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Analysis

12 Brand Personality Types To Consider For Revved-Up Retention

Vibrant personality is the key to leaving your competition in the dust — Is your brand TRULY memorable? Inject some character and learn from market leaders

Sam Hurley
January 22 2018

Winning brands are comparable to people…

We are often drawn to those with strong, positively-impactful personalities — and we always remember them.

Think: Celebrities and industry influencers!

You need your brand to become such an icon; constantly on the podium and forever top of mind (however you choose to do so):

More brand awareness = More sales.

However, this requires a high level of consistency in terms of persona and collective branding across all channels.

The result?

You will win the race to attract new business and engagement, while maintaining admiration and devout attention from your existing customers.

“Consistent brand presentation translates to 23% average revenue increase.”

(Source: Lucidpress)

Under the hood, a core component of any successful brand identity is the shaping of what’s known as a brand archetype; best described as its character, like an actor’s role in a film!

[It’s fascinating to learn more about the history of this concept, first developed to classify humans — the work of (now-renowned) psychologist Carl Jung, who once also collaborated with esteemed neurologist: Sigmund Freud.]

Now, archetypes can be referred to as ‘encompassing personas’ that stem from various brand personality traits. These traits convey the following:

  • Excitement
  • Desirability
  • Sophistication
  • Competence
  • Ruggedness
  • Sincerity

And yes — they absolutely matter!

According to the above research from Sprout Social, customers et al may not have remained so fond of Argos, were they to have continued such a persona to date…

They have since massively softened / standardized their responses!

Evidently, the manner in which you 1) Present your brand, and 2) Conduct your public communication, has a profound impact on every aspect of business.

It appears the Argos tweeter since deleted his conversations with the company — suggesting he was possibly made to feel embarrassed.

THINK: Although perhaps comical at the time, is this really what you’d want your brand to be known for? Will this customer ever buy from Argos again, considering the nature of such a highly-public tweet exchange?

How likely is this person to now spread cheerful words about Argos?

I’d expect the chances are pretty slim.

If brands are careless in these situations, a domino effect can soon ensue…

Audience sentiment is continually fueled and shaped by brand language, visual identity, approachability and expression (characteristics that are often ever so subtly absorbed, yet make all the difference).

These cumulative mental impressions lead to either positive or negative outcomes (sales generated or sales lost) — collectively, a major process of the research / buying cycle that we are all too familiar with in modern life:

Decision-making.

“Experts estimate 90% of all purchase decisions are made subconsciously.”

(Source: ISPO News)

(Infographic Source: MOI Global)

To successfully tap into the psychology of your customers, you must first acknowledge the need to personify your business and connect with these people in a meaningful, memorable way — on a (positive) emotional level.

So, with the above Argos tweeter in mind: Which sustainable brand personality / archetype will you choose for high-performance affinity and retention?

Whatever you decide, it’s a great idea to initially engineer your brand’s character around the top four consumer-favored behaviors:

— Honest
— Friendly
— Helpful
— Funny (while not at the expense of customers / audiences)

Here’s your go-to reference guide containing the 12 brand archetypes (+ real-life examples)! It’s time to ignite your imagination engine and prepare to journey towards remarkable brand attitude, content and differentiation…

Your customers will be ‘driven’ to stay and will never ‘tire’ of your company (sorry, I just couldn’t resist).

Type #1: The Lover

Customers of ‘Lover’ brands are typically allured by aesthetic beauty, class and glamour.

They want to stand out, be desired and ooze mystical charm; anything ‘no frills’ or unbranded is simply not up to the high standards of these indulgent buyers.

Think Tesco — and remember this is exactly what ‘Lover’ customers are NOT!

Archetype Goal:
To create intimate relationships with audiences by providing premium, elevated experiences — based strongly on intimate connection, passion and sensation.

Philosophy:
Feel attractive in every way. Be sensual and deeply in touch with who you are; know you deserve to treat yourself.

Fears:
Blending in with the crowd and not getting noticed. Feeling left out, unloved or unwanted.

Prime Example:
Victoria’s Secret

(Image Source: PopSugar)

Associated Words:
Affectionate, fashionable, sexy, elegant, sophisticated.

The downside of ‘Lover’ brands? They are in danger of appearing shallow and vain.

Type #2: The Explorer

Customers of ‘Explorer’ brands often crave thrill-seeking quests — they are constantly scoping out the next mental and physical high.

They want to push their limits to the max and will stop at nothing until they achieve (or win).

Boundaries are definitely not familiar territory for these customers!

Archetype Goal:
To discover and experience new, exciting adventures with the objective of achieving maximum self-fulfillment.

Philosophy:
Be independent, bold and pioneering — while taking risks (even if that means standing tall, alone).

Fears:
Conforming to society and becoming trapped. Feeling empty with no goals to work towards.

Prime Example:
The North Face

(Image Source: Anaconda Stores)

Brand Mission:
The North Face fundamental mission remains unchanged since 1966:

“Provide the best gear for our athletes and the modern day explorer, support the preservation of the outdoors, and inspire a global movement of exploration.”

The downside of ‘Explorer’ brands? They can lose sight of their goals, begin to explore aimlessly and/or become misfits due to over-exaggeration.

Type #3: The Sage

Typical customers of ‘Sage’ brands are eternally looking to develop their mental capacity in order to grow and sustain a high level of wisdom among their social groups and peers.

They want to be the go-to source of information at all times. This brings immense satisfaction.

‘Sage’ customers are often analytical; impressed by intellectual concepts, logic and innovation — new ways of thinking assures their attention.

Archetype Goal:
To forever absorb immense knowledge and teach others on the journey as a mentor, nurturing them to also become wise.

Philosophy:
Constantly expand the mind; one’s intelligence can always be enhanced with new information.

Fears:
Being incorrect, deceived or outsmarted. Even worse: Not being trusted.

Prime Example:
Google

(Image Source: Neowin)

Unofficial Motto:
“Don’t be evil.” (Included in the Google Code of Conduct.)

The downside of ‘Sage’ brands? They can come across as patronizing and/or potentially lack emotional connection (often very noticeably).

Type #4: The Jester

Stereotypical customers of ‘Jester’ brands are playful and cheery; a minute will rarely go by without a chuckle or two!

Occasionally weird and always fun, they will forever see the positive side of things (and try their best to involve everybody else in their fun).

Silliness is at the very hearts of these customers — it’s a defining character trait that really matters to them. They will quickly turn off at the first sign of anything even remotely ‘boring’!

Archetype Goal:
To bring joy and entertainment to the world through fun and light-hearted laughter.

Philosophy:
We’re all here to have a good time — it’s healthy to joke around and be silly! Why so serious?!

Fears:
Others finding them unfunny, or even disrespectful. Feeling bored and rigid.

Prime Example:
Ben & Jerry’s

(Image Source: NPR)

Brand Mission:
“To make, distribute and sell the finest quality ice cream and euphoric concoctions with a continued commitment to incorporating wholesome, natural ingredients and promoting business practices that respect the Earth and the Environment.”

The downside of ‘Jester’ brands? They may appear to hold no real purpose; their core function diminished by upfront humor.

Type #5: The Ruler

Customers of ‘Ruler’ brands are often immensely dominant and crave supremacy; being noticed and admired are objectives at the very top of their life agendas.

They are massively attracted by wealth, respect and prestige.

These particular customers deeply desire to become what ‘Ruler’ brands persistently emanate.

Archetype Goal:
To exude intense success and power (as a leader) that attracts a cult following.

Philosophy:
Be exclusive. Be smooth and confident. Be the best. Cut through any disorder — effortlessly resolve complex problems in your stride.

Fears:
Diminished control and influence. Chaos. Others witnessing (and also sharing) any vulnerabilities.

Prime Example:
Rolls Royce

Website Tagline:
“Bolder in performance. Bolder in expression.”

The downside of ‘Ruler’ brands? Becoming too arrogant and power-crazed — leading to loss of connection with their once loyal followers.

Type #6: The Magician

‘Magician’ brands spellbind customers; dreamers who don’t tend to consider logic and rules — but instead imagine endless possibilities.

They want to grow with, and join the brand on an enchanting journey.

Vivid imagination is what truly captures the hearts of these customers.

Archetype Goal:
To understand and transform the universe through innovation, making special dreams come true for everybody — on a personal level.

Philosophy:
We can be whatever we want to be — if we believe, invent and follow our visions.

Fears:
Creations and new methodologies failing and/or resulting in negative outcomes.

Prime Example:
Disney

(Image Source: Small World Vacations)

Twitter Tagline:
Don’t miss a minute of the magic.”

The downside of ‘Magician’ brands? Becoming manipulative by playing God and/or being seen as ‘real-life’ profit structures instead of magical creations.

Type #7: The Caregiver

Typical customers of ‘Caregiver’ brands enjoy the safety and security promised to them — they are unassuming and motherly in nature.

Generous and subtle, they detest anything harsh or negatively-charged.

‘Caregiver’ customers just want to feel loved and cherished; traits they also often display to those around them.

Archetype Goal:
To care for, protect and help others.

Philosophy:
Be selfless, compassionate, and assist people (with deep empathy) at every opportunity.

Fears:
Hurt, selfishness, forcefulness and aggressors.

Prime Example:
Princess Diana — although not a company brand, she is one of the best ever examples of a true caregiver, and only deserves to be mentioned here!!!

(Image Source: Wikipedia)


A Warming Princess Diana Quote
:
“Carry out a random act of kindness, with no expectation of reward, safe in the knowledge that one day someone might do the same for you.”

The downside of ‘Caregiver’ brands? Becoming exploited and/or martyrs.

Type #8: The Innocent

Stereotypical customers of ‘Innocent’ brands seek genuine, down-to-earth communication and sincerity at every turn.

They dislike complexity, edgy humor and always avoid risk.

Transparency is a major attraction for these customers.

Archetype Goal:
To spread optimism, freedom, happiness, simplicity and purity.

Philosophy:
Be kind, honest, positive — and do things the right way.

Fears:
Anything negative, dishonest, corrupt and/or mean.

Prime Example:
Innocent Drinks

(Image Source: Innocent Drinks)

Brand Purpose:
“Making coconut water, juice and kids’ stuff, in our quest to make natural, delicious, healthy drinks that help people live well and die old.”

The downside of ‘Innocent’ brands? They may appear to be just too plain and/or lack depth.

Type #9: The Everyman

Customers of ‘Everyman’ brands often look for high levels of practicality, minus any bells and whistles.

They admire empathy and avoid any pretence, showboating or competition (unless it’s all in the name of good, clean fun).

These customers want to belong and feel entirely comfortable with the brand they associate with — like they would a long-time companion.

Archetype Goal:
To befriend and be accepted by everybody. Most importantly — to be relatable.

Philosophy:
We are all equal and are free to be who, or whatever we want to be (without pressure). Do the job right, and without any fuss.

Fears:
Feeling left out. Hurting or offending others unintentionally and/or getting hurt themselves.

Prime Example:
PG Tips

(Image Source: Mail Online)

Associated Words & Phrases:
Regular, sociable, humble, honest, sensible.

The downside of ‘Everyman’ brands? They may try too hard to fit in — losing their own identity as a result.

Type #10: The Hero

‘Hero’ brands classically attract customers who appreciate steadfast quality, endurance and value. These people tend to have the courage to try something new, in order to quickly progress.

They like to feel miles ahead of everybody else by using ‘Hero’ products and/or services.

‘Hero’ customers enjoy a sense of winning and are expressively self-confident.

Archetype Goal:
Radically improve the world or concepts, in a way that is awe-inspiring.

Philosophy:
Be strong, honorable, courageous and victorious. Be a champion of the people. Rescue those in need.

Fears:
Losing, being seen to be weak and/or susceptible.

Prime Example:
Duracell

(Image Screenshot: YouTube)

Associated Words:
Determination, empowerment, motivation, force.

The downside of ‘Hero’ brands? Overpowering competitiveness, aggression and relentlessness can soon wear thin.

Type #11: The Creator

‘Creator’ brands are typically the focus of attention for customers who are born to be tremendously creative — it’s in their blood.

They also attract customers who like to be seen as different and trend-setting (think
Apple’s Mac and iPhone).

For this reason, loyalty often plays a huge role in their success. Customers don’t just buy — the brand becomes a way of life.

Archetype Goal:
To create value — innovating and inspiring through unique vision, artistic expression and individuality.

Philosophy:
The world is a blank canvas on which to craft our own landscape, as we journey through life.

Fears:
Not standing out. Losing vision, focus and/or creativity.

Prime Example:
Lego

(Image Source: Steam)

Brand Purpose:
‘Inspire and develop the builders of tomorrow.’

Our ultimate purpose is to inspire and develop children to think creatively, reason systematically and release their potential to shape their own future — experiencing the endless human possibility.

The downside of ‘Creator’ brands? When their creativity offers solutions to non-existent problems and/or they display off-putting perfectionism.

Type #12: The Outlaw

Customers who are drawn to ‘Outlaw’ brands truly live on the wild side of life!

They LOVE brands that revolutionize and refuse to be dull — while they loathe portrayed innocence or over-the-top happiness.

These rebel customers will not take no for an answer — they do what they like, when they like — and they religiously follow brands that do the same!

Archetype Goal:
To break rules and tradition — feel liberated while opposing authority and ‘the norm’.

Philosophy:
You only live once; be rebellious and disruptive. Shock if it feels right. Never conform!

Fears:
Being forgotten, unnoticed and/or failing to achieve any desired effect. Losing status.

Prime Example:
Harley Davidson

(Image Source: Pinterest)

Brand Mission:
“We fulfill dreams through the experiences of motorcycling, by providing to motorcyclists and to the general public, an expanding line of motorcycles and branded products.”

The downside of ‘Outlaw’ brands? Actually becoming unlawful and taking rebellion one (or five!) steps too far.

Wrap-Up

Wow! How’s that for full-throttle branding inspiration?

There’s no doubt about it, your brand personality / archetype must be unwavering and glimmer at every moment — all communications (across every channel) need to be genuine, consistent and on track…

You can’t act extremely snarky on Twitter, and portray innocence everywhere else. This two-tone behavior won’t encourage favorable popularity. People talk!

That said: Never underestimate the power of word-of-mouth marketing (WoM), especially considering our Social Media-obsessed world. News travels faster than Lewis Hamilton, and a penetrating brand personality will certainly get you noticed.

Just make sure it’s for good reason!

(Don’t make these branding mistakes, whatever you do. They seriously grind gears.)

A positive ripple effect will resonate across not only your potential audience — but most importantly, your existing customers:

(Infographic Source: My Loud Speaker)

Make them stay by putting pedal to metal; form an electrified connection that truly delights (and ultimately makes them feel proud to be associated)!

 

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Sam Hurley

Sam is a passionate 'people connector', Personal Branding expert & Founder of OPTIM-EYEZ. He has achieved success for SMEs, national and international organizations, while being ranked as the world’s #1 digital influencer by Webinale, #2 most influential digital marketer by Onalytica and world’s #3 content marketing influencer by ScribbleLive. Sam loves a high-octane action movie and his all time favorite supercar is the Lamborghini Aventador! Catch him on social for cosmic amounts of Digital Marketing tips.

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