Building Brands Through Archetypes

Building Brands
Through Archetypes
Poorly defined or misunderstood
brands are rarely successful.
Stories make the world go round
‘We tell ourselves stories to make sense of life.” –Norman Mailer
“Man lives surrounded by his stories and those of others. He sees
everything that happens to him through them and tries to live his
life as if recounting it.” -Satre
Stories are so potent because they tap
into emotions which drive us
This explains why at the heart of
every great brand there is a story
people want to be a part of
“What we sell is the ability for a 43 year
old accountant to dress in black leather,
ride through small towns and have people
be afraid of him.”
(Harley Davidson Marketing Exec.)
Some stories are more compelling than others…
“The great stories consist of common elements found
consistently in myths, fairy tales, dreams and movies…as
soon as you enter their world you see the re-occurring
character types and relationships…These archetypes are
amazingly consistent throughout all times and cultures.”
–Chris Vogel “Mythic Structures for Storytellers”
1. An original pattern or model.
2. A perfect example or model of something.
3. An inherited idea.
In 1893 400 different versions of the
Cinderella story had been identified
around the world.
Star Crossed lovers
(and one common actor)
“Titanic intentionally includes universals of
human experience that are timeless and
familiar. By dealing in archetypes, the film
touches people in all ages and cultures.”
-James Cameron on Titanic
“A brand is a metaphorical story…that
connects with something very deep a
fundamental human appreciation of
mythology…companies that use this well
invoke something very powerful.”
(Scott Bedbury - head of marketing at
Starbucks and Nike)
The Hero & The Outlaw
•Archetypes can be seen across all
cultures throughout time.
•An Archetype is the missing link
between customer motivations and
product sales
•Coca-Cola, Coors Light, Cotton, Jolly Green Giant, Crystal Light,
•Faith and optimism
•Oprah Winfrey, Oil of Olay, Proctor & Gamble,
•Wisdom & Intelligence
•Marines, Olympics, Nike, Red Cross, Marlboro Man
•Competence & Courage
OUTLAW (rebel)
• MTV, Howard Stern, Harley-Davidson, Apple
•Outrageousness & Radical Freedom
•VISA, Saturn, Wrangler Jeans, GEICO
•Realism, Empathy, Lack of Pretense
•Victoria's Secret, Godiva Chocolate, Chanel, Hallmark
•Passion, Gratitude, Appreciation, Commitment
•Joe Camel, "Got Milk," Charlie Chaplin, Pepsi