12 marketing archetypes


I’ve been a fan of psychologist Carl Jung for a long time. He discovered that there was 12 character archetypes that could be found in different tribes all over the world. Even in tribes that would have never come in contact. He discovered that these archetypes originate in dreams and wrote a book called Archetypes and the collective unconscious mind.

Now Jung didn’t create this for marketing purposes but of course I couldn’t help but think about how it does.

I’ve written many times that you, your product or your service isn’t for everyone.

That people buy from you for a primary psychological reason. But also when faced with a choice of say your product or someone else’s they will choose what ever resonates with them most.

The days of going after a demographic by age and sex is old news. It’s surface level. If you want to be a good marketer you must dive deep. And match what you are selling to the right archetype. And Carl Jung’s archetypes are as deep and as personified as a psychographic gets.

Here they are:

1. The Innocent

Motto: Free to be you and me
Core desire: Get to paradise
Fear: Be punished for doing something bad

2. The Orphan

Motto: All men and women are created equal
Core desire: Connecting with others
Fear: To be left out

3. The Hero

Motto: Where there’s a will, there’s a way
Core desire: Prove one’s worth through courageous acts
Fear: Seeming weak

4. The Caregiver

Motto: Love your neighbour as yourself
Core desire: Protect and care for others
Fear: Selfishness

5. The Explorer

Motto: Don’t fence me in
Core desire: Freedom to find out who you are through exploring the world
Fear: Conformity

6. The Rebel

Motto: Rules are made to be broken
Core desire: Revenge or revolution
Fear: To be powerless

7. The Lover

Motto: You’re the only one
Core desire: Intimacy
Fear: Being alone

8. The Creator

Motto: If you can imagine it, it can be done
Core desire: To create iconic things
Fear: Mediocrity

9. The Jester

Motto: You only live once
Core desire: Live in the moment
Fear: Being bored

10. The Sage

Motto: The truth will set you free
Core desire: Find the truth
Fear: Being misled

11. The Magician

Motto: I make things happen
Core desire: Understanding the fundamental laws of the universe
Fear: Negative consequences

12. The Ruler

Motto: Power is everything
Core desire: Control
Fear: Chaos

Also published on Medium.

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