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Classic Brand Archetypes

Updated: May 17, 2019

Wheels 'O' Fate...

As with with any other area of insight, there is the shallow end of the pool.....

....and the deep end; but here...we'll just lay down the ground work.

  1. Where did brand archetypes come from?

  2. What are the 12 Classic Archetypes?

  3. How can you use brand archetypes in your business?

  4. Stratgix Consulting's Archetypes.

  5. Care to dive in the deep end?

1. Where did brand archetypes come from?

So, you see...when a market loves a business....Just kidding!

Ok!..... Question for you! How long after you've met someone do you say to yourself. "He/She is X type of person?" Doesn't take that long does it? For your brain to categorize them I mean. That's exactly what brand archetypes are about, how the brain has a set series of basic categories that helps it quickly recognize and understand the world.

It all began with Carl Jung's explorations in psychology. The Swiss founder of analytical psychology was an early supporter of Sigmund Freud, but later followed his own path. Over 50 years later Carol S. Pearson and Margaret Mark paired that jungian psycho-analysis with Joseph Campbell's work on the universal narrative structure of the hero's journey.

In their co-authored book "The Hero & The Outlaw: Building Extraordinary Brands Through The Power of Archetypes", Carol defines the 12 classic archetypes and Margaret applies them to the world of marketing and branding.

2. What are the 12 Classic Archetypes?

A picture is worth a 1000 words, got the message?

3. How can you use brand archetypes in your business?

A brand archetype is a great guidepost for how to position your business in the marketplace; even in a crowded and commodified space, or one with very strong competitors.

For example, let's take a look at two of the biggest fish in the coffee shop space - Dunkin' Donuts vs Starbucks. What comes to mind? Do they have the same regulars? Do they serve the same type of pastries? What about their decor and ambience?

Funny enough, they are actually on opposite sides of the archetype wheel.

Dunkin' Donuts represents the "Everyman" while Starbucks stands in the "Explorer" slot.

It even shows in their slogans. "America Runs On Dunkin'. " - Distinctly expressing the primary idea of the Everyman, belonging.

"You are what you drink. So what do you want to be today?" - Encouraging their customers to explore their menu and express themselves with a perfectly personalized cup of coffee.

Not much similarity beyond the fact that they both serve coffee and pastries right? By aligning your brand to a specific primary archetype you can carve out mental space in your potential customer's mind, differentiating your business easily from competitors.

4. Stratgix Consulting's Archetypes and how I think they fit.

I'm a Sage, I'm a Creator, I'm a Explorer, maybe a Rebel...but I'm not Meredith Brooks (and she definitely wasn't Alanis Morisette, woo! 90s reference!)

Let me know if Stratgix Consulting is living up to these 3 archetypes!

Sage - Primary

Guided by the discovery of truth, the Sage uses intelligence and analysis to understand the world. Look at brands that provide expertise or information and that encourage people to think and you will see the Sage at work.

  • How I work it: Stratgix Consulting's whole ethos is based on intelligent analysis of how branding affects all other areas of a business; then educating the market place on all the elements that make up branding, brand development, brand influence, and marketing.


The Creator’s core desire is to create something of enduring value and give form to a vision. Brands that encourage self-expression; provide choices and options; help foster innovation; or are artistic or creative in design embody the Creator archetype.

  • How I work it: Graphic Design, Consulting, Planning....need I say more? I hear an idea and I'm immediately thinking of ways to bring it to life.


The Explorer yearns for the freedom to discover the world and experience a better, more authentic, and more fulfilling life. Brands with Explorer traits are often those that help people feel free, are nonconformist, are pioneering, and offer sturdy or rugged products.

  • How I work it: My entrepreneurial word of 2016 was "Explore" and that has always been a part of my character. The desire to explore the rabbit hole and switch things up. My best clients and business partners join me on the journey or provide me with the resources to accomplish it!

5. Care to dive in the deep end?

Here are a few sources for you to explore on your own! Carol Pearson & Margaret Mark Interview Quizzes to help you explore your brand archetypes Quiz 1 | Quiz 2


Thanks for reading!

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