Always looking for an edge, many marketing professionals are turning to the work of psychological trailblazer and media maven, Carl Jung. Dr. Jung postulated that there are a number of subconscious personality types common to all humans and that they can be tapped into as a way to connect with, what he labeled, “The Collective Conscious”.
Many of these marketing pros are advising their clients to adopt Jungian concepts as a way to plant their brands into the minds of the buying public. The idea is to align a company’s brand identity with one of the more favorable archetypes, thus creating a bond the target audience may not even be aware of.
There are about 20 in all, with the major ones being…
1. The Innocent
Motto: Everything is Beautiful
Brand Personality: Innocents happily exist in their own world where the sun is always shining and the birds are always singing. This “bullet-proof” optimism allows them to work through, and at times ignore, barriers that would stop others dead in their tracks.
People: Dorothy (Wizard of Oz), Forest Gump, Betty Boop, Ronald Regan
Brands: Disney, Coca Cola, McDonald’s
Motto: Love thy Neighbor
Brand Personality: Like a favorite aunt who remembers everyone’s birthday, Caregivers tend to everyone’s needs. They create a warm, caring environment and stable, nurturing relationships. They’ll always be there for you…even though you never call.
People: Mother Teresa, Princess Diana
Brands: Campbell’s Soup, All State Insurance
3. The Rebel
Motto: Rules? What rules?
Brand Personality: It might appear that they’re only happy when they’re making trouble, but Rebel organizations are successful at developing radical ideas, products, and services. They Zig when everyone else zag’s.
People: Bob Dylan, James Dean
Brands: Apple, Harley Davidson
4. The Sage
Motto: The truth is out there, and I’m finding it.
Brand Personality: The “Smarty Pants” of the archetype family. Sages are sponges for knowledge and revel in finding the answers to great questions. They gather and analyze information, happily sharing their knowledge with the world.
People: Carl Jung, Oprah, Albert Einstein
Brands: Discovery Channel, Oprah Show
5. The Jester
Motto: Laughing while you work—or at least chuckling intermittently
Brand Personality: Jesters are known for their ingenuity and wit—sometimes to the point of really getting on people’s nerves. They are adept at brainstorming, thinking outside the box, finding clever ways around obstacles and having fun while getting it done.
People: Tina Fey, Charlie Chaplin, Robin Williams
Brands: Ben & Jerry’s, Geico
6. The Hero
Motto: Here I come to save the day…
Brand Personality: Heroes love a challenge and are able to leap tall problems in single bound. They are focused, confident, capable, results oriented and good at inspiring others to achieve the goal. They’re also know for looking pretty good in capes.
People: Lone Ranger, Superman, Mikey Mouse, Michael Jordan
Brands: Nike, Fed Ex
Motto: Who love’s you, baby?
Brand Personality: Lovers are about relationships, bringing passion and charisma to everything they do. Lovers build partnerships among employees and clients, creating a better quality of life in and outside of the workplace
People: Rudolph Valentino, Bill Clinton, Klimt
Brands: Victoria’s Secret, Calvin Klein
Motto: Power isn’t every thing—it’s the only thing.
Brand Description: They like being in charge…largely because they feel they should be in charge. Rulers are most successful when they make decisions that benefit others and use their power for the greater good.
People: Alan Greenspan, Queen Elizabeth I, Hilary Clinton
Brands: Microsoft, Mercedes, American Express
Recently there has been developed a corollary of Jung’s work. drawn from the lyrics of “That’s Life”, a song made famous by Frank Sinatra. In it Mr. Sinatra recounts the archetypes he has passed through during the course of his life and career—they are
And ultimately, the King.
…but that’s a topic for another post.