The 12 Brand Archetypes

There are 12 classic archetypes. These cover the spectrum, from those that convey comfort to others to those that create excitement. Choosing the right archetype for your business is essential. Review the classic archetypes and understand their role in creating a deep connection with their target market.

The Innocent
GOAL: To be happy
TRAITS: Strives to be good, is pure, young, optimistic, simple, moral, romantic, loyal
DRAWBACK: Could be naïve or boring
MARKETING NICHE: Companies with strong values, seen as trustworthy, reliable and honest, associated with morality, good virtues, simplicity, can be nostalgic
EXAMPLE: Dove soap, Coca-Cola, Cottonelle bathroom tissue


The Regular Guy or Gal
GOAL: To belong, or connect with others
TRAITS: Down to earth, supportive, faithful, folksy, person next door, connects with others
DRAWBACK: Could lack a distinctive identity and blend in too much
MARKETING NICHE: Common touch, solid virtues, gives a sense of belonging
EXAMPLE: Home Depot, eBay

The Hero
GOAL: Help to improve the world
TRAITS: Courageous, bold, honorable, strong, confident, inspirational
DRAWBACK: Could be arrogant or aloof
MARKETING NICHE: Make a positive mark on the world, solve major problems or enable/inspire others to do so
EXAMPLE: Nike, BMW, Duracell

The Outlaw
GOAL: Break the rules and fight authority
TRAITS: Rebellious, iconoclastic, wild, paving the way for change
DRAWBACK: Could take it too far and be seen in a negative way
MARKETING NICHE: Agent of change, advocate for the disenfranchised, allow people to vent or break with conventions
EXAMPLE: Harley-Davidson, Virgin (Richard Branson)


The Explorer
GOAL: Finds fulfillment through discovery and new experiences
TRAITS: Restless, adventurous, ambitious, individualistic, independent, pioneering
DRAWBACK: Might not fit into the mainstream
MARKETING NICHE: Exciting, risk-taking, authentic
EXAMPLE: Indiana Jones, Jeep, Red Bull


The Creator
GOAL: Create something with meaning and enduring value
TRAITS: Creative, imaginative, artistic, inventive, entrepreneur, non-conformist
DRAWBACK: Could be perfectionistic or impractical 
MARKETING NICHE: Visionary, help customers express or create, and foster their imagination
EXAMPLE: Lego, Crayola


The Ruler
GOAL: Control, create order from chaos
TRAITS: Leader, responsible, organized, role model, administrator
DRAWBACK: Could lack a common connection, or be too authoritative or controlling 
MARKETING NICHE: Help people become more organized, restore order, create more stability and security in a chaotic world
EXAMPLE: Microsoft, Barclays, Mercedes-Benz


The Magician
GOAL: Make dreams come true, create something special
TRAITS: Visionary, charismatic, imaginative, idealistic, spiritual
DRAWBACK: Could take risks that lead to bad outcomes
MARKETING NICHE: Help people transform their world, inspire change, expand consciousness
EXAMPLE: Disney, Wizard of Oz, Apple


The Lover
GOAL: Create intimacy, inspire love
TRAITS: Passionate, sensual, intimate, romantic, warm, committed, idealistic
DRAWBACK: Could be too selfless or not grounded enough
MARKETING NICHE: Help people feel appreciated, belong, connect, enjoy intimacy, build relationships
EXAMPLE: Victoria’s Secret, Godiva Chocolate, Marie Claire


The Caregiver
GOAL: To care for and protect others
TRAITS: Caring, maternal, nurturing, selfless, generous, compassionate
DRAWBACK: Being taken advantage of, taken for granted, or exploited
MARKETING NICHE: Help people care for themselves, serve the public through health care, education or aid programs
EXAMPLE: Mother Theresa, Campbell’s Soup, Johnson & Johnson, Heinz


The Jester
GOAL: To bring joy to the world
TRAITS: Fun, sense of humor, light-hearted, mischievous, irreverent
DRAWBACK: Could be seen as frivolous or disrespectful
MARKETING NICHE: Help people have a good time or enjoy what they are doing, allow people to be more impulsive and spontaneous
EXAMPLE: Motley Fool, Ben & Jerry’s, IKEA


The Sage
GOAL: To help the world gain wisdom and insight
TRAITS: Knowledgeable, trusted source of information, wisdom and intelligence, thoughtful, analytical, mentor, guru, advisor
DRAWBACK: Could be overly contemplative or too opinionated 
MARKETING NICHE: Help people to better understand the world, provide practical information and analysis
EXAMPLE: BBC, PBS, Google, Philips

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