Attending the SouthStart conference was a great opportunity to learn from industry experts and network with like-minded professionals. One of the most insightful presentations I attended was by Olga Kudryashova on the 12 brand archetypes.
Kudryashova’s presentation broke down and gave me a really good understanding of the differences in the archetypes. She explained that archetypes are universal patterns of behaviour that are rooted in the collective unconscious of humanity. These patterns can be found in myths, stories, and symbols across cultures and time periods. She identified 12 archetypes that brands can use to create powerful emotional connections with their audiences.
While not all brands can be classified as just a single archetype, the examples listed below show exactly how powerful prescribing to an archetype can be. These brands have incredibly strong messaging, they are recognisable and their “personalities” go far beyond a logo and colour pallet.
Let’s take a look…
The first archetype she discussed was the Innocent, which represents optimism, purity, and simplicity. Brands that embody this archetype include Coca-Cola, which uses its signature red and white colours and classic font to convey a sense of nostalgia and tradition.
The second archetype is the Explorer. Representing curiosity, adventure, and freedom, a great brand that embodies this archetype is Anaconda, which uses images of people hiking, camping, and exploring the outdoors to appeal to its audience’s sense of adventure.
The third archetype is the Sage, which represents wisdom, knowledge, and expertise. Harvard University is a great example of this archetype, using its reputation as a prestigious academic institution to convey authority and expertise.
The fourth archetype is the Hero, portraying courage, strength, and resilience. Brands that embody this archetype include Nike, which uses its “Just Do It” slogan and images of athletes to inspire its audience to be their best selves.
The fifth archetype is the Outlaw, which represents rebellion, non-conformity, and independence. Harley-Davidson is a great example of this archetype, which uses its rebellious image and outlaw culture to appeal to people who want to live life on their own terms.
The sixth archetype is the Magician, representing transformation, innovation and creativity. Brands that embody this archetype include Dyson – using sleek, minimalist design and innovative products to convey a sense of magic and wonder.
The Regular Guy/Girl
The seventh archetype we looked at was the Regular Guy/Girl (sometimes known as the Everyman/woman). This archetype represents authenticity, relatability, and simplicity. Brands that embody this include McDonald’s, using its familiar logo and affordable prices to appeal to everyday people.
The eighth archetype is the Lover, which represents passion, sensuality and intimacy. A well-known Lover brand is Chanel, using its sexy lingerie and romantic imagery to appeal to people’s desire for intimacy and connection.
The ninth archetype is the Jester, which represents humour, playfulness, and irreverence. Brands that embody this archetype include M&M, which uses its quirky commercials and witty humour to stand out from competitors and appeal to people’s sense of humour.
The tenth archetype is the Caregiver, which represents compassion, nurturing, and generosity. Brands that embody this archetype include Volvo, which uses its long history of providing safe and reliable products to convey a sense of trust and care.
The eleventh archetype is the Creator, telling their story through imagination, innovation and artistic expression. Brands that embody this archetype include Lego, which uses its colourful building blocks and imaginative designs to inspire creativity and play.
The twelfth and final archetype is the Ruler, which represents power, control, and authority. A brands that embodies this archetype well is Rolex – using its luxurious image and prestigious reputation to appeal to people who want to feel like they are at the top of their game.
Overall, Kudryashova’s presentation was both informative and inspiring. It gave me a new perspective on how brands can create emotional connections with their audiences by tapping into universal patterns of behaviour and using them to tell compelling stories.