Brand archetypes - what are they and how do they work?

Service Business

Do you ever meet someone and after just a few seconds you already know what he is like? A brave and charismatic person - he has this "something" in him! Or maybe just the opposite? So shy and expressionless. They are nothing but archetypes that exist in our minds and give the elements of reality their proper meaning. Each of us tries to describe and close reality within certain frames. We want to have everything organized and under control, because then we feel safe. So why not use this phenomenon to give meaning to our brand? What are brand archetypes and why should they be used? Answer in the article below.

What are brand archetypes?

The concept of archetype was coined by Carl Gustav Jung, who noted that people of different cultures use the same symbols to describe reality. He described the basic feelings, patterns and images with which we describe the world as archetypes. His thesis about universal patterns inherent in our unconscious was the starting point for Margaret Mark and Carol S. Pearson, who made brand archetypes gain importance in the field of brand management.

Brand archetypes - what is behind the brand?

According to Mark and Pearson, if you don't have a strong brand today, then you are doomed to compete on price. By following this strategy, you will have to keep reducing costs, which in the long run could be the beginning of the end of your business. Also remember that today's consumer is demanding. The price of the product is no longer the most important thing for him. This is the story behind it that could prove decisive.

Unlike a product, a brand is something intangible and intangible, which is why brand archetypes that turn out to be the closest in meaning are so important.

The ability to build brands, i.e. the story behind an idea, becomes the basis for achieving success and establishing lasting relationships with our current and potential customers.

Brand archetypes according to Margaret Mark and Carol S. Pearson

A brand is like a person who can develop a personality and create his own identity. By doing this, he decides in some way for the consumer, i.e. he chooses the place he wants to occupy in his life and tries to take over the whole sphere of associations and meanings in his subconsciousness.

According to Mark and Pearson, as people we are constantly looking for a place for ourselves, somehow maneuvering on two axes. The first is the choice between independence and self-realization and the need to belong to a group. The second, however, is also a dilemma between the important and the more important - stabilization and control or maybe risk and achieving the status of a champion.

First, the brand must determine what need it wants to meet with its audience, and then select the brand archetypes that will enable it to achieve this goal.






Brand example

An example of a person




experience paradise on earth

be happy

Dove, McDonald's, Coca-Cola

Mahatma Gandhi




answering the question who I am

experience a better, real life

Starbucks, Levi's

Christopher Columbus, Stephen Hawking




finding the truth

understanding the world through your intelligence

Harvard, Adobe, McKinsey

Albert Einstein, Socrates




making the most of life,
living in the moment

having a good time

Pepsi, Snickers,

Szymon Majewski


Average man


good relationships with others

match up

Wrangler Jeans

Whoopi Goldberg, Princess Diana




experience of love and delight

good relationships with people

E. Wedel,
Victoria's Secret

Marilyn Monroe, Monica Belluci




creating something timeless, durable

give visions, shape, form

Lego, Nikon, Crayola

William Shakespeare, Pablo Picasso




protecting others from harm

help to others

Johnson & Johnson,

Mother Teresa





creating a successful company / community


Margaret Thatcher, Bill Gates




prove your worth by bold and difficult action

achieving mastery with something that makes the world a better place


Michael Jordan, Barack Obama




revenge or revolution

destroying something that doesn't work well (for the world or for yourself)

Harley Davidson, Converse,
Apple ("Think dofferent")

Jon Bon Jovi, James Dean,

Quentin Tarantino,




learning about the basic laws that govern the world

dream come true

Pixar, Red Bull

Harry Potter, Steven Spielberg

Innocent - he wants to experience Paradise, is endowed with faith and optimism, and for him safety and predictability are more important than change and innovation.

Explorer - he wants a better, more real world. Good for brands that encourage self-improvement and self-expression.

Sage - wants to help others understand the world thanks to his intelligence. Brand archetypes perfect for companies that deliver specialized content.

Jester - is the life and soul of the party. Serious matters do not exist for him, instead he prefers to joke and play tricks. It is an archetype typical of brands known for their sense of humor, entertaining with content.

An ordinary person - he just wants to be himself. It does not stand out from the crowd, but it captivates with its ordinaryness / familiarity. The archetype is good for brands that offer everyday products. Their ordinariness can make them stand out.

A devotee - his goal is endless bliss. Archetyp is intended for brands offering exclusive products or guaranteeing an experience of pleasure, eg E. Wedel.

Creator - believes that he can create something unique, but above all timeless and bring it to life. The creator focuses on innovation. Diversity is important to him, so he does everything not to blend in with the crowd. A good archetype for brands that promote creativity.

Guardian - helping others, compassionate and generous. His goal is to help others, even if he would suffer harm himself. The caregiver type is suitable for brands that offer health and beauty products.

Ruler - soothes and ensures that everything is under control. He controls the chaos and ensures the safety of his pupils. As for brand archetypes, this one will suit those that they want to organize, regulate or simply protect.

The hero - wants to fight and be successful. It encourages courage to help you achieve your goals. Perfect for companies that offer innovative products.

Rebel - he likes controversy, and fight or retaliation are his driving force. The rebel type will work well for companies that offer revolutionary products, cause destruction, that is, try to overthrow common theories and get ahead.

Wizard - makes dreams come true. It gives the opportunity to experience exceptional moments. This archetype is best suited for brands whose products are supposed to bring relief and strength.

Which brand archetypes do you choose?

The archetype theory is a kind of signpost that allows you to discover and strengthen the meaning of our brand. We like to listen to stories and be involved. Once we know which brand archetypes are closest to us, then we can adjust the current or develop a new way of communicating with the client. You need to turn your brand personality into a story and then link it to a specific product, service, and brand.

Building a brand personality is a complex and laborious process, but nobody said it would be easy! Make sense of your brand and make it permanently in the mind of the consumer.