Branding by Jung

How to Use Knowledge about Archetypes when Positioning a Brand?

Each brand uses a certain image in its positioning, a certain intonation of communication with the consumers that makes this brand different from competitors. In other words, each brand demonstrates special characteristics of its archetypes. The conception of archetypes was created by Carl Gustav Jung in 1919. In branding, however, archetypes have been talked about since the early 2000s, when Margaret and Carol Pearson published their program monograph The Hero and the Outlaw: Building Extraordinary Brands Through the Power of Archetypes.

Below there are 12 archetypes and their features that are most common in branding.

1. Caregiver

The main purpose of these brands is to care about their consumers. A caregiver is always associated with comfort and cosiness. It is the best positioning strategy for pharmaceuticals, goods for children, pregnant or lactating women, etc. Positioning of charity funds, insurance companies and other organizations focused on care and safety is often based on this archetype.

2. Citizen

A citizen or a realist always knows what exactly consumers need. Such brands prefer convenience and comfort of daily routing. In one word, brands whose positioning strategies are based on this archetype know how to meet your daily needs. A vivid example of such a company is well-known IKEA.

3. Creator

The brand-creator creates aesthetic values; moreover, it encourages the self-expression and creativity of its consumers. Companies with this positioning strategy emphasize inspiration and unlimited creativity. This archetype often manifests itself through unusual packaging.

4. Explorer

Such brands promise bright unforgettable impressions and freedom in making decisions. As a rule, this positioning strategy is used by brands producing sport clothes, tour agencies and airlines, for example, S7 airlines.  

5. Hero

Heroes are individuals with a strong character ready to prove that using certain products consumers will be able to deal with all the difficulties that arise on their paths (Nike, Rebook, Marlboro, etc.).

6. Innocent

Brands that use this archetype in their positioning are always kind and pleasant. They tend to play with nostalgia, your "inner child" and turn to such universal values as friendship, family and patriotism.

7. Jester

It's a merry fellow, who does not care at all about the comfort of everyday life, which the "citizen" cares about. Such carelessness, as a rule, is pleasant for children and teenagers. Therefore this strategy is used by manufacturers of sweets, sweet fizzy drinks and junk food. Despite this, some serious brands can use this archetype if they want to attract a younger audience. Take, for example, the well-known advertising campaign of the Old Spice brand with Terry Crews.

8. Lover

Brands-lovers put consumers in the spotlight and encourage their sense of uniqueness. They focus on getting pleasure from using the goods produced by their brand. There is a popular belief that only women-oriented brands use this archetype in their positioning strategies. However, a large number of "male" brands often use the concept of hedonism, for example, premium car brands.

9. Magician

Such brands emphasize the power of nature, mystical symbols and the romance of the cosmos. Due to amazing ingredients, or a unique way of production, these brands produce magic. This concept is used in the advertising campaign of the "Black Card" coffee: "Black Card. You will be happy! "

10. Rebel

Brands-rebels refuse to play by the rules. They often act as advocates of changes and push their consumers to it. A TV commercial "1984", dedicated to Apple's new product - the Macintosh computer is a vivid example of using this archetype.

11. Sage

The sages rely on the science, intellect, quality and professionalism. A distinctive feature here is the use of infographics, various types of tables and schemes designed to convince the consumer in the scientific validity and high quality of the product.

12. Sovereign

Nobility, stability, high quality and status are the key definitions in the positioning strategies of these brands. First, this status must be earned. Thus, the appeal to this archetype can be limited only by brand-leaders of the market with a rich history and traditions. "It's difficult to imitate - it's impossible to repeat" (Ahmad) or "Best or Nothing" (Mercedes-Benz) - these are the slogans of sovereigns.

Why is it necessary to know these archetypes? First of all, the definition of the brand archetype is intended to help in creating the legend of the brand, in a search for an approach to the target audience. There are no "pure" archetypes in branding and different companies can use their harmonious plexus in their positioning, or, for example, use one archetype when positioning, another – when creating an advertising campaign.