How To Develop A Human Brand
Archetypes are a tool for brand builders to use, to inject personality into their brands to ultimately make them more relatable.
Building a strategic brand starts with understanding who the audience is. When you have a highly detailed audience persona, you can then identify which of the 12 archetypes are most aligned to that audience.
Once you’ve aligned your audience to an archetype, you can then identify an archetype (or combination of archetypes – archetypal mix) best suited to appeal to the personality of your audience.
This is how you use archetypes to develop a personality for your brand.
But the archetype is only the starting point for your brand personality. We still need to make it human.
The framework gives you a solid foundation and will outline the characteristics, fears and underlying desires of that human personality.
But the archetype doesn’t become human until it develops attitudes, ideas, opinions and behaviours of its own.
So let’s uncover how to develop brand personality with this 6-step template
Identify Your Audience
One of the first steps when developing a brand strategy is to get a crystal clear picture of your audience.
Build an audience persona using demographics and psychographics to narrow your target market and uncover the challenges and pain-points they’re navigating.
Only by understanding who they are can we understand their personality.
Assign Your Audience To An Archetype
Use the information you’ve gathered to identify the personality of your audience.
The psychographics you’ve gathered including their interests, likes, dislikes, hobbies, activities etc will shine a light on the type of person they are as well as their fears and desires.
This information will point to one of the 12 archetypes that they are most aligned with.
Identify Your Brand Archetype (Or Mix)
The information you’ve gathered on your audience including their fears, desires, characteristics and behaviours will shine a light on what they desire most.
Understanding the relationship you want your brand to have with your audience here is key.
You may want to connect with them by making them feel like they are the same or you might want to appeal through authority and expertise.
Once you’ve identified how you want to appeal, you can then identify one or a combination of two (two is the maximum) archetypes to act as the personality foundation.
Give Your Brand Personality Some Personality
Your archetype (or mix of archetypes) is only the baseline for your brand personality.
It provides the outline (or silhouette) of who your brand is becoming but it’s far from a polished human brand persona.
When your brand goes to market with its message, it needs to be armed with more than a handful of characteristics.
It needs attitudes, opinions, beliefs and behaviours developed from the desires and behaviours of the target audience.
The more your brand knows who it is, the more effectively it can deliver its message with conviction.
Bring Your Archetype To Life
Now you have a brand that knows who it is, you want to bring it to life visually.
You’re not looking to create a caricature or an actual persona to represent the brand in the market (unless of course that’s been determined in the brand strategy).
You want to give your persona a look and feel all on its own which will act as a guide and feed the brand expression.
Using the characteristics and behaviours you’re brand will communicate with, uncover an image (or multiple images) that best suits this personality.
This image will provide fuel for brand expression as a visual representation of the human brand persona can inject the brand expression with tangibility.
Infuse Your Messaging With Your Personality
Once you have your human brand persona including how it looks, feels, sounds and behaves you can then use this human brand persona throughout all brand expression from your emails to your website copy.
When your audience reads a social post which has been written by this persona, they will feel far more connected to it than a post written by a copywriter with no understanding of “who” the brand is.
This is the difference between “human brands” and “mannequin brands”.