🤑 You have $200 tuition credit

Apply and Redeem Now!



How to choose a character and persona for a brand?

Snickers is the best way to fight hunger. Bounty is associated with some tropical islands. Coca-Cola's Santa is connected to family values. Each of these brands created an image and strong associations for their products in communication with the consumer. 

These are the qualities peculiar to archetypes. We will tell you why they are essential and how to create a brand in terms of the theory of psychoanalyst Carl Jung.

What Is Archetype and How It Works

To be closer to the audience, brands become part of their real world and create guide characters, like Nesquik bunny and Jolly Green Giant. These characters appeal to values that resonate with people. This is because brands know their target audience and use research data in communication competently. 

Archetypes are behavioural programs we implement throughout our lives. Brands choose their archetype based on strategies, behaviour patterns, and manner of communication with customers. This is a living image that is created considering the peculiarities of target customers and the brand concept.

All archetypes are present in a person, but one is the leading one. It is the basis of the archetype. The theory itself is based on the following:

  • the main desire of a person
  • goals and values
  • emotions
  • fears
  • strategy and logic
  • social and individual aspects

Carl Gustav Jung was the first to discuss archetypes. Margaret Mark simplified and introduced this concept into marketing in her book "The Hero and the Rebel" about unsinkable brands.

Archetypes are used in all brand communication channels, from social media content to the choice of ambassadors.

Twelve Archetypes and Their Features

Jung's theory was simplified and based on 12 models of human behaviour. American marketers divided these archetypes into 4 groups according to the dominant motive. Each archetype corresponds to the need that a person experiences when trying on an image.

Group 1: focus on individuality and independence

Main features of group archetypes: growth and curiosity. 

#1. Innocent

Features: low and medium price range, maintaining a good reputation, simple communication, associations with lightness, ease, and childhood.

Examples of brands and personalities: Forrest Gump, Coca-Cola, McDonald's.

Ways to sell to the Innocent: focus on family values, connection with the family, and home comfort. It's worth learning from Coca-Cola as the company often uses flickering lights on the street and decor from tangerine tree branches in their advertising — the symbols of comfort and holiday. 

Target ads at:

  • those who like to equip the house and create a cozy atmosphere
  • lovers of decor and holiday attributes
  • vegetarians and vegans
  • consumers who care about the environment

It will be effective to advertise:

  • vegan products
  • clothing made out of natural fabrics
  • cosmetics that are not tested on animals
  • household and garden goods
  • decor items
  • coffee and tea
  • goods for children

The Innocent lives in a utopian world. He needs to be a part of it. The main fear of the archetype is to drop out of society. Therefore, he always tries to do the right thing to avoid becoming an "odd man out." Trends can easily influence this archetype if following them can improve the world around him.

#2. Explorer

Features: innovative product or service approaches, the ability to express individuality through purchased goods.

Examples of brands and personalities:Starbucks, Amazon, Louis Vuitton, Subaru, Johnny Depp, GoPro.

Ways to sell to the Explorer: focus on usability. Since the Explorer spends a lot of time travelling, his clothes shall be comfortable and versatile, the backpack should be reliable, and the thermos bottles should be as compact as possible.

Target ads at:

  • hikers
  • people who spend a lot of time travelling
  • freelancers or "remote workers"

It will be effective to advertise:

  • sportswear
  • goods for travelling and tourism
  • extreme tours
  • SUVs and ATVs

A constant feeling of the life pulse, new experiences, and travel is the priority for the Explorer. The trips are not the goal for him. He enjoys the process itself.

#3. Sage


  • products that provide some information or experience
  • expertise, often many years of experience in the market
  • the brand is based on developments
  • quality is confirmed by certificates and other assessments
  • the brand encourages thinking and presents unique content

Examples of brands: Harvard, Intel, HP, CNN, The Oprah Winfrey Network, and The Wall Street Journal.

Ways to sell to the Sage: focus on gaining experience and recent studies.

Target ads at:

  • school, university and professional course teachers
  • experts in any areas where it is essential to improve skills
  • students, i.e., anyone who studies or regularly improves their professional skills

It will be effective to advertise:

  • educational institutions and training courses
  • consulting companies
  • information resources
  • software and computer hardware

Group 2: focus on freedom and risk

The main features of the group archetypes: achievement, spontaneity and striving to go beyond.

#1. Outlaw


  • middle-price category
  • the product is often revolutionary or intended for reconstruction or destruction (construction equipment)
  • emphasizes independence and unconventional thinking
  • the patriotic component of the company can often be traced

Examples of brands: Harley-Davidson, Jack Daniels, and Diesel.

Ways to sell to the Outlaw: focus on the originality of the product and the freedom it gives. 

Target ads at:

  • teenagers
  • informal clothing lovers
  • fans of extreme sports

It will be effective to advertise:

  • men's brands (clothes, watches, etc.)
  • youth clothes, shoes and accessories
  • delivery services, catering establishments with vegetarian and even raw food menus
  • raw sweets
  • leather goods
  • quest rooms
  • motorcycles, buggies
  • tattoo and piercing studios
  • barbershops

#2. Hero


  • innovative product
  • performs high-quality complex work or is designed for it
  • helps the consumer show his strengths and capabilities

Examples of brands: Nike, FedEx, Nissan, and all superheroes.

Ways to sell to the Hero: challenge the consumer in advertising. Motivate him to purchase a product, as it will help him become stronger, more resilient, and get rid of fear.

Target ads at:

  • travellers
  • outdoor enthusiasts
  • extreme sports fans
  • followers of spiritual practices

It will be effective to advertise:

  • sports equipment
  • sportswear, shoes, and accessories
  • vehicles
  • household appliances
  • video games

This archetype is strong not only physically. It also develops spiritually. Danger and extreme are common concepts for the Hero as he especially enjoys overcoming difficulties.

#3. Magician


  • medium and high price range
  • tech products
  • emphasis on usability (clear interface, availability of changing settings)
  • the ability to feel the client's state

Examples of brands: Apple, Sony, Mastercard, TED. 

Ways to sell to the Magician: focus on closing a complex issue using a purchased product or service. Tool accessibility is crucial. 

Target ads at:

  • people with health problems
  • business people and entrepreneurs

The product or service shall solve the problem of the Magician, i.e., strengthen the immune system, help to cope with chronic insomnia, and cover business issues.

It will be effective to advertise:

  • household appliances
  • smart systems for premises
  • data collection and analytics tools
  • educational materials and courses
  • aesthetic and plastic surgery clinics

Group 3: focus on stability and control

The main features of the group archetypes: honesty, clarity of processes, order, and traditions.

#1. Creator


  • goods from the field of art or self-expression as a whole
  • often includes a "do-it-yourself" element (it saves money for the buyer) and a display of author's techniques

Examples of brands: LEGO, Adobe, Pinterest, and Disney. 

Ways to sell to the Creator: provide the consumer with the tools to self-express.

Target ads at:

  • entrepreneurs
  • language and art lovers
  • creative people who regularly restock their self-expression tools (painters, sculptors)

It will be effective to advertise:

  • training courses
  • decorative cosmetics, clothes, and accessories
  • jewellery
  • interior and decor items
  • goods for creativity and handicraft
  • workshops, concerts, and master classes

This archetype will be most suitable for brands where there is a connection with art, creativity or handmade products.

#2. Ruler


  • premium segment
  • long (often lifetime) warranty

Examples of brands: Mercedes, Rolex, and Rolls-Royce.

Ways to sell to the Ruler: focus on the prestige and status the consumer might acquire along with purchasing a product or paying for a service.

Target ads at:

  • business people
  • real estate owners
  • frequent visitors to high-end restaurants, golf and country clubs

It will be effective to advertise: products associated with luxury and success. This archetype is also often chosen for creating a personal brand.

#3. Caregiver


  • focus on service
  • support
  • association with proper nutrition, insurance, healthcare or education
  • takes care of the customer or helps take care of others

Examples of brands: Johnson & Johnson, Pampers.

Ways to sell to the Caregiver: prompt assistance to the client in resolving his issue.

Target ads at:

  • everyone interested in the healthy lifestyle topic
  • parents
  • people attached to the home and loved ones

It will be effective to advertise:

  • insurance and legal services
  • medicine, pharmaceutical products
  • products for children and pregnant women
  • charitable foundations
  • repair things

Remember mobile operator ads: they often focus on connecting with family and friends.

Group 4: focus on belonging and community connection

The main features of the group archetypes: striving to merge with society, openness, and loyalty.

#1. Everyman

Features: low or average price range. The product is often intended for everyday use. 

Examples of brands and personalities:Facebook, Levi's, GAP.

Ways to sell to the Everyman: talk about the availability of products or services for a consumer with any level of income and education.

Target ads at: those who seek social recognition. Everyman starts sorting garbage when everyone around him talks about environmental pollution as he wants to feel involved in society.

It will be effective to advertise:

  • moderately priced brands of clothes
  • diners, bakeries and small cafes
  • replicas or affordable counterparts of premium brands
  • mass market products

This is a universal archetype for a mass production company in almost any niche of the average price range.

#2. Lover

Features: average and high price range, helps to find friendship or love, is associated with romance and sexuality.

Examples of brands and personalities:Chanel, Victoria's Secret, Cornetto, Marilyn Monroe, Durex, and Godiva Chocolate.

Ways to sell to the Lover: offer products in terms of romantic atmosphere, attractiveness, and sensuality. Focus on the fact that the products should emphasize the buyer's individuality. 

Target ads at: everyone except children. 

It will be effective to advertise:

  • lingerie
  • intimate goods
  • cosmetics and perfumes
  • jewellery
  • SPA-salons
  • beauty salons
  • photo studios
  • hotels
  • vacation for two

#3. Jester

Features: goods at relatively low prices, recreation and entertainment category, new experiences.

Examples of brands: M&M's and Skittles.

Ways to sell to the Jester: offer experiences and joy in exchange for goods. 

Target ads at: universal archetype. Remember to focus on humour, ease, and showing the benefits to the client (bright impressions) in ads.

It will be effective to advertise:

  • entertainment programs (bowling, amusement parks)
  • entertainment companies
  • producers of sweets
  • goods for children and teenagers

Ways to Identify Brand Archetype

There is an easy way to decide on the brand image at the start:

  • Choose 5-10 adjectives for each of the 12 archetypes that describe it best. Write down the adjectives on the cards and mix them thoroughly.
  • Choose 5-10 of them (depending on how many adjectives you wrote down for each archetype). The chosen cards most accurately convey the essence of the brand.

The cards "impulsive," "self-confident," and "cheeky" will indicate that the brand has many qualities of the Outlaw archetype. The characteristics "humorous" and "inventive" refer to the Jester archetype.

For example, three archetypes (Hero, Everyman, and Caring) correspond to Jon Snow's character. A complex (two- or three-level) image gives more space for creativity.

*ELVTR is disrupting education by putting proven industry leaders in a virtual classroom with eager rising stars. ELVTR courses offer 100% instructor driven content designed to give you practical knowledge within a convenient time frame. Choose the right course for you!