Brand archetypes

How to Use Brand Archetypes Cheat Sheet: 12 Examples of Archetypal Branding

Welcome to part two of us reviewing the brand archetypes. In the last article, we took a detailed look at all 12 Jungian archetypes and gave you a few suggestions on how you can choose one for your business. So, did you find the one that works best for you? Or maybe two combined?

This was just the first step.

Upon defining the brand archetypes many brand owners have the same question: well, that’s a new piece of branding I did there – what do I do with it? Some businesses end up completely forgetting they ever chose the archetype whatsoever, as they do not understand how exactly they can work with it, or even make it work for them.

So, let’s find out how are brand archetypes used?

From the brand archetype to the brand personality

In its essence brand archetype is a stereotype of a character that is built-in deep into our psyche, and is derived from years of human experience. It’s a general notion which later on needs to be defined into a brand personality.

Brand personality is a set of human characteristics that can be used to describe a certain brand. How do people perceive a brand, what traits can a specific customer relate to when using a brand? These traits are expressed as adjectives that answer the mentioned questions. For example, youthful, kind, elegant, manly, etc.

If you use your archetype and contour it into a full personality, it will make it easier for people to relate to you on a personal and emotional level.

How brand archetypes influence brand identity

Now that you have formed a character, someone you know, their behavioral patterns and values, you can blow some life into them. 

See the scheme below.

How to Use Brand Archetypes Cheat Sheet: 12 Examples of Archetypal Branding

The archetype and personality you have chosen for your brand will in fact be influencing your brand style. Keep in mind the general description of the categories and go through at least some of the points mentioned in the scheme.

Before diving into the scheme, we recommend you take a look at the 1 part of our Brand Archetypes series to see the detailed analysis of each archetype and find the guide on how to determine yours.

Let’s say you’re a Lover brand, with a Sophisticated personality.

As a reminder:

The Lover: Associated with romance and passion, the Lovers inspire closer relationships and improve connections. This brand archetype promotes pleasure in every life medium – in work, and in personal life. Their band mission is to help people feel appreciated, belong, connect, and enjoy intimacy.

Sophisticated brand personality: Charming, refined, high-class. Elegant, and polished.

This is what we got after going through the scheme:

Appearance. What does the brand look like?

Color and shape: Pink and red.

Form: Soft, oval shapes.

Font: Classic and romantic serifs.

Illustrations: Sensational, calm, and mysterious.

Sound. What does your brand sound like?

Loudness: Whisper.

Timbre: Low, technically more of a contralto if it’s a female voice, a baritone if a man’s.

Touch. What is your brand like to touch?

Material: Soft silk and velvet.

Texture: Smooth.

Language. How does your brand communicate?

The brand words: Mysterious, sensual, inspiring.

Smell. What does your brand smell like?

Cinnamon, honey, rain, and flowers.

‘Layering up’ your brand like this, basically imagining it as a living and breathing soul, you can identify its specific nature, its imperfections, and ‘wrinkles’.

Far easier now to even imagine how a brand like this will be addressing their clients, isn’t it? We can now kind of see what message it will get across, what tone of voice use, and what effect it will be having on people. This is exactly the way for you to create your brand’s tone of voice and your brand characters. 

Everything you single out like this won’t go to waste, it will, later on, help you to create the right associations with your brand by putting the symbolic meaning into each of your branding elements.

How the big companies convey their brand archetypes

We can take any strong brand and describe it using this cheat sheet. Let’s take a look at the real brand examples, one for each brand archetype.

The Magician. Disney is a perfect example of the Magician archetype. The company conveys its magical tough through about every slogan they have: “The Happiest Place on Earth” and “Where Dreams Come True.” Disney uses colors typically associated with something magical and mysterious – the blues and violets. The brand’s sound is on high pitched female notes, it smells like pumpkin pie, and sparkles like fairy dust. 

The Magician archetype is seen throughout every Disney ad campaign: the wonder is here, magic is still in this world and we will help you feel it.

The Creator. Apple has been using its Creator brand archetype to cater to innovation-seekers. They have managed to establish the feel, that however often you buy their product, they will always fast-track you to the forefront of innovation. Apple uses the blacks and whites color palette, its shapes are sharp and defined, it is smooth to the touch, and feels like new opportunities brought to your hands.

Apple often translates the Creator brand archetypes in their ads: they push the idea that with their technology anyone can be more creative, and unravel their potential. The future is already here, says Apple, and we’re at the forefront.

The Ruler. Mercedes Benz is all about power. It emits luxury, that can be traced throughout every branding element. The brand smells like leather and strong eau-de-cologne. It sounds deep and powerful; the brand tastes like bitter chocolate and black coffee; it’s like wood to the touch.

The Ruler brand archetype says: I am power, and will give it to you. With me, you’re grand, with me you can remove mountains.

The Lover. Victoria’s secret is a typical lover brand. Its language is sensual, and the brand’s voice is very centered around a “pillow talk” approach. The brand is dark red and pink; it smells like an ocean breeze, chocolate, cinnamon, and flowers. It’s soft and smooth to the touch.

The Lover brand’s mission is to help people feel appreciated, belong, connect, and enjoy intimacy. With their body-positive message, they make sure they give people a feeling of belonging.

The Caregiver. Unicef is a perfect Caregiver archetype example. Its slogan is “For every child in danger”, they aren’t here for the profit, they help and serve. This brand is warm and smells like mom’s cooking – they want every child to feel like they have a home. 

In their ads, Unicef explores this archetype’s need to provide care. They encourage us to take action and provide help.

The Jester. The first brand that comes to mind if you keep in mind Jester’s description is M&M’s. Who’s better at joking around, and laughing at the absurdity of life? M&M’s tastes sweet, it’s bright, smells like adrenaline, and sounds like laughter.

The Jester brand archetype is easy to identify by the way they do ads – they don’t like being boring. Witty, sarcastic, and sometimes painfully acute they will force a smile out of anyone.

The Sage. The BBC uses its Sage brand archetype to position itself as a trustworthy knowledge provider. Their wisdom can be traced through every medium of the brand. They use ‘big’ words with jargon lexicon to provide impartial information. The brand smells like books and tastes like morning coffee. It sounds melodic yet serious. 

The Sage’s mission is to provide information, help everyone learn the world better. Which we can clearly see in BBC’s ads for BBC World.

The Explorer. The North Face has a carefully crafted Explorer brand archetype. They advocate for freedom, the modern-day exploration of the world. The brand smells like air, frost, and sun. It tastes like fresh spring water. It sounds like thunder and rain, like waterfalls and trees.

The main mission of the Explorer brand archetypes is to encourage people to explore – with the help of the brand’s goods. Today, the North Face has almost become a synonym for exploration and travel.

The Rebel. The rebels aim to revolutionize the world with their own hands. One of such brands is Diesel. In their Rebel archetypes, they are brave, provocative, and radical. The brand undermines the authority, makes people question it, and turn to them instead. Diesel sounds like police sirens and engines. It smells like alcohol, bonfire, and hamburgers. It’s denim or leather to the touch.

Diesel’s ads are the embodiment of the Rebel brand archetype. With provocative slogans and pictures, they grab attention and make people feel a bit of adrenaline boiling inside.

The Hero. The slogan ‘Just Do It’ is bold and risky, it’s challenging and heroic. Nike, as a Hero brand archetype challenges its customers, it encourages its audience to push themselves to their absolute limits to achieve their personal best. The brand sounds like sneakers squeaking against gym floors. It smells like deodorant with a hint of sweat mixed into it. It feels like rubber and tastes like a win.

Nike’s ads spark motivation – this is exactly what Hero brands aspire to do. They use the call to action and altiloquent motivational language to get their message across: You can do it, with Nike.

The Everyman. Everyman brand archetype like Amazon is relatable and down to earth. It’s wholesome and provides a sense of belonging to a group. In their branding mediums, they avoid divisive topics and do their best to appeal to everyone. This brand is like a carton box to the touch; it sounds like a funky song on a car radio. 

As the Everyman brand archetype, Amazon puts the customer as top priority. In their ads, they emphasize the speed and convenience of their services.

The Innocent. Innocent Smoothies is one perfect example of the Innocent archetype (as implied by their brand name). They are focused on channeling good emotions and try their best to do only the right things. The brand doesn’t like big words, they use simplicity and honesty to create their pure personality. Innocent Smoothies tastes fruity and smells like oranges and strawberries. They sound like laughter and happy songs. 

In their ads, Innocent Smoothies doesn’t waver from its child-like demeanor. They use it to create the ‘Innocent’ look and establish trustworthy relationships with their clients.

The Bottom Line

Brand archetypes will help you with:

  • Building your own brand personality.
  • Understanding your brand better, and getting the right message across.
  • Building your brand’s identity.
  • Building associations around your brand.
  • Creation of the brand’s characters.
  • Usage of symbols and associations within the styles.
  • Creating advertisements for the right audiences with the right visuals.
  • Creating your brand’s visual identity as a whole.

Stay true to your archetype, with Gingersauce

Your answer is – create a brand book using Gingersauce! Gingersauce is a professional tool for creating brand guidelines, that combines smart automation and your creativity. It’s a professional tool – meaning, it won’t do a half-baked job, leaving you with a mediocre result. 

A key goal of brand guidelines is keeping a record of all your branding elements, including the visuals built around your brand archetypes: Gingersauce will gather everything in one place and will help you make sure your brand design stays consistent and cohesive.

You can download a create brand book right away – it will look promising even with no customization!

Create My Brand Guidelines

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