Brand archetypes get a lot of hype in marketing and brand positioning circles. But why? And once you have one, how do you use it? Read on!

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Jung brand archetypes

Who is Carl Jung? And what are the Jung brand archetypes? A swiss psychologist named Carl Jung (pronounced Young) hypothesised that there are 12 readily available personality types that humans can easily identify with. You can see from the wheel below that they have useful names such as the Hero, the Explorer, the Outlaw and the Lover.

The names go a long way to describe what the 12 brand archetype stand for, but in this STANCE blog you can see some longer descriptions.

12 marketing archetypes


Brand positioning and choosing an archetype for your brand launch

In the process of branding, your brand positioning should proceed the creation of your brand’s name (we have a brand naming guide for that here) which should proceed the creation of your brand’s tone and aesthetic.

Certainly, font choices and headline sentiments should embody an attitude, perhaps inspired by the choice of a brand archetype. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg—all too often people think that branding stops at the logo, fonts and identity system. In fact, a brand’s archetype and attitude should inspire actions also.

As I sit here typing this blog, I have the F1 in the background. The two Red Bull drivers, Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez have an interview before donning some ‘mario kart’ uniforms, getting in go-karts and then driving around popping large paint-filled balloons. Silly? Fun? Wild? My question to you: which brand archetype does this represent? My views at the base of the article.

(A brand archetype is just one way to shape your brand’s attitude, but you can also define a brand’s personality in other ways which you can investigate in our course, Robust Brand Storytelling for Start-Ups.)

Exploring your tone with a brand archetype

When STANCE performs workshops with brands we play a game called movie characters that helps businesses choose an archetype. (Play the game here.)

With one client Robin, we landed on three options: The Hero, Explorer and Creator. Each of these could work, but would take the company in different directions and would appeal to different types of customers.

The question then becomes, which brand archetype would feel most ‘at home’ with the Robin vision and product development principles while being interesting, relevant and perhaps refreshing compared with other food recycling companies?

To help them choose, I prepared some simple mocks of their food waste bin, with some light design and different headlines. If you’d like to see that process in more detail, check our free course on archetypes: How to use Archetypes in Your Brand Launch Strategy. Based on the Robin vision and the STANCE we developed, the Creator would seem like the best solution.

Archetypes brand course

Red Bull’s brand archetype

I like Red Bull as a Magician... When you’re tired, Red Bull gives you wiiings! That’s kind of magic. Magicians like to experiment and inspire others to try new things.

The Magician is charismatic and visionary.
They’re well-educated and can use either science or sorcery to reach their goal. They like experimentation and inspire others to try new things.

Is the Red Bull driver stunt magician-esque? I think you could argue it is in the wider context of all the things Red Bull does, such as the Supersonic Freefall and Soapbox Race it fits right in. However, if you were to look at it as a one-off, it comes across as a bit Jestery.

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