Every brand has a story and a purpose. At the center of these two pillars resides the ideal consumer—whose persona is known as the brand archetype.
Carl Jung, renowned psychiatrist and psychoanalyst, founded the archetypal phenomena, that defines the 12 Jungian archetypes. These are “universal, primal symbols and images that derive from the collective unconscious”.
Jung believed in the power of symbolism, attributing characteristics and traits of the symbols to individuals. Some of these have been criticized for being reductive and generalist. But brands have adopted these 12 archetypes for the purpose of creating user personas. Read on to learn more about the 12 brand archetypes and find out which one you identify with the most!
The Jungian Archetype
The Jungian archetype led to the brand archetype widely used by organizations for their branding efforts. In total, there are 12 brand archetypes: The Innocent, Everyman (woman), Hero, Outlaw, Explorer, Creator, Ruler, Magician, Lover, Caregiver, Jester and Sage.
Each of these archetypes displays certain traits and characteristics, goals, outlook, strengths and weaknesses. When you think of a brand like Nike, for instance, you associate a personality type with it—athletic, go-getter, courageous, bold and inspiring. These are traits that fall under ‘The Hero’ Jungian archetype.
According to Jung, archetypes exist in the collective unconscious which are shared memories and concepts that are realized through stories, dreams, art, myth and religions in addition to experiences.
What Are The 12 Carl Jung Archetypes?
Let’s dig deeper to understand each of the Carl Jung archetypes with examples of relevant brands.
1. The Innocent
Brands like Coca-Cola, Dove, Levi’s and Vodafone that associate themselves with a feelgood, optimistic and romantic factor fall under this brand archetype. In most cases, brands under The Innocent are well-trusted with a loyal customer base. They also evoke a sense of nostalgia with their advertisements and brand strategy.
2. The Everyman or Woman
Your friendly neighbor or relative, The Everyman or Woman is one of the 12 brand archetypes. E-commerce brands such as Amazon and Flipkart or furniture stores like Ikea fall under this archetype.
3. The Hero
The Hero, like Nike, is on a mission to change the world and make it a better place to live. They’re courageous and not afraid to take risks. Many sports brands and automotive brands like BMW fall under this brand archetype.
4. The Outlaw
The Outlaw or the rebel is the archetype that doesn’t conform. They like to break the rules, living life their own way. They can ignite people and rally the troops. Brands that identify with this archetype are Richard Branson’s Virgin Air, Harley-Davidson and fashion brand Diesel.
5. The Explorer
The adventure-seeker, The Explorer is inspired by action, risks and new experiences. This brand archetype will immediately remind you of cars like Jeep that are meant for off-roading. Charting their own, unique path, The Explorer is wild and free.
6. The Creator
The Creator has design ability, a playful and colorful vibe and a passion to create and build things from nothing. Brands that fall under this archetype are Lego and Adobe. They’re inventive and entrepreneurial, creating a space for others to showcase their creativity as well.
7. The Ruler
A more traditional type of Jungian archetype, The Ruler is someone who portrays leadership qualities. They’re organized, responsible and inspirational. They’re known for creating a sense of stability for their audience. Some of the brands most associated with this type of Carl Jung archetype are Microsoft, British Airways and Mercedes-Benz.
8. The Magician
Brands that have a vision to make dreams come true, with a hint of exclusivity attached to them, are The Magicians. They have the power to inspire change and transform people’s worlds. Most of all, this Jungian archetype is imaginative and idealistic. Some brands include Disney and Apple.
9. The Lover
The Lover is intimate, romantic and comfortable. They create a sense of association, passion and sensuality. Confectioners like Godiva are most often associated with The Lover. Other brands are Victoria’s Secret, Chanel and Haagen Dazs.
10. The Caregiver
Brands that offer comfort and care to others are The Caregivers. Organizations like UNICEF fall under this brand archetype. They’re associated with qualities such as nurturing, generosity and compassion. They understand others, creating a safe space for them to get the right opportunities.
11. The Jester
Light-hearted and humorous, The Jester brings people a lot of joy. For instance, brands such as Ben & Jerry’s and M&M’s are categorized under this archetype.
12. The Sage
The mentor in our lives, the one who aspires to educate and share knowledge, The Sage is wise and analytical. This brand archetype includes brands like Google and BBC, and it’s not hard to understand why!
The 12 archetypes created by Carl Jung have been popularized and modernized to fit the demands of brands and their consumers. Each brand that has a story is recognized for its actions, vision and mission.
Which Of The 12 Brand Archetypes Are You?
Identifying which of the Carl Jung archetypes you are can help you in the long run. When it comes to making career choices or choosing where to work, this knowledge can act as a guiding light. Harappa’s Discovering Purpose will teach you how to understand yourself. Answer questions like who you are and what you want to get to know yourself. Enroll today and embark on a journey to self-discovery!