As a brand strategist I love brand archetypes. I show my clients how to use them as a relatability tool for their brand strategy. It gives your brand a consistent voice, tone and feel without straying away from the personality of the solopreneur. When you create an archetypal mix of no more than 70/30 for your brand and your audience, you can develop a language only your true fam understands.
Just in case you didn't know, archetypes are a construct of Carl Jung. Without going down a psychological rabbit hole, archetypes are seen as universal patterns that influence human behavior. Whether he was right or not, it works for branding because it helps to tell a multitude of stories. And we all know storytelling has an influence over all of us. You can read it, watch it, live it or put it in a joke and it can be tied to an archetype. That means you can relate to your ATM.
My personal brand has an archetype mix of Rebel/Caregiver. Think Django with a mama Serena Williams undertone. My business brand has an archetype mix of Sage/Rebel. That's Oprah channeling Django. Now add in my audience and their mix is Explorer/Rebel which would be Matthew W. Henson with Django heat.
I know it seems like a crazy mix, but it works. And most importantly it allows me to bring a distinguishable part of myself my personal brand so I don't have to code-switch.
How Do You Get The Archetypal Mix For Your Brand
Brand archetypes make up brand personas and can come from anywhere. They can be made up of some fictional thing or they can take their lead from the solopreneur Brand Leader. Depending on the work you did to build your brand, you can identify very explicit characteristics. Finding an archetype that has similar characteristics would be a safe bet. But what if you have a secret identity you want to let loose on the world? I say sit that bitch on the porch with a drink and brand her ass. Whatever it is, this is your main archetype and it should make up at least 70% of your brand persona.
So where does the other 30% come from? The thing to remember is that we're not all one thing all the time. That's why you can't be your brand. You know nobody handle all that crazy that comes from being human unless they've known you since birth. You also know your brand has to be consistent if you want that KLT factor to kick in. That 30% could be your fairy dust magic that makes all the boys come to the yard. Oh wait. That's milkshakes and you're not all trying to attract boys. Oops.
Let me just give you an example. My ghetto country of being raised hood adjacent by a country mama is where my rebel comes from. It makes my haters uncomfortable because they make assumptions and I LOVE it. It's what I lead with as much as possible because it's how I'm most effective. My fairy dust magic is my empathic bitch undertone. I love you to pieces boo and I feel your pain so much I will cry with you and fight your enemies. What I will not do is wallow in punk ass behavior. Yes, I will leave yo ass sit'n on the curb cry'n if you don't get up and come on. That's my Rebel/caregiver all up and through based on how I define my personal brand.
How Do You Get The Archetypal Mix For Your Audience
Now let's get to your audience persona. If you've done your research, you should know some things about them. How you relate an archetype to them depends on your happy factor with the results of the research. You may find you don't like your audience anymore. You may have known it instinctually, but we won't go there. You may also decide to reposition your personal or business brand. Whatever the case, you need to do some crossover work between the client avatar you created and the archetype characteristics you wanna work with.
You can even decide you don't need a mix. Your audience can be 100% all in on one archetype. The reason I don't recommend this is because people are complex and you're only tapping into one aspect of who they are. Lean into the complexity and give them a fucking interesting life. Wait I'm assuming you want interesting folx. Oops. The exception to this would be if you're super niche. You are targeting something specific and distinct. Otherwise give yourself some wiggle room for an overlapping audience.
I chose my audience of explorer/rebels because I'm particular about who I want to engage with. I know I could easily break someones spirit who can't handle a hard conversation or don't like to be pushed to their limits. I also target solopreneurs instead of entrepreneurs because I vibe with the loner type. A solopreneur who is an explorer archetype is not afraid of risk or to put in the work to get better. They're self-aware which makes it easier for them to develop Brand Ego® and become Brand Leaders. I mix that with some rebel because like the explorer they want freedom and liberation. They will throw a middle finger to their haters and ride off into the sunset. I like that shit.
How Do You Use Archetypes To Make A Brand Voice
Now that you have mixes for you and your audience it's time to be relatable. Having all these energies in your space can seem crazy. But it's your crazy and you can handle it. Imagine Django, Serena, and Matthew are all in the room. Seems unlikely, right? It's not since they have a common thread. They all speak rebel. My personal brand leads with rebel energy. However, that doesn't mean it has to occupy all the space.
I like a lot of alpha energy in my house, but that's my house, not yours. Since it's my house, I direct the conversation like a rebel with a caregiver vibe. And since I'm talking to explorers with rebel tendencies, they can handle it. To make it even more relatable I use their language mixed with some of my own. I know they value their individuality which I take into consideration as well. From there I layer the conversation with personality to enhance and solidify the experience.
Archetypes help you add dimension to your avatars. Since you know who you want in your space, it makes it easier to talk to them through your content. There may be a million explorers out there but I'm only talking to the one in my house.
The form of content you put out will determine the brand type you will use. That's because your personal brand has reachability. Your business brand has scalability. Your personal brand can only reach those you come into contact with. Your business brand will scale by the culture you build through hiring and partnerships.
I hope this was helpful. But if you're thinking your voice is changing or you wanna have it looked at, book a Brand Ego® Check. To put a twist on something my momma used to say, you don't want a voice that saying here kitty kitty with a scat cat tone. Let's get it together.
Ghetto Country Brandmother®
Certified Brand Strategist, Business & Life
Coach with a degree in Business. She is also a former bbq restaurant owner & certified bbq judge.
She is making it her personal mission to show entrevivalist™ how to connect the dots of their
life, brand & business one brandbaby® at a time.