Ever feel like you’re a helpless spectator to your own dreams? (Ok, wow, am I a philosopher today? Yes, yes I am.)
You’re on the outside looking in, seeing other agencies achieving your vision, working with your dream clients, and blazing down the path you’ve always imagined for your brand.
It’s not easy to be in that position. But there are practical steps you can take to change the trajectory of your business and get to where you want to be.
One of the keys to captivating your dream clients lies in appealing to their emotions so you can connect with them on a human level. People buy on an emotional level before backing up their choice with logic and facts.
The question is: how can you appeal to their emotions? While videos of dogs reuniting with their owners are sure to tug on the heartstrings of even the toughest of cookies, that’s not exactly what I mean (and on a personal level, I despise companies that use such blatant manipulation of people’s emotions to sell their products).
Real emotional connections with your target audience is where it’s at. It’s about allowing your audience to feel like they know you, resonate with you, and can trust you.
Establishing your brand archetype and infusing it into every element of your business can help you form genuine bonds with your target audience and ultimately convert them into loyal customers.
So, let’s explore brand archetypes, how to determine your agency’s brand archetype, and how to use it to attract your ideal clients.
What is a brand archetype?
A brand archetype is the heart of your business. It’s your brand’s unique personality based on the wants and desires of the people who power it and the people it serves.
Crafting an archetype that aligns with your brand values helps you build a brand narrative, create a story for your brand, and – here’s the winner – connect with your audience on a more emotional level.
We all have the desire to feel like part of a community in which we feel safe and connected. Brand archetypes allow you to create these environments through mutual goals and understanding, combined with an effortless communication style.
Why should a digital agency use brand archetypes?
Building extraordinary brands doesn't happen by accident.
Successful businesses – the ones steeped in branding that feels both natural and impressive – all have one thing in common: a strong identity based on their brand archetype.
With a brand archetype at the core of your digital agency, you can:
- Connect more easily with your target customers
- Build a more straightforward brand narrative
- Target the right people (and filter out the wrong ones)
- Help your audience understand your brand better
- Make it easier for potential clients to find your business
- Enhance customer trust
- Position you as a reliable company
Ok, so you’re sold on investing some time into figuring out your agency’s unique brand archetype. You’re ready to start making leaps and bounds toward connecting with your dream clients so you can grow your business.
It’s time to take your brand on a little self-discovery journey.
Don’t worry – you don’t have to go on a ten-day barefoot retreat where you take a vow of silence to get there. (Unless you want to, because let’s be real, life can get hectic, and that honestly sounds a little appealing right now…)
Instead, let’s dive into the 12 brand archetypes and examples to see which one resonates most with your brand.
The 12 brand archetypes
As outlined by author, thought leader, and branding guru Carol S. Pearson in her book Awakening the Heroes Within, there are 12 brand archetypes businesses can choose from.
Let's take a look – along with brand archetype examples for each!
1. The Innocent Brand Archetype
Businesses with an innocent brand strategy usually search for safety with a down-to-earth, positive outlook.
The main themes for the innocent archetype are:
2. The Sage Brand Archetype
Often used by education-based companies, businesses with a sage brand strategy crave understanding and are always in pursuit of knowledge.
The main themes for the sage archetype are:
3. The Explorer Brand Archetype
For the daring and intrepid, businesses with an explorer brand strategy are searching for freedom. When you think of the explorer, think about the outdoors and adventurous brands!
The main themes for the explorer archetype are:
4. The Outlaw Brand Archetype
Also known as the rebel brand archetype, these businesses go against the status quo and are all about breaking the rules (in a good way!).
The main themes for the outlaw archetype are:
5. The Magician Brand Archetype
When you're a magician, you're a dreamer – and you believe anything can happen. The entertainment and beauty industries usually use the magician brand strategy.
The main themes for the magician archetype are:
6. The Hero Brand Archetype
Companies with a hero brand strategy – often associated with sports brands – never back down from a challenge in the search for mastery!
The main themes for the hero archetype are:
7. The Lover Brand Archetype
The lover archetype is looking for intimacy, with a keen focus on the senses. Brands that sell wine, candles, cosmetics, and even chocolate often use the lover brand strategy.
The main themes for the lover archetype are:
8. The Jester Brand Archetype
The jester brand strategy is for businesses that are all about enjoyment. They bring out the fun in people and can even cause a little bit of good-natured mischief now and then.
The main themes for the jester archetype are:
9. The Everyman Brand Archetype
Brands using the everyman brand strategy are usually warm, friendly, and humble. Targeting people who crave community and belonging, this brand type is the most flexible and can be seen in various industries.
The main themes for the everyman archetype are:
10. The Caregiver Brand Archetype
Always there for their clients, many nonprofits and sustainability brands tend to use the caregiver brand archetype as it centers around selflessness, giving, and nurturing.
The main themes for the caregiver archetype are:
11. The Ruler Brand Archetype
People who are attracted to the ruler archetype crave control. They value power and status, too. Expensive luxury brands like deluxe car manufacturers tend to use this archetype.
The main themes for the ruler archetype are:
12. The Creator Brand Archetype
Creator brands are constantly chasing innovation, seeking out creative people who aren’t afraid to try something new.
The main themes for the creator archetype are:
How to figure out your brand archetype in 3 simple steps
Now that you know all about the 12 archetypes, it's time to figure out which archetype best suits your agency so you can finally start working with the kind of clients you’ve always dreamed of.
Here are 3 simple steps you can take to help discover which archetype suits your business!
1. Look at your values and mission
Digging deep and looking at your values and your mission is key to unraveling what kind of archetype is at the core of your agency.
By discovering (or rediscovering) the why behind your business and aligning that with a brand archetype, you'll be able to communicate effectively with your target market and offer them something truly unique and meaningful.
2. Consider your audience’s emotions
Using your archetype as a springboard, you can connect with your audience on a human level, drawing them in with meaningful, masterful brand storytelling
When considering your archetype, consider which emotions you want your audience to feel when reading your blogs, scrolling through your website, or engaging with you on social media.
3. Imagine your audience’s reaction
In addition to your values and mission statement, it’s essential to consider your audience when you’re on the brand archetype discovery journey.
- Will they connect to the archetype you've chosen?
- Do they see themselves in this archetype?
- How will they respond to this archetype?
- Will this archetype suit my target audience or attract somebody else?
Asking these questions will help you shape and mold your brand archetype to fit your target audience.
How to weave your archetype into your brand strategy and messaging
Extraordinary brands tie their brand archetype into every element of their marketing strategy – and your digital agency should be no exception.
1. Develop your brand story
Powerful storytelling is the essence of marketing, so a solid brand story will help your clients understand your company more intimately.
Creating a narrative around your brand archetype will reflect your company's values, goals, and unique selling propositions to attract like-minded people, AKA your dream clients.
This story can be fictional, or it can include the real-life influences at the heart of your brand. When creating a brand story, make sure it's concise, engaging, and easy to understand.
2. Update your visual identity
What’s the point in talking the talk if you can’t walk the walk?
Your visual branding is an essential part of your brand identity and is often the first impression potential customers have of your business.
Update your visual branding to incorporate the characteristics of your archetype.
For example, hero brands often choose vibrant colors and an inspirational tone of voice. But, if you're a rebel brand, you’ll probably use starker colors like black, orange, and gray.
4. Align your brand voice with your archetype
Defining a clear, consistent brand voice that connects with your target audience is essential to the success of your digital agency.
The tone of your archetype will naturally influence your brand voice, pointing you in the right direction in terms of how you communicate.
Whether you’re posting on social media, publishing a blog, or updating your website copy, your unique brand voice should be infused into every element of your brand’s content.
Sticking to a strong brand voice allows you to foster even stronger emotional bonds with your audience, ultimately making them more likely to become loyal customers.
5. Train employees for consistency
Your brand archetype has got to come from the top.
Educate your team on the characteristics of the archetype you've chosen and the importance of representing your brand uniformly across all platforms and throughout your brand messaging.
87% of customers think brands should deliver a consistent experience. Plus, consistent branding makes you more likely to be recognized and remembered by your potential clients – a welcome bonus!
Create an updated brand guidelines document including all the essential elements of maintaining your archetype. This way, your archetype will be consistent across your work, social media profiles, and client calls, even when you're not there. The branding dream!
Have you discovered your brand archetype yet?
At the end of the day, we’re all just humans looking to connect, aren’t we?
That’s why an emotional connection is vital for any business, and the more we can connect with our ideal customers, the easier it'll be to secure them as clients.
Whatever brand archetype you resonate with most, having this depth of knowledge of your digital agency will help you zero in on your target audience and appeal to them on a more meaningful level.
Do you have any tips on how to use a brand archetype effectively? What do you think is the best archetype for digital agencies? Let me know by posting in The Admin Bar Facebook group!