For years marketers have been using Carl Jung’s famed 12 story archetypes to define brands, but many still forget to include these personas in their day-to-day marketing strategy. However, these brand archetypes are definitely worth paying attention to, vital for any business that wants to shape the way people feel about its product, service, or mission. And nowhere is this more important than luxury, where creating a meaningful connection with your audience is tantamount to success.
Understanding the 12 brand archetypes
So what are the archetypes? Each of the 12 archetypes represents a different persona which feeds into the human experience. Brands can tap into this by identifying with one of these personas, creating a personality for their target consumers to relate to and allowing potential buyers to feel like they really know the brand.
These archetypes help your brand become more trustworthy, ultimately fostering deeper and more long-lasting relationships with your target audience. They also allow luxury marketers to understand what clients really desire from their favourite brands, and to ensure they deliver.
The Everyman just wants to be accepted, offering laidback charm and friendliness to everyone they encounter. Your brand might identify as an Everyman if it gives people a sense of belonging, offering an everyday functionality and homespun company roots. An example of this would be FENTY, a luxury fashion brand by Rihanna and LVMH that creates on-trend clothing appealing to a wide range of people.
The Innocent is an optimist through and through, seeking harmony in the world. In brand archetype terms, this means a company that offers a simple solution to a problem and is associated with goodness, morality, nostalgia or childhood. Think Chanel, with its generational pull and evocative scents.
As an Explorer, your purpose in life is to adventure and discover, craving freedom and zero boundaries. This works well for companies selling rugged, sturdy products designed for the outdoors; especially those which encourage people to express their individuality and take risks. An example of this would be Land Rover, a company which shows people they can go anywhere with the right vehicle.
The Caregiver’s purpose in life is to help others, giving their all to nurture those around them. This might be right for your brand if it supports families or the environment, if it helps people stay connected, or if it promotes self care. The Four Seasons luxury hotel group is a great example of this, positioning itself as an establishment that really looks after its guests and makes them feel at home.
The Ruler leads the way, taking control and creating a world of prosperity, security and stability. If you are producing a high-status product that helps make people more powerful, perhaps one that offers a lifetime guarantee or is a market leader, then the Ruler might well be the right fit. Porsche is a strong example from the luxury car industry – a true authority and a symbol of wealth.
Watch the ordinary transform into the amazing in the presence of the magician. These are the ‘lemons into lemonade’ brands, which create opportunities out of problems and think outside the box. Out of the 12 brand archetypes, designer brand BVLGARI would suit this, creating quirky jewellery and decor that wows.
The Rebel shakes up the status quo, tapping into the turbulent side of human nature in the hope of driving change. Its target audience is those who feel the need to be different – think BALENCIAGA with its radical fashion. This brand has been a continuous disruptive force in the industry, challenging mainstream catwalk trends with wild products such as haute-couture IKEA bags and hugely oversized cape dresses.
Everyone loves the Joker – their purpose is to make people feel good and enjoy themselves, encouraging impulsive, unrestrained behaviour. This might match your brand if it helps people have fun and let their hair down. Gucci’s playful values match this perfectly, with accessories that often feature unexpected, lighthearted prints and sweet, floral perfumes that make the consumer want to follow their heart.
The Lover makes people feel special, creating an intimate connection that encourages indulgence. Spanning parental, familial, friendships, spiritual, and romantic love, these brands or products encourage appreciation, belonging, connections and intimacy. Of the 12 brand archetypes, Hermès fits here thanks to its beautiful aesthetic and enticing nature. It draws in its audience with charming illustrations and stories that make you feel instantly like part of their world.
The Sage is on an everlasting mission to find answers, and won’t settle for anything that’s not right or true. They thrive on being able to share their knowledge, and brands that identify with this tend to be information providers or create products that are supported by scientific findings. Patek Philippe is a good example in the luxury market, creating legendary timepieces that are passed down through generations, and making it known that their watchmakers are some of the world’s best.
Visionary ideas are the Creator’s bread and butter; Creators are attracted to clever innovation and unconventional thinking. This archetype might be right for your brand if it promotes self-expression and helps foster creativity, such as Apple, which constantly pushes technological boundaries to improve user experience.
Last of the 12 brand archetypes is the Hero, who wants to improve the world and motivates their customers to do and be more. They are inspiring and drive innovation. This persona might fit your company well if it is a challenger brand, solves a major social problem, or helps people do jobs exceptionally well. Rolex is a perfect example, being an aspirational and determinedly successful brand.
How we use brand archetypes at Relevance
As pioneers in luxury, Relevance doesn’t simply rest with Carl Jung’s 12 brand archetypes – instead we use our own data about ultra-high-net-worth-individuals, carefully collated over more than a decade of luxury marketing, to create unique archetypes which perfectly match your brand. This data spans everything from their lifestyles and spending habits to their education and business profiles. We then use these archetypes to create marketing strategies which captivate your dream target audience, creating experiences that will keep you and your clients in a life-long love affair.