No matter what you sell or offer, impact comes from cultivating a deeper connection with the audience you serve. Apple doesn’t just sell mobile phones or computers, their slogan ‘Think Different’ speaks volumes about the bigger story they are telling. When someone buys an Apple product, as opposed to say a Microsoft or Samsung one, that choice says something about who they are and what they value as a consumer. As a brand, when we clarify and communicate our bigger story, we move from a purely transactional relationship with our audience and customers, to a more meaningful one.
Okay, but why Archetypes?
By becoming aware of the archetypes active in your brand, you become more conscious of the story you are telling in the world. And because archetypes are universally recognized patterns that transcend, and yet inform human culture, they are a powerful tool to communicate your values and vision to your audience in a deeply nuanced, yet immediately accessible way.
Your archetypes are at once familiar and authentic to your brand, yet theatrical and larger than life. They have the power to elevate brands to an iconic status, “brands with meaning so deep and resonant that they transcend[…] time, cultural chasms, and competitive assault,”
— Margaret Mark, Brand Strategist and author of The Hero and the Outlaw: Building Extraordinary Brands Through the Power of Archetypes
Your brand’s archetypes are potentialities intrinsically connected to your vision and values. They point to your brand’s capacity for both its highest and lowest expression. Sometimes our brand archetypes challenge us, or surprise us, or feel a little too “larger than life” than is comfortable. It’s up to you how much or little you embrace and leverage your archetypes, but in my experience, they often point us in the direction of both professional and personal growth, calling us to tell a bigger story and make a larger impact with the audiences we serve.
Brands who have reached this level of affiliation and iconic status often have a loyal and devoted customer base that spreads the word for them like brand evangelists, buying from them time and time again, and, like Apple i-fans, may even line up at their literal or virtual doorsteps to purchase when a new product or service is released. If you get this brand alignment right, your brand too could be set up to achieve powerful and lasting success.