We all have this idea of who we want to be.

How we want to look in a picture, filter out the imperfections, saying things for your brand that you’d never say in real life….it’s exhausting, aint it?


We hear that a lot. The exhaustion, distraughtness, confusion and lost-ness (yep, making it a word) that clients come to us with. After a Discovery Session – where we can truly see what you need and ask questions you haven’t thought of before – we head in to a Branding + Positioning Strategy.

There seems to be a notion that, in order to be beautiful, effective or strategic, something must be complex.

Let me say this complete sentence.


Things don’t have to be complicated or complex to be beautiful or effective. Things can work when you simplify. And simplifying helps you niche down to where you’d be most influential and speaking to those most likely to take the action you desire! Exciting, right?

Introducing Archetypes. But you’re probably more familiar with stereotypes so let’s get a refresher:

Stereotype (n): A widely held but fixed and oversimplified image or idea of a particular type of person or thing.

This word should bring along a closed-minded, preconceived image of a group or an idea. If someone is tall they must play basketball, if they’re a model they must be shallow, if they’re a lawyer or salesperson they must be greedy. Sometimes true, but not for all of us….like any contestant on the Bachelor.


Archetype (n): a very typical example of a certain person or thing; types that fit fundamental human motifs.

A book can be a perfect archetype of the genre or we’re familiar with the archetypes of good and evil. It’s an assumed ideal pattern like a prototype.

good evil





I was introduced to brand archetypes when I interned with Bailey Lauerman. One of the executives who branded Harley Davidson (an Outlaw archetype) had been quoted in the book The Hero and The Outlaw so we all received a copy. What if we add the word Brand to the front of that ideal Archetype piece? How will that help us when marketing and building a brand?

Brand Archetypes are universally familiar characters that transcend time, place, culture, gender and age.

Applying a character to anything helps humans make meaning and tell stories by leaning in to their truths and dispelling anything that goes against their beliefs and values. They guide and strengthen your brand’s story. Everyone has one. Cartoon characters, reality TV, soap brands, beer companies…once you learn what they are you’ll be able to find them everywhere and in everything. That’s why you laugh at Old Spice commercials because they embody that archetype and here you are thinking soap is funny and whistling that tune when you walk down the hygiene aisle.


Carl Jung is credited with creating the brand archetypes. He believed there are 12 Main Universal Archetypes which is so cool because people will understand what characters mean what even if there’s no sound or a language barrier. They hear the music, they see the colors, they can feel the rage or sadness and so they understand if it’s a good guy or bad guy, if they’re the wise guide or the sneaky, backstabbing friend…they get it. They identify it. They remember it.

And they buy in to it.


That’s what we’re going to do for you. For this entire month we will be cranking out focused and all-encompassing blogs to help you decipher what brand archetype you are. As an overview the 12 are













This will hopefully get you started down the road of leaning in and identifying who your brand is, who you are not, who your target audience is, what fonts, colors and imagery to use and how to write in your messaging….

Am I sensing overwhelm? Excitement? Great! We help with both. If you want to make sure you’ve got it right book a Free Discovery Session here.

Make sure you’re subscribed to this blog so you get them directly in your inbox and if you need to check back on any they will all be saved under this tab. 

If you want to see archetypes in action head check out some great examples in our portfolio.


Grab a drink and let’s get to work on what makes you happy!





13 thoughts on “Brand Blog Series: STEREOTYPE VS. ARCHETYPE

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.