Brand Archetypes

Archetypes and Carl Jung

Early in the 20th Century, the Swiss psychologist Carl Jung discovered the idea of ‘archetypes’.

Archetypes are feelings, fantasies and visions that reflect human characteristics. Jung described them as ‘Forms or images of a collective nature which occur practically all over the earth as consistence of myths and at the same time as individual products of the conscious origin.’

Jung developed the premise that everyone has a particular 'archetypal character’ that they can relate to in their life. Jung's work led to the identification of 12 different archetypes which span many different personalities. These archetypes are a part of our 'mental architecture’.

All good stories have characters which embody these archetypes. It doesn't matter if it's a Hollywood blockbuster story or an Indonesian hill side legend, you will come across the same types of characters  They are part of our "collective" unconsciousness as human beings. Not limited to culture, time or place.

The theories that Jung discovered were far reaching, influencing well known psychologists such as Freud and helping to define human psychology itself.

We use the findings of Jung in our work.

Archetypes within branding

In the more recent years, the idea of archetypes has been used in branding.

Here at Attitude Design we define branding as “the management of meaning”. When someone comes across you, your products or your services what meaning do they derive?

In their book “The Hero and the Outlaw” Margaret Mark and Carol S. Pearson show how that these archetypes connect with a number of scientifically defined customer motivations which resonate with each archetype. By understanding which archetype serves which motivation you can see how your brand can hold meaning for your audience.

To any business wishing to grow it is essential to influence the meaning that your audiences attach to you. The best way of helping to swiftly attach meaning to something is to tell a story around it.

Good branding is therefore good story telling. Archetypal branding is all about Authentic Branding. It is about finding who you are and why you do what you do and then telling your story in the best way possible. It is about selling meaning with integrity. 

Know your Story

So do you know your story and what archetype your brand is, which archetypes influence it and how best to add meaning to the presentation of your brand?

If you need some help in this direction be sure to give us a shout. We can help you define your purpose, vision and which archetype you are living out as a brand. From this you will be more strategically prepared to find a visual language which resonates with who you are and the story you are telling. Customers will connect in a much deeper way with what you are offering. You will have a system to manage the meaning of your brand.

Archetypal branding is the future. Be sure to know the soul of your brand.


Matt Davies

Creative Director

Matt Davies