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Brand Archetypes


There are twelve brand archetypes:

The Innocent, Everyman, Hero, Outlaw, Explorer, Creator, Ruler, Magician, Lover, Caregiver, Jester, and Sage.

Brand Archetypes defined: Noted psychologist Carl Jung (pronounced: “yoong”) theorized that humans use symbolism to more easily understand complex concepts. As a result of his research, Jung stated: “There are forms or images of a collective nature which occur practically all over the earth as constituents of myths and at the same time, as individual products of unconscious.”


In this work, Jung maintained that over the course of all time, for people, certain paths to greater understanding remain both recognizable and timeless. And that these paths to greater understanding should be categorized. Further, that these categories exhibit personality traits that are easily understood—and in the case of brands, by customers and by the companies looking to define their customer audiences. Archetypes, he called them.


“These [archetypes] are imprinted and hardwired into our psyches.” When properly identified, brand archetypes will reflect the personality of brands and serves to better align personality type with specific Customer Personas. As it applies to brand, this idea of archetypes is fairly universal and may be particularly effective as an orienting tool for brand managers looking to focus the efforts of their team.

Source: Map & Fire



What Are the 12 Categories of Brand Archetype?

As you can see from that colorful diagram, Jung defined 12 specific types of brand archetype. From making us feel safe, to wowing us with creativity and innovation, each has distinct characteristics that appeal to different types of consumers. Those classic archetypes are:

  • The Innocent: Sees the world through the lens of a child. Exudes goodness, joy, and optimism.

  • The Sage: Believes that truth and knowledge make the world a better place. Acts as a trusted adviser or mentor.

  • The Explorer: Seeks inspiration through taking risks, traveling the world, and discovering new experiences. Seen as trailblazers in their field.

  • The Outlaw: Questions pre-existing norms and disrupts the status quo. Often seen as romantics and free thinkers.

  • The Magician: Aims to amaze and delight through transformation. Solves problems and makes dreams come true.

  • The Hero: Succeeds in adversity and fights the good fight. Demonstrates their positive impact on the world.

  • The Lover: Forms sensual, spiritual, and companionable relationships, and creates intimate moments for their audience.

  • The Jester: Uses fun, humor, and irreverence to spread joy (and mischief). Refuses to be bound by boring conventions.

  • The Everyperson: Highly relatable and unpretentious, the Everyperson exudes authenticity, hard work, and trustworthiness.

  • The Caregiver: Wants people to feel protected and nurtured. Compassionate and altruistic; the corporate equivalent of a big, warm hug.

  • The Ruler: Takes the bull by the horns and stamps out uncertainty. Highly responsible and respectable, with a commitment to doing things “by the book”.

  • The Creator: Has a grand vision. Aims to build imaginative products that have enduring meaning and value.

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