Filed in Archetypes / October 26, 2023 /
This approach is tailored to be supportive and inspiring for a spirited and intentional creative like yourself. Long-used by high-profile brand strategists, playwrights, and storytellers of all kinds, archetypes are an incredible tool to help you build a brand that stands the test of time, resonates instinctually with your audience, promotes offerings aligned with your energy and your audience’s desires, and serves as the foundation for a strong and consistent internal culture.
Who doesn’t want that?
To get there, we’ll look at why archetypes matter in marketing and brand building and then explore the three that are motivated by connection with others.
Brands that align with the archetypes of this category all seek to foster greater connection and community in the world and within their audience. They want to help their people enjoy their life, give them something real to belong to, and foster intimacy and passion – whether that’s in relationships of all kinds or within their work.
If that feels aligned with your brand, or the brand you dream of building, keep reading to take a closer look at the Lover, Regular Guy/Gal, and Jester archetypes.
Successful and enduring brands go beyond assessing demographic information like age range, profession, and shopping habits. They rely on creating, nurturing, and reevaluating a unique and compelling identity, meaning, and story. First coined by philosopher Carl Jung in the 20th century, marketers have long been leveraging the power of archetypes to do so.
There are 12 main archetypes – each with its own profile of motivators, strengths, blind spots, and unique opportunities for connection.
Don’t worry. We’re getting there.
By leveraging an intentional archetype, you make it easier for your audience to connect with your brand on an emotional level. But intentional leveraging of archetypes is not about borrowing meaning for the sake of marketing or more followers. It’s about crafting a deeply consistent and enduring expression of meaning. One that is universal, timeless, and undeniably relatable.
Try to identify two archetypes that you personally (or as an organization) identify with
and two that your audience may identify with. Any overlap may be an interesting
place to begin exploring the archetypal positioning that will serve your brand well. You should also consider your peers’ positioning and your customers’ needs based on the chapter of life they’re in. Even if you solve the same need as many others in your industry, you likely can provide a unique experience by considering a different archetypal positioning than what is popular in your industry.
For the record, a brand experience and culture is best built on the foundation of a single archetype, although marketing campaigns and brand experiences may at times draw from others.
With that, here is a deep dive into each of the three archetypes motivated by connection. Make sure you then explore the list of all twelve archetypes and their motivators as you consider which could support you in finding greater alignment and connection in what you do.
Lover brands believe that passion is what makes anything worthwhile. At its fullest expression, this archetype engages our souls, with a spirited appreciation for beauty, closeness, and collaboration. Lover brands often give us something to belong to and help us tap into our most authentic selves. Reveling in the joy of sensory and soulful experiences, a Lover brand celebrates an elevated human experience full of camaraderie and intimate connection in all types of relationships. It’s a promising identity for brands that foster communication, connection, and sensory experiences.
You have a strong ability to inspire others and find unexpected solutions. You have a magnetic presence that draws your audience in and supports them as they seek joy, happiness, and connection.
Be wary of doing anything and everything to be attractive, so much so that you lose yourself and do not become attractive to anyone.
The Lover customer or client prefers products and services that are tailored specifically to them. They expect quality, not for status but for enjoyment. They want to feel doted on, loved, and special.
Nurture a deeply vulnerable and close relationship with your audience by tailoring products and services to their needs and desires and providing a delightfully curated experience.
Lover brands should create an artful experience that you can feel by using elevated and creative fonts and design elements that are full of curves, unique variations, and warm tones that evoke feelings of warmth, passion, and style. Consider fonts with tucked-in ligatures or letters that lead into the next to communicate an experience of intimacy and closeness. Colors should feel curated, passionate, and warm.
This archetype is the epitome of being down-to-earth and genuine. These brands typically share relatable content, have a casual voice, and feel like coming home. A healthy Regular Guy/Gal brand promotes equality and evokes a strong sense of camaraderie, often freely giving away advice and value and taking on the role of a trusted friend. Known to root for the underdog and celebrate ordinariness, you might not be able to pick a manager or leader from the other employees because of casual dress and no true differentiators of status. In a healthy Regular Guy/Gal brand, there is a strong sense of camaraderie and a shared sense of purpose. At its strongest embodiment, the Regular Guy/Gal is a humanitarian who advocates for equal rights and the natural dignity of all people.
Your solid values, accessibility, and dedication to doing right by your people make your audience feel included and more likely to trust the process.
Avoid going with the flow so much that you lose yourself or try to form superficial relationships with everyone you come into contact with.
The Regular Guy/Gal customer wants to belong to something bigger than themselves. They often fear being left out or assumed to be putting on airs.
Create an honest community and culture of camaraderie based on shared purpose or passion. Create offerings that are financially accessible to many while maintaining impact and value. The logo of a Regular Guy/Gal brand is less one of status or identity and more one of affiliation, so consider creating branded merchandise that gives your people a sense of belonging.
Regular Guy/Gal fonts and designs should feel inviting above all else. Consider a condensed serif for a down-to-earth and nostalgic feel, which is a great option for community-building brands. Or a bold and modern serif font that communicates a steady and professional yet friendly vibe that is very welcoming to a broad audience. Lightweight fonts can communicate a soft and understated welcomeness. Consider warm and energetic colors like orange and yellow, balanced with steady and natural cool tones.
The Jester brand reminds us that we are free to be ourselves and connect with our inner child. Joyfully living in the moment, they combine intellect and the unexpected to surprise their audience with unique takes and twists. Their carefree and relatable attitude puts their audience at ease and invites them to not take things too seriously.
Your spontaneous energy and out-of-the-box thinking excite and energize those around you.
You may act without fully thinking things through, go too far to make a joke or be too roundabout with your message.
Not wanting to be seen as ordinary or boring, the Jester customer seeks products and experiences that help them not take life too seriously.
Connect with your audience through their desire for joy and play. Encourage them to free their minds and see the world in unexpected and unpredictable ways.
While you do have plenty of freedom to explore unexpected and playful brand elements, there’s no need to go too over the top with any one design element. Let the overall brand experience communicate an openness to curiosity while leveraging colors that are playful and unexpected and steady, modern fonts with personality. You might be surprised at how playful a clean sans serif font can feel within a colorful Jester experience. Think creative purples, optimistic yellows, and unexpected energy balanced with steady tones.
Your next step is to download the full guide to all twelve archetypes. I’ll give you a little time to reflect on which archetypes you feel most drawn to and which might be your best opportunities, then I’ll share the following for each archetype:
When the time comes for a brand identity that not only provides you with clarity on the form in which you function but also sets you free… Partner up with me and we’ll chase down both through the art of archetypes. Because, in this chapter of expansion and alignment, you deserve to shed old skin that’s no longer serving you while rising to the revolutionary impact you’ve been dying to revel in. Now & forever.
This was originally posted as a guest feature in The Cheetah Cafe by The Cheetah Club.
recently on the journal
Your free guide to timeless and universal strategy, story, and style.