discover the personality of your brand
Your brand has a personality and style that defines it. It’s how others perceive you and how you stand out from the competition, and so important to your brand’s success. Here’s what you need to know about it.
All the big brands in the world have a personality and style that’s pretty unique to them. It’s something that goes beyond what the brand looks like, but also goes into how it communicates. When I started working with clients 10 years ago, I had no idea about brand personality or archetypes. I worked instinctively on their brands and on my own. Of course, as with anything, I have learned along the way how important it is to have a consistent brand and personality in order to differentiate your business.
I feel that the more we connect with the personality of our brand, the more effective we are in communicating and connecting with our audience.
it all starts with branding
So, of course, you first have to be pretty clear about who you are as a brand. Before determining how you are going to share it, you have to know and understand what “it” is, right? So, here are the questions you need to be answering:
what is your mission and purpose?
what values are associated with your brand?
what makes you unique?
what does your audience need?
how are you communicating what you do?
All of these are the essential parts of your brand which will let you know who you are and what makes you unique. Here’s the thing: the one thing that will make you stand out from everyone else is your brand.
Why? Because it’s about discovering the things that make you different. Good different. “That’s exactly what I want” different.
In case you are still trying to understand your own brand, sign up for my free 7-day email course on branding right here:
the 12 brand archetypes
Once you get total clarity about who you are and what you share, it’s time to really define your brand personality. This is, basically about how you speak, what you tell people and knowing your brand voice. So, what are brand archetypes? Archetypes are concept created by the famous Swiss psychologist Carl Jung. Basically, humans tend to categorize different things in order to understand them better. We anchor what we see against something iconic which we already recognize. So in the mind of your audience, when you align with an archetype, it makes it easier for them to understand you. Of course, this is why consistency is so important. I talked about consistency right here if you want to find out more by the way.
Archetypes helps your audience understand who your brand is and what it stands for. Of course, you want to use your voice to be authentic and to bring more you to the table.
The innocent’s core desire is to be happy and free. They strive to be good, pure, young and optimistic. They are loyal and faithful dreamers. At their best they are honest and enthusiastic and at their worst the are naive or even boring. Their strategy is to do things right. Some examples of this in the real world? Charmin or Avon.
Here’s a brand that does this really well:
Papsi, for example is client I worked with that offer a psychological program helping others feel good and be more optimistic. One of their predominant archetypes is Innocent. Can you notice how the archetype affects the color of their logo too?
The hero on the other hand wants to improve the world. They are courageous, bold, honorable and strong. They tend to be super inspirational! I see a lot of coaches for example within this category because of the things they share and how they help others in what they do. They are great at showing others how to overcome obstacles and persist during difficult times.
One of my favorite hero brands definitely has to be Nike. Showing people that they can do anything if they believe it.
Here’s a coach I worked with that is all about empowering people to wake up to feel alive. The colors used are more vibrant and loud.
The regular guy or gal looks to belong and connect with others. They want to feel like they are part of something. They are down to earth, super supportive and, of course, relatable. They tend to give people a sense of belonging and differentiate themselves from luxurious, unreachable brands. They are empathetic and realistic.
In the real world, one brand that does this really well is Old Navy. It’s all about being real.
In my own world, I worked with coach and blogger María Ramirez, and her brand Love Full Life is all about sharing the rawness of parenting and coaching. A great way to connect with her audience.
The outlaw is the bad boy of the archetypes. Their goal is to break the rules. Now, it doesn’t always have to be something bad, of course. Brands like Apple (especially in the beginning with their Think Different campaign) are about being rebellious and paving the way for change. I think this video so clearly represents what outlaws are. And if you haven’t seen it, you definitely should by the way.
The outlaws like to disrupt or shock. They break industry conventions and appeal to people that feel ignored or alone in society. One of the clients I have had that is slightly an Outlaw is Glam Rock Nails. The reason for this is that their brand is all about breaking conventions. They sell a soy nail polish remover which is absolutely changing the industry and paving their way to change. They are looking to revolutionize and change the norm with their products.
The goal of the explorer is to discover new experiences. To be adventurous, ambitious and independent. They are the brands that actively seek out new things. They help people fell free. These companies ten to create new and exciting products and experiences. They tend to embrace the journey, rather than the destination (don’t we all wish we were like this?).
In the real world, the biggest example for me is Jeep. They are great at pushing people to experience new things.
In my own experience? Renpacific is a brand that does tire retreading. They are all about going out to experience something new, trying something different that will take you to new places.
Rulers are the ones that like to take control and create order. They thrive to create a prosperous family. These are the big leaders of the pack. They’re responsible, organizes and, basically a great role model. They like to exercise power and sometimes can even come across as too authoritative. They offer a high-end or status product that makes them feel more powerful. In the real world we can see this in brands like IBM, who want to be viewed as leaders in their field.
In my own experience? I would have to say one of the brands that stands out is Global Investment which is a firm that offers real estate investment opportunities for people to expand or increase their profits.
On the other hand, the creator wants to create things of great meaning and value. They are imaginative, artistic and sensitive. They like to invite others to openly express themselves and believe that if you can imagine it, it can be done. They are afraid to be seen as mediocre. These brands promise authenticity. In the real world? Lego is a big one. It’s literally about creating worlds. How about this really cool ad?
In my experience? I would have to say a creator brand I have worked with is Sip Tales who have a place where you go to create art with friends. This brand is all about self-expression and creating pretty incredible memories.
Magicians are pretty cool if you ask me. They are the ones that make things happen. They influence people and transform their visions into reality. They love to make dreams come true and are visionary, charismatic and cool inventors. A lot of coaches are also seen as magicians because they promise to transform the lives of their clients.
In the real world, a very cool example is Disney, who literally act like magicians creating amazing things for us to enjoy.
From the people I have worked with there are a lot of magicians. Most recently was the work that I did for Maria Alejandra Vargas, a coach that helps others reach their true potential.
Lovers like to create intimacy and, well, inspire love! They are passionate, sensual, intimate, romantic and warm. One negative side though is that they tend to be a bit self-less. They are so concerned of pleasing others, they forget to please themselves in the process. They help others belong and could be seen through dating sites for examples. Love brands promise passion. They show themselves as glamorous. Who does this really well? Victoria’s Secret and Axe.
From my experience, I would have to say that Latin singer Benavides would be one of them. His style and music are all about love and his brand and message looks to be passionate and intimate.
The caregiver is all about caring and protection. They are super maternal, nurturing and generous. They love doing things for others. They are compassionate and strong. They promise recognition. They offer protection and safety to support their clients. They are great at helping people stay connected and care about others.
In the real world you can see this in brands like Huggies or Johnson’s baby.
In my own experience, a brand that is all about giving and helping others connect is Meditation Republic which is a site that teaches other to meditate and care for themselves.
The jesters love to bring joy. They are the funny guys in the room. They have a great sense of humor, are light-hearted and irreverent. They love to play and make others laugh. They give people a sense of belonging and help them have a great time. One of my favorite, real world examples of this is Mail Chimp. They are super cool with their communication and style.
From my own experience, a brand that is definitely light-hearted and fun is Matilda’s Bows. Can you tell just by looking at the logo?
Finally, the last brand archetype or personality is the sage. These are the really really smart brands. They bring wisdom and insight. They are a knowledgeable and super trusted source. Of course, they sometimes can come across as too opinionated. They look the seek out new information and knowledge.
In the real world? CNN, BBC, NBC. Those are great examples!From my own experience, Consultec would have to be one of them. This is a company with experts in the oil industry. They offer consulting services for big companies all over the world.
things to consider
Those are the 12 brand archetypes. Of course, there are some important considerations I want you to have. For one, we aren’t just ONE archetype. We are a mixture of things. What you want to do with your brand is find a balance to communicate and connect with your audience based on how they see you.
In my experience, I see usually 2-3 archetypes in each brand. However, it’s usually one that is really strong and then another that is hinted within your communication style. A funny thing? Almost everyone of my clients thinks that they are the sage.
Remember, it’s really important that you understand your brand first and, with that, you go on to build upon how you will communicate with your audience.
If you still need help with defining your own brand, sign up for my free 7-day email course on branding! This will absolutely help you gain clarity.
As for me, I consider myself to be a mix between the creator and magician. They are the ones that resonate with me the most. On one hand, I help people make things happen and on the other and I do it through artistic expression.