A brand is much more than a logo or a tagline. It’s the cohesive combination of what the brand stands for, what it says and what it does. To truly come to life, a brand needs dimension beyond the 2D world of its verbal and visual identity; it needs to live in the everyday…
In the second post of our archetype series, we looked at how a brand team can successfully identify which archetype their brand is and why. Once they’ve aligned around the role the brand plays in its customers’ lives, that information will serve as a guide as they develop brand strategy and express it through language, visual identity and the brand experience.
A brand’s archetype should be felt across all touchpoints, from the tone it takes in messaging to the imagery, fonts, and colors it uses. It should also be considered when creating brand experiences, those genuine moments it creates with its audiences both digitally and in-person across the customer journey.
In our final archetypes post, we’ve analyzed the strong Ruler, benevolent Caregiver, and imaginative Creator.
Rulers love power, and the strength and authority that come with it. Ruler brands convey this power through exclusivity, expertise and confidence, ensuring they’re seen as leaders in their spaces. This sense of power is often transferred to the Ruler’s customers, giving them their own sense of control and authority. For example, clients know exactly what they’re going to get when they hire McKinsey: the certainty that they’ll achieve their most critical business objectives. McKinsey has trained the marketplace to believe that it has the best minds capable of solving the greatest business challenges. Another Ruler brand, American Express, has long epitomized status; from the prestige of the “Black Card” to the Centurion lounges to ads that feature A-List celebrities living their best lives — paid for with their American Express cards, of course. The American Express brand emphasizes the credibility and stature that come with the card.
As the name suggests, Caregivers are empathetic, nurturing and protective. Brand categories that typically exemplify the Caregiver include insurance, healthcare, and baby products. One healthcare provider we worked with, CarePoint Health, exemplifies this archetype. Built from the merger of three New Jersey hospital systems, this new entity had the comprehensive scope to seamlessly connect its consumers to a wide array of caregivers, creating 360 degrees of coordinated care – all centered around patient needs. So unlike many other medical centers whose brands emphasize cutting-edge technology, CarePoint chose to focus on its ability to deliver local, high-touch care — a brand identity that emerged organically from its neighborhood roots.
Fueled by the desire to innovate, Creator brands turn ideas into reality. They’re imaginative and visionary, and encourage their customers to tap into their own ingenuity — through the use of the brand’s own products and services, of course. GE is a Creator brand, emphasizing how it pushes the boundaries of science and technology to add value to the world. But the brand’s innovative nature goes beyond its offerings. It also influences how and where it engages with stakeholders. GE has tapped its customers and influencers as creators of engaging content across social media channels and debuted an innovation documentary miniseries exclusively built in virtual reality. While times have been tumultuous of late for GE, it will be interesting to see if the strength and equity the brand has developed over time can withstand the significant setbacks it’s faced in the market.
Successful brands have a strong sense of their identities, the “archein typos” that are authentically theirs. By conducting an archetype exercise to uncover its credible self, a brand can use its archetype as a guardrail to help ensure the content, messaging, and touchpoints it delivers are true to who it is. It’s through this consistency that a brand can build meaningful, lasting bonds with its audiences.
Here are the first two posts about using Jungian archetypes in B2B branding:
About the author
Howard Breindel is a cofounder of DeSantis Breindel. He works with visionary leaders across B2B industries whose companies are at critical inflection points, helping them harness the power of brand to grow their business.