Do you know your brand’s archetype?

Why do certain brands appeal to you, make you want to buy them, make you laugh, feel good about yourself, make you feel happy, feel beautiful?

According to a popular, and effective, marketing strategy based on the archetype, it’s because these brands are built around a personality and certain personalities appeal to us more than others.

So what is this archetype-thingy?

Almost all brands that you feel such a bond with are built with a solid alignment to an archetype. They are grounded in decades of psychological research and have their roots in Greek Mythology. Archetypes are not new. They stem from the work of well-known psychologist Carl Jung. Jung described archetypes as universal collective patterns of the unconscious. He believed everyone shares and understands these themes, regardless of culture or language, because they are an undercurrent to all humanity.

In marketing they are a popular tool for personifying brands.

(You can read more about the Jungian archetypes here.)

The brand archetypes

The idea is that we humans are wired to behaviour built on our desires, and certain personalities have stronger desires than others. Based on 12 human desires are 12 archetypes which can be used to define your brand’s personality. A lot has been written about brand archetypes, so I’m not going in-depth here, but I will touch upon the types and then talk about my brand archetypes and what that means to my clients.

To read more about branding and archetypes, I would recommend this article in particular:  Brand Archetypes: Ultimate Guide – Hack the Mind of Your Customers.


List of archetypes and their prime desires.

The Outlaw : LiberationThe Magician: PowerThe Hero: MasteryThe Lover: IntimacyThe Jester: EnjoymentThe Everyman: BelongingThe Caregiver: ServiceThe Ruler: ControlThe Creator: InnovationThe Innocent: SafetyThe Sage: UnderstandingThe Explorer: Freedom



As a brand, you want to appeal to the desires of your audience. Does that mean you create your brand personality, your archetype by first identifying your customer’s personality, and aligning your brand with the archetype that would most appeal to a desire within your customer? Or do you identify your brand’s archetype first and align your branding an marketing to that archetype and inevitably attract the right audience?

My personal opinion is either works, depending on what your business is, what you offer and in how far your WHY is connected to your archetype.


What about my archetype, and the desires that form the basis of my brand byKatrien?

I didn’t find it very difficult to identify what my desires in life are which are inherently linked to why I do what I do and what I do best: wanting to be surrounded by beauty and joy and creating it for others, to share with the world. I desire both beauty and joy and fun in life, they make my heart beat faster, make life worthwhile and that is my brand’s personality as well. And there are two: Beauty & Fun.

Intimacy and Joy are the two desires that are most prominent to my being as a designer and which belong to two brand archetypes: The Lover and the Jester. And they go hand in hand. (They even live next to each other on the brand archetype diagram.)

Do I think it a problem that there are two and not one? No. They belong together, they need each other.

Do you know your brand’s archetype?

So, what’s your brand’s personality? Do you recognise your brand or your target audience in one of the brand archetypes mentioned above? Or do you als identify yourself also as a Lover or a Jester? That’s good news!!! You belong to my tribe  😊.

The Lover’s greatest desire is Intimacy.

She craves beauty, elegance, love, connection and sensuality. It’s her mission to create beauty and help others enjoy it as well. What she fears most is ugliness and hatefulness.


The Jester’s greatest desire is Enjoyment. 

She wants people to just lighten up, be a bit crazy, have fun. She knows how to make people laugh, she likes to be tongue-in-cheek, and she will ask you for a dance… because…the music….! What she fears most is safe, bland, boringness.

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