In today’s article I would like to focus on personal branding archetypes, and why defining and reflecting on them is such an important step in building your personal brand and understanding how you’re currently perceived and how you want to be perceived, in order to achieve your goals.
Archetypes come from a concept used by the psychologist Carl Gustav Jung, to explain the characters which reside within the collective unconscious of people. They represent fundamental human motifs of our experience as we evolved and as a result they also evoke our emotions.
He identified 12 main archetypes divided into 3 categories, the Ego, the Soul, and the Self.
The Ego types are:
the Regular Guy
The Soul types are:
The Self types are:
I have selected two from each personal brand archetype group so you will have a better idea of what yours are:
The Regular Guy and The Hero
The Regular Guy is the person who:
- believes we are all equal, needs to connect with others and have a sense of belonging
- is down to earth and has a common touch
- has empathy and realism
- fears being left out and so always makes an effort to blend in
The Hero is the person who:
- believes if there’s a will, there’s a way
- shows expertise and wants to improve the world through courageous acts
- fears weakness and vulnerability
- always look for another battle to fight
The Explorer and The Lover
The Explorer is the person who:
- believes in freedom to find out the inner self and experience the world
- is autonomous and ambitious
- fears conformity and getting trapped
- always looks for the next adventure and experience, sometimes ending in aimless wandering
The Lover is the person who:
- believes in relationships with people
- always tries to please others, be physically and emotionally attractive
- is passionate, grateful, committed
- fears being alone and feeling unwanted
The Sage and The Ruler
The Sage is the person who:
- believes in finding the truth
- is analytical, reflective and knowledgeable
- always researches more information and wants to understand the world
- fears ignorance and doesn’t act until every detail has been studied
The Ruler is the person who:
- believes in power and control
- aims for prosperity and success
- has responsibility and leadership
- fears chaos and being overthrown, is also often unable to delegate
You most probably recognise yourself in one or more of these archetypes and play, even unconsciously, a different one in different situations or with different people. You will find though there’s always a dominant one that plays a pivotal role in what your brand says about you. This is because your archetype reflects elements of your inner self: your values, your aspirations, your natural talents, your needs, your strengths and weaknesses. It leads you to choose certain life and career paths, as well as building relationships with certain types of people.
In my work with SEVEN’s career coaching clients, Flossy and Fausto, we analysed their archetype in order to define their brand today. This was an essential step in the journey to build the brand they want to project going forward and find ways to get there.
Flossy’s natural archetype is ‘the Executor’. This is based on the following elements which she excels at: hard work; getting things done efficiently; independency. Nevertheless Flossy wants to build a brand that reflects leadership and therefore evoke an archetype that we can call ‘the Leader’. While being an executor undoubtedly gives her a great foundation to become what a leader means to her: someone who inspire; communicates effectively; has passion; always leaves good examples and whom people look for as a mentor, she needs to create a bridge that will take her from just being an executor to also being a leader.
Fausto’s natural archetype is ‘the Creator’. This is based on how people would describe him: creative; thorough; intellectual; analytical; enthusiastic; process driven. While he recognises himself in this archetype, Fausto would like his brand not only to say ‘creator’ but ‘talented accomplished artist’. In order to find ways for him to get there, we analysed what talented, accomplished, and artist mean to him: a maker who uses certain techniques to fulfil his desire for expression through beauty; who delivers good quality work which is also an inspiring and attractive creation; who is experienced, well known and recognised in his field.
We all evoke one archetype or another, our archetype also evolves over time and so does our brand. Defining their archetypes helped Flossy and Fausto to reflect on who they are, how they are perceived, what makes them evoke one rather than another, how this affects their brand and how they can use their potential to shape it the way they want it.
You can build a successful Personal Brand when you know who you are (or at least more about who you are) and as your archetype reflects a big part of it, defining and reflecting on it is an essential step in building your brand. Check out our personal branding packages here
More on Flossy’s and Fausto’s case studies coming soon! Meanwhile… what’s your archetype?