Finding Your Brand Personality

When we connect with a brand, we feel an affinity to it that’s difficult to define. The most loved and trusted brands connect with their customers on a deeper level than their competitors, creating a persona that captures their imagination, tells a clear story, and appeals to both rational and emotional desires. Simply put, these brands seem familiar and make us feel valued.

 

Brands generate this attachment by tapping into universal patterns of behavior that humans understand instinctively, mirroring the personalities that we see in ourselves, our peers, in stories, art, and even religion. While we don’t immediately think of a specific archetype when we see a brand, our understanding of personalities is instinctive, so based on our unconscious perceptions, we’re able to decide which brands we want to connect with and which we want to avoid.

 

According to Harvard Professor Gerald Zaltman>, the vast majority (95%) of our purchasing decisions are made in the subconscious mind, so brands with a unique archetypal personality that connects them with customers have a huge advantage over the competition.

The 12 brand personalities

Psychologist Carl Jung theorized that humans use symbolism to understand complex concepts more easily. As a result of his research, Jung identified that brands fit into four key goals: Paradise, Impact, Belonging, and Stability. No matter which of these goals your company mission fits into, your brand will act as a pathway to achieving it. Brands do this by acting as a reflection of one of these 12 archetypes, connecting with people who exhibit the same.

 

Brand Personality Wheel

 

Paradise

 

The Innocent

The Innocent brand archetype exhibits happiness, goodness, optimism, safety, and youth, valuing simplicity and authenticity. Innocent brands don’t want to offend or harm anyone, and often have an extremely positive outlook on life.

Example brands include: Whole Foods, Nintendo Wii, Dove

The Sage

Sage brands are committed to helping the world gain deeper insight and wisdom, serving as thoughtful mentor or advisor. This archetype is a trusted source of information and uses solid facts to back up statements.

Example brands include: Google, The New York Times, TED

The Explorer

The Explorer taps into their audience’s desire to discover new places, people, and worlds. These brands find inspiration in travel and the thrill of adventure, always looking for pathways to self-fulfillment.

Example brands include: Jeep, The North Face, NASA

 

Impact

 

The Rebel

The Rebel, or the Outlaw, questions authority and dislikes rules, always looking to break the status quo. Craving rebellion and revolution, Rebel brands might even go against societal norms out of pure boredom.

Example brands include: Virgin, Harley-Davidson, Diesel 

The Magician

The goal of the Magician brand is to create something special and dream-fulfilling for each customer. The Magician is seen as visionary and spiritual, focusing heavily on creativity and imagination. 

Example brands include: Mastercard, Disney, Polaroid

The Hero

On a mission to