Brand archetypes for luxury - explorer

Deep Dive into Brand Archetypes for Luxury Brands

We come across a multitude of brands daily, so why do some capture our hearts while others don’t? We like to consider ourselves “above” the influence of advertisers and branding, but the reality is, we’re all being influenced (at least to some extent) when making choices about which brands to support or avoid.

What makes a brand?

It’s no secret that marketers seek to create a connection between their product and their customer, but how does this work?

Is it the logo or colours that foster an emotional connection? Is their success due to their ingenious ad campaigns or avant-garde design strategies? Perhaps it’s simply their outstanding product or service?

It’s true that all these factors can work towards building a strong brand. Yet, the real impact happens when they come together to create an individualized and tangible brand persona; one that embodies a particular brand archetype.

Psychologist Carl Jung’s 12 brand archetypes address our basic desires, wants, and needs in a manner that is both natural and intuitive. Most of the brands we remember are based on an archetypal foundation. Smart branding speaks to the base motivations of the customer, presenting solutions, dreams, and ideas that resonate.

The 12 Brand Archetypes

12 Brand Archetypes

The Outlaw: This archetype seeks to disrupt the status quo, often playing on people’s rebellious streak. Examples include Harley Davidson, Virgin Airlines, Turo, and Uber.

The Magician: This archetype boasts of having the power to make dreams come true. Examples include Apple, Adobe, and Nike.

The Hero: This archetype seeks to encourage people on their path towards success, often inspiring them with stories of courage and determination. Examples include Mercedes Benz, Rolex, and Bose.

The Lover: This archetype seeks to forge emotional connections, often showing customers how their product or service can be beneficial in personal relationships. Examples include Victoria’s Secret and Marriott Hotels & Resorts.

The Jester: This archetype seeks to make light-hearted connections, often playing on the humorous side of life. Examples include Skittles, Mailchimp and Ben & Jerry’s.

The Everyman: This archetype seeks to appeal to the masses, often creating an atmosphere of comfort and familiarity. Examples include Target, McDonalds, and Walmart.

The Caregiver: This archetype seeks to evoke feelings of empathy and compassion in customers by demonstrating how their product or service can help others. Examples include Johnson & Johnson, Red Cross, and National Geographic.

The Ruler: This archetype seeks to make customers feel important, often showing them how buying their product or service can be beneficial in terms of respect and power. Examples include Rolex and Louis Vuitton.

The Creator: This archetype seeks to show customers how their product or service can help them reach their greatest potential. Examples include Adobe, Microsoft, and YouTube.

The Innocent: This archetype seeks to provide customers with a sense of warmth and comfort, often showing them how their product or service can bring happiness and joy. Examples include Disney, Hershey’s, and Dove.

The Sage: This archetype relies on knowledge and wisdom to educate customers about the brand’s mission and values. Examples include IBM and The New York Times.

The Explorer: Adventurousness is the key element of this archetype. It focuses on exploration, inspiring customers to try new things. Brands such as Patagonia, and Timberland fall into this category.

Brand archetypes for luxury - sage

Building a Luxury Brand that Connects Through the Use of Brand Archetypes

Consumers of luxury products have a deep connection to the brands they choose. The relationship between the customer and the brand goes beyond the transactional nature of many purchases. Luxury businesses don’t simply rely on convincing us that we need or want their product, instead, they tap into our innate instincts, inspiring us to take action without overt persuasion.

The basis of this process is to understand and tap into your audience’s emotional needs.

Everyone is unique; we all have different cravings. While one core desire may be to Serve, others could be the need for Autonomy or to Command.

Once we acknowledge that people with certain characteristics have differing wants and needs, it’s easy to understand why some personalities resonate with us more profoundly than others. By leveraging archetypes, we are more adept at recognising the behaviour and characteristics of our target audience and therefore we can connect with their needs.

Primary Reasons to use Archetypes for your Luxury Brand

  1. CONNECTION – Creating a lasting impact on your target market is essential for exceptional branding, and you must go beyond simply discussing features, benefits, and costs. Forging an emotional connection with your audience will position you in front of the competition.
  1. DIFFERENTIATION – Daring to be distinct is an essential piece of outshining the competition and making a lasting impression. To ensure that you are truly unforgettable, hone your brand personality and amplify your USPs. Storytelling is a great way to get your message out – either through the public relations/ the media, influencers, social media, or blogging.

Brand archetypes for luxury - ruler

Why Brand Archetypes are Effective

The success of any luxury brand lies in its ability to create meaningful connections with their customers – building a strong relationship by providing value and understanding customer needs. We feel more connected to some brands than others because of the way they communicate with us, and they do this by understanding and using archetypes.

When a brand’s archetypal personality resonates with their target audience on an emotional level, they hold a significant advantage over their competition.

Our brains are naturally wired to interpret personalities, making them invaluable when identifying the positioning of your brand and defining characteristics that will make a lasting impression on your target market.

Additionally, archetypes transcend culture, language, and time. It is a reliable form of communication that has been used by marketers for centuries to evoke strong emotions in consumers. These powerful symbols can create an immediate connection between your brand and potential customers.

Archetypes can also provide you with a better understanding of how customers view your products and services. Knowing the psychology behind customer behaviour can provide you with invaluable insights and create a meaningful bond between you, your target market, and your luxury brand.

Brand archetypes for luxury - caregiver

The Brand Archetype Strategy

To stand out from the competition, it’s essential to craft a brand personality that will appeal to your customer base. A way of doing this is by giving your business an exclusive voice – one which speaks directly to them and resonates on an individual level. Establishing such a persona can help you break free from ordinary expectations and ensure that people remember who you are.

For many emerging brands, defining a few traits that their target customers can identify with is common practice. However, archetypes take it one step further by creating full-blown personalities with worldviews, values and behaviours that give companies the ability to interact with customer groups as if they were real individuals. This allows them to build long-lasting relationships based on shared values and convictions.

If you want your audience to know your brand, your brand needs to first understand itself.

To create a strong connection with your customers, hone in on one single archetype and ensure all aspects of your brand reflect it. This will enable you to communicate with the same level of familiarity and intimacy as an individual would. Doing this can help ensure that consumers feel connected to and engaged by your business.

In conclusion, leveraging archetypes is an effective way to build lasting connections with customers. By focusing on core needs, desires, values, and fears of potential customers, you can engage them in a meaningful way and create an unforgettable brand identity. With the right archetypes, you will be able to develop a powerful relationship with your target market that is both memorable and timeless.

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About WOI

White Orchid Insights is a creative PR and marketing agency offering consultancy and services across digital and traditional marketing, public relations and media engagement, communications, and events. We offer services for the travel, transport, luxury, international education, wellness, F&B, start-up, consumer products, and non-profit sectors.

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