How brands communicate their values through their archetypal underpinning

Here at LemonTop we have been thinking about how brands that identify and deploy archetypes as part of their branding strategy create more meaningful connections with their audiences. Archetypes represent universal themes that speak to an audience. Archetypal motifs are all around us and perceive how we see the world. People instinctively recognise and respond to the personas and characteristics at each point on an archetypal wheel.

 

 

You may have heard of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs within Psychological Theories and marry those concepts to the visual representations in the iconic work of Margaret Pott Hartwell and Joshua Chen’s Archetypes in Branding: A Toolkit for Creatives and Strategists. Through Maslow, we understand that once our physiological needs are met, humans move up the pyramid and strive for safety, social connection, esteem, and self-actualisation. Self Actualisation is most that us a humans strive to be, in other terms ‘The American Dream’. Archetypes are an outgrowth of our human lives.

Understanding the shared values of the brand and their consumers is the vital first step toward mapping key values to archetypal attributes. If consumers say a brand is bold, individual and courageous and the brand says they are bold, individual and courageous, chances are good that the brand falls somewhere under the HERO umbrella. If their primary shared values are nurturing, compassionate and kind they will likely fall under the CAREGIVER umbrella of attributes. Where does your brand fit in?

To illuminate how brands identify and demonstrate their archetypes, we’ve analysed two brands. We’ll point to their position on the archetypal wheel which identifies their overarching theme or premise. We’ll then describe their personality and primary characteristics as a brand through their archetype. Finally, we’ll describe the practice of the brand as they live and breathe their archetype in the real world, every day.

Brand: Allstate

Position: Caregiver

Personality: The Caregiver is a nurturer. According to Hartwell and Chen, “This archetype is motivated to provide reassurance, service, advice, listening, and an open heart to support the welfare of others.”

Practice: For Allstate, their logo and tagline, “You’re in good hands with Allstate,” reinforce this image of a holistic approach to create a community of support. Given that Allstate is the second largest personal insurer in the U.S., their somewhat parental tone is a natural fit. They want their customers to feel taken care of and when things do go wrong, there is a place of support and guidance to help you find your happy ending.

Brand: Lego

Position: Creator

Personality: The Creator understands the significance of expressing yourself. According to Hartwell and Chen, “The Creator notices and acts upon the need for innovation, invention and reinterpretation.”

Practice: The Creator has a unique talent for seeing what’s possible. Energy and imagination are at the heart of their perspective. What more perfect archetype for Lego? The brand helps unleash the inherent creativity of children’s play by providing a platform to “Inspire and develop the builders of tomorrow.” Their 2017 “Build the Future” ad campaign, which won three silver Lions at Cannes, featured children constructing their dream careers through Lego.

Brand: LemonTop Creative

Position: Sage

Personality: Sage is wise and knowledgeable putting quality first in order to ensure the best possible outcome and conquer the challenges set.

Practice: The Sage has an understanding for someones needs and is an expert in their subject area teaching others how to be quality-orientated and imaginative. The tagline “Brilliant Branding for Your Business” demonstrates how LemonTop are able to ensure that they have a quality-oriented approach by ensuring that their Branding is “Brilliant” and focusing on their customers with the word “Your”. In this image they display their SIBA Business Award this also portrays the attributes of  ‘Smart’, ‘Wise’ and ‘Expert’.

 

From reading this blog post have a little think about your brand’s perspective and goals. What is the self actualisation of you and your brand and are you moving up the pyramid? If not think of why and if you are comfortable with where you lie? Make your own table and see where your brand fits in with attributes to your target audience. Are you giving off the write impression and do improvements need to be made?

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