How can Brand Archetypes help you to attract the right customers (and repel the wrong ones)?

Yesterday I explained what brand personality is and why it’s so important for your business to know what your primary brand archetype is.

Today, we will talk about your brand archetype, its tone of voice, messaging and target audience. So, if you don’t know your archetype mix yet, go find it out, it takes less than 5 minutes! >> Take the Brand Personality Quiz NOW!

Your brand archetype mix.

First of all, stop the assumptions! It’s not WHAT you do that matters!

Almost everyone chooses the archetype that describes “what” they do (design studios will always choose the Creator archetype, obviously). And even if your business most likely has common traits with this archetype and it really may be your primary one, it will not differentiate your business from your competitors in any way. What you need is something different, something new.

That is why we are are choosing a mix of 2-3 archetypes where one is the primary one and second and third are the ones that set you apart from your competitor. Let me explain how…

1) Personal vs business brand If you have a personal brand or running a small business, your own personality will be hugely imprinted into your brand. And there is nothing bad about that. It actually makes sense because if you follow your natural behavior, you can feel really comfortable in what you are doing, the way you talk, write and generally communicate.

Even if you run a bigger business though, you need to take a look at the people who are in executive positions and consider their personalities and how it will affect the brand picture itself. If you select archetypes that don’t match their behavior, you run the risk of selecting an archetype that’s not authentic and coming off as fake or dishonest.

2) The right archetypes The archetypes you choose for your mix should have a common ground. You don’t want to mix an Innocent (always optimistic and happy archetype) with Maverick (the swearing type that can be brutally honest). The combination could be not only confusing for your audience but even for you.

Most importantly though, the archetypes you choose need to be a true representation of your brand (even if personal brand), not what you think it should be or wish it were.


Which is where your audience comes in the picture.

Your audience is what matters.

Chances are you already know who your clients and customers are and what they like. Or…you think you know.

What you probably don’t care about (yet) is what they say about your brand, the way THEY see it. Because in the end no matter what you say about your business, the brand is what your audience says about your business.

You know the familiar saying “opposites attract” but you also heard “like attracts like.” Which one is the truth then?

The answer? It depends.

Your archetype should be similar to the archetype of your customers. Most importantly, your brand archetype will also attract those that want to become who you are, want to have what you have. Take a look at Nike and their dominant Hero archetype known for its ‘Just Do It’ campaigns. Nike encourages regular people to step into the shoes of their athlete idols. It attracts customers that are ready to get off the couch and become these heroes themselves. >> Read more about Hero Archetype.

As I mentioned, it works similarly to the real-life relationships. You either attract people that think/behave in a similar way or those that are inspired by your story. And you repel people that don’t want to hear what you are saying.

What this means for your own audience segmentation:

Most likely you will have your brand primary archetype will be the same as the archetype of your primary audience. If you have a secondary or tertiary archetype, you will also heavily attract those archetypes.

Don’t focus on the “opposites” too much though, they are not your core audience anyway. Those are the ones that are inspired by what you do even if they don’t share the same values and missions. After you are crystal clear on your messaging and values, they will come naturally.

Because I am guessing you are not a well established and known brand just yet, do not try to reach more segments than what is natural to your archetype. You could lose integrity and focus. After all, being authentic in your archetype is what really attracts.

To be sure what the values and needs of YOUR AUDIENCE are, ask yourself these questions first. And if you really are not sure, ask around (use surveys, facebook groups etc):

1) What values are the most important for them?
2) What kind of language appeals to them?
3) What motivation work for them? Do they need to be encouraged or rather quietly supported?
4) What do they admire the most in your brand or any brand in general?
5) What would they like to improve? What are their pain points?

After (and only after) you have all these, then you can create ideal customer personas based on gender, age, hobbies, location (and other data from your analytics).

And that’s all for today!

In the third and last part of this mini-series about brand personality I will answer what the next steps are and how can you use your brand personality in real life.

For more tips on building a personality-driven brand that you’re dying to share with others, follow me on Instagram.

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How can Brand Archetypes help you to attract the right customers (and repel the wrong ones)?

Zuzana Zapletal

Brand Strategist, Creative Designer & Recovering Perfectionist on a mission to help you become more confident about your brand.

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