arche - what?
When you are standing in a supermarket aisle choosing a chocolate bar, when you are browsing the web to find the best health insurance, even when you are convincing your spouse that the family really needs a convertible, your brain is taking a short-cut through a communication maze. This short-cut or pattern of thought, an inner, unconscious, constantly present idea, is based on archetypes. Or more precisely, on one of the 12 universal archetypes.
Think about it, how many things do humans really need? Can all the things we need be grouped? Turns out – according to Jung – they can. We all, at one point in our life, need love, enjoyment, belonging, care, power, innovation, safety, understanding, freedom, liberation and mastery. And since we all have a tendency to create stereotypes, to identify things that are instantly familiar or foreign, branding and design can and should use semiotics to recall those needs, over and over and over.
To create a strong brand, you surely need a strong product, but how do we explain very successful brands owning quite non-unique or non-functional products? M&M’s for example...not the tastiest chocolate and really not the most innovative (it hasn’t changed since the WWII) yet, it is the number one chocolate brand in the world.
Poor old Nokia did not market any phones that would break when falling from a one meter height…Here it comes a generation (or 3) of people with cracked i-Phones and an unexplainable brand loyalty. How does that work?
Just like people brands are loved or liked, hated or ignored. To build a successful brand personality we always have to think about what need we are catering for. Are we making people feeling like they belong (Snickers), powerful (Rolex)? Are we making them happy (M&M’s)? Are we stimulating their need for innovation (Apple)?
If we are able to define the brand's personality and respond to the archetype’s unconscious need in all brand's manifestations (from employee engagement to ATL campaigns) then the success is guaranteed. If you don’t believe me, try and find a successful brand that has not built its success on its brand archetype, and the consistent manifestation of thereof. I challenge you!