The decisions your customers make are influenced by their psychology. We decide to buy things based on how the product and the brand makes us feel. It makes sense then to integrate psychological principles into your marketing approach.
Psychology pioneer, Carl Jung, proposed 12 archetypes that reflect elements of human personality. They highlight some of the driving forces that motivate us in life and in our purchasing decisions. One marketing approach is to identify the archetype that best reflects your brand and will therefore most effectively speak to your target market.
Which one of the following are you?
Motivated by the desire to care for and protect others, the caregiver is selfless and driven by the idea of being in service to humanity. This archetype best suits brands that are altruistic in nature and/or not for profit. Some brands that do this well include Toms and Thankyou., both of whom use sales to provide access to basic necessities to people in third world countries.
Are you the caregiver?
Your brand will embody generosity, altruism and empathy. You will be in business to be of service and actively doing things that make a difference, not just talking about it. In doing so, you’ll be educating others and bringing awareness to the plight of those who are less fortunate. This archetype is best for health care, education and non-profits.
Creative and imaginative, the creators are the true innovators and are driven by the desire to bring something original to the marketplace. Apple is an excellent example of a brand which embodied the creator archetype. Steve Jobs was uncompromising in his vision and it entirely changed the landscape of modern technology.
Are you the creator?
You’ll have produced a forward thinking product which has never hit the market before, will be regularly up for experimentation, constantly coming up with new ideas and uncompromising on the quality of what you’ve got to offer. The comfort seekers will possibly tell you you’re being overly ambitious and likely to fail. This archetype best suits art, design, technology and marketing businesses.
Rejecting elitism in every way, the Everyman archetype epitomises living a simple life. Appealing to the ordinary ‘Joe Blow’, this archetype demonstrates the virtues of regular, ordinary living. Wanting nothing more than to belong and connect, they will fear standing out or being ‘different’ as this may lead to rejection. IKEA is an example of this archetype.
Are you the everyman/everywoman?
You’ll take a humble approach and believe in honesty first. You’ll care whether people feel a sense of belonging toward your brand and be ‘for the people’. This archetype is best suited to family or home oriented businesses and everyday apparel.
Seekers and adventurers, the explorers have a thirst for discovery, particularly where it concerns connecting with nature. They feel at home in the most rugged environment and are most fearful of losing their freedom. Jeep is a brand which personifies everything the explorer archetype is about.
Are you the explorer?
Self-motivated, nature loving and redefining freedom, your brand will be independent and take pride in not fitting in. You’ll be all about appealing to the adventurers of the world. This archetype will best fit outdoorsy, adventure, travel and some auto brands.
Triumphant, courageous and willing to prove their worth, the hero wants to rescue the victim, defend the underdog and just generally swoop in to save the day. “Just do it” – the famous Nike slogan – and the brand in general, is a good example of the hero.
Are you the hero?
You’re an idealist, will seek perfection and personify courage. This is the archetype that inspires everyone by overcoming adversity and major challenge. Sportswear, outdoors and equipment brands are best suited to the hero archetype.
Honest wholesome and pure, the innocents want everyone to be happy. They portray a carefree spirit and are positive, optimistic but may also be considered utopian and naïve. They fear doing something wrong and being punished for it. An example of the innocent archetype is Dove.
Are you the innocent?
Your brand will be optimistic, hopeful and believe in the future. You will always see the good and portray a trustworthy, pure, reliable and happy image. This archetype is best suited to skin care, beauty and fresh food.
Playful, optimistic and young at heart, the jester is about living in the moment and maximising enjoyment. The Peter Pan of the archetypes, they fear boredom and promote good times. Old Spice embodies jester vibes.
Are you the jester?
Your brand will be high energy, playful and focused on having a good time. You’ll be entertaining while providing value without focusing on solving problems. People will associate words like “joking”, “teasing”, “carefree” with your brand. This archetype is best for child entertainment, beer, men’s products and confectionary.
Think passion, pleasure and sensuality; the lover likes to connect with their audience on an intimate level. It doesn’t have to only pertain to romantic love, it can be the love between friends, family or any kind of human love. Chanel is a well-known brand that harnesses the lover archetype.
Are you the lover?
You will exude elegance and sensuality and be about building a sense of intimacy between you and your audience. This archetype is best for jewelry, fashion, cosmetics and confectionary.
The magician is about rendering the impossible possible and making dreams come true. It’s also ideal for any brand that may embody an element of mystery. Duracell’s energizer bunny is a famous example of the magician archetype as it projects a kind of magic in its ability to keep going and going.
Are you the magician?
Your brand embraces the supernatural or is all about transformation and letting the imagination run wild. You make problem solving fun and have a deep impact on your customers. This archetype is ideal for health, beauty and entertainment brands.
For the rebel, rules are made only so that they can be broken. This archetype is about disruption, revolution and non-conformity. They like to do things their way and do away with the status quo. Harley Davidson is an excellent example of the rebel archetype.
Are you the rebel?
You are unconventional, disruptive and outrageous. You go in for the shock but don’t compromise on what you deliver. Your brand isn’t afraid to challenge the norm or change the game entirely. This is a great archetype for construction and auto/moto brands.
Power, power, power—the ruler cares for little else. This archetype wants to sit on top and dominate their competitors. They exude prosperity, assertiveness and influence. Brands like Rolex and Mercedes Benz reflect the ruler archetype.
Are you the ruler?
You will be powerful, flawless and authoritative while carrying and/or building a legacy. If your brand defines leadership or strives for elitism, you are most likely a ruler. This is an excellent archetype for upscale hotels/real estate developers, watches and luxury items.
Seekers of knowledge, truth and wisdom, the sage follows the motto “the truth will set you free”. Their key desire is to understand the world and then share it with others. Google exemplifies the sage archetype perfectly.
Are you the sage?
You will be a lifelong learner who shares their knowledge and enjoys having philosophical conversations. You are an expert in your field and provide only validated information. This archetype is perfect for education facilities and consultancy businesses.