Making friends with Brand Archetypes
Who would not yearn for the loving mother in the breakfast cereal or pasta sauce advertisements?
What young chap does not want to attract a bevy of gorgeous girls to the envy of his mates?
Who does not want to enjoy feeling they are the boss of their lives and perhaps just a little more in control than others?
Who wants to display irresistible sophisticated sexiness?
Or perhaps we are beyond all the above and just want to appear deep and meaningful, futuristic even magical with a certain aloofness of knowing?
Well, there is a brand for you that promises these, and more. They do this easily by tapping into selected archetypes which supply them with a juicy resource of pre established emotional tugs that we unconsciously respond to and boost their success.
Archetypes are a universally shared set of beliefs, they are like quantum packets in an iCloud we can all tap into, and contribute to. They bypass language, social and geographical boundaries, tap into our unconscious, and thus provide a rich and effective resource for brands to emulate. A ready-made system of collective beliefs that, according to Jung, are ‘imprinted and hardwired into our psyches’.
There are twelve brand archetypes attributed to brands, which parallel Jung’s: the Innocent, the Everyman, The Hero, the Outlaw, the Explorer, the Creator (Jung called this the Artist), the Ruler, the Magician, the Lover, the Caregiver, the Jester and the Sage.
But when we dig into the definition of an archetype, we find a much broader interpretation. The American Heritage online dictionary defines an archetype as ‘… an original model or type which other similar things are patterned after, in other words, a prototype or first model for others.’
Once something has been created, whether it is a thought, a belief, an image or even a plant or animal, a template exists in the field of energy that informs their further creation, and we build its presence more through the attention we pay to it, which makes it more available for others to tap into as an existing belief. Rupert Sheldrake calls this process ‘morphic resonance’ which is described as ‘the influence of previous structures of activity on subsequent similar structures of activity organized by morphic fields’.
And the only way we create difference is by thinking outside the existing belief. Then we establish a new norm. New formulae can take months to create, but subsequent reproductions become easier. Similarly, when records are broken. For example, once thought impossible, the four-minute mile is now regularly surpassed thanks to Roger Bannister who did it first in 1954. Now well over 1000 have done it. The quantum field shifted with the new norm and formed a memory template.
What archetypes are we tapping into and what new ones are we forming? Why would we not want to create new templates for what we want to see in the world? Then we have an image to attract others and build our future. As an aside, I am curious about the plethora of heroes (one of the major archetypes) in popular films. What does this say about the future we idealise?
I created my own set of archetype cards, (selection in image) before I knew what archetypes were. Inspired initially by my study of the Chinese system of five elements, including wood and fire, and 12 officials, including the Heart and the Kidney officials, further images continued to present themselves for artistic rendering. These cards are available on my website for visitors to choose, and their selection brings their unconscious message to consciousness.
By expressing them in the way I saw them enabled me to tap into an original archetype but I was conceiving a new facet of them.
This is how brands build success. By first identifying and tapping into an existing belief, then building on that to create their own frame of reference within it, they fine tune their brand frequency to attract those they want to target.
I encourage all my entrepreneurial clients to think out of the box and identify their unique intention in their logo. The more they share it through ritual, repetition and attention, the more it builds in the field and the more available it becomes for others to tap into.