Understanding brand archetypes is a powerful tool for helping you go beneath the surface and meet invisible and emerging needs.
According to the first archetype that we investigate, the Innocent, life does not have to be hard. The image of innocence conveys the message that you are free to be yourself and to live out your dreams right now.
Movie stars like Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks and Kate Winslet are also brands of the innocent, with movies that started from Forrest Gump, moved to Titanic approaching end of millenium, to then evolve into a more complex representation with American Beauty.
Innocent products include McDonald’s, Ivory, Mattel and Disney. Many brands appeal to the innocent archetype by promising salvation from an imperfect world.
This archetype is a good identity for brands that provide simple answers, have low to moderate prices and are produced by a company with arrow-straight values.
The innocent seeks fulfillment in the here and now, looks for products that provide the experience of peace and goodness right now, like to find a brand they can trust and stick to it, believing that “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Applies to products that make life simple, such as a user-friendly smartphone.
The Innocent archetype provides a good framework for brands and associated digital customer experiences that:
- Provide a relatively simple answer to an identifiable problem.
- Are associated with goodness, morality, simplicity, nostalgia, or childhood.
- Have functions associated with cleanliness, health, or virtue — and that are infinitely replicable.
- Are priced moderate to low.
- Are produced by a company with straight-arrow core values.
- Desire to differentiate from a product with a tarnished image.
- The Innocent: Life does not have to be hard, this myth promises.
- The Explorer: Don’t fence me in.
- The Sage: Sharing wisdom with you.
- The Hero: Triumphing over adversity and evil.
- The Outlaw: Rules were meant to be broken.
- The Magician: The shaman at the forefront of great scientific changes.
- The Regular Guy/Girl: The virtues of being ordinary.
- The Lover: Intimacy and elegance.
- The Jester: To live in the moment with full enjoyment, having fun, and stop worrying about consequences.
- The Caregiver: The altruist, moved by compassion, generosity and a desire to help others.
- The Creator: Helping you be you (only better).
- The Ruler: Queens, kings, CEO’s, presidents, or anyone with power represents the ruler.