We have all the information we need to be able to determine the brand archetypes that best suit your business!
Most brands have 3 archetypes that help them stand out from the crowd. (You know, so you're not looking just like every other brand within that archetype.)
There's your Core Archetype, which is the basis for everything that you stand for (and against), and gives your audience an idea of your brand's overall values and vision.
Then there's the Sub-Archetype, which is a smaller, more niche personality of the core archetype.
And there's the Stand-Out Archetype, because brands, like people, are NOT one-dimensional. Your stand-out archetype helps you differentiate your brand from other brands with the same Core Archetype.
Your 3 Archetypes are listed below. We suggest you make a note of them or print this page for your reference.
The Rebel wants to break away from convention and disrupt the status quo through revolution.
Rebel brands are passionate, disruptive, bold, and inspiring.
They are driven by radical freedom.
Rebel brands can topple an oppressive regime, or, if they're not careful, reinforce questionable moral values.
The Rebel is a rule-breaker and risk-taker. Fed up with convention, the Rebel pushed the envelope to bring about social change, a fresh perspective, or a reawakening. However, with the potential to be fueled by anger and negativity, the Rebel must be careful not to overstep one too many boundaries in its quest for reform.
The Activist fights for a cause, wanting to radically transform some economic, political, or social structure. This sub-archetype believes in the power of the people to affect change and rallies others behind its cause.
The Gambler thrives on risk. There are no limits to what the Gambler is willing to bet, which can lead to addiction and compulsion. Yet, this sub-archetype is socially adept and has good instincts.
The free-thinking Maverick rejects any sort of label or constraint. With an independent streak a mile wide, the Maverick displays intellect, aggression, and fearlessness while going against the grain.
The Reformer’s quest to affect change is typically a little more understated and calculated than, say, the free-wheeling Maverick. Seen in the roles of watchdog or whistleblower, the Reformer seeks to find ways to improve the existing system rather than destroy it completely.
The Magician wants to know how the world works so they can transform it.
Magician brands are visionary, charismatic, imaginative, and idealistic.
They are driven by making the complex seem simpler.
Magician brands create "magical moments" - experiences that feel special, novel, and exciting. Magicians help people transform.
Dream big! That’s the motto of the Magician. Charismatic, influential, and very perceptive, the Magician turns dreams or ideas into reality for others. The Magician relies on forces beyond the natural to get results and must beware not to fall into manipulation or trickery in the process.
The Alchemist uses a combination of fact and intuition in order to transmute one thing into something else entirely. The Alchemist values purity and perfection, wanting everything it touches to become pure gold. The scientific and the spiritual mesh to give this sub-archetype a belief that there are no limits. Nothing is impossible!...which may lead to the Alchemist’s weakness, if not careful — a temptation to engage in fraud.
The Scientist is passionate and curious, wanting to see what things are made of, and uses that knowledge to be a change agent in the world. A logical and questioning sub-archetype, the Scientist has to "see it to believe it". One thing it has to be careful of: missing the forest for the trees in its quest to dig deep into science and beyond.
Using a structured approach to problem solving, the Engineer transforms creative energy into practical expression. Logical and curious, the Engineer is the sub-archetype to turn to for solutions to everyday problems.
The Innovator, with a seemingly limitless ability to dream, is an idea machine. With high intellect and curiosity, the Innovator thrives on change and is not afraid of taking risks to get to a solution. Even though the Innovator has willpower and will perform in-depth research, this sub-archetype may be challenged to stay focused on the task at hand.
The Hero wants to prove their worth through action.
Hero brands are courageous, bold, strong, confident, and inspirational.
They are driven by courage and competence.
Hero brands are philanthropic or embody social responsibility. The Hero brand represents or helps people develop discipline, focus, and strength.
The Hero is represented by sacrifice, courage, faith, and strength. This archetype lives to triumph over adversity and will overcome great odds to facilitate transformation. The downfall of the Hero may be triggered by an exaggerated sense of self-importance.
In a word: fearless. The assertive Warrior has a strong sense of duty coupled with a healthy dose of bravery. Add to this a tactical mode of attack, and the Warrior is strong on strategy. The Achilles heel for this sub-archetype is a victory-at-all-costs mentality, in which the assertiveness turns a bit too aggressive.
The Athlete’s goals revolve around physical ability and mental focus. Disciplined and achievement-oriented, the Athlete is relentless in pursuit of a goal. The desire to be bigger, stronger, faster, and better is natural for this sub-archetype. The Athlete must be careful, though, not to use their physicality to bully or harm.
The Rescuer swoops in with a heart full of bravery to help others in need. With intuitive sensibilities and quick reflexes, the Rescuer becomes a familiar face in times of dire circumstances. The trap for the Rescuer? The misguided need to save someone just to prove its own worth.
Fighting on behalf of the disenfranchised and powerless, the Liberator is a champion for humanitarian rights, justice, and equality. With strong convictions and resolute hope, this sub-archetype does not accept defeat. The temptation for the Liberator is to allow the end to justify the means, however blurry the morality. Its staunch view of righteousness and justice can lead to revenge-seeking.
The Lover wants to help bring connection, love, intimacy, and joy to the world.
Lover brands are passionate, sensual, intimate, warm, and idealistic.
They are driven by appreciation and passion.
Lover brands naturally permeate cosmetics, jewelry, fashion, and food. The Lover helps people feel love and appreciation, or more attractive.
Faithful and passionate, the Lover is all about intimacy and togetherness. Don’t think it stops at kisses and roses, however. The Lover’s DNA pushes beyond romantic feeling to a state of being. The Lover appreciates beauty in various forms and values collaboration. The challenge facing the Lover is letting a fear of being alone, disconnected, or ultimately, unloved, overtake them.
Like The Commodores, the sensual Romantic just wants to be close to you. Charming and charismatic, optimistic and sociable, the Romantic can be intense emotionally. This sub-archetype may profess “you complete me”, due to a strong belief in the power of oneness that stems from a shared love. The Romantic can stumble over its own optimism, however. The challenge is in removing the rose-colored glasses and not getting caught up in the chase.
The Companion is loyal and trustworthy, and is the comrade and confidante we turn to when we need a helping hand or a patient ear. This sub-archetype holds a deep respect for a person’s inherent value and values relationship. The Companion may be devoted to a fault — potentially leading to loss of self and a rise of dependency.
The Hedonist is the erotic and sensual sub-archetype. Living in the moment, and living for pleasure, the Hedonist seeks out the exciting things in life to indulge in. The Hedonist must be careful of indulging too much. This sub-archetype may also show disregard for others in pursuit of pleasure.
The power of human connection and relationship dynamics are well understood by the Matchmaker, and this sub-archetype acts as a facilitator to draw people together. The Matchmaker uses strategy and intuition to spot patterns that can facilitate connections. The Matchmaker’s challenge is in allowing intuition to remain the guide when tempted to let judgment and personal agenda take over.
The Jester wants to live in a world full of joy, pleasure, and fun.
Jester brands are playful, light-hearted, mischievous, and irreverent.
They are driven by joy and happiness.
Jester brands tend to grab - and hold - attention through cleverness. They create their own way of doing things that often toss the rules right out the window.
Life is a playground for the Jester. With a penchant for irreverent antics, and an appreciation for the same, the Jester lives fully in each moment. Able to reframe perspectives and unafraid to speak out, the Jester can challenge convention in refreshing ways. The challenge facing the Jester is that of being too insensitive or insolent.
The Entertainer is playful and caters to an audience. Giving people a good show is all that matters. Quick-witted and highly adaptable, the Entertainer needs constant stimulation and feedback.
The Clown hides behind a mask in order to distance itself from serious or taboo topics in order to explore them. Highlighting the absurd in this way allows the Clown to poke fun and entertain at the same time. This sub-archetype is prone to exaggeration and drama to make others laugh.
The Provocateur may be controversial and polarizing, but does so with the charm and charisma that makes it a Jester sub-archetype. Of course the challenge for the Provocateur is to not come off as rude and offensive. But as a natural communicator and with an in-your-face mentality, the Provocateur stirs up change.
The Shapeshifter acts as a chameleon, able to navigate varying situations and levels of consciousness. Challenging others to question assumptions, this sub-archetype is a catalyst to help others see things differently. The weakness for the Shapeshifter is the inherent instability that comes with being so adaptable.
The Humanist wants to create community and provide a sense of belonging.
Humanist brands are friendly, humble, relatable, and down to earth.
They are driven by authenticity, empathy, and lack of pretense.
Humanist brands are welcoming and inviting. Their products or services tend to have mass appeal or be applicable to a broad audience.
What you see is what you get. Without pretense, the Humanist is sincere, helpful, and genuine. Wanting to belong and get along with others, this sub-archetype treats everyone with dignity and respect. Unfortunately, in the effort to not ruffle feathers, the Humanist may succumb to a herd mentality and lose its own identity.
The Citizen holds a deep responsibility to the community, believing there to be great value in the collective whole. With high integrity, the Citizen works for fairness and equality. The challenge for the Citizen is not to be overly zealous in its sense of righteousness.
The Advocate is compelled to work for the greater good on behalf of others. With passion and energy, this sub-archetype is able to motivate and inspire others to action while uniting people behind a cause. The Advocate should be careful, however, to not let personal gain overtake the greater good.
The Servant is committed to helping others, whether in a subservient role, or as a leader. With empathy, awareness, and commitment, the humble Servant asks no reward for serving others. This can, however, become a weakness, leading to burnout or a desire for recognition.
The Networker creates communities and connections for the benefit of the whole. With an outgoing nature, the Networker is a social butterfly, friendly and relatable. The challenge this sub-archetype may face is the temptation to manipulate connections for personal gain.
The Caregiver wants to protect and care for others and help them care for themselves.
Caregiver brands are caring, nurturing, selfless, and compassionate.
They are driven by compassion and generosity.
Caregiver brands are supportive and reassuring. They tend to offer products or services that involve acts of service, planning, or repairing.
The Caregiver helps people feel more secure, stable, and in control.
The Caregiver is good, compassionate, and empathetic, with a sacrificial concern for others. This sub-archetype remains calm in a crisis and remains optimistic. The challenge it faces is an inability to say no, always wanting to help even when it is detrimental to self.
A defender of others, the Guardian is fiercely protective. Providing nurturing guidance and loving oversight, the Guardian tends to keep to traditions and values. The main challenge of the Guardian is the potential to be overbearing or misuse their power.
The Samaritan is selfless and kind in its quest to love thy neighbor as thyself. This sub-archetype demonstrates compassionate action. It finds meaning in relieving others’ suffering. However, the Samaritan may face the challenge of self-martyrdom, if not careful.
Strong on sensitivity, the Healer acts as a conduit to wholeness by creating optimal conditions for healing to happen naturally. With healthy doses of optimism and empathy, this sub-archetype remains full of faith, while remaining perceptive to others’ emotions. Unfortunately, the Healer can succomb to ego if holding too tightly to the idea of having the only right answer.
The Angel sub-archetype exudes purity and humility. With infinite compassion, the Angel brings joy and laughter while providing aid and comfort. As the name implies, the Angel can help guide others to change their lives for the better — including facilitating spiritual connection and miracles. For the Angel, the challenge lies in having an unrealistic outlook — ignoring anything negative to focus only on the positive.
The Ruler wants to be seen as a leader and help others become powerful leaders.
Ruler brands are organized, responsible, articulate, and authoritative.
They are driven by responsibility and leadership.
Ruler brands are confident and refined. They are clearly evident in security, technology, and high-end products or services.
The Ruler helps people feel more powerful and influential.
Rulers possess a high degree of confidence and have an innate desire to be leaders. They need to be in control and feel qualified based on proven expertise or competence. This sub-archetype strives to create environments that are productive and harmonious. Its weakness lies in the fear of losing control, and can therefore overcompensate by becoming too authoritarian.
The Sovereign carries an air of prestige and rank. Holding fast to tradition, the Sovereign is controlled and proper in the public eye. While the Sovereign can fall into the trap of entitlement, it carries a great deal of responsibility and strives to act accordingly.
The Judge uses discernment and wisdom to challenge wrongs that need to be righted, thus providing structure to society or environments. With a balance between compassion and justice, the Judge is strong on communication, research, and strategy. However, it can be seduced by power, so the Judge should make a conscious effort to remain objective and impartial.
Acting as a diplomat, the Ambassador sub-archetype works to resolve disputes. The Ambassador strategically maneuvers complex issues or relationships to restore stability on common ground. The challenge for this sub-archetype lies in the potential to misuse its influence.
The Monarch acts as head of the family, maintains order, and provides protection. With leadership and courage, this sub-archetype takes care of those under it, inspiring feelings of security. However, the Monarch should be careful not to fall into a tyrannical leadership style.
The Creator wants to create something of enduring value.
Creator brands are imaginative, artistic, inventive, creative, and entrepreneurial.
They are driven by creativity and imagination.
Creator brands are expressive and innovative. The Creator brand uncovers originality and helps people express their own vision.
A passionate need for self-expression is the defining characteristic of the Creator. While highly imaginative with non-linear thought patterns, the Creator might be whimsical but should not be mistaken for flighty. On the contrary, you will find a Creator to be highly dedicated and achievement-oriented, with a highly developed aesthetic. Not surprisingly, perfectionism can cripple the Creator, along with fears of judgement and mediocrity.
The Visionary, insightful and perceptive, is often a very good strategist. Bringing an enlightened perspective along with a great imagination, this sub-archetype is able to see the potential for the greater good that others may not realize. However, the Visionary must avoid the temptation to shift the vision to control the outcome or to please other people.
When imagination is combined with the gift of communicating, the Storyteller sub-archetype emerges. The Storyteller thrives on dramatic expression, and is capable of bringing to life ideas and concepts that allow people to connect to something on a deeper level. Naturally, the temptation to tell tall tales is a challenge for the Storyteller. Exaggeration or misinformation for the purpose of a good story or to manipulate an outcome must be kept in check.
The Artist sub-archetype channels the intangible into a tangible form. With a deep psychological need to express itself, the Artist is often very emotional and deeply inspired. This sub-archetype, with an inborn curiosity and a playfulness, will bring an unorthodox perspective that challenges the norm. The challenges facing the Artist are a fear of failure, or taking on too much. It should also be careful not to fall into the stereotypes of the starving artist or mad genius.
Often displaying traits of a Type A personality, the Entrepreneur is achievement-oriented and ambitious. Led by a vision, this innovative self-starter is strong at generating ideas and thrives on turning dreams into reality. Unfortunately, the Entrepreneur may have a difficult time following through once the adrenaline wears off.
The Wholesome wants to live a simple and pure life.
Wholesome brands are moral, optimistic, simple, and young at heart.
They are driven by optimism, enthusiasm, and honesty.
Wholesome brands are simple and straightforward. The Wholesome brand is traditional and helps people experience peace and goodness.
With an unbridled sense of wonder, the Wholesome sees the world as honest and wholesome. This sub-archetype embodies a sense of renewal, inner peace, and nostalgia. It is pure, virtuous, and faultless. The challenge it faces is the tendency to avoid or deny problems.
Bursting with energy and a positive attitude, the Child is easily amused, entertained, or fascinated. The Child demonstrates a relentless belief in the goodness of humanity and is open to possibilities. Its curious nature tends to bring out the best in others. Challenges exist in that the Child is easily influenced and unable to grow up and assume responsibility.
With the ability to be swept away by possibilities, the Dreamer communicates abstract ideas with the help of a vivid imagination. Possessing the faith of a child, this brand archetype prefers to live in the paradise of the mind. However, it lacks the structure necessary to execute ideas in the real world.
The Idealist is driven by the belief that the individual can make the world a better place and believes in the possibility of positive change. Motivated by the ideals of harmony and peace, cooperation and collaboration, the Idealist acts as a catalyst for positive change. Unfortunately, the Idealist tends to view the world through rose-colored glasses and chooses not to see potential dangers.
As its name implies, the Muse is a source of inspiration and serves as a conduit to knowledge and understanding. Although the Muse excels at motivation, its unfocused energy can sometimes bring chaos.
The Sage wants to improve and grow through the discovery of truth.
Sage brands are wise, thoughtful, analytical, and knowledgable.
They are driven by wisdom and intelligence.
Sage brands are certain and assured. The Sage brand is a trusted source of information and helps people recognize the value of independent thought.
Motivated by a desire to seek the truth, the Sage values knowledge and learning. With an independent streak a mile wide and a healthy dose of skepticism, the Sage prefers to make rational decisions based on research. Challenges arrive in the forms of arrogance and a rigid reliance on dogma. Others dread the classic “know-it-all” attitude and accompanying air of righteousness.
The Mentor’s very existence is devoted to sharing wisdom for the benefit and support of others. The ability to remain objective and be a good judge of character serves the Mentor well and ups the level of trustworthiness. Everything the Mentor does is based on a desire to make sure the right outcomes are reached. The Mentor needs to be careful about dispensing all that info because a “helping hand” can easily morph into “an iron fist” if no one’s watching.
Like all great sleuths, the Detective diligently searches to uncover what is hidden. The Detective possesses a fondness for puzzles and has a keen eye for empirical evidence, but is also deeply intuitive and relies on instinct. Even if the Detective doesn’t want to admit it, the search for truth can be a selfish pursuit rather than for the benefit of others and the Detective may land in hot water if the search for truth turns into snooping.
Spiritual in nature, although not necessarily tied to religion, the Mystic has a mystical power to see and tell the truth, particularly from a “higher consciousness” or alternative perspective. (Deepak Chopra is a good example of a Sage brand that would fall into this subarchetype.) Dangers abound if the Mystic develops a false sense of power, as that could lead to bogus claims and manipulation.
A superb communicator, the Translator taps into universal truths by interpreting meaning and connecting patterns. An intelligent messenger, the Translator is attracted to communication and language. Before sharing those divine truths with the world, the Translator would be well served to remember the old saying “Haste makes waste” whenever the urge to make premature conclusions strikes.
The Explorer wants to explore all that life and the world have to offer.
Explorer brands are adventurous, individualistic, independent, and pioneering.
They are driven by autonomy, ambition, and exploration.
Explorer brands are ambitious and open-minded. The Wholesome brand is daring and helps people pursue freedom and individuality.
Independent and brave, the Explorer is motivated to experience new things. Pushing boundaries and taking risks are commonplace. The challenges that can arise throughout this quest are the tendencies to become alienated or wander aimlessly without true progress.
The Adventurer is daring and spontaneous, with a "no fear" attitude. This sub-archetype is recognized by its taste for danger and thrill — the rush of adrenaline is its lifeline. This addiction to adrenaline, however, could make it tough for the Adventurer to find happiness in the more mundane aspects of life.
The Pioneer is known for being the first to break ground. Innovative and driven, this sub-archetype blazes new paths. In the Pioneer’s quest for discovery, it should be careful to avoid burnout or dissatisfaction with being less than #1.
The Generalist believes that the entire world is open for experience and therefore is stimulated to explore many divergent areas. The Generalist has a great diversity of talents and knowledge, and this broad understanding may earn him the label of a Renaissance man. The challenge? Overstating or misrepresenting its level of knowledge.
The Seeker continuously strives to grow and learn. Tireless and ambitious, the Seeker leaves no stone unturned in its path to find meaning. Finding joy in discovering rather than relationships, the Seeker is constantly on the go, which unfortunately, can lead to loneliness and alienation.