What kind of Hero are you?

Find your brand archetype

We believe every strong brand has a great story to tell. A story that touches the heart and is easily remembered. With the brand as the hero on a journey you simply want to follow. So, have you ever dared ask yourself the question: does my brand have an interesting story to tell, and what kind of hero is it?

Below you will find the 12 brand archetypes. Choosing a Brand archetype helps you define your brand identity and the role you want to fulfill for your consumers. And what kind of hero your brand is: what is it fighting for and what is it battling against? Choosing your brand archetype is the start of creating your very own brand story, and helps you generate consistent, engaging communications across channels.

The Outlaw

The Outlaw disrupts the status quo and encourages people to break free of accepted ideas and structures. He battles against sacred cows and taboos.

The Outlaw has very clear opinions. He stands for something, and lets you know it. His language is rousing, almost speech-like. And he’s honest, almost painfully so. The Outlaw has no time for difficult words or jargon. In no-nonsense language, he rallies people to join him in his quest.

Examples: Harley Davidson, Diesel, MTV, Jack Daniel’s, Dr. Martens, Banksy, Mini, Reporters without borders, Miley Cyrus, James Dean, Captain Jack Sparrow, Jett Rebel, Henk Schiffmacher.

“Rules are there to be broken.” 

The Entertainer

The Entertainer amuses people, using humor to get his message across. And fights boredom.

The Entertainer is outspoken and expressive, and always full of enthusiasm. The Entertainer can tell a good joke, and is perfectly happy to laugh at himself too. His playful use of language has everyone in stitches. But to avoid always coming across as a clown, the comedian must be careful humor doesn’t become his shield against real emotions or desires. Otherwise he risks not being taken seriously anymore.

Examples: M&M’s, Fanta, Skittles, Smart, Burger King, Tide, Oreo, Netflix, Cheetos, PlayStation, Jimmy Fallon, Rebel Wilson, Youp van ‘t Hek, Patrick Laureij.

 “There’s no angry way to say bubbles.”

The Lover

The Lover brings people to a state of rapture, making them feel special and unique. He battles against anonymity.

The Lover speaks with warmth, in passionate words laced with compliments. He uses plenty of adjectives to celebrate the beauty in things, spark people’s emotions or trigger our senses. And he’s got no problem with being in the spotlight himself from time to time.

Examples: Magnum, Ferrari, Victoria’s Secret, Alfa Romeo, Häagen- Dazs, Baileys, Ferrero Rocher, Scarlett Johansson, Marilyn Monroe, Barney Stinson, George Clooney, Yolanthe Sneijder-Cabau, Lara stone, Marlies Dekker, Heleen van Royen.

“Do what you love.”

The Caregiver

The Caregiver supports people, helping them organize their lives how they want them. He battles against selfishness.

The Caregiver always speaks in a friendly, welcoming tone. He is attentive and knows how others are getting on. Rather than talk about himself, the caregiver prefers to ask questions and start a conversation with others, listening carefully to their wishes and needs.

Examples: Volvo, Nivea, Amnesty international, Roosvicee, TOMS, Sanex, Pampers, Robijn, John Lewis, Santander, Marry Poppins, Dalai Lama, Angelina Jolie, Princess Diana, Natasja Froger.

“You can lean on me.”

The Everyman

The Everyman connects with people, giving them the approval they need. He fights against exclusion.

The Everyman talks to you as if you’ve known each other for years: personal, friendly and informal. But also, honest and trustworthy. The Everyman is down-to-earth and never mouths off. And because he wants people to feel appreciated, the Everyman tends to be concrete and pragmatic.

Examples: HEMA, Douwe Egberts, IKEA, ebay, Amstel, Jumbo, Volkswagen, AirBnB, Liga, Drew Barrymore, Matt Damon, Frans Bauer, Linda de Mol, Ali B.

“Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name, and they’re always glad you came.”

The Optimist

The Optimist makes people happy, and feel good about the world and themselves. And thereby fights negativity.

The Optimist keeps things simple and pure. He talks in a light, open way that’s easy to follow. What you see is what you get. The Optimist never says more than needs to be said, but just enough to help people find happiness for themselves. The Optimist always remains positive, even to the point of sometimes losing sight of reality. Which is why he occasionally needs bringing down to earth a little.

Examples: Innocent, Coca Cola, Spa, Evian, Ben & Jerry’s, Coolblue, Chipotle, Zeeman, JetBlue, Taylor Swift, Bridget Jones, John Lennon, Chantal Janzen, Ilse de Lange.

“Don’t worry, be happy!”

The Ruler

The Ruler brings clarity and order, steering people in the right direction. And in doing so, fights chaos.

The Ruler has a decisive, confident tone. He knows what he’s talking about and never wastes an opportunity to demonstrate his expertise. He’s resolute and stays well clear of woolly language. The Ruler sees the big picture, which tends to make him thoughtful. And because he’s eloquent, he’s a master at appealing to different target groups. Though he can seem authoritarian, the Ruler is always fair and honest.

Examples: IBM, Rolex, Mercedes- Benz, Hugo Boss, Microsoft, Cartier, KPN, British Airways, Luxaflex, Sonos, Grey Goose, Nespresso, Obama, Angela Merkel, Neelie Kroes.

“The way to take power… is to take it.”

The Sage

The Sage informs, hands on knowledge and makes sure people understand the world around them better. He battles against deceitfulness.

The Sage is well-informed and has detailed knowledge. He’s the guy to go to if you want to know how things really work. To avoid coming across as a know-all or patronizing, it’s important the Sage remains relevant and to-the-point. For example, by communicating actively, addressing people directly and not slipping into difficult language or jargon. In this way, he manages to radiate authority, while at the same time developing a meaningful relationship with those around him.

Examples: Harvard, Ted X, Audi, The New York Times, Google, Discovery Channel, Philips, TripAdvisor, Hermione, Einstein, Sherlock Holmes, Morgan Freeman, Nico Dijkshoorn.

“The truth will set us free.”

The Magician

The Magician amazes people by transforming remarkable situations into very special experiences. He has little time for pragmatism.

The Magician is extremely eloquent, but never formal. And where other archetypes prefer to be brief and to-the-point, the Magician takes his time to touch people and bring them new experiences. The Magician is focused not on the product or service, but on the process. And what that process unleashes in people. With the right words and a dash of imagination, the Magician has the ability to leave people enchanted time after time.

Examples: Disney, Dyson, Tesla, GE, Glade, Efteling, Sony, Intel, MAC Cosmetics, Samsung, Steven Spielberg, Martin Luther King, Iris van Herpen, Tiësto.

“Impossible is nothing.”

The Warrior

The Warrior sets clear goals and challenges people to get the most out of themselves and their surroundings. He battles against indifference.

The Warrior’s in it to win, so he dares to take risks. He thinks in goals and talks of challenges, which makes his tone powerful and direct. The Warrior wants to lead the way, to come across as strong, and to achieve his goals as quickly as possible. But he also motivates others to overcome their barriers, and achieve their goals.

Examples: Nike, Gatorade, BMW, Duracell, NCOI, Red Cross, Caterpillar, Always, Beats by Dre, Under Armour, Mr. Muscle, Serena Williams, Colin Kaepernick, Katniss Everdeen, Maarten van der Weijden.

“Yes we can.”

The Creator

The Creator produces new worlds, surprising people with beauty and inventiveness. And so his battle is against mediocrity.

The Creator has a unique style and isn’t easily influenced by others’ opinions. He wants to inspire and amaze people. Which is why his language is vibrant and expressive. He often uses metaphors, so that others can almost see before their eyes what the Creator means.

Examples: Lego, Adidas, Adobe, Pixar, Crayola, Canon, HP, Swatch, Willy Wonka, Martha Stewart, Bill Gates, Ron Blauww, Bas Kosters, Gerrit Rietveld.

 “It always seems impossible until it’s done.”

The Explorer

The Explorer seeks out new possibilities and inspires people to opt for the unknown. He battles against conformity.

The Explorer communicates in an open, easy-going manner. Though he has clear opinions of his own, he’s always interested in other insights, as you never know where they might lead. The Explorer’s tone is optimistic and resourceful. And because he’s often looking for something just a little different than others, he sometimes communicates at unexpected moments and in unexpected ways.

Examples: Jeep, Starbucks, Corona, NASA, Hennessy, EasyJet, Johnnie Walker, The North Face, Patagonia, Lonely planet, Land Rover, Go Pro, Timberland, Steve Irwin, Ariel (Disney), Floortje Dessing, Freek Vonk.

“We choose the moon!”