How to connect a single brand personality with multiple offers & audiences
Archetypal branding is great to use on a holistic level but when businesses grow to corporate size it can be difficult to understand how exactly a brand should communicate.
With some businesses it is not as simple as finding one archetypal personality which their brand can embody. Different offers have different audiences which are attracted to the same offer for a different reason. For business reasons the main brand cannot be broken up and so must somehow communicate to multiple audiences as one brand but also find a specific personality within that for each audience and offer.
Some brands that offer a wide range of services and products to wide demographics typically try and become 'all things to all people'. The problem with this is that the brand expressions do not demonstrate or communicate a clear personality. As a result the brand message becomes diluted and the marketing of the specific product or service cannot effectively communicate to their audiences.
Does this sound like your brand? Are you wondering how you can you build a brand system which has a core personality at its heart - yet can flex and adapt to meet the needs of a particular circumstance? Not only how could you do this but also how do you make this information easily digestible to your project teams?
Don’t worry - there is a solution to how to get around these problems using the archetypal branding methodology.
One method would be to segment your products and offerings so as to give each of them their own unique personalities. We call this a "house of brands" - it's like a house where every room is completely different. There is no connection from one room to the other in terms of decoration.
This is the approach Unilever take (see https://www.unilever.co.uk/brands/). They own lots of products from 'Dove' (a brand offering consumers moisturisers and body lotions) through to 'Ben and Jerry’s' (offering consumers a range of amazing ice creams). Dove embodies a “caregiver” archetype. Ben and Jerry’s is a “jester” archetype.
This is a great example of a business looking at their offerings through the eyes of a consumer and realising they cannot be all things to all people and so they develop specific brands which become known as personalities in their own right without having much connection, if any, with the main business and brand that operates them - Unilever.
For some businesses though it is not as simple as this. They know which main archetype they are but some services and offers interconnect. For legal or business structural reasons they cannot segment their services or products for specific audiences. Also some products can be utilised by different customer groups for different reasons. When this is the case more of a “blended” approach needs to be employed. We call this approach "a branded house" - it's like a house where each room has a common theme running through each of them. Although each room is slightly different and has a different function they all feel part of the same place.
The way this works is that within the primary archetype of the brand, sub archetypes are employed for specific audiences or offers to ensure the message resonates effectively. Within each communication though the primary archetype is still apparent so as not to destroy the primary brand persona.
Let's now take some time to show how this might work and how you might use archetypal branding to help get this right.
How does a brand stay true to it’s essence while adapting to the needs of it’s audiences? The trick with this is to determine four things:
You then build these relevant ‘sub-archetypes’ (also known as “wing” archetypes) into your communication strategies and briefs to the design teams who will be creating marketing materials. The result - communications which stay true to the primary brand archetype but flexibility to communicate as a ‘sub archetype’ to specific audience segments.
An example of how to communicate multiple offers & audiences under one brand
As a simple example of this imagine you are in charge of marketing a golf club which offers its venue to not only golfers but also to businesses as a venue. The businesses can hire our the venue and they can also sponsor aspects of it. It also has a restaurant which is open to both golfers and to corporate clients. You have gone through a branding exercise and your Brand and Marketing have discovered that your authentic, primary archetype is the “The Innocent”. As a brand, your venue embodies the values of getting connected with nature, with experiencing happiness and with offering a service which is full of natural goodness.
There are four different offers going out to these two different audience segments and yet the golf club needs to maintain an overarching brand personalty of the innocent across them both. However how it speaks to golfers and how it pitches its golfing experience is going to have to be different to how it pitches its venue hire for large corporate clients. So - to overcome this complication you follow the methodology mentioned above. Let’s walk through it.
After doing some research you discover your audience segments which are:
1. Golf enthusiasts wanting to enjoy their sport
2. Marketing professionals representing corporate businesses
Psychologists tell us there are four motivations which drive consumer behaviour. These are: ‘Stability/ Control’, ‘Independence’, ‘Mastery / Risk’ and ‘Belonging’ (for more information see “The Hero and the Outlaw” by Mark / Pearson). Knowing this, you then do some further work to consider the main psychological motivating elements which attract each audience.
1. Golf enthusiasts - Mastery / Risk (exhilaration of accomplishment, desire to leave a legacy)
2. Marketing professionals - Independence (actualisation and fulfilment)
Following the archetypal methodology you then do some more work to seek out the relevant archetypes that fit the respective motivations and customer personas.
You discover the core archetypes which resinate with each audience are:
1. Golf enthusiasts - “Hero” - “prove one’s worth through courageous and difficult action”
2. Marketing professionals representing corporate businesses - “Sovereign” - “create a prosperous, successful family”
The final step in the puzzle is to work out the various products and services and how each one is applied to each segment. To make things simple we have listed four hypothetical different offers / products - in reality there could be hundreds.
Visually you can see from the table above this model allows you to clearly see conflicts (as in the food and drink services) but also where the brand should articulate messaging towards the “Hero” and where it can articulate messaging towards the “Sovereign”.
Where there are areas of conflict the communications can simply be focused on the primary archetype (Innocent). Where there is no conflict the marketing and messaging can be weighted to include messaging which would attract the sovereign or the hero - but still having the tone of the primary archetype of the “Innocent” running through them.
Having a methodology like the one explained above means that:
Obviously we would always suggest you test and research each stage of the process with focus groups to check that any assumptions are right - but if you want to make your brand communications resonate to each audience this is a great method to do this effectively. Once you have mapped out this vital information it can become the backbone of your visual language and tone of voice strategy ensuring that communications are always on brand and resinate with each audience to maximise sales.
So - now you know how to connect a single brand personality with multiple offers & audiences. Good luck!