Brand Archetypes

A deep dive into our unique approach to this popular area of brand positioning.

"A few brand archetypes jumped out to me as reflecting my personality. Could that prevent me choosing the archetype that is right for my business, or is it actually better if my brand is aligned to my personality?"

Archetypes are like a ‘recipe’ for universal patterns of behaviour in humans. Whilst only 12 broad archetypes are generally referred to in branding, there are others, and within each are a vast number of personalities, objects and experiences that we associate with that pattern of behaviour. For example, the recipe of ‘Magician’ includes ingredients like wizard, wand or party trick that can all trigger our associations of that archetype.

Ron Weasley Sorting Hat

The 12 archetypes typically used are: Rebel, Magician, Hero, Lover, Jester, Everyperson, Caregiver, Ruler, Creator, Innocent, Sage, Explorer.

Whilst there are particular emotions that are more commonly associated with each archetype, how we feel about it and what ingredients come to mind easily will be connected to our own personality and experiences with that pattern of behaviour. As such we all have emotional associations with each of the territories as well as the ingredients within and are likely to be drawn to archetypes that reflect our personalities or are strongly associated with emotions that are important to us.

When I work with clients on brand positioning, we work out which individual ingredient has the best pros and cons for attracting their target audience and getting the most out of their business capabilities. Then, we tie the intricacies of their unique competitive advantage and target audience desires to the chosen ingredient. The result is a completely unique ingredient which forms part of your overall brand positioning strategy. Just like your brand, the archetypal device is the only one of its kind after you work with the Bonbo methodology.

As a person, you will always be far more complex than an individual device or archetype and just like with other aspects of brand positioning, consistency in building your brand means ‘following the rules’ of your positioning. Every brand should always have a completely unique positioning strategy and this involves more than brand archetypes.


The result is that you create emotion and rapport near-instantaneously in your target audience.


That is crucial because getting to know your brand as fast as possible is the goal. Especially for those who haven’t come across your business before. Your complexities as an individual take a long time to get to know and that is not useful for business. As such, it may be the best pro and con mix for you that your archetypal device matches the archetype you are most drawn to. It may also be that the best mix comes from a different territory and that really comes down to what’s the best fit for your business.

The following are the combinations that the interplay between brand and personal preference tend to fall into:

  • Brand device is within the same archetype (common in personal brands)

  • Multiple brands are separate devices within the same archetype

  • Multiple brands are separate devices within different archetypes

  • Brand device is from a different archetype to personal preference

The latter is the case for Bonbo, as the archetype most closely connected to my personality isn't the one that best serves my business.

If you want to create a strong brand position based on our unique approach, find out which service is right for you.