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What Are Brand Archetypes, and How Can They Bring Your Brand to Life?

What Are Brand Archetypes, and How Can They Bring Your Brand to Life?
What Are Brand Archetypes, and How Can They Bring Your Brand to Life?

The way a customer views your brand holds a lot of power.

When they see you as someone who can help them live a better life and become a better version of themselves, they’re much more likely to become a long-term, loyal consumer of your products or services.

To connect with your customers like this, you need an overarching brand personality that deeply resonates and makes you more memorable to your target audience.

Enter: Brand Archetypes.

What Are Brand Archetypes?

Rooted in personality psychology and derived from the work of Carl Jung, brand archetypes are based on human core desires, motivations, and emotions.

They’re essentially a personality profile for your brand. As such, archetypes provide a framework to connect your brand with your ideal audience in more meaningful ways. 


The goal of archetypes is an emotional connection. Tapping into a customer’s deeply-held ideals and aspirations helps humanize your brand and make it more important in your customer’s eyes.

Here’s a quick overview of the 12 brand archetypes.

The 12 Core Brand Archetypes

1. Caregiverthe caregiver

Motivation: Provide structure

Core desire: Service

Strategy: Put others before self; sacrifice for the greater good

Called to action: When someone is in need 

Tone of voice: Caring, warm, reassuring, conveying inner strength


Caregivers are nurturers, altruists, and supporters. They’re parent-like, strong, and reliable. They naturally care for themselves, their loved ones, and the wider world, and their basic desire is to serve people and protect them from harm. 

Caregiver brands tend to be nonprofits in fields like healthcare or education, but can also encompass products that are nurturing.

Brand examples: St. Jude, Campbell’s Soup, Salvation Army, Unicef, Johnson & Johnson, Pampers

This archetype connects to a customer’s need for compassion, care, generosity, and safety. In marketing, it looks like:

  • Highlighting guidance and assistance in service packages
  • Moderately-priced products and services
  • BOGO opportunities
  • Customer service as a competitive advantage
  • Community give-back programs or incentives to donate
  • Value propositions of care, health, and education

2. Creator

the creator

Motivation: Provide structure 

Core desire: Innovation 

Strategy: Unlock imagination and pursue originality

Called to action by: Inspiration and vision

Tone of voice: Aspirational, posing different perspectives, connecting concepts to encourage new ideas


The Creator archetype is entrepreneurial, artistic, and innovative. They’re inspired storytellers, imaginative visionaries, and daydreamers. Naturally creative, they seek to bring their vision to life and to build the structures that shape society. They want to create something valuable and enduring.

Creator brands are generally in creative fields like arts, marketing, design-focused technology, or toys. This archetype is ideal for products that encourage self-expression and innovation.

Brand examples: Apple, Etsy, Lego, Squarespace, Adobe, GoPro, Crayola

This archetype seeks to spark inspiration and instigate feelings of creativity, critical thinking, and a longing for answers in the customer. In marketing, this looks like: 

  • Clean lines and negative space 
  • Prices ranging from low end (attracting DIY creators) to high end (emphasizing the value of quality design)
  • Focus on originality, highlighting their differentiation factor

3. Ruler

the ruler

Motivations: Provide structure

Core desire: Control

Strategy: Exercise leadership and show superiority

Called to action: When there is a lack of resources, order, or harmony

Tone of voice: Invitational, exclusive, superior, authoritative


The Ruler is a leader, boss, judge, and diplomat. This archetype is naturally responsible and believes they’re masters of their own destiny. They’re Type A, achievement-oriented, elite executives. Their basic desire is to gain control and to create prosperity.

Ruler brands are often high-priced luxury brands with high-status products that enhance power and prestige. This archetype can also encompass classic products that promise predictability or stability.

Brand examples: Louis Vuitton, American Express, Mercedes-Benz, Rolls Royce, Hugo Boss, Rolex

This archetype seeks to draw out feelings of pride, confidence, responsibility, and drivenness in customers. It connects to customers who want to be perceived as special or elite. In marketing, this can look like:

  • High-end pricing
  • Lifetime guarantees
  • Differentiation from popular brands; positioned as the clear leader
  • Invitations to elite memberships, clubs, and perks

4. Explorer

brand archetypes - the explorer

Motivation: To explore life’s journey

Core desire: Freedom

Strategy: Break new ground in search of liberation and self-discovery

Called to action by: Restlessness and yearning

Tone of voice: Exciting, daring, aspirational


The Explorer archetype is an adventurer, pioneer, and seeker. They’re rugged individualists and natural explorers who love the open road, waters, and skies and seek out challenges with the resolve and confidence to confront those challenges. 

This archetype lives outside the comfort zone. At their core, the Explorer desires the freedom to explore the world and figure out who they are. They’re driven by fulfillment.

Explorer brands tend to be related to the outdoors or to seeking out adventure.

Brand examples: Jeep, GoPro, REI, NASA, Subaru, National Geographic, The North Face

This archetype seeks to inspire feelings of empowerment, ambition, and an urge to break free from constraints. In marketing, this looks like:

  • Copy and graphics that lean into individuality and personal freedom
  • Challenges and contests
  • Moderately-priced products
  • Video testimonials of customers using products to fuel their exploration

5. Innocent

the innocent

Motivation: To explore life’s journey

Core desire: Purity

Strategy: See the beauty in everyone and everything; Display a wholesome, virtuous life

Called to action by: A seen or felt need for simplicity or goodness

Tone of voice: Cheerful, optimistic, clear, and to the point. Never guilt-inducing.

The Innocent archetype is often described as an idealistic dreamer and a naive traditionalist. Ever the utopian, this archetype is idyllic in their desire and expectation for clear, simple paths. They’re honest, simple, natural, and trustworthy, and always see the sunny side of things. At their core, they desire purity: to be good, enjoy simplicity, and feel positive.

Innocent brands tend to be nature-oriented, like organic foods and skincare. But this archetype can also encompass products that accentuate simplicity.

Brand examples: Dove, Aveeno, Hasbro, Coca-Cola, Volkswagen, Chobani, McDonald’s, Disney

This archetype relates well to customers who see themselves as virtuous, positive, and happy. In marketing, this looks like:

  • Highlighting safety and simplicity
  • Low-to-moderate pricing
  • Brand promise with a lifetime guarantee
  • A customer experience that exudes this persona
  • Prominently featured company core values

6. Sage

the sage

Motivation: To explore life’s journey

Core desire: Understanding

Strategy: To engage in lifelong learning and show the path of wisdom to others

Called to action by: Confusion and doubt

Tone of voice: Articulate, explanatory, philosophical, academic, use of symbolism, trusts the audience to grasp concepts


The Sage archetype is contemplative, scholarly, philosophic, and evaluative. They’re researchers, teachers, experts, and translators. Self-reflective critical thinkers, they’re committed to lifelong learning, pursuing personal growth, mastery, and influence. They want to discover the truth in order to better understand the world. They’re driven by the quest to learn.

Sage brands tend to be teachers, mentors, thinkers, and guides who pass on information and education. 

Brand examples: PBS, Morgan Stanley, Rosetta Stone, TED, Discovery Channel, Mayo Clinic, Harvard, New York Times

This archetype seeks to initiate curiosity and reflection in its customers. It relates to consumers who desire objectivity, who seek truth and clarity. In marketing, this looks like:

  • Content that deep-dives into a subject
  • Citing references, attributing others, and posing different perspectives
  • Asking rhetorical questions
  • Using supported data to build the quality of the brand
  • Highlighting new breakthroughs in science and research

7. Hero

the hero

Motivation: To leave a legacy

Core desire: Mastery

Strategy: Become stronger and more powerful, prove others wrong

Called to action by: A challenge, such as someone who needs their defense

Tone of voice: Challenging, empowering, bold, aspirational, unafraid


The Hero archetype is a rescuer, warrior, competitor, team player, and superhero. They’re wired toward mental and physical fitness to become as strong, competent, and powerful as possible. They tend to be idealistic and strong-willed. 

Courageous and determined to achieve, this archetype rises to the occasion. Their core desire is to prove their worth through courageous action. The Hero is driven to improve the world with their strength and competence.

Hero brands are often athletic brands who help people achieve peak performance. This archetype can also encompass products that have a big impact on the world.

Brand examples: Nike, Olympics, FedEx, Adidas, BMW, Gatorade, Duracell, Marvel

This archetype seeks to give customers feelings of empowerment, strength, readiness, and accomplishment. In marketing, this looks like:

  • Highlighting customer aspirational identity
  • Value propositions of improving the world, making an impact
  • Messaging around being the underdog, rivaling the competition
  • Building community around serving the local neighborhood and the world
  • Customer stories of courage, determination, and achievement

8. Magician

the magician

Motivation: To leave a legacy

Core desire: Power 

Strategy: Create and live by vision and transformation

Called to action by: Their “sixth sense”

Tone of voice: Mystical, fantastical, imaginative, informed, believable


The Magician is a charismatic visionary, an innovative catalyst, an engineer, alchemist, scientist, or healer. They’re eager to recognize serendipity and magical moments. 

Influential trend-spotters, they strive for win-win outcomes and inspire people to dream bigger and to defy common beliefs and natural laws. Their core desire is for power and knowledge of the elemental laws of the universe. They’re driven to make dreams come true.

Magician brands offer a transformation of some kind, with products and services that expand consciousness or have a spiritual element.

Brand examples: Make-a-Wish, Disney, Xbox, Polaroid, Dyson, MAC Cosmetics

Magician brands seek to inspire feelings of hope, excitement, intrigue, and willingness in their customers. In marketing, this looks like:

  • Brand messaging that emphasizes customer transformation
  • Medium- to high-end product pricing
  • User-friendly digital touchpoints
  • Logo animation and audio that adds to the brand's mystique

9. Outlaw

the outlaw

Motivation: To leave a legacy

Core desire: Revolution

Strategy: Disrupt, shock, or destroy what isn’t working for themselves or for society

Called to action by: Powerlessness

Tone of voice: Passionate, rebellious, bold, disruptive


The Outlaw archetype is a rebel, activist, gambler, revolutionary, misfit, and risk-taker. They’re often nonconforming, fearless, and shocking. This archetype disdains rules, is anti-status quo, has righteous anger, and takes control, yet is confident and good at heart. They desire revolution that liberates themselves and others or abolishes what isn’t working.

Outlaw brands leverage rebellious, revolutionary anger to right the wrongs of the world. This archetype can also include products that are perceived to be not in the customer’s best interest.

Brand examples: Harley-Davidson, Virgin Records, Jack Daniel’s, Uber, Greenpeace, Red Bull

The Outlaw archetype seeks to spark feelings of restlessness, empowerment, freedom, and confidence in their customers, inspiring them to embrace change. In marketing, this looks like:

  • Low- to moderately-priced products
  • Bold color, fonts, and a disruptive tone
  • Challenging the status quo
  • Using calls to action to tap into inner anger

10. Every Guy/Gal 

the every guy/gal

Motivation: To pursue connection

Core desire: Belonging 

Strategy: To line up with basic values and be a part of a welcoming space

Called to action by: Feelings of loneliness or alienation

Tone of voice: Friendly, approachable, practical, humble, authentic


The Every Guy/Gal archetype reflects the common man or woman, the neighborly citizen, the girl or guy next door. This archetype is naturally amiable, realistic, resourceful, down-to-earth, stable, and moral. They are faithful friends who want to belong, who are driven to connect with others and fit into the group.

Every Guy/Gal brands tend to encompass functional, commonly used, moderately-priced products.

Brand examples: Chevrolet, Home Depot, Old Navy, Ford, Levi’s, Ikea

This archetype seeks to inspire feelings of acceptance, understanding, trust, and willingness in customers. In marketing, this looks like:

  • Highlighting the uses and practical applications of products
  • Using the Goldilocks principle with 3 product or package options (good, better, best)
  • How-to videos, step-by-step instructions, DIY projects
  • Appealing to down-home practical values

11. Jesterthe jester

Motivation: To pursue connection

Core desire: Laughter

Strategy: Joke, play, be funny, and lighten up the world

Called to action: When they’re bored

Tone of voice: Fun, irrelevant, light-hearted; emphasizes belonging


The Jester archetype is, as its name suggests, the entertainer, clown, prankster, and comedian. They’re naturally clever, socially intelligent, and great conversationalists. They live in the moment. The Jester is the life of the party: an optimistic jokester who doesn’t take themselves too seriously. Their core desire is to laugh and to make others laugh. They’re driven to lighten things up and have a good time.

Jester brands encompass fun-loving products that help people have a good time or products that have a community aspect.

Brand examples: Doritos, Dollar Shave Club, M&Ms, Budweiser, Skittles, Old Spice

The Jokester inspires feelings of joy, silliness, positivity, and happiness. In marketing, this looks like:

  • Group experiences and social platforms that create a sense of belonging
  • A mascot that further associates the brand with fun
  • Low-to-moderately priced products
  • Poking fun at the obvious problem the brand or product solves

12. Lover

the lover

Motivation: To pursue connection

Core desire: Intimacy

Strategy: Affirm love and beauty in relationships, work, experiences, and surroundings

Called to action by: Infatuation or seduction

Tone of voice: Enticing, irresistible, indulgent, descriptive, sensory

The Lover archetype is a companion, friend, and partner. They’re harmonizers, matchmakers, romantics, and hedonists. They seek relationship and fall in love easily. They’re driven to become more attractive and indulge in luxury, pleasure, and passion. They’re driven toward sensual pleasure.

Lover brands often encompass products that accentuate beauty and celebrate love, such as perfume, cosmetics, or jewelry.

Brand examples: Hallmark, Tiffany & Co, Lancôme, Godiva, Chanel, Victoria’s Secret

This archetype inspires customers to feel passionate, beautiful, connected, appreciated, and indulgent. In marketing, this looks like:

  • Numerous meaningful customer touchpoints
  • Beautiful imagery and sensory descriptions
  • Elegance and high-end pricing
  • Perks and gifts to make customers feel special and appreciated

Learn More About Bringing Your Brand to Life With Brand Archetypes

Brand archetypes can help you bring your brand to life by giving you structure and guidelines for creating marketing that truly reflects who you want to be in your customers’ lives.

What archetype (or archetypes) does your brand reflect? 

To learn more about how to determine your brand’s archetype and apply it to your marketing, download our FREE eBook: Brand Archetypes 101: How To Bring Your Brand to Life With Personality.

Download Now 👇

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