with their target consumers.

It’s also important to understand that brands can change over time and evolve from one archetype to another.  The Apple brand is an excellent example of this evolution.  Apple first started as a type of Magician with its unique technology and innovation.

Then it became the Outlaw as it fought Microsoft’s and IBM’s market dominance.  Their infamous 1984 Super Bowl commercial is a perfect example of a marketing campaign with the Outlaw branding.  Next, they focused on the Creative archetype going after designers and more creative types.  One could argue they are now focusing on the Caregiver archetype in some areas, focusing on health and technology for personal well-being (e.g., the Apple watch).

After reading this book, are you still uncertain which brand archetype applies to you or your organization? The first step to improve an organization’s brand appeal is discovering which, from all of the 12 brand archetypes, determine which would you be? It is quick, easy, and fun! Here is the link to find out!

This questionnaire will only take you a few minutes to complete and you will get your results instantly!

[1] MacDonald, Angela (2002 March) “How Plato and Jung Made Me a Better Coach” Retrieved from

[2] Smith, Vanessa N. (2018 February 23) “The Archetype of Initiation: A Physical Manifestation Through Psychically Co-Created Trauma” Retrieved from