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Updated: Aug 25, 2023

In today's highly competitive marketplace, brands must stand out and connect with their audience on a deeper level. One way to do this is by understanding and utilising brand archetypes.


Brand archetypes, a theory coined by psychologist Carl Jung in the 20th century, are universal patterns or roles in the collective unconscious. They are used by marketers and strategists worldwide to:

  • Create a solid emotional connection with consumers.

  • Create a consistent and recognisable brand identity that speaks to the customer's needs and values.

  • Showcase the relationship between an audience and a brand.

There are 12 archetypes, each portrayed as a character profile that a brand can fit into. These profiles are based on personality traits, principles, and goals. A brand may align strongly with one archetype or be better understood as a blend of two or three. In this case, one archetype is the "dominant" one, with the others as "supporting" archetypes.

Although all brands are businesses that we have a transactional relationship with, we feel a deeper connection and loyalty to some. With so much noise in the market, only brands that connect on a human level genuinely succeed. People want to be taken on a journey. So, as you develop your archetype, you can begin to weave a story around it.

Archetypes are the heartbeat of a brand. Aligning your brand with identifiable archetypes will help everyone quickly understand what you offer and how to interact with you. Almost all brands you bond with are built on a solid alignment to an archetype grounded in decades of psychological research. Brand archetypes are not a new concept, but they are underutilised. Refreshing right?! Not much is underutilised these days.

When examining consumer habits, there are various purchasing incentives - convenience, impulse, and connection. Connection is the most important factor when constructing brands, as it forms loyal bonds with an audience. What fuels connection? Desire. Humans crave certain feelings, which are often instinctive. Each archetype fuels a different desire. Understanding the brand's desire for the target audience gives us a clear strategy for connecting with them. We also form strong connections through stories, particularly when looking at Gen Z and millennial audiences. Each archetype has a goal, and we relate to a brand on a deeper level when it aligns with our goals.

It's important to note that these decisions aren't about personal preferences. Even if you're funny in real life, it doesn't mean that the Jester archetype will be effective with your audience. Identifying the archetype enables us to create a visual solution that showcases the brand's personality, gaining the audience's trust while helping the brand stay authentic and consistent. Most brands compete on features, benefits and price. Make a deeper connection with your audience, and you'll no longer be seen as a commodity.

According to Harvard Professor Gerald Zaltman, 95% of our purchasing decisions are made in the subconscious mind. Brands with robust archetypal personalities that connect emotionally with their audience have a massive advantage over their competition.

This series will look at all 12 Archetypes and what they mean for your brand!


The Innocent: This archetype represents purity, simplicity, and wholesomeness. Brands that embody this archetype include Dove and Simple. The Innocent allows their audience to feel content and optimistic about their lives. They aim to provide safety and happiness through clean, honest, straightforward products or services. Everyone should be celebrated for who they are, and Innocent brands pride themselves on simplicity. With a positive outlook, they see happiness and wonder at every turn and emulate that good feeling in their offerings. Their cheerful and inviting voice allows customers to form a powerful connection. Innocent brands often focus on sustainability, organic and natural materials, and wellness. Wholesome, honest and pure are some adjectives that describe them, with their priority being to spread optimism.

Driving Emotions for Your Audience

Happiness, Positivity, Honesty, Simplicity

What your Audience Fears

Deceit, Cynicism, Depravity, Controversy

Strategy for Innocent Brands

The target audience for Innocent archetypes responds to trustworthy and honest brands without making them feel negative through guilt or shame. Help your customers to see that they are making a positive choice and a significant impact on the world around them.


The Hero: This archetype represents courage, determination, and leadership. Brands that embody this archetype include Nike and Marvel. The Hero strives to change the world for the better. They help their audience be their best, and their key message is 'there's a way'. They aim to inspire hard work and growth. Heroes protect and inspire, emphasising the power of self-belief and transformation. They prioritise helping people reach their full potential, aiming to improve the world and promote self-worth while encouraging their customers. They are usually associated with bravery, a daring spirit, motivation and high quality.

Driving Emotions for Your Audience

Courage, Growth, Mastery, Empowered, Motivated, Inspired

What your Audience Fears

Weakness, Incompetence, Cowardice, Deterioration

Strategy for Hero Brands

The target audience for Hero brands responds to empowerment, support and inspiration for them to succeed. Help them to feel the brand’s confidence and belief in them. Reward and acknowledge their successes. Be brave, show a daring spirit and motivate others to have the courage to make a difference.


The Magician: This archetype represents transformation, creativity, and innovation. Brands that embody this archetype include Adobe and Disney. The Magician strives to improve customers' lives magically. They focus on a transformative journey that culminates in a moment of magic. Belief is vital, and they want their audience to commit to it. Magicians inspire and find solutions, allowing their audience to invest in the brand fully. Audiences are often fascinated by the brand persona and firmly attached to the magical transformation it promises. Magicians make dreams come true, and problems disappear. They are often charismatic and motivational with a motto of change, making their audience believe anything is possible. They have a strong desire to understand how things work and are usually productive. They have a product or service that offers a powerful transformation and encourages imagination and belief.

Driving Emotions for Your Audience

Transformation, Vision, Belief, Charismatic, Driven

What your Audience Fears

Doubt, Uncertainty, Stagnation, Imposter Syndrome

Strategy for Magician Brands

The target audience for Magician brands responds to the grand vision of the brand. Take your audience on a journey from one place to another, such as shy to confident. Help them believe that your brand will make their dreams come true.


The Regular Guy/Girl: This archetype represents relatability, accessibility, and down-to-earth nature. Brands that embody this archetype include Ikea and eBay. The Regular Guy/Girl makes their audience feel connected and offers a sense of belonging. They are friendly, reliable, and trustworthy and strive to be a brand of comfort. People turn to The Regular Guy/Girl because they can relate to them, which brings them comfort, as they are more of a friend than a leader. They are down to earth and motivated by being a welcoming face and often feel like home to their audience.

Driving Emotions for Your Audience

Equality, Belonging, Inclusion

What your Audience Fears

Standing out, Exclusion, Hostility

Strategy for Regular Guy/Girl Brands

The target audience for Regular Guy/Girl brands responds to feeling like they are understood and belong. Help them see that ‘it’s okay to be normal’ and communicate in a down-to-earth, family-friendly way. Help them to feel understood and safe. Be the friend they didn’t know they needed. Build connections and loyal communities.


The Lover: This archetype represents passion, romance, and connection. Brands that embody this archetype are Victoria's Secret and Galaxy. The Lover enables their audience to experience intimacy, closeness, and pleasure. They make their audience feel more attractive and provide a luxurious, premium experience. Lovers strive to inspire closer relationships, making others feel special and celebrating the joys of life. This could be through intimate moments or by evoking emotion. They seek beauty, elegance, and connection for themselves, others, and the world.

Driving Emotions for Your Audience

Intimacy, Indulgence, Closeness, Desire, Pleasure

What your Audience Fears

Rejection, Loneliness, Invisibility

Strategy for Lover Brands

The target audience for Lover brands responds to feeling desirable or attractive. Instil connection, intimacy, and heightened senses and communicate in emotive language. Create a luxurious customer experience that keeps them wanting more.


The Sage: This archetype represents wisdom, knowledge, and expertise. Brands that embody this archetype include Google and Wikipedia. The Sage strives to improve the world through life-long learning and inspiring others to use their knowledge. Driven by the desire for truth and wisdom, The Sage is a trusted source of information with values of authenticity, reliability, and influence. They are dedicated to spreading awareness, and their investigative and curious nature makes them a reliable source of information. They are seen as wise and calm, with great power in educating and informing their audience.

Driving Emotions for Your Audience

Wisdom, Intelligence, Influence

What your Audience Fears

Ignorance, Misinformation, Inaccuracy, Being outsmarted

Strategy for Sage Brands

The target audience for Sage brands responds to wisdom, intelligence and brands that present as experts in their field. Provide factual and reliable information. Communicate with vocabulary that is for your audience, not oversimplified. Illuminate and empower your audience and help them to think deeper about the world around them.


The Jester: This archetype represents fun, playfulness, and humour. Brands that embody this archetype include Skittles and Ben & Jerry's. The Jester allows their audience to experience joy and live in the moment. They strive to brighten customers' days with their upbeat and humorous persona. The Jester is there to lighten the mood and spread joy by connecting with their inner child. Fun and lighthearted, Jesters provide products, services, environments or experiences for people to enjoy. They often have a humorous, relatable tone of voice with playful and spontaneous energy, encouraging people to get in touch with their 'silly side' or 'inner child'.

Driving Emotions for Your Audience

Happiness, Joy, Positivity, Playful, Humorous, Connection

What your Audience Fears

Boredom, Dullness, Sadness, Negativity

Strategy for Jester Brands

The target audience for Jester brands responds to comedy, positivity and lightheartedness. They are seeking to be entertained and experience joy while interacting with the brand. Laughter is often an effective approach. Connect with your audience in a fun and playful way. Don't bore them. Be spontaneous and innovative.


The Outlaw: This archetype represents rebellion, nonconformity, and disruption. Brands that embody this archetype include Harley-Davidson and Red Bull. The Outlaw strives to make the world a better place. They stand for freedom and promote change by resisting conformity. Breaking the rules and opposing authority, they look for opportunities to create something new and better. Outlaws are often associated with edgy, rugged brands that introduce radical ideas and strive to shake things up.

Driving Emotions for Your Audience

Liberation, Freedom, Change, Cutting edge, Free spirit

What your Audience Fears

Conformity, Complacency, Dependence, Replication, Mainstream

Strategy for Outlaw Brands

The target audience for Outlaw brands responds to a rejection of normality. They’re looking for a way to express themselves and tread their path but still want to feel part of a community. Create wild and innovative solutions which allow your brand to stand out in its unique way rather than blending in with the other brands in the market. Strive to be one-of-a-kind and the only option in your niche.


The Caregiver: This archetype represents nurturance, compassion, and altruism. Brands that embody this archetype include Huggies and Tom's. The Caregiver allows the audience to feel protected and safe. The brand is in it for the long haul, offering help in a crisis and trying to prevent harm beforehand. Caregivers are motivated by compassion; their main goal is to make people feel secure and nurtured. They are generous and selfless, believing in fairness and equality for all. With a warm and gentle soul, your audience will feel welcomed and instantly at peace when they engage with your brand. Your calming presence lifts the negative weight on people's shoulders, helping them to feel protected and nurtured.

Driving Emotions for Your Audience

Support, Service, Gratitude

What your Audience Fears

Helplessness, Neglect, Anguish

Strategy for Caregiver Brands

The target audience for Caregiver brands responds to feeling supported and in safe hands. Show warmth and understanding while offering trustworthy help to those in need. Be a problem solver and be generous to avoid your audience feeling exploited or taken advantage of. Don’t use scare tactics in your marketing.


The Explorer: This archetype represents adventure, curiosity, and freedom. Brands that embody this archetype include National Geographic and Jeep. The Explorer inspires their audience to push themselves out of their comfort zone and into self-discovery. The brand champions adventure and exploring the unknown as a remedy to modern confinements. The Explorers are independent thinkers with solid visions encouraging others to join them. Seeking adrenaline, they find fulfilment through discovery and new experiences while promising their audience a sense of freedom. They value spontaneity, courage, open-mindedness, ambition, and self-discovery. Their motto is taking the road less travelled. They empower others to follow their path and step outside their comfort zones. Their down-to-earth nature also shows people that it's okay to make mistakes.

Driving Emotions for Your Audience

Adventure, Exploration, Self-discovery

What your Audience Fears

Confinement, Monotony, Boredom, Stagnation

Strategy for Explorer Brands

The target audience for Explorer brands responds to personal challenges, especially in the outdoors or in the unknown. Encourage your audience to take risks and seed adventure. Help them to find relief from the conformity of every day and break away from constraints. Be down to earth and show that it’s okay to make mistakes and learn from them regularly.


The Ruler: This archetype represents power, authority, and control. Brands that embody this archetype include Mercedes-Benz and Rolex. The Ruler creates a sense of control and power in their audience's lives, offering products and services that increase prosperity and success. They are confident, responsible, and expect the same from others. They are all about stability, control and taking power over situations to create prosperity and achieve success. Their motto is 'help others rise up', providing high-quality products and services with a luxurious feel. They often view themselves as role models, refusing to break the rules and creating prosperity. Ruler brands understand people's need to feel empowered and successful, making their audience feel important. They have an unmatched level of confidence, authority and power. They communicate luxury products and services are of high quality, making their audience members feel part of an exclusive club.

Driving Emotions for Your Audience

Power, Status, Success, Excellence, Stability

What your Audience Fears

Weakness, Insignificance, Failure

Strategy for Ruler Brands

The target audience for Ruler brands responds to feeling powerful and superior. Create a sense of status with your products and services, giving success-driven audience members a solid personal identity. Help them to find ways to show others how successful they are through exclusivity and luxury.


The Creator: This archetype represents innovation, originality, and self-expression. Brands that embody this archetype include Lego and Adobe. The Creator inspires their audience. Brands that embody this archetype are often seen as industry pioneers and known for their unique products and ideas. They appeal to customers who value creativity and individuality. They use creativity as a form of self-expression to show how they would like the world to be. They strive to create things with enduring value and recognition. Creators are the most imaginative, with a strong sense of innovation and a desire to create something meaningful and valuable. As visionaries, they help their consumers express their imagination. They have a solid drive to turn ideas into reality and find innovative ways. They want their products to be both functional and beautiful.

Driving Emotions for Your Audience

Inspiration, Originality, Self Expression, Vision, Empowered, Motivated

What your Audience Fears

Blending in, Stagnation, Mockery, Misunderstanding, Imitation, Small thinking

Strategy for Creator Brands

The target audience for Creator brands responds to feeling inspired to express themselves and like seeing the creative process celebrated. Communicate imaginatively. Be bold and innovative, encouraging others to find their creative spark. Create functional and beautiful content and products that wow your audience. Think outside the box and try new things constantly.


By understanding and utilising these archetypes, brands can tap into deeper emotional connections with their audience and create a consistent and recognisable brand identity. It's important to note that a brand can embody multiple archetypes and it's essential to find the one that aligns with its values, mission and target audience.

When crafting a brand story and creating marketing materials, it's crucial to keep these archetypes in mind to ensure that they are consistent with the brand's identity and resonate with the target audience. By doing so, brands can create a deeper emotional connection with their customers, ultimately leading to increased loyalty and brand advocacy.


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