An archetype is the original model of something. It serves as a mold for reproducing copies and is taken as the standard or ideal of the created copies. They can be physical or symbolic, so we can say that the paper boat the teacher makes in class is the archetype that the students will follow to create their own, but we can also say that they are those patterns of behavior or conduct implemented by some and on which people will base their actions. Following the example of the class, if the teacher teaches not to eat inside the classroom and acts to enforce it, the students will imitate this behavior. Thus, archetypes can also be considered as examples.
Applying it to branding
the archetype within a brand is basically its identity, all those values, positions, objectives, and others that will characterize it and define its relationship with the target audience. In other words, the archetype is the model, formed by all the qualities of the brand, that will govern its actions, and that will determine the relationship it forms with its target audience. For example, if a youth brand describes itself as tolerant and inclusive (values that will be its archetype) and acts in favor of LGBT+ community rights, it will form a relationship of empathy and friendship with young people, which will benefit it since they are its target audience.
Now that we know this, we must say that, in fact, we have certain inherited archetypes. The discoverer of the phenomenon is the psychiatrist Carl Gustav Jung, who proposed that we all have a collective unconscious. It is true that we all form a personality according to our experiences and learning, but this is independent of the collective unconscious, which we inherit from our ancestors and governs our perception of the social and cultural.
Some of the archetypes that Jung defines are "the anima"the animus," "the father," "the mother," "the sage," "the shadow," "the hero," "the persona," and "the trickster," but we also find others such as "the lover," "the rebel," "the explorer," "the creator," etc. Each one has its own traits, both good and bad. What we will do is study each one to extract the characteristics that are most convenient for us when forming our brand identity, in accordance with the goals we want to achieve.
In addition, following this same purpose, we will apply the analysis to our target audience. Taking up the example of the youth brand, if most of our clients have a personality between "the rebel," "the explorer," and "the creator," we can have a brand with some traits of healthy disobedience (taken from "the rebel"), dynamism (taken from "the explorer"), and innovation (taken from "the creative"), but at the same time, we can have traits of empathy and protection (taken from "the mother") as a way of being close to young people.
In conclusion, the archetype of a brand will be fundamental for the entire construction of it (from the logo and slogan to the mission vision and values). To establish it, we can rely on inherited archetypes and take the most convenient traits of each one, without forgetting that times and people are evolving, and giving our personal touch, taking it into consideration, will always be a plus. Let's also remember to be responsible with the models to follow that we implement not only within our brand but also with all the people who will follow us and may even take our actions as a personal archetype.
As an extra, we leave you with some examples: