Let’s play a little game! Real quick, I want you to take 30 seconds, and think of some of your favorite products and brands. Remember brands and products can be anything ranging from shoes or clothing you wear, to the coffee/beer you drink, all the way to the bands, people, and tv shows you like. Think of brands and products you are fiercely loyal to.

These are some of the brands that come to mind for me:

![My-Brands](/img/My Brands.png)

These are brands I’m loyal to. Some of businesses, some are bands, some are websites.

Sure, I think all these products are awesome, but there are thousands of other great products out there. Do you ever ask yourself why you get behind certain brands?

When James Cameron says Marvel’s Comic Book movies have ruined the film industry, why do I get upset? Why am I not doing the same thing for DC’s Comic Book movies?

indie-wireYOU’RE WRONG JAMES CAMERON!!! AVATAR SUCKED! I do love a lot of his other movies though =(.

When someone says they don’t like Enjoi’s skateboards, I tell them to put down the pipe they are smoking, and buy an Enjoi. Enjoi’s same skateboard molds (what makes the skateboards you buy different) exists in 5 other skateboard brands who share the same manufacturer (Dwindle).

dwindle-distribution All of these companies are Dwindle skateboard companies, meaning they all have very similar products, yet I feel loyalty to Enjoi Skateboards.

This is what an Enjoi ad looks like typically:

enjoi-ad Enjoi uses a ton of humor in their advertising. They want to be seen as a Jester brand archetype.

When a friend is asking me what kind of RAM to put in their new computer, I tell them to buy Corsair. Their RAM may be great, but there are over 50 different companies that make RAM sticks with the similar specs, reviews, and reliability.

Why do certain sports teams that win often fail to attract attendees to their stadiums?

san-diego-stadium The San Diego Chargers were a playoff team for years in the 2000s, but still failed to attract fans to their stadium. Last year the team moved to Los Angeles.

Why do we pick to get behind the brands we do? It can’t solely just be the quality or value of these products, can it? I’m about to tell you the answer.

For years, marketers have been using a branding framework that creates brand loyalty, helps brands stand out, and ultimately makes it easier to produce content that is consistent. Today for the first time ever, I’m going to tell you what advertisers, marketers, and brand experts have been doing to trick us into feeling a connection with a brand, and more importantly 

The strategic framework I’m talking about is called Brand Archetyping.

What is Brand Archetyping?

The actual concept originated from world renowned Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung back in 1919. If you don’t know who he is, you should definitely at least read his Wikipedia page. He’s a pretty cool guy. He is often called the the Godfathers of Analytic Psychology.

Ever hear people around the workplace talk about introverts and extroverts? Jung was the guy that popularized extraversion and introversion as theories, and has vastly changed how businesses approach their talent.


Carl Jung was a sales baller, we just didn’t know it yet.

As he studied and researched the human mind, one of the big things that Jung wrote about was how we unconsciously look for patterns in behavior to help our minds organize thoughts and see the world in order.

I’m obviously not an analytical psychologist, and don’t want to say the wrong thing here. Arguably after Sigmund Freud, his theories are some of the most important for understanding how our minds work unconsciously. We don’t even realize that we’re thinking these things, and that’s because it’s been an evolutionary pattern over time.

Jung said that we organized thoughts in archetypes when we consume things like stories, art, myths, religion, and even our dreams. Eventually, advertising agencies discovered they could use this framework to build audiences and brands in their ad campaigns. It became so popular to do these things, that around the 60s and 70s, it became a trend for advertising agencies to hire in house psychiatrist to help analyze and develop brand strategies with creative teams.

The reason is because if a brand can stick with one archetype in its messaging and image, it can cause a customer’s mind to resonate and feel comfortable with that brand. It makes it easier to fit content into a prospect’s brain’s pattern of logic and reasoning unconsciously. It brings comfort.

As a prospector who is posting on social media, cold emailing, cold calling, etc, you can make your prospects feel more comfortable about you as an individual brand by consistently wrapping your content, messaging, and and public image into one or two brand archetypes as much as possible.

While Jung originally wrote that the mind can handle many archetypes, over the years, ad agencies have managed to find 12 brand archetypes a brand can use that consistently have worked to resonate with customers and prospects.

mad-man-ad-agenciesDamn you ad agencies! You got us!

The 12 Brand Archetypes

We’ve all been duped. We all feel tons of loyalty to brands because of the way they go to market executing on their messaging and image. Some do this intentionally, but many are just accidental.

The big reason archetypes work is because customers see themselves as all of the 12 archetypes at different points of their life. We’ve all felt like a badass who can punch a jukebox and start music (Rebel). We’ve all felt like the player that wants to take the final shot in a basketball game (Hero). We’ve all felt like the person that wants to get the whole room laughing in stitches (Jester).

Planning to have your individual brand align with one of these archetypes will change everything.

#1. The Ruler

The Ruler is a brand archetype where you present your brand as being the leader. You’re the best at what you do, and you aren’t afraid to tell others about it. If your prospect being prospected by a Ruler, they should feel like they are the best, and are working with the best.

#2: The Lover

The Lover brand is all about intimacy. It’s about creating pleasure for prospects interacting with your brand both physically (not sexually) and emotionally. If a prospect is being prospected by a Lover brand, they should feel like they are close and intimate with you.


I want to make it clear that intimacy is all about closeness. Not sexual in nature when you brand yourself this way.

#3: The Rebel

Sometimes called “outlaw” brands, rebel brands push the limit by disrupting their industry with constant rule breaking.If a prospect is being worked by a Rebel brand, they should feel like they are challenging the status quo working with you, and part of a revolution that goes against the grain.

#4: The Sage

The Sage brand archetype is all about being enlightened with wisdom, and teaching others lessons.If a prospect is being prospected by a sage, they should feel like both you and they are the smartest people in the room.

#5: The Magician

The Magician is all about making dreams come true. With sales it is about helping your customers and prospects reach their goals. When a customer is getting reached out to by a magician, they should feel like anything is possible, and dreams can come true.

#6: The Caregiver

The Caregiver brands are best known for their quality where they protect, nurture, and focus on caring for their customers. When a prospect is interacting with a Caregiver, they should feel peace of mind, comfortable, and nurtured by you.

#7: The Explorer

The Explorer brands are all about trying new things and sharing it with their customers and prospects.A prospect should feel like they are experimenting while on an adventure with the Explorer.

#8: The Jester

The Jester brand is all about entertaining their prospect and making them laugh. A prospect working with a Jester brand should feel like they are being entertained and having fun.

#9: The Innocent

Innocent brands push happiness and optimism. A prospect working with an innocent brand should feel like things are simple and positive.

#10: The Hero

Hero brands are all about accepting a challenge and proving themselves. A prospect consuming and interacting with a hero should feel like the hero is up for any challenge, no matter how big or small.

#11: The Everyman

Everyman brands are all about being down to earth, friendly, and not needing glamour or vanity to relate to someone. A prospect working with a Everyman brand should feel like they relate to the person selling them.

#12: The Creator

The Creator is all about building something great. They have vision and creativity. A prospect working with a creator should feel like the sales rep will help them build on their next great project.

Brand Archetypes and Social Selling

Everyone can feel an appeal to these archetypes, because we all are these archetypes. Sometimes, we’re Jesters, making the whole room laugh. Sometimes we’re the Everyman, not caring about financial or social status. We are all Creators, working on something like an ebook or building our pipeline.

That’s the nature of these 12 archetypes. There is no wrong answer, because we all relate to it. In an ideal situation, the best brands in the world try and commit to picking ONE archetype. Just ONE!

Picking one archetype can have a huge effect on building brand loyalty.

Social-Selling-WorkshopHow do you want your prospects to view you? Pick one of these and commit all your post, contents, and individual branding to it, and you’ll see crazy loyalty.

Sure there are times where a tactic or message may touch more than one archetype at once. However, if you can post to social in one of these archetypes, talk to customers as that same archetype, and prospect in the voice of one of these archetypes, you increase your chance of gaining more loyal new customers.

So now it’s time for you to pick one of these! We’ll be writing more about this topic and how turn it into the first step to social selling more effectively, but before we do that, let’s have you pick an archetype you want to be. Are you already implementing a brand archetype for yourself that is independent of your company’s?

Which brand archetype suits you best? 

Posted by Ryan O'Hara
Ryan O'Hara
Ryan O'Hara has been an early employee at several startups helping them with marketing and prospecting tactics, including Dyn who was acquired by Oracle for $600+ million in 2016. He's had prospecting campaigns featured in Fortune, Mashable, and TheNextWeb. Ryan specializes in branding, business development, prospecting, and coaching people on how to make good digital first impressions. He also mentors two accelerators, The Iron Yard and The Alpha Loft, and hosts The Prospecting

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