The speaker for this week’s Brandcenter Forum was Stephen Fischer, who spoke about archetypes. I learned several useful things from him:
- Emotions are what motivate you to buy things
- Emotions come from experience (as a function of time)
- Stories are what generate experience and therefore influence behavior
- Archetypes are relationships.
The archetypes of brands:
- Sage: sense of wisdom (New Balance)
- Hero: speaks to your emotional need to performing at your best to accomplish something important (Nike, BMW)
- Jester: emotional release, enjoying yourself (Ben & Jerry’s)
- Creator: the need to create something yourself (Apple, Crayola)
- Outlaw/Maverick: emotional need to cut loose & break rules (Harley Davidson)
- Caregiver: taking care of someone else (Johnson & Johnson, Volvo)
- Everyman: everyone’s on the same level (Southwest, Walmart)
- Ruler/protective/leader: don’t have an example, sorry!
- Magician: transferring the ordinary into extraordinary (Mastercard)
- Lover: gourmet, pleasure (Target, Victoria’s Secret)
- Innocent: refreshing (Kashi, Fiji, Volkswagon)
- Explorer: moving beyond the conventional to explore and grow
- If the archetype varies and is unfocused, it’s not as successful (similar to Jim Carrey having a serious role or Denzel Washington having the leading role in a comedy)
- For a brand archetype to “feel right” it has to match something we already think it is. For example, if Apple (creator) suddenly became the jester it wouldn’t feel right and the brand wouldn’t appeal to you
- What a brand is not is just as important as what it is
For more information check out Josheph Campbell: The Power of Myth.