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12 Brand Archetypes and How to Identify Them

Carl Jung, a Swiss psychologist, developed a set of 12 personality archetypes in 1940. These archetypes are a form of the collective unconscious. Jung proposed the idea of these archetypes as being aspects of one’s personality that are innate, hereditary and unlearned. He rejected the idea of ‘tabula rasa’, or the concept of the human mind being a blank slate that builds ideas solely on the shoulders of experiences.

(Source - Miro Medium)

A unique blend of language, culture, norms and beliefs defines a person’s archetype. The Jungian archetypes, consisting of several combinations, can be applied universally and are divided into twelve types: the Self, Anima, Animus, Shadow, Persona, Mother, Father, Child, Wise, Old, Hero, Trickster and Maiden. A compressive study of these can offer you a better understanding of the human mind and how it functions.

Though there are twelve archetypes, an individual may possess not just one, but a combination of two or more archetypes, with one being dominant over the other(s).

Similarly, one can categorise brands into twelve archetypes according to their characteristics and communication style. These archetypes are derived from Jung's theory and help us understand brands effectively.

As a business, one can study them to understand the target audience better, and thereby select the right strategy for their business and its promotion.

The Creator

These brands are perceived as visionaries. They are often ahead of time and offer innovation. Their creative take on existing products and services revolutionises the industry, while encouraging users to take a new direction.

Often individualistic and with a clear vision, their long-term goals revolve around innovation.

Example: Apple, GoPro

Brands like Apple and GoPro are innovation-centric that incorporate new ideas to existing products to improve user experience, and set the trend in the industry.

The Sage

This archetype comes from Senex, a Latin word used for the seeker of knowledge. These brands do not change the world but showcase it honestly and empower everyone with knowledge. Perceived as seekers of truth and life-long learners, they often have expertise in a subject and can influence it.

Example: TED, Times of India

TED and Times of India are brands that are dedicated to bring forth the truth of things that happen in our society. Their primary