When it comes to defining a brand; finding its voice and personality, the 12 Jungian archetypes are a useful tool.
As Daniel J. Moore of Iron Dragon Design, writes on his website:
‘Archetypes help align a brand’s vision, purpose and values. They create a voice for the brand to utilise in interactions, forming consistency in their branding and message. They also help by differentiating brands in the marketplace. This means that two companies can sell similar products but will attract different audiences based on their personality.
Brand personalities are great because they help to attract your tribe.’
So, what are Jungian archetypes?
Carl Jung, the Swiss psychiatrist and psychoanalyst born in 1875, said,
‘The collective unconscious consists of the sum of the instincts and their correlates, the archetypes. Just as everybody possesses instincts, so he also possesses a stock of archetypal images.’
He defined 12 primary archetypes that symbolise basic human motivations, personalities, and behaviours.
He believed them to be inherent in all beings and inherited like we inherit instinctive patterns of behaviour. He argued they were innate, universal, and hereditary.
Of the 12 described by Jung, Daniel’s brand is defined as the Explorer. And mine, according to the quiz on his website, is the Caregiver.
As such, my goal is to help others, be compassionate and curative and create calm.
That sounds about right, although, I’d rather be the Sage (like Yoda) or something more exciting like the Rebel or Creator (I could back and try again).
I do wonder if we really answer these personality profiling questions as ourselves or as the person we’d like to be.
I was reminded of the quizzes I took as a teenager to find out which TV character I was most like or what sort of girlfriend I’d be.
I’d always skew my answers, so I’d be revealed as the ‘kooky creative’ one (Thinking about it now, perhaps I’d didn’t need to skew the answers? 🤪)
Personality profiling is big business in the world of work. They are used to assess employees’ personality traits and compatibility with the tasks and teams they work with.
According to the Myers Briggs Type Indicator, my personality type is INFP. This translates as:
So, not dissimilar to the Caregiver (or Kooky creative!)
In 1949, American writer and professor, Joseph Campbell wrote his book The Hero with a Thousand Faces in which he discussed his theory of the ‘Hero Journey’ taken by the archetypal hero, a character shared by many world myths and legends.
The Hero faces challenges and danger which he/she overcomes with the help of several other archetypal characters. As an example, let’s take Harry Potter as our hero.
J K Rowling (a classics graduate) uses some very recognisable archetypes when recounting Harry’s journey, i.e., the Mentor/ Sage (Dumbledor), Threshold Guardian (The Dursley’s), Herald (Hagrid), Shadow (Voldemort), Trickster (Weasley twins), Shapeshifter (Severus Snape), Caregiver (Mrs Weasley 😊).
What does all this mean for us mere muggles?
Campbell says that seeing ourselves as the Hero
‘lends meaning to our everyday existence, putting our individual struggles in a noble context. The trials and tribulations we face and survive may not seem heroic. But knowing that we grow as a result of them and that this can make us into better people, makes it easier to be brave.’
Campbell argues that myths were created to model bravery, to guide ordinary, fearful people and inspire them. So, according to him we should ‘embrace adventures and ordeals despite our fears and gain the wisdom that enables us to contribute something to society.’
In an interview he gave to Bill Moyers the year before his death in 1987 he explains that the hero’s journey ‘isn’t just for classical heroes, but for all of us. It is, essentially, a path of maturation that all evolving humans follow.’
We know the Hero’s Journey, today as the formula for some of the most successful book and film adaptations ever – Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, Wizard of Oz and of course Harry Potter, to name but a few.
Everyone has a Hero’s Journey, and everyone deserves to be the hero of their own story. Our story is what makes us unique.
Our story is our USP (unique selling point).
The reason I’m able to coach others, building confidence, resilience and self-esteem around public speaking, is because of the experiences I’ve had in my life. They have made me the person I am today, grounded, empathetic, compassionate, resilient and grateful; the Caregiver.
I am the hero of my journey and because of it, I am able to help others uncover the stories in their journey that will impact, influence and inspire others.
If you’d like to discuss how I can do that for you, contact me here.
If you’d like to find out what Archetype you are, take the Brand Archetype test here.