Everywhere you look, branding experts are recommending you discover your brand archetype.
You know – the ruler, the joker, the magician, the lover…
Just the other day I saw someone on Instagram claiming it was their number one secret to branding 🤔.
Now, don’t get me wrong, this can be a helpful gateway to starting to clarify your brand. Just like how I get clients to compare their brand to a season or an element, it’s about simplifying things down to a set of categories to see what you relate to the most to start to understand yourself better.
But I’m tired of seeing people say it’s the be-all to end-all – the secret formula to figuring out your brand. Honestly, if only things were so simple. But like most things in life, it’s not.
This is like the surface level – the tip of the iceberg, a jumping-off point, sure, but it doesn’t get to the depths of your whole self – your energy, your lived experiences, your values, your gifts, your why, your emotions, what lights you up, your story, your personality, your unique approach, perspectives and beliefs.
Imagine if we all decided we fit into 12 categories – looking the same, sounding the same and having the same goals and behaviours? That would be pretty boring.
Branding is about standing out. It’s about the nuances, the quirks, and the refusal to be put in a restrictive box. It’s about finding your own unique blend of essential oils, spices, flowers and fruits to create your signature scent, not buying something off the shelf.
So are brand archetypes a waste of time?
No, by all means, do the quiz. But don’t stop there. We can dig a little deeper. A lot deeper actually.
And a big part of it is slowly peeling back the layers of who we THINK we should be showing up as in our brands, to discover who we actually are. Because too many women’s lives are ruled by the herd mentality – what should I be? What does society expect me to be? What will make me more likeable? What feels safe and respected? What things will people not judge me for? What’s trendy?
It becomes a question of how should I present myself in order to be successful?
Instead of who the heck actually am I?
So there is often some unlearning to be done so that we can embrace the complex, multifaceted human being we are.
So are you more than an archetype? Hell yes. You are so much more.
And what’s my “secret” formula to branding?
- Deep questions.
- Deep listening.
- Wading through the mud to synthesise it.
- Reflecting you back to you from a higher perspective.
Does that resonate with you?