Before we dive in, sit back and think about your favorite coffee shop. How do you feel when you see their logo or visit their store? Why do you keep going back? More importantly, what makes you continue to buy from them and not another coffee shop? Perhaps you identified that they make you feel excited to visit their shop, or you are loyal to them because their product is innovative and consistent? Whatever your answers were, these were all a result of that company’s strategic brand style, otherwise known as brand identity.
The effects of a brand’s personality in marketing is often emotional, driven by subconscious influence based on archetypes, a theory developed by psychologist Carl Jung. Jung theorized that humans have a basic tendency to use symbolism to understand concepts and communicate their personality. He also defined 12 basic types, with each archetype containing its own set of characteristics, values, attitudes, and behaviors. Branding professionals turn to these archetypes when creating identities for their clients as they are the foundational building blocks of any brand.
The 12 Style Types with Real World Brand Examples
The Innocent: optimistic, simplicity, honest
- Brand examples: Dove, Whole Foods, Coca-Cola
- Industry examples: beauty & skincare products, organic foods, cleaning products
The Sage: knowledgeable, assured, guidance
- Brand examples: Google, BBC, National Geographic
- Industry examples: media & news networks, schools & universities, consultants, education business
The Explorer: exciting, freedom, discovery
- Brand examples: Starbucks, The North Face, Jeep
- Industry examples: extreme sports, outdoor equipment, adventure travel
The Outlaw: rebellious, revolutionary, unconventional
- Brand examples: Urban Decay, Harley Davidson, Diesel
- Industry examples: Men’s cosmetics, alternative apparel, destruction tools
The Magician: mystical, informed, reassuring
- Brand examples: Disney, Apple, MAC Cosmetics
- Industry examples: Entertainment, Health & beauty, personal technology
The Hero: mastery, determination, brave
- Brand examples: BMW, Nike, Adidas
- Industry examples: Sports/athletic apparel and equipment, trades services
The Lover: sensual, empathetic, intimacy
- Brand examples: Chanel, Victoria’s Secret, Gucci
- Industry examples: Fragrance, luxury cosmetics/apparel, food & travel
The Jester: playful, happiness, optimism
- Brand examples: M&Ms, Barkbox, Ben & Jerry’s
- Industry examples: confectionery, children’s brands & services
The Everyman: belonging, friendly, authentic
- Brand examples: Target, IKEA, Budweiser
- Industry examples: home goods, automotive, everyday apparel
The Caregiver: service, warm, caring
- Brand examples: TOMS, Unicef, Campbell’s
- Industry examples: healthcare/retirement services, non-profits, education
The Ruler: commanding, refined, articulate
- Brand examples: Louis Vuitton, Mercedes-Benz, Rolex
- Industry examples: luxury automotive, hotels, any brand offering luxury goods
The Creator: inspirational, daring, provocative
- Brand examples: LEGO, Apple, Adobe
- Industry examples: art/design, marketing, writing, information technology
Determining Your Brand Style
So, how does a business identify its archetype? There are a few essential details you will need to consider.
- Your mission statement/company values: Determine the “why” behind what your company does and how you define success internally and externally.
- Your target audience: your brand archetype and target audience need to be cohesive. The image your company projects will need to resonate with that group, inform your marketing strategy, and eventually build brand loyalty. If you are a children’s retail company, chances are your archetype should not exude traits aligned with The Lover or The Outlaw archetypes.
- Your brand’s industry: over time, branding professionals have determined that certain archetypes perform better in certain industries than others. We have provided some examples in our list above, but more research may be needed to best position your brand in the appropriate industry niche.
- Brand perception: You may also want to consider the emotions and experience you want to evoke in your client interactions.
No matter how established your business is, it’s never too late to consider your brand’s archetype and begin implementing it into your marketing strategy. If you’re taking inventory of your company values and find that they are at odds with your visual marketing or you can’t easily identify the next direction of your company, it might be time for a rebrand.
If you are curious about what your brand archetype is or believe you need a rebrand, we can help you! Get in touch with our design team to take your brand to the next level.