B2B Marketing: What Will Your Brand Archetype Be? (Part 6)

The Regular Guy or Gal

Is an ego archetype and grouped under the “social” cardinal orientation. This archetype is also known as the good old boy, everyman, person next door, realist, working stiff,  solid citizen, good neighbor, the silent majority, advocate, everyperson, networker, and servant. They believe that “All men and women are created equal.” Down to earth, supportive, faithful, folksy, friendly, empathetic, reliable, realistic and unpretentious figure. They want to form a bond of connection to others in order to belong and fit in. They fear standing out or looking like they’re putting on airs and be rejected or left out as a result. Their weak attributes are they are easily swayed and are prone to losing themselves or having a distinctive identity in an effort to blend in or for the sake of superficial connections.

The regular guy or gal archetype is manifested in solid businesses with a down-home organizational culture. They give off that feeling of belongingness to their customers and craft their messages about the beauty in simple things and daily life. Moreover, their products or services are usually of everyday functionality. Brands that embrace this archetype are IKEA, Home Depot, eBay, Wendy’s, Gap and Trader Joe’s.

The Ruler

Self archetype and placed as “order” in  the cardinal orientation. Other names include the boss, leader, aristocrat, king, queen, politician, guardian, patriarch, judge, role model, manager or administrator. The ruler’s dictum is “Power isn’t everything, it’s the only thing.” Rulers are known for being a leader, is confident,  responsible, fair and organized. They are determined to take control, to establish order from chaos and dreams of creating a prosperous, successful family, company, or community. Given their strict adherence to order and being a leader, they fear chaos and being overthrown. In addition, they have authoritarian tendencies, can be bossy, rigid, controlling, entitled, unable to delegate, out of touch with reality and lack a common connection with others.

Businesses who take on the ruler brand archetype are those who speak authoritatively and declare themselves as the leader in their field. Their brands promise of power and security (i.e. exclusiveness and status growth, lifetime guarantee offers, empower people to sustain or enhances their grip on power, regulatory or protective function, organization and a sense of security and stability in a chaotic world and etc.) Brands who do good a job in exemplifying this archetype are IBM, Microsoft, Barclays, Mercedes-Benz, American Express and Rolex.

The Sage

The last but not the least of the 12 classic master archetypes. The sage is a self archetype that has “order” as a cardinal orientation. Other labels include expert, scholar, detective, advisor, thinker, philosopher, academic, researcher, planner, professional, mentor, teacher, contemplative, translator, engineer and scientist. A sage’s motto is “The truth will set you free”. They’re known for being wise, knowledgeable, a trusted source of information, thoughtful, analytical, articulate, open-minded and skeptic. They hunger for the discovery of truth and intend to use intelligence and analysis to understand the world. A sage’s trepidation is ignorance, deceiving and being deceived. Their flaws are they could be overly contemplative, too opinionated, pedantic, cold, self-absorbed, intolerant of other ideas than their own and can study issues forever and never act.

Businesses who adopt the sage as their brand archetype usually market their knowledge about a particular area (prevalent in the B2B enterprise). That is, they provide expertise or information to customers, and encourage them to think. They can also be into new scientific findings or esoteric knowledge and their content is generally supported by research-based facts. Thus, using a higher level of vocabulary and symbolic imagery. Brand examples are BBC, PBS, Google, CNN, and Gallup.

Your product and services alone can’t recount a convincing story. Putting in a character to your brand makes a difference. It allows you to clearly establish the role you want your brand to portray in people’s lives. Moreover, make them understand who your brand is and what does it stands for. If archetypes can be timeless and can encompass cultures and geographical location, what’s stopping your brand from living out like that?