The 12 Brand Archetypes That Make Businesses Successful [Quiz]

What is it you provide that makes your clients' lives better?

You might think the answer is straightforward.

Mops that clean themselves—no more mess!
Cars that are friendly on the environment—no more fossil fuel guilt! 
Web design that empowers businesses to own their sites—no coding involved!

But that's not what I'm talking about.

What is it about your brand that makes clients' lives truly better? 

Not just in terms of what you sell—but the value you bring to each customer's life?

Comfort? Motivation? Joy?

You might not really know. 

Honestly, it's rare that you get feedback that in-depth from your customers. Especially about something that's so hard to pin down. Seriously—we're talking some Jung-level shizz. 

But determining that special something is exactly how average businesses become successful brands.

Companies invest millions of dollars in consumer research panels and studies. But we don't all have those kinds of resources.

Luckily, there are strategies to help businesses start honing in and finding that key to their brand.

One great tool: brand archetypes.

These are 12 characters that all great brands embody. Each archetype has its own characteristics, strengths, challenges, and unique value it brings to customers.

And anyone can find their archetype—and get a kickstart into those insights that take brands to the next level.

So what are the brand archetypes, and which one are you?

Let's find out!


This quiz is so helpful. Brand archetypes are SUCH a powerful tool. They're that extra something that can turn a business into a full-fledged brand. Find out which brand archetype you are! | Hoot Design Co.

What is a brand archetype?

A brand archetype is the role that your brand plays in your consumer’s life.

How do you fit into their narrative and what emotions does your brand convey? The brand archetypes will help you answer these questions for your business.

Once you understand which archetypal category your customers have put you in, you can cater to their needs and speak directly to them.


So what are these archetypes, you ask?

The 12 brand archetypes:

Brand Archetypes.png
The Magician: Logical, analytical, insightful
The Patriarch: Dignified, authoritative, inspirational
The Angel: Optimistic, innocent, pure
The Enchantress: Mysterious, tempting, sensual
The Actress: Glamorous, dramatic, involved
The Troubadour: Joyous, free-spirited, agile
The Jester: Witty, resilient, daring
The Warrior: Confident, powerful, heroic
The Queen: Relaxed, comforting, social
The Mother Earth: Stable, genuine, nurturing
The Matriarch: Organized, systematic, controlled
The Sage: Wise, visionary, mentoring

Let's get specific:

If you're really going to use this archetype as a guide for your business, you need the low down on each one.


 

The 12 Brand Archetypes


1. The Magician


WHIZZ • EXPERT • EXPERIENCED
 

Traits of The Magician:

If you're a Magician, your business comes off as logical and insightful. But not cold. Customers trust your expertise and know you'll steer them in the right direction.

Magicians are commonly businesses that are in a specialized industry. If you have a lot of specific expertise that is hard to explain to a layperson, you're most likely giving off a Magician vibe.

The Magician's strengths:

The great thing about Magicians is that your clients trust your opinion. They know that you've got the goods, and they want you to take their pain points off their hands.

The Magician's challenges:

The downfall of Magicians is remaining personal—while communicating your expertise.

Having a business built on insight means you know your stuff, but it doesn't make you instantly likable. But this is easy to fix with kind and supportive messaging, so don't you worry Magician!

Famous Magician: IBM

  Famous Magician brand: IBM

Famous Magician brand: IBM

 

 

2. The Patriarch

DIGNIFIED • STRONG • LEADER
 

Characteristics:

You have built-in gravitas that makes customers see you as a credible source. Customers perceive your steadfast success as a source of inspiration. Your brand is a noble role model within your industry. 

Patriarch archetypes do well in a luxury industry because of their dignified air. People trust that your business knows what's cutting edge and worth their time. 

Strengths:

Patriarchs are great at being leaders and guiding their clientele with a steady hand. If you play your cards right, your customer base will trust that you're going to steer them in the right direction.

Challenges:

Be wary of your leadership coming off as condescending. It's an important distinction in your messaging that you are a guiding force, not an arrogant ruler. 

Famous Patriarch: Rolex

  Famous Patriarch brand: Rolex

Famous Patriarch brand: Rolex

 
 

3. The Angel


PURE • INSPIRING • NOSTALGIC
 

Characteristics:

Your customers rely on your business to be optimistic and pure. Your brand is built around spreading joy and inspiring others. 

Angel brands are cheery, innocent, and pretty rare. It's tough to navigate a brand that's both benevolent and proactive. But it can be done. Coca-Cola is a perfect example of prominent advertising that does wholesome super well.

Strengths:

Angels are able to pull off whimsical and nostalgic messaging better than anyone else.  Being goofy and generally delightful will make your customers excited to hear from you again.

Challenges:

A common pitfall for Angels will be appearing juvenile rather than innocent. Your brand should be going for timeless over trendy, so don't follow whatever 'kids these days' are up to. Follow your angelic moral compass.

Famous Angel: Coca-Cola

  Famous Angel brand: Coca-Cola

Famous Angel brand: Coca-Cola

 
 

4. The Enchantress


MYSTERIOUS • ALLURING • EXCLUSIVE
 

Characteristics:

Your brand is mysterious and tempting. Customers want to be a part of your club so that they feel 'in' on the secret. 

With a name like Enchantress, you may think that these brands are typically feminine and seductive, like Victoria's Secret. But that's not necessarily true.

Although Victoria's Secret is a good example, there are a wide variety of brands who stay tempting without crossing into raunchy.

Apple is an Enchantress to look up to because their advertising is always alluring. When Apple releases its newest gadget—there's a line out the door.

Strengths:

A great thing about being an Enchantress brand is that you have built-in momentum in your marketing. When people are on the edge of their seat waiting to hear from you, you don't have to worry about making a splash.

Challenges:

Make sure you don't go quiet on your audience. If you don't give your customers anything to look forward to, you can appear aloof. Or worse, you'll be forgotten.

Make sure your messaging is alluring rather than vague as heck!

Famous Enchantress: Apple

Apple-Logo-PNG-File-225x279.png
 
 

5. The Actress


GLAMOUROUS • SOPHISTICATED • BOLD
 

Characteristics:

Glamour is your brand's top export. You are sophisticated but not quite intimidating or cold. You're seen as a brand that is innovative while always retaining a strong emotional connection with your audience.

Because Actress brands are all about glamour and drama, they're often luxury or beauty businesses. But no matter what industry you're in, your attitude is bold and unapologetic. You are emotional about your customers and they reciprocate your feelings. 

Strengths:

A benefit about being an Actress brand means that you can pull off a daring and dramatic ad better than your competitors.

of all of the perfume and car ads you've seen that have classic music and moody lighting—they're total actresses.

Challenges:

Appearing self-absorbed is the biggest challenge Actress brands face.

It's easy to get carried away with the exciting happenings of your brand. But make sure you still feel emotionally available to customers.

Famous Actress: Chanel

  Famous Actress brand: Chanel

Famous Actress brand: Chanel

 
 

6. The Troubadour 


EXCITING • GENUINE • JOYFUL
 

Characteristics:

Your brand is straight-up fun! Your joyous biz keeps you flexible and exciting to your customers. You can take whatever comes because you've got a comeback prepared. 

Troubadour brands are a total blast—but that's not to say that they're immature. Your customers are looking for a brand to cut through the fog of blah messaging that they're inundated with. Cue the Troubadour with their bouncy messaging and bright visuals.

Strengths:

The great thing about being a Troubadour is that being chipper and bright comes across as genuine. You can joke around and be goofy with your customers without it seeming off-brand. 

Challenges:

Appearing grown-up can be a big challenge for an archetype that's so funny and fresh.

When it comes time for a hard sell tactic or crisis management, make sure that you've got on-brand but appropriate messaging tools in your arsenal.

Famous Troubadour: Lego
 

  Famous Troubadour brand: Lego

Famous Troubadour brand: Lego

 
 

7. The Jester


WITTY • DARING • PROVOCATIVE
 

Characteristics:

Your brand is witty and daring. Throughout different seasons and happenings, your customers can look to your business for a good attitude and fun offerings

Unlike the Troubadour, the Jester is provocative and has some spicy substance.

Old Spice is a total Jester because their wit is edgier than something you would see from a Troubadour like Lego. And Old Spice's color palette isn't crazy bright and fun. Old Spice is funny but keeps it edgy.

Strengths:

Being a Jester makes you super likable. Your customer is looking for wit to keep their attention and a product they can get excited about. A Jester is the perfect package for a consumer who is bored of their same old song and dance.

Challenges:

A tricky aspect of the Jester life is striking a balance between embracing irony and coming across as out-of-touch.

Be careful taking it over the edge: you don't want your sarcasm to end up feeling more caustic than witty.

Famous Jester: Old Spice

  Famous Jester brand: Old Spice

Famous Jester brand: Old Spice

 
 

8. Warrior


HEROIC • CONSISTENT • STRONG
 

Characteristics:

Your business is confident and heroic. Customers look to you in times of uncertainty because your brand is consistent and strong. 

Warrior brands have the leadership skills of a Patriarch but they aren't afraid to get their hands dirty. Customers want a brand that motivates them to be better in many aspects of their life.

Nike does an awesome job at inspiring their customers to be fit and have a badass attitude.

Strengths:

Being a warrior means that your brand exudes strength. This helps your customers like and trust you because they're sure that your brand is here to stay.

Characteristics:

Being a warrior can be difficult because you can feel emotionally vague.

Stay tuned in with your customers even though it might be easy to put on the tough guy facade. Warriors can seem closed off without some emotional language sprinkled into their messaging.

Famous Warrior: Nike

  Famous Warrior brand: Nike

Famous Warrior brand: Nike

 
 

9. The Queen 


 

Characteristics:

Where the Actress archetype is dramatic, you are cool and collected. Your brand is social and never frenzied. You have fun with your audience, but you never lack substance or grace.

The Queen archetype is exactly what you would think. Think of an actual queen. She is graceful and calm but definitely sympathetic and kind to her audience. No matter what field you're in, you can be a Queen archetype. You just have to be collected and confident.

Strengths:

Being a Queen brand means that you're a calming presence for your customers. While your audiences deal with their day-to-day stresses, your brand is an aspirational reminder to them to keep calm and carry on.

Challenges:

Make sure that you're keeping up the energy in your marketing. Being cool as a cucumber might make it easy to fall into a sleepy tone. Keep your messaging engaging with powerful calls to action.

Famous Queen: Dove

  Famous Queen brand: Dove

Famous Queen brand: Dove

 
 

10. The Mother Earth


STABLE • RELIABLE • CONSISTENT
 

Characteristics

Your business is stable and nurturing. You provide good advice and consistent quality for your customers and they appreciate your reliability. 

Your brand is the epitome of providing substance for your customer. Nothing you do should be vapid or chaotic because you are always thinking about how to serve your customer.

Mother Earths are brands that make their customers really feel taken care of. This nurturing quality is essential as customers typically feel like businesses take advantage of them in the marketplace.

Strengths

It's essential that your customers trust you. And luckily for you, your nurturing personality makes that trust much easier to achieve. Consumers often feel that companies rarely have their back in tough times. You can show them how important they are to you and your business.

Challenges

Because your brand is at the far end of the substance spectrum, keep your capabilities in mind. Make sure that you're still letting your customers know that you know your stuff. Even though you're one of the most comforting brands out there, you're still serious about business.

Famous Mother Earth: Volvo

  Famous Mother Earth brand: Volvo

Famous Mother Earth brand: Volvo

 
 

11. The Matriarch

 
ORGANIZED • MASTERFUL • IN CHARGE
 

Characteristics

You are organized and masterful. Your brand always has a plan and your customers appreciate the way that you easily take charge.

A Matriarch has substance and by no means have their heads in the cloud. When your customers interact with you, they want to know that you have your sh*t together.

Matriarchs are great at taking care of all the details while their clients are enjoying themselves. And that kind of good karma keeps people coming back.

Strengths

The great thing about being a Matriarch is that you can tell it like is. Because your dream client is looking for expertise, your brand can feel comfortable about being honest and taking charge.

Challenges

But having so much knowledge can be a double-edged sword. You're able to control your image, but don't try to control your environment too much. This could come across as overbearing. Keep your messaging refined instead of frenzied to avoid a controlling vibe.

Famous Matriarch: Mercedes-Benz

  Famous Matriarch brand: Mercedes-Benz

Famous Matriarch brand: Mercedes-Benz

 
 

12. The Sage


MENTORING • INNOVATIVE • INTELLECTUAL
 

Characteristics

You are wise like the Magician, but offer the mentoring of a Mother Earth. Your brand uses its expertise to pass on lessons to the community it serves. Combining your intellect with substance helps customers relate to you.

Sages are the smartest helpers you could ask for. They're always looking to serve, and their innovation makes them extremely helpful.

The word 'mentor' is key for the Sage brand and should be used to your advantage. Customers are looking for a relatable guide, and Sages are here for them.

Strengths

A great aspect of the Sage archetype is the substance that you bring to your expertise. You are able to integrate kindness into otherwise lofty and dry topics. Think about how innovative Google is, yet how they're still accessible to everyone.

Challenges

The difficulty of being a Sage brand is striking a balance between being welcoming and innovative. It might be easier to leave your customers out of the loop, but a Sage brand prioritizes education over ease.

Famous Sage: Google

  Famous Sage brand: Google

Famous Sage brand: Google

 


Which brand archetype are you? 

Each archetype has its strengths—which are you?

Take the quiz!


You've dug deep and found your archetype—now go forth and conquer!

See how you can implement this archetype in your visual branding, messaging, and promotions. Using the perceptions of your business as a tool to find your dream customer is savvy and necessary. 

Feeling like you need call in the experts?

If your branding and content need an archetypal boost, send us an inquiry.

Now go rock it!




Hoot Design Co. is a marketingbranding, and design agency located in Columbia, MO. We specialize in creating a custom and comprehensive marketing strategy centered around your business's unique strengths and educating you with the tools you need from day one. From logo design to brandingwebsite design and execution, and ongoingsocial media marketing and content marketing strategies in-person and through online courseswe're focused on your business success every step of the way.

How to Use Canva to Create On-Brand Social Media Graphics (Video Tutorial)

One of the most incredibly empowering tools that's debuted in the past couple years for small businesses is Canva. Specifically, Canva for Work.

Canva for Work lets you stay on brand while you create designs for your small business with ease. What you can create is practically endless: everything from trifold brochures to Instagram posts to letterhead – all using your brand's fonts, colors, and assets. It's versatile, convenient, and awesome.

 A peek inside the HDco Canva account

A peek inside the HDco Canva account

In fact, we know from personal experience just how bomb Canva can be for a small biz: we actually make all of our own social media graphics in Canva for Work.

Some of the best parts? Canva  is incredibly intuitive and affordable.

Here's what I mean by intuitive:

When you're a small business owner, you've got to wear a lot of different hats. And if one of those hats is being your own marketing team, you need a solution that you can learn in a reasonable amount of time and actually put in practice. 

Opening up Canva and getting to work feels natural to anyone who's used Microsoft Word or Google Docs. The learning curve is extremely low – meaning that with just a little practice, you'll have mastered the workflow.

And by affordable, I mean $120 for a full year. That's a total steal. 

Professional programs that you'd use to create similar graphics are going to cost you way more – a subscription to Adobe's Creative Cloud (where you'd have access to Illustrator) comes in at $49.99/month – that's $600/year. Ouch!

And, although *ahem* certain bloggers might like to you otherwise, Canva's capabilities cover all bases you'll need as a small biz owner. If you're not running a professional design agency, you don't need professional design software.

A much easier learning curve and waaaayy more affordable price than traditional professional design programs make Canva for Work the hands-down choice for small businesses owners who need to create their own marketing materials.

But! If there's one thing you need to pay super close attention to while in Canva, it's staying on brand.

Ready to see how to use Canva to create on-brand social media graphics?

Video tutorial, coming right up!


Despite what ~some~ bloggers might have you believe, Canva does NOT just make every design look the same or off-brand. It's a HUGELY versatile tool to create on-brand graphics – with WAY less of a learning curve and WAY less cost than using a professional program like Adobe Illustrator. Save your money and your time – Canva is way easier. Click through to read more! | Hoot Design Co.

What staying on brand really means

What exactly does staying on brand mean?

Well, to put it briefly, it's keeping your fonts, colors, image styles, patterns, and language CONSISTENT in everything you do.

Consistency is key to maintaining a strong brand.

You want to get to the point where your customer base can see a graphic or flyer and know it's yours without having to look for your name.

After investing time and money into branding that's perfectly suited to your business, it's absolutely essential that you maintain your brand integrity in everyday use.

 Canva for Work's example of maintaining brand consistency using your own fonts, colors, and assets – image via  Canva for Work

Canva for Work's example of maintaining brand consistency using your own fonts, colors, and assets – image via Canva for Work

The BIGGEST temptation that will draw you off-brand in Canva are pre-made templates. Avoid them!

These templates look awesome. They display really cool quotes, or designs for a birthday invitation, or in an anniversary announcement with trendy fonts, layouts, patterns, and colors. 

So what's the problem? 

Canva’s pre-made designs will never be on-brand for you.

I know! They look so appealing – it can be extremely tough to resist clicking on them to make a quick Instagram post in a cool design. Resist the temptation to use fonts and elements that aren't yours.

Here are a few examples of pre-made templates that are very cool but will almost certainly NOT be on brand for you:


How to stay on-brand– even when you're tempted to experiment

Any time you create a design in your Canva account, you need to make sure you're using ONLY your fonts, colors, logos, and other elements that we've already uploaded for you. That's not going to be the case if you start from a pre-made template.

The good news is that Canva's streamlined interface makes it easy to always implement to your brand elements.

So, if you do choose to work off of a pre-made design, you need to make sure that you convert absolutely ALL fonts and colors to your brand materials. Use your logo, your fonts, and your photo styles – not the ones that Canva has pre-loaded.

Please. 😘

To help you out, I've made a video screencast showing you how to create on-brand graphics in Canva – using our client Meriwether Café & Bike Shop as a perfect example.


Video Tutorial: Using Canva to Create On-Brand Social Media Graphics



And here's a play-by-play breakdown if you prefer reading to watching:

1. Get started by Choosing Your Dimensions

First, log in to your Canva for Work account at canva.com.

Your design team (that's us!) will have already loaded in your brand elements (your fonts, your logos, color palette, and assets like patterns and textures) so you can hit the ground running. (Note: If you didn't work with us, here's how you can upload your brand elements yourself).

After you log in, you'll see a screen where you can choose the dimensions that you want your design to be.

You've got lots of options with dimensions that Canva has already set up for you – from Instagram posts, to perfectly-sized Facebook headers, to tri-folds and flyers.

[Related: How to Create an Effective Facebook Post that Drives Traffic]

Select the design dimensions you want and you're ready to get started.

Screen Shot 2017-04-30 at 6.35.49 PM.jpg

2. Beginning your design

You'll likely see pre-made designs from Canva filling your screen I left. Once again, resist the temptation to use them.

(If you do want to use a pre-made design, make sure to change EVERY design element to your brand – don't use any of the fonts or colors from the pre-made design.)

Instead, fill in the background with the color of your choice, or drag and drop a photo from your upload section to your background.

You can also upload a completely new photo by simply dragging the image you want over your Canva screen.

[Related: Is Professional Photography Actually Worth It for My Business?]

 Avoid using pre-made designs from Canva – you need to use ONLY your brand fonts, colors, and other elements to stay on brand!

Avoid using pre-made designs from Canva – you need to use ONLY your brand fonts, colors, and other elements to stay on brand!

 Background color: Make sure you choose colors from the BRAND COLORS section!

Background color: Make sure you choose colors from the BRAND COLORS section!

 Choosing a photo from your Uploads section

Choosing a photo from your Uploads section


3. Adding text

On the far left of your screen, choose the text icon. At the top of the column that appears, you'll see your approved brand fonts.

Select "Add heading," "Add subheading," or "Add a little bit of body text" to get started.

Once you've clicked the text style that you want, you'll be able to start typing immediately.

 ALWAYS use  only  your specific brand fonts – don't choose another font, even if it looks super cool in a pre-made design.

ALWAYS use only your specific brand fonts – don't choose another font, even if it looks super cool in a pre-made design.


4. Adjusting text size and color

When you select one of your text boxes, you'll see options for changing your font size, color, capitalization, letter spacing, and even changing line height.

You'll likely recognize the settings from software you used to using, like Microsoft Word or Google Docs, and feel right at home making adjustments.

Adjust everything as needed, until you've got your text sized and colored the way you want.

 Use the highlighted bar at the top of your screen to change your font, size, etc.

Use the highlighted bar at the top of your screen to change your font, size, etc.


5. Adding shapes, icons, or illustrations

If you want to add in shapes, lines, icons, or illustrations, the next thing to do is going to be to choose "Elements" the left side of your screen.

Select the icon that corresponds to the element you're looking for – grids, frames, shapes, lines, etc.

[Related: How to Use the Elements of Art in Your Design]

Clicking one of the options displayed (for example, clicking the circle under "Shapes") will drop the shape directly on top of your design. You'll be able to recolor your element with any of your brand colors. 

To resize your element, click the shape, then drag one of the corner handles to adjust the size of your shape while keeping its dimensions intact.

To adjust the shape's proportions, drag one of the handles on an edge (top, right, bottom, or left) to pull your shape narrower or wider.

You can also recolor your shape (using one of your brand colors, of course!) and adjust your shape's transparency.


6. Downloading your design

When you're satisfied with your design, it's time to download.

In the upper right-hand corner of your screen you'll see a button that says download. Click the button. Now, you'll have the option of downloading your design in a few different formats – JPEG, PNG, PDF Standard, or PDF Print.

 

Here's what each of those options means:

  • JPEG: this file is a standard image type. You'll probably want to use a JPEG if there's any kind of photo in your image.

  • PNG: this is another standard image file type. Use PNGs if the majority of your image is text-based or shape-based. You'd also need to download as a PNG if you want your design to have a transparent background.

  • PDF – Standard: this is PDF intended for web viewing. If you include any links in your design, this is the only file type option that will preserve those links.

  • PDF – Print: use this file type if you'll be sending your design to a professional printer. It will export your file with a color profile and resolution that are better suited to high-quality printing (but create a larger file size).

After choosing the filetype you want, hit download and your design will start downloading to your computer.

 Choose the file type that best suits your purpose.

Choose the file type that best suits your purpose.


7. Use your design anywhere you want

Now that you've downloaded your design, you're all set to use it for social media marketing, your website, print design, or wherever else you'd like to use it.

Mission accomplished. 

 Yay! Use your completed graphic on social media, your website, or anywhere else!

Yay! Use your completed graphic on social media, your website, or anywhere else!


The bottom line:

Canva for Work is an amazing tool for small businesses.

It empowers you to create any type of design you'd need – and stay on brand while you do it.

Canva's capabilities stretch far beyond that of programs you'd purchase if you're not in a professional design field.

And, because it lets you (or your branding agency) specify your brand fonts, colors, patterns, and more, Canva for Work will keep your brand integrity intact – as long as you USE those brand elements in everything you create.

Now get out there and design some killer graphics, people!

– Avery

branding in Columbia, MO | Use Canva to create on-brand graphics
Do you have any questions about using design programs for your small business? Leave them in the comments below, or find us on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook.



Hoot Design Co. is an advertisingbranding, marketing, and web design agency located in Columbia, MO. We specialize in creating a custom and comprehensive marketing strategy centered around your business's unique strengths – and educating you with the tools you need from day one. From logo design to branding, website design and execution, and ongoing social media marketing and content marketing strategies in-person and through online courses, we're focused on your business success every step of the way.