December 5, 2023

5 mins


The 12 Brand Archetypes & How to Use Them

Thomas Lee

CEO & Co-Founder

Who are you as a brand? With these brand archetypes, you can learn more about the core values and traits you share with your audience.

Is your brand a bit of a rebel or a goody two shoes?

In marketing, one technique we use to create a strong brand identity is through brand archetypes. Borrowed from the realm of psychology, this is a useful tool that will help differentiate your company from others in the same industry—so you can stand out from the crowd.

This is also the first step to creating a strong brand voice and personality. But first, let’s explore the history of brand archetypes, what they are, and how you can use them for your business.


What are Brand Archetypes?

Brand Archetypes come from the world of Jungian psychology. Traditionally, they are used to identify our core universal traits, ideas, and motivations. These archetypes have been observed throughout history, and they continue to appear in all kinds of myths, legends, and stories.

While they have been critiqued for being difficult to study analytically, many have found them useful for storytelling, self-reflection, and personal development. And while they aren’t used as much in psychology, they have found another use, marketing and business.

Personally, we find them exceptionally helpful in creating a cohesive brand identity. By identifying your brand archetypes, it’s much easier to pinpoint your brand's mission, values, and so much more.

Who Invented Brand Archetypes?

Over 100 years ago, it was Swiss psychologist, Carl Jung, who invented the 12 personality archetypes. He believed that our personalities fell into these different categories based on our core motivations and values.

Today, these archetypes are used by brands in their marketing to help them define their brand’s personality. By using them, brands can better connect with their audience and relate to them through their share values and beliefs.

Image from Wikipedia

The 12 Brand Archetypes

Over the years, brand archetypes have been refined by everyone in all kinds of disciplines, from literature to business. Here’s a quick definition of each one, their strengths & weaknesses, as well as a few examples.

#1 - The Creator

When it comes to this kind of brand, their core goal is to help you to create something with meaning. They’re all about teaching you to make the most of your creativity. They want you to foster your own imagination and learn how to wield it.

  • Strengths: Brands like this tend to be seen as highly artistic, creative, and inventive.
  • Weaknesses: One downside is that they may be perfectionistic or impractical.

Some examples of Creator brands are:

  • Lego
  • Crayola
  • Winsor & Newton
#2 - The Caregiver

Fundamentally, this kind of brand has one simple goal: To care for those around them and to protect them from harm. Because of this, they have a strong ability to empathize with their audience. They also practice compassion and want to help people care for themselves.

  • Strengths: These brands are seen as caring, selfless, and generous.  
  • Weaknesses: However, they can be taken for granted or easily exploited.

Some examples of The Caregiver are:

  • Campbell’s Soup
  • Johnson & Johnson
  • Dove
#3 - The Explorer

Brands like this seek fulfillment through discovery and new experiences. Not surprisingly, they enjoy exciting, risk-taking activities and encourage their audience to embrace their authentic self. They are also usually aligned with values like independence and individualism.

  • Strengths: In general, they’re perceived as restless, adventurous, and ambitious.  
  • Weaknesses: Since they’re so focused on ambition, they might seem exclusionary.  

Some examples of Explorer brands are:

  • Jeep
  • Red Bull
  • Arc'teryx
#4 - The Hero

As you may have guessed, these brands want to help to save the world and make it a better place for everyone. They’re here to leave a mark and solve serious problems that affect the world. They also have a strong sense of honour and hope to inspire others to follow in their footsteps.

  • Strengths: They’re seen as courageous, bold, and confident.  
  • Weaknesses: At times, they might seem overconfident and arrogant.  

Some examples of The Hero are:

  • Nike
  • Greenpeace
  • Doctors Without Borders
#5 - The Innocent  

Companies with this personality have strong values and want to make the world happier. Beyond that, they are also associated with positive morals and nostalgia. They’re here to do good things and they have a strong sense of integrity.  

  • Strengths: They’re seen as trustworthy, reliable and honest.  
  • Weaknesses: On the flip side, they may seem naïve, oblivious, or dull.

Some examples of The Innocent are:

  • Coca-Cola
  • Cottonelle
  • Pampers
#6 - The Jester

With this archetype, their goal is to help you have a good time and loosen up a little. Think of them as the devil on your shoulder whereas The Innocent is the angel. Both might want you to be happy, but in slightly different ways.  

  • Strengths: These brands are humourous, light-hearted, mischievous, and sometimes irreverent.
  • Weaknesses: Unfortunately, they can be seen as irresponsible, impulsive, or disrespectful.

Some examples of Jester brands are:  

  • Ben & Jerry’s
  • Wendy’s
  • Hasbro
#7 - The Lover

The goal of this kind of brand is to inspire intimacy and celebrate love. They help their audiences feel appreciated, connect with their loved ones, and build meaningful relationships in their life. Additionally, they might also be seen as seductive and alluring.

  • Strengths: Some traits related to this brand are passion, warmth, and romance.
  • Weaknesses: The downside is they might be too selfless.

Some examples of The Lover are:

  • Victoria’s Secret
  • Godiva Chocolate
  • Savage X Fenty
#8 - The Magician

Want to make your dreams come true? Brands like this are all about promising ways they’ll help you live out your biggest fantasies. They paint themselves as a visionary who wants to inspire and transform the world.

  • Strengths: Generally, they're viewed to be charismatic, imaginative, and idealistic.  
  • Weaknesses: One problem they face is that if they fail to deliver on a promise, they can create distrust in their audience.

Some examples of Magician brands are:

  • Disneyland
  • Apple
  • Expedia
#9 - The Outlaw

As you might expect, these brands seek to break the rules and fight the status quo. They’re not like everybody else in the slightest—and they want you to know it. Often, they’ll highlight that they’re paving the way for change.

  • Strengths: These brands are perceived as rebellious and wild.  
  • Weaknesses: When taken too far, these brands can alienate their audience if they’re too divisive.  

Some examples of Outlaws are:

  • Virgin
  • Harley-Davidson
  • Dos Equis
#10 - The Regular Person

This kind of brand is seeking to foster a genuine connection with its audience. In other words, they’re just like everybody else. You can think of them as your friendly neighbour next door who will lend you a cup of sugar.

  • Strengths: They’re seen as being humble, supportive, reliable, and faithful.  
  • Weaknesses: By blending in too much, they can struggle to craft a strong and distinctive identity in their space.

Some examples of Regular Person are:

  • Home Depot
  • eBay
  • Bic
#11 - The Ruler

Brands like this seek to create control—even in the most chaotic environment. These brands are typically considered a leader in their industry.

  • Strengths: They’re perceived as highly responsible, well organized, and should be looked to as a role model for others.
  • Weaknesses: One weakness is that they may be too rigid and authoritative, making them unrelatable. They might also come across as a bit boring and dry.

Some examples of Ruler are:

  • Microsoft
  • Marie Kondo
  • Rolex
#12 - The Sage

This kind of brand seeks to help the world by sharing unique wisdom and deep insights. They’re considered to be considerate, detail-focused, and a trusted mentor you can go to for advice.

  • Strengths: These brands are full of knowledge to the point they become a trusted source of information, wisdom and intellect.
  • Weaknesses: They can be too confident or too opinionated, failing to acknowledge their own biases.

Some examples of Sage brands like:

  • PurpleAir  
  • Google
  • BBC  

Choosing the Perfect Brand Archetypes

So, now that you know the brand archetypes the real question is how you use them. In general, we recommend that you pick one because this makes it simpler to hone that underlying message in your marketing.  

However, there is some overlap, so you can pick two if you strongly resonate with multiple. In fact, if you have two distinctly different audiences, then you might modify your brand persona somewhat to speak to them separately.

Need expert help in growing your eCommerce business or tech start-up?  

At HyperPop, we’ve curated a team of expert marketers, writers, and designers with decades of experience. Reach out and let’s hype up your marketing.

About The Author

Thomas Lee

CEO & Co-Founder

As a serial entrepreneur and co-founder of HyperPop, Thomas finds fulfillment in bringing his creative and professional ideas to life. Since 2010, he has founded and grown several businesses across multiple industries in Hong Kong and Vancouver. He has over a decade of experience in marketing, eCommerce, manufacturing, and logistics.