times square

What are the 12 brand archetypes for luxury businesses?

For years, marketers have used Carl Jung’s 12 brand archetypes to craft a brand identity that your audience can feel a deep connection with. Each of the 12 archetypes represents a different persona that 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 know the brand. Brands can also be aligned with more than one archetype, opening up a multitude of possibilities with target audiences and marketing strategies.

Knowing your brand archetype is definitely worth paying attention to, helping your brand become more connected with and foster deeper and more long-lasting relationships with your target audience. They also allow luxury marketers to understand what clients desire from their favourite brands and ensure they deliver to the highest standard. 

THE EXPLORER 

As an Explorer brand archetype, your purpose is to adventure and discover, craving freedom and zero boundaries. This works particularly well for brands selling rugged, sturdy products designed for the outdoors, especially those which encourage people to take risks. 

An example of this would be Land Rover. This British car company is renowned for its messaging that triggers the audience’s desire for adventure and exploration. At every touchpoint, Land Rover showcases the Explorer brand archetype in its full glory with a message: no matter how challenging the journey is or whatever the terrain, Land Rover is there to take you on a wild journey. 

Explorer brands are risk-takers, typically attracting clients with thrilling campaigns, programs and initiatives. Since Explorer clients seek excitement and change, trailblazing stimuli are highly effective in attracting their interest. In addition, Explorer clients dislike being confined to a safe and stable environment for too long. Brands should look to reinforce the desire for adventure, pushing them out of their comfort zone. 

A canyon with a mountain in the background

THE CAREGIVER

The Caregiver’s purpose is to help others, giving their all to nurture those around them. They take on the role of a healer or a motherly figure who has their clients best interests at heart. These brands are compassionate and provide emotional or physical support through their products, services, messaging, and business model. This brand archetype makes an excellent choice for healthcare brands, luxury hotels and travel. 

The Four Seasons luxury hotel group is an excellent example of this, positioning itself as an establishment that looks after its guests and makes them feel at home.

Caregiver brands will always put their client’s wellbeing first, and this must be reflected throughout every touchpoint, from their products and packaging to advertisements and overall brand voice. The Caregiver’s target audience relies on these brands for compassion and support, resonating with marketing campaigns that incorporate emotional elements or empathy towards their lifestyle. 

A large pool of water

THE RULER

The Ruler is a powerful and dominating force, taking control and creating a world of prosperity, security and stability. This brand archetype stands out for their ability to influence others with authoritarian personalities and rarely questioned industry expertise. Rulers associate themselves with wealth and success and are often portrayed as more masculine than others. 

Rolex is a true authority and a symbol of wealth. For decades, Rolex has used leading influencers and successful celebrities in its advertising campaigns. This communicates the message that not only Rolex is the most renowned watch brand, but it is also worn by industry leaders. 

Ruler brand archetypes should utilise multiple marketing techniques to show that they are the leaders in the market and that clients should not settle for anything less than brilliance. The Ruler audience is just as dominant as the brand. These clients take bold steps and are willing to pay a premium for products that will make them look more successful than others. Ruler brands would benefit from minimalist design and visual style, using colours associated with luxury and sophistication. 

A clock sitting in the middle of a watch

THE REBEL

True to its name, the Rebel brand archetype dislikes rules and conformity. The Rebel taps into the turbulent side of human nature in the hope of driving change and shaking up the status quo. While the Rebel may appear similar to the Creator, both valuing nonconformity and innovation, Rebels are more persistent. This brand archetype will push against societal norms, dismantling existing paradigms as a way to create something newer and better. The Rebel is best suited for brands that enable clients to express their unorthodox personalities and desires.

Balenciaga is a brand that 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.

Rebel clients are motivated by the thrill of anarchy. Rebel brands would do well to go against stereotypical societal norms and routine habits in their campaigns to connect with a like-minded segment. However, introducing new solutions to the same old problems is often enough to appeal to a Rebel client. 

A person sitting on a bench

THE LOVER

The lover brand archetype is a true romantic. They strive to make their target audience feel special, creating an intimate connection that encourages indulgence. Spanning parental, familial, friendships, spiritual, and romantic love, these brands promote a sense of appreciation, belonging, connections and intimacy. Lover brand archetypes also tend to focus heavily on aesthetic appeal, attempting to be as attractive as possible. 

For two decades, Gucci’s communication was characterised by the bold, provocative and controversial style initiated by Tom Ford. In 2015, a softer approach was designed with Gucci under new management. While the new brand character is still sensual and extravagant, it is far less provocative, becoming more romantic. 

As a Lover brand, encouraging your clients to be intimate, bold, daring, and romantic in all aspects of their lives can appeal to the Lover mindset. Lover clients also fear being unwanted. With this, brands should create a strong brand message that makes clients feel loved by those around them and themselves.

A group of people posing for the camera

THE SAGE 

The Sage exists to promote knowledge, truth and wisdom. These brands not only seek valuable information but also long to share it with others. The overall goal of Sage brand archetype is to empower change in their clients rather than bring about a difference on their own. They are seen as leaders and trusted sources of information, with many relying on them to better understand the world around them. Because of this, Sage brands tend to have a loyal following, who keep coming back to seek more knowledge. 

Patek Philippe is an excellent example in the luxury market, creating legendary timepieces passed down through generations and making it known that their watchmakers are some of the world’s best.

To appeal to Sage consumers, you must build a credible and trustworthy brand, creating a mentor-like image. Sage consumers also seek out the most reliable source of information, meaning it is crucial to provide up-to-date and insightful content continuously. A Sage brand archetype should acknowledge, even celebrate, their client’ intelligence. To communicate with them, ensure that you utilise solid facts and statistics to back up your statements. 

A young girl sitting on a bed

THE CREATOR 

The Creator brand archetype is all about innovation and creativity. These brands are typically non-conformists, becoming pioneers in new technology or creating unique combination of features. Creators strive to create meaningful products with enduring value that align with their vision. They also empower their clients to express themselves freely, with the help of a tool, a new feature or a design. Because of this, they naturally appeal to more creative or artistic consumers who place a lot of emphasis on self-expression. 

Apple is the epitome of innovation in design and technology. It does a superb job at empowering people to express themselves. In fact, most people would agree that their Apple products define their personality, through colour, style and design. Apple also evoke great discussion and speculation about the latest products, adding a sense of mystery to the brand. 

Creators brand archetypes promise authenticity and creative freedom, which should be reflected in everything from your brand’s messaging to the products you create. Their clients do not value traditional advertising, simple products and features that already exist. The target consumer is willing to pay a premium for products that foster creativity and self-expression. You should focus heavily on your audiences’ imagination and strive to bring their ideas to life.

THE MAGICIAN

The overall goal of the Magician is to deliver transformative experiences, transforming the ordinary into the extraordinary. These are the ‘lemons into lemonade’ brands, which create opportunities out of problems and think outside the box. Essentially, the Magician transports its clients to a Utopian world, beyond the limits of imagination. Similar to Creators, this brand archetype has a profound focus on creativity. However, these experiences are almost spiritual and ideological in nature.

BVLGARI has a profound focus on imagination and, as part of its brand strategy, places emphasis on transforming ideas into quirky jewellery and decor that wows. The strategy also revolves around integrity, open-mindedness and innovativeness. 

The Magician brand archetype is best suited for brands that offer products or services that take their clients on a transformative journey. Brands must develop a strong vision and stay true to it through visual identity and communication. Through strong messages and communication, clients should feel as if they are escaping reality, transcending into a magical place.

Zendaya wearing a pink shirt

​​THE HERO 

The Hero brand archetype reflects a symbol of courage and inspiration. These brands aim to guide their clients to make the world a better place. Hero brands are bold and brave but not intimidating. They welcome any challenge thrown at them, possessing big ambitions and encouraging their audience to work harder. 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.

Tesla, at its heart, is a hero brand archetype, portraying a vision of the world where technology is sustainable, clean and innovative. Following Elon Musk’s philosophy of ‘first principles’ thinking, Tesla communicates to its clients that they are working hard to be unique, trendsetting and push the automobile industry to new heights. 

Inspirational messaging and content are crucial in appealing to their clients’ ambitions. To do this, Hero brands benefit significantly from using high-achievers that clients can relate to as the face of their brand. Hero brand archetypes must consistently create new products that are sure to impress. Without this, brands may lose their appeal in product innovation and quality while focusing too much on brand image.

A car parked on the side of a road

THE JOKER 

The Joker fulfils their purpose of making people feel good and enjoy themselves, encouraging impulsive, unrestrained behaviour. This brand archetype does not always intend for clients to be pushed out of their comfort zone, but encourages their audience to laugh along with them. Jokers are superb at thinking outside of the box, which makes them great innovators when it comes to marketing. While on the surface it may appear that the Joker lives for the moment, Jokers understand that life is fleeting and must be enjoyed wherever possible. 

Moschino is a perfect example of a brand that wishes to keep its client’s inner child alive. Moschino prioritises humour and fun with their loud and eccentric clothes and fragrances while attracting clients through surrealist packaging, advertising campaigns and witty window displays. With effective communication, Moschino can communicate to their clients that they are purchasing something highly unique and non-conformist.

The Joker brand archetype strives to have clients associate them with good times and memories. This mostly translates into memorable and creative advertising campaigns that are likely to go viral. It is also essential to use the right amount of humour to connect with your audience, in order to be taken seriously. 

Maria Borges et al. standing on top of a cutting board with a cake

THE INNOCENT

The Innocent is an optimist through and through, seeking harmony in the world around them. Not usually ones for innovation, the Innocent offers a simple solution to a problem and is strongly associated with positivity, simplicity and happiness. The Innocent brand does particularly well in industries that involve organic or natural ingredients, such as beauty and skincare. 

Byredo’s unique brand identity comes from a well-considered balance of Scandinavian ethos of simplicity and reduction, with a sense of freedom and eclecticism. At every touchpoint, Byredo expresses creativity and hopefulness, developing products that invoke positive meaning and inspiration in people and their lives.

Innocent clients value simple solutions, so avoid using complicated jargon or emphasising complicated ingredients and features. Honesty and transparency is also an essential feature for this target audience. Because of this, brands should let these values influence every touchpoint, including their vision, mission, products, services and messaging. However, Innocent brand archetypes need to maintain a sense of reality, trying not to sell a Utopian concept that doesn’t exist.

A close up of a bottle

THE EVERYMAN

The Everyman brand archetype simply wants to be accepted, displaying a relaxed and friendly attitude to everyone they encounter. These brands do not wish to stand out from the crowd and send the message that it’s okay to be normal. Unlike other archetypes that hold an elitist personality, the Everyman offers everyday functionality with homespun company roots. Symbolically, the Everyman allies themselves with families and culture, appealing to those who require inclusivity and reliability. 

Loro Piana’s DNA is very closely linked to the values of the Everyman, offering family, craftsmanship, uncompromising quality and authenticity at every touchpoint. Through 6 generations, Loro Piana has continued to produce luxury goods using raw materials worldwide, providing complete comfort and understated luxury to their clients. Loro Piana is dedicated to staying true to its Italian legacy and homespun traditions.

To align yourself with the Everyman brand archetype, brands must be friendly and down-to-earth. As their target audience fears standing out from the crowd, the Everyman brand should become a comfort zone for its clients. While it may appear difficult to differentiate an Everyman from its competition, success can be achieved if you continuously produce high-quality, reliable products that clients find value in.

A group of people sitting at a picnic table

As pioneers in luxury, Relevance recognises that your brand is reminiscent of a living entity that can evolve and change from one archetype into another. It is a fluid process that adapts as you do. Because of this, our specialists go one step beyond Carl Jung’s 12 brand archetypes – adding our own knowledge about ultra-high-net-worth individuals, carefully collated for more than a decade of luxury marketing to create unique archetypes which perfectly match your brand. We then use these brand archetypes to develop marketing strategies that captivate your ideal target audience. This will help to give the brand purpose and describe to your audience what you stand for and what you intend to strive towards.

If you would like help defining your archetypes, contact Relevance today.

Read more articles by this author

click here