First, I love helping brands figure out their Brand Archetype. It's really fun, because it's like one of those quizzes we used to do on Facebook that would tell us what our spirit animal is or which "Friends" character we're most like.
But unlike those quizzes, Brand Archetypes are far from silly. In fact, they're essential to creating a distinct and memorable brand identity. So how do you determine your Brand Archetype?
Let's first look at the 12 different archetypes.
The 12 Archetypes and their core value are:
If you're like me, you may look at this list and see yourself/your brand in several of these archetypes. And you probably are blend of archetypes, because none of us are 1-dimensional! But, at your very core you should identify with one or two.
To figure out your brand's archetype you'll need to do a little digging.
Taking the time to develop a clear brand archetype is an invaluable exercise to really know your brand's identity. It involves some introspection, thinking about the impact you want to have, and how you relate to or impact your target audience...
Personally, I find it quite fun. And that's probably because many copywriters and storytellers are like wannabe psychotherapists. Brand archetypes is all about psychology!
That's what you're doing when defining your brand arcehtype. Understanding your brand's psychology.
When it came to my own brand, I thought I knew who I was, because I identified so closely with my target audience - The Rebel Leader / Outlaw Hero. We both want to have a positive impact and change the way things are. We're not here to conform, we're here to disrupt the status quo.
But whenever I go to write or work with my clients, The Rebel part of my identity doesn't quite come out - at least not organically. Of course, there are many different ways to be a rebel. In my last LinkedIn newsletter, I gave the example of Lucille Ball and Coco Chanel (the person not brand) both being rebels, but having very different voices.
Finally it dawned on me that the reason the Rebel part of me wasn't feeling quite on brand is because at Red Balloon Station, I'm not the one rebelling (not typically). I'm helping my clients rebel - operative word being "helping." I serve my clients. And service is a core value of mine.
That brought me to the Caregiving Leader. That sounded right, but deep down it still didn't feel 100% right. So, then I did more digging.
I have sort of a whimsical personality and way of writing, and I'm obviously a Creator/Artist as well...but when I revisited who the Magician is, it all finally clicked, because I'm a dreamer. I'm a dreamer who wants to make other people's dreams come true while leaving a mark on the world.
While I could probably leave my archetype simply at The Magician, "service" is very important to my brand identity (and personal identity). Red Balloon Station is here to leave a mark through service. And that's why I'm the Caregiving Magician.
Basically, I'm Mary Poppins!!!
And this revelation completely delighted me.
As soon as I had this revelation I knew I got it right. A fellow copywriter friend also confirmed that this is also how she sees me. She said I'm like Luna Lovegood from Harry Potter.
But knowing and understanding your brand archetype isn't all just fun and games. Having a deep understanding of your brand archetype not only helps you create a distinct brand voice and image, but it also helps you know your strengths and potential pitfalls.
Your brand archetype should also inform how you operate as organization and how to communicate and strengthen your internal and external communities.
That's why it' important to dig deeper and really think about who your business is and what its mission, goals, and impact are. Because at first you might think you know who you are, but find that that's not quite right. Or you may find you fit a few different archetypes and need to dig deeper to narrow down who you are at your core.
Notice that I said I'm a Caregiving Magician and not the other way around? I'm not a Magical Caregiver, which does have a nice ring to it. But that's because at my true core, I am a Magician. Red Balloon Station is a Magician.
And when you figure out who you are at your core as a brand, it will pull together your entire brand identity and voice. This includes the visual and design aspects of your brand identity too, which admittedly, is where I've struggled most - particularly when it comes to my socials and blog images. But now I've got much more clarity, vision, and direction so I'm excited to lean into my inner Mary Poppins 🎈
If you're a new business, take the time to do the work. If you've been around for a little bit but you feel like your messaging is lacking personality and consistency - you're not connecting with your audience - it's probably time to revisit your branding.
If you're business is evolving it may also be time to see if your brand's archetype, values, and mission are still accurate.
Going back to Coco Chanel - in the early days, Chanel may actually have been considered a Rebel brand. But over time, it has evolved into the Lover.
Remember, determining your brand archetype is just one part of creating a distinct and memorable brand identity and voice.
Want to create a distinct and memorable brand identity and voice? Contact me now and let's see how we can work together to bring your brand to life.