The Role of Archetypes in Building a Brand Personality

A new brand, even in its very early stages of existence, must possess a clear, well-defined personality, or the public’s reaction will never go beyond a sterile state of indifference. Whoever starts a business or a company nowadays has the precious opportunity to define the contours of his creature with many more tools than before, creating a true brand narrative that encompasses every single aspect of the company, even the seemingly most insignificant ones.

Before launching themselves on the market, the founders of a given company must ask themselves very specific questions. Who are we?

What are our fundamental attributes, and the values by which we are inspired? In short, those who create a company from scratch will also have to wrap it in a perfectly coherent narrative, one that can project the fundamental idea behind the brand to the outside world. If these characteristics are not amalgamated correctly, potential buyers will clearly realize this, and will inevitably decide to turn to the competition.

We are not just talking about communication professionals or marketing experts, but about the average user, the person lazily walking down the street, all those who, in one way or another, through the various communication channels available to the company, come to perceive an incongruity, an indescribable distortion that prevents them from fully appreciating the brand, as if sensing the presence of a cog out of place.

The new tools for companies

For this reason, too, the personality and characteristics of a brand should be decided before any communication activity is initiated, since it is communication that will shape the brand image and give it its final form. And nowadays, as mentioned earlier, companies have a myriad of means at their disposal to express their essence, their messages, by posting them in dozens of different formats and in as many different ways, within platforms that are constantly evolving and regulated by algorithms that privilege not so much the qualitative aspects of content, but its ability to go viral and obtain shares, likes or appreciations.

The role of Jung’s theories

To define its personality even more effectively, a brand also has at its disposal the formidable weapon of archetypes, i.e. all those mental constructions that man has possessed since time immemorial, and that over the years have gone on to form the collective imagination of our civilization.

Images, forms, and representations, perceived in a certain way, immediately (almost automatically) send us back to an ancestral knowledge that already existed in our minds before we came out of our mother’s womb, and which is composed of all those images and representations that our ancestors lived and experienced on their skin.

Jung dedicated some of his most famous works to The Collective Unconscious, and it is precisely for this reason that today his theoretical elaborations appear more topical than ever. Indeed, archetypes can be brilliantly used to construct the image of a brand, to make it distinctly perceptible to the public, which will then have the impression of witnessing a show that it had already seen somewhere, or of which it seemed to already know the contents and development.

This is exactly how brand storytelling is articulated: through a series of archetypal representations that can tell the story of the brand and excite the public, thus fostering its even greater attachment to the company and everything it stands for (especially its values). Many brands have already exploited this strategy extensively, and have used some of the more traditional archetypes for their brand narrative: Nike, for example, is the hero, while Ikea is the common man.

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