The Psychology of Brand Archetypes: How to Leverage Them for Emotional Connection


As a brand and web designer who’s been helping coaches and creative entrepreneurs build remarkable online presences for over a decade, I’ve seen firsthand the power of archetypes in creating emotional connections with target audiences.

Ad if you’ve ever seen more of my work, you know I love focusing on the emotional driver for higher conversions.

What exactly are brand archetypes, and why do they matter so much? 

Archetypes are universal “symbols” or patterns of behavior that are instantly recognizable and relatable. 

Just like all of us Scorpios love deeply and can hold grudges. Or how I and my fellow INFPs tend to focus on the small details of everyone we interact with.

When applied to branding, they help define a brand’s personality, values, and story in a way that resonates deeply with people.

Think about some of the most iconic brands out there… 

Each of these brands has a distinct personality that goes beyond just their products or services

They’ve tapped into archetypal traits like the Hero’s courage, the Creator’s innovation, or the Outlaw’s rebellion to forge strong emotional bonds with their customers.

That’s the real magic of brand archetypes. 

Brand archetypes allow you to create a shortcut to your audience’s hearts and minds. 

By embodying a specific archetype for your brand, you can communicate who you are, what you stand for, and why people should care about your offer (and brand in general) in a matter of seconds.

That ability to spark an instant connection is more valuable than ever. Hello tiny social media attention span…

Whether you’re a coach, a creative, or any other kind of entrepreneur, understanding and leveraging your brand archetype can definitely be used as a tool to help you stand out, attract your ideal clients, and build a loyal community around your business.

I’ll walk you through the 12 core archetypes, how to identify your brand’s unique archetype, and some practical tips for infusing your archetype into every aspect of your online presence. 

The 12 brand archetypes 

Each one has its own unique set of traits, motivations, and values that can be leveraged to create a strong brand. Let me break them down one by one.

You might start to feel aligned with one or another as you read through them (your brand can have more than one!).

1. The Hero: 

Courageous, determined, and inspiring. 

Hero brands aim to make the world a better place through their products or services. 

Think Nike, with its “Just Do It” slogan and empowering athlete stories.

2. The Outlaw: 

Rebellious, disruptive, and unconventional. 

Outlaw brands challenge the status quo and appeal to those who want to stand out from the crowd. I would fail miserably at driving a bike but an instant “outlaw” brand I can think of: Harley-Davidson. 

It’s a classic example, with its emphasis on freedom and individuality.

3. The Magician: 

Imaginative, transformative, and visionary. 

Magician brands offer innovative solutions and promise to make dreams come true

Apple, with its sleek designs and cutting-edge technology, really embodies this archetype.

4. The Lover: 

Passionate, sensual, and intimate. (Did the name give it away?)

Lover brands create strong emotional connections and foster a sense of belonging. So no, intimacy in the terms of the Lover brand archetype isn’t just for “romantic” love, it’s for that deep connection, that community you forge (or rely on) with your audience.

For example, Coca-Cola, with its focus on happiness and togetherness, fits this archetype perfectly.

5. The Jester: 

Fun, playful, and irreverent. 

Jester brands bring joy and humor to everyday life. 

A super popular brand example, Old Spice! Please tell m you remember one or two commercials from them?! With its witty, tongue-in-cheek advertising, is a great example.

6. The Everyman: 

Relatable, down-to-earth, and authentic. 

Everyman brands are all about inclusivity and making people feel like they belong. 

Not to be confused with the Lover brand archetype, this is more about that message of “you belong” vs a “we are all a loving family”.

Ikea is a great example of this! With its affordable, functional furniture for everyone, it embodies this archetype. Fun fact: I love Ikea and my whole kitchen (except for the marble counters and backsplash) are all Ikea, and assembled bolt by bolt by my husband 🙂

7. The Caregiver: 

Nurturing, supportive, and compassionate. 

Caregiver brands prioritize the well-being of their customers and the wider community. 

Urban Oreganics, with its focus on ecofriendly health and care, is a classic Caregiver brand!

8. The Ruler: 

Confident, authoritative, and influential. 

Ruler brands exude excellence and sophistication. 

Mercedes-Benz, Jaguar, and other bad-guy movie car brands emphasize on luxury and performance, which fits this archetype pretty well.

9. The Creator: 

Innovative, expressive, and artistic.

Creator brands value self-expression and think outside the box. 

So many great brands could be named here but one that stands out: Lego. With its endless possibilities for creative play with its classic legos, plus all the branching out they’ve done to fit into more markets (it’s more than a kids’ toy, honestly!) is a perfect example.

10. The Innocent: 

Pure, optimistic, and honest. Innocent brands offer a simple, worry-free experience.

Dove, with its “Real Beauty” campaign and gentle products, embodies this archetype. And if you’ve never seen their Real Beauty video series, go on a little Youtube rabbit hole, they ard so well made.

11. The Sage: 

Knowledgeable, wise, and trustworthy. 

Sage brands are experts in their field and provide valuable insights. 

Google, with its mission to organize the world’s information, is a quintessential Sage brand. Of course, things are changing in the online space all the time, but “Google it” is still pretty much a benchmark for finding knowledge.

12. The Explorer: 

Adventurous, independent, and pioneering. 

Explorer brands encourage people to step out of their comfort zones and discover new horizons. 

REI, with its focus on outdoor exploration and going the extra mile (quite literally), fits this archetype perfectly.

Wait… I fit in more than one archetype, what do I do!?

Deep breaths: it’s absolutely normal.

While each brand archetype has its own distinct traits, there can be overlap and combinations between them. 

The key is to identify the archetype (or archetypes) that best align with your brand’s core values, mission, and personality.

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How to Identify Your Brand Archetype

Alright, so now that we’ve covered the 12 brand archetypes, you might be thinking:

This is great, but how do I figure out which archetype(s) my brand embodies?” 

Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered! And it’s quite simple, you might have done this kind of exercise before!

Identifying your brand archetype is all about self-reflection and analysis because everything our brands do comes from us! It’s for our clients, and it has to serve them, but we are the heart and soul. 

It’s time to put on your introspective hat and dive deep into your brand’s core. 

Here are some guiding questions to help you get started:

What are your brand’s core values? 

Think about the principles, your core values, the non-negotiable that guide your business decisions and shape your brand’s personality.

What is your brand’s mission? 

Consider why your brand exists, why you started, and for who… and what impact you want to make in the world.

How do you want your customers to feel when interacting with your brand? 

Do you want to inspire them, nurture them, or make them laugh? A little mix of it? You know I’m a feeler and this is kinda hard to put into just a handful of words, but sit down with this question and think of your ideal feeling you want your brand to evoke.

What are your brand’s unique strengths and qualities?

Think about what sets you apart from your competitors and what you’re known for in your industry. If you’ve done a UVP or USP exercise before, this is it

What kind of language and tone does your brand use?

Is it authoritative, playful, or compassionate? This is all about how it communicates with your audience. Think of the overall tone in images too, your aesthetic, your content…

As you answer these questions, you’ll start to see patterns emerge that align with specific archetypes. 

For example, if your brand values innovation, creativity, and self-expression, you might lean towards the Creator archetype. 

If your mission is to challenge the status quo and appeal to those who “don’t fit in”, the Outlaw archetype might be a good fit.

Still feeling stuck? Here’s a fun mini-quiz to help you out:

There are no right or wrong answers here! 

The goal is to gain clarity on your brand’s identity and find the archetypes that resonate most with your values, mission, and personality.

(No email required!)

Leveraging Your Archetype for Emotional Connection

Congrats on identifying your brand archetype(s)! I always put the (s) because honestly most of us will always have at least 2 we can fit our brands in. 

Now it’s time to put that knowledge into action and use it to forge deep, lasting connections with your ideal clients and customers.

Here’s the thing: people don’t just buy products or services; they buy feelings, experiences, and stories. 

By tapping into your brand archetype, you can craft a narrative that resonates with your audience on an emotional level. 

1. Infuse your archetype into your brand messaging

Your brand archetype should be at the core of all your messaging, from your website copy to your social media posts. 

Use language and tone that align with your archetype’s key traits and motivations.

For example, if your brand embodies the Hero archetype, use empowering, inspiring language that motivates your audience to take action. 

If you’re more of a Jester brand, infuse humor and playfulness into your content to bring joy and laughter to your followers.

2. Use visuals that align with your archetype

Your visual identity, including your logo, color palette, and imagery, should also reflect your brand archetype. 

Consistency is key to building brand recognition and evoking emotion!

Let’s say your brand aligns with the Sage archetype. You might choose a calming, muted color palette and use imagery that conveys wisdom and knowledge, like books or minimalistic geometric designs.

3. Create content that speaks to your archetype’s core desires

Understanding what motivates your brand archetype can help you create content that deeply resonates with your audience

For example, if your brand embodies the Explorer archetype, focus on content that inspires your audience to step out of their comfort zone and try new things. And yes, having the explorer doesn’t mean “outdoorsy”. It can, if that’s what your brand’s about, but it’s that “out of the comfort zone” that is the key.

If your brand aligns with the Ruler archetype, content that shows how your offer is luxury or best-in-class will be best received.

Always ask, “What does my archetype’s audience really want?” Then show them how your products, services, or content can provide that!

4. Showcase your archetype through storytelling

Storytelling is a powerful tool for building emotional connections, and your brand archetype provides the perfect framework for crafting compelling narratives.

Think about the hero’s journey (it’s a classic and forever relevant for a reason!) and how you can use it to showcase your brand’s values and mission. 

Share stories of how your brand has helped others overcome challenges or achieve their dreams. Social proof at its best work!

Want detailed examples of how to apply storytelling? This other post is for you >>

5. Build a community around your archetype

Your brand archetype can also guide how you build and engage with your community. Foster a sense of belonging by creating spaces (both online and off) where like-minded people can connect and share their experiences.

For example, if your brand embodies the Caregiver archetype, create a Facebook group where your audience can support and nurture one another. 

If you’re more of an Outlaw brand, host events that bring together rebels and misfits who share your brand’s values.

By weaving your archetype into every aspect of your brand experience, you’ll create a cohesive narrative that emotionally connects with your audience.

Real-World Examples of Brand Archetypes

If you’ve known me for a while, you know I love explaining things in deep detail (I’m always apologizing to my clients for being an over-explainer when I go over strategy, but they love it so I’ve learned to embrace my detail-loving heart). 

Let’s take a look at some brands that are doing it right and showing up with their brand archetype loud and clear.

These examples will help you see how archetypes can be applied in practice and inspire you to find creative ways to infuse your own archetype into your brand experience.

Hero archetype: Glory Skincare

Founded by Alisia Ford, Glory Skincare is a Black-owned brand that embodies the Hero archetype. Their mission is to empower women of color to embrace their natural beauty and feel confident in their skin.

Glory Skincare’s messaging is all about rising above challenges (like the lack of skincare products for unique skin issues and types) and inspiring others to do the same. 

They use empowering language and feature real women’s stories of transformation on their website and social media.

Creator archetype: Freck Beauty

Freck Beauty, founded by CEO Remi Brixton, is a woman-owned brand that perfectly embodies the Creator archetype. 

They’re known for their innovative, cruelty-free products that celebrate individuality and self-expression (they literally created the original freckle cosmetic!).

Freck’s playful, bold visual identity and quirky product names (like “Cheekslime” blush) reflect their commitment to creativity and doing things differently! 

By staying true to their Creator archetype, Freck has built a loyal community of fans who share their values (and freckle obsession).

Caregiver archetype: The Honey Pot Company

The Honey Pot Company, founded by Beatrice Dixon, is a Black-owned feminine care brand that aligns with the Caregiver archetype. 

They’re on a mission to provide safe, effective, and natural products that prioritize vaginal self-care. 

The Honey Pot’s nurturing, supportive messaging demonstrates their commitment to their customers’ well-being. By embodying the Caregiver archetype, they’ve fostered a strong sense of trust and loyalty among their audience.

Sage archetype: Satya Jewelry

Satya Jewelry, co-founded by Satya Scainetti, is a woman-owned brand that embodies the Sage archetype. 

Their handcrafted jewelry is infused with spiritual meaning and designed to inspire mindfulness and personal growth.

By consistently sharing knowledge and encouragement, Satya has built a community of customers who turn to them for guidance and inspiration.

Outlaw: Fenty Beauty

Fenty Beauty, the cosmetics brand founded by Rihanna, embodies the Outlaw archetype through its commitment to inclusivity and disrupting the beauty industry. 

With its wide range of foundation shades and marketing campaigns featuring diverse models, Fenty Beauty challenges traditional beauty norms and celebrates individuality.

Rihanna herself, as the face of the brand, embodies the Outlaw’s rebellious spirit and unapologetic attitude. Fenty Beauty’s edgy, bold visual identity and messaging reflect its mission to empower customers to express themselves and break the rules.

Lover: Glossier

Glossier, the skincare and makeup brand founded by Emily Weiss, aligns with the Lover archetype. 

Their minimalist aesthetic (which used to be a bit heavier on the pin-hues but now it’s such a breath of fresh air with a more neutral palette) and focus on enhancing natural beauty evoke feelings of femininity, sensuality, and self-love.

Glossier’s messaging emphasizes the importance of self-care and celebrating individuality, with their slogan “Skin first, makeup second” encapsulating their values. 

By creating a sense of community and emotional connection through their social media presence and user-generated content, Glossier has built a loyal following of customers who feel seen and appreciated by the brand.

I curated this particular set of brands to show you how businesses of all sizes and across different industries can effectively leverage their archetypes in their brand strategy to create emotional connections with their target audiences. 

Staying true to their core values and consistently infusing their archetypes into every aspect of their brand experience, has been the key for these businesses as they build loyal communities and stand out in their respective markets.

Wrapping Up: Your Brand Archetype Is Your Superpower

Whew, we’ve covered a lot of ground in this post! Feel free to save it for reading and re-reading.

Hopefully, now you have a more solid understanding of what brand archetypes are, how to identify your brand’s unique archetype(s), and how to leverage them to create deep emotional connections with your dream clients.

Your brand archetype is like your superpower — it’s what sets you apart from the competition and allows you to tap into the hearts and minds of your ideal audience. 

By infusing your archetype into your brand experience, from your messaging and visuals to your content and community building, you’ll create a compelling narrative that resonates on a deep, emotional level. 

That’s a moneymaking move. That gives you conversions.

But I know that putting all of this into practice can feel overwhelming, especially if you’re just starting out on your branding journey or if you’re evolving your brand and growing.

That’s where I come in! 

As a brand strategist and designer, I specialize in helping coaches and creative entrepreneurs like you uncover your unique brand archetype and develop a powerful, purposeful brand identity that attracts your dream clients and drives business growth.

If you’re ready to take your brand to the next level and harness the full power of your archetype, I invite you to explore my branding services. 

From in-depth archetype exploration to full-scale brand identity design, I’m here to help you create a brand that feels authentically you and resonates with the people you’re meant to serve.

Are you ready to unleash your brand’s superpower and create the business of your dreams? Let’s do this together!

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I'm Ingrid, welcome!  I'm a branding designer + Showit Design Partner, doggy mamma, and tea drinker.

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Hi I’m Ingrid

I design strategy-led brands and Showit websites that confidently represent you.

I’m a designer with a magic touch for monetizing websites. I’m also a tea-lover, dog momma, Ravenclaw, INFP and 2w3 (for all you personality-test nerds like me). 

I’ve also been called a Showit website expert (been with them since 2013), and a sucker for understanding customer journeys, brand psychology, and consumer and sales psychology. My clients have some pretty cool results after working together, things like doubled shop conversions, booked-out services in weeks, and increased monthly revenue, among other cheer-worthy celebrations.

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