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Combined with guiding principles drawn from human-centered design and transpersonal psychology, I have found that archetypes help facilitate a more authentic, holistic and human way of being in business.
Archetypes represent a pattern of ideas and a way of thinking that are consistent across time, generations and cultures. Perhaps their biggest proponent, psychiatrist C.G. Jung, proposed that archetypes are rooted in our collective unconscious and therefore can shape our personality. Consider this: Someone mentions the brand Harley Davidson and uses the term "Rebel." Most people hearing this make an intuitive and instant connection to the archetypal story that underpins the company's persona. Why? Because that archetypal story is also within them. Within this personal story are these universal patterns of behavior and motivations that can help individuals and companies differentiate in an increasingly competitive landscape.
The use of archetypes is a proven method for revealing a truly unique brand character. They can be a shortcut to the creation of personas. And they can form the basis for a common language that supports organizations to stay true to their brand promise, mission and values.
Applying an archetypal approach helps to set the stage for the kinds of relationships you want to have with stakeholders. Because archetypes are powerful attractors of consciousness, they help activate a connection based on shared experience and resonance.
Working with archetypes to guide the strategy, relationships, products, services, and artifacts for a business helps resolve any brand and culture inconsistencies. This enhances trust and relatedness with all stakeholders, increases impact, and positively affects the bottom-line. Why? Because an archetypal approach instills meaning into your business that connects people to your organization in subtle yet powerful ways.
I wrote Archetypes in Branding: A Toolkit for Creatives and Strategists to help facilitate a different kind of conversation about the success and sustainability of brand, culture, and business.
Archetypes play a key role in the mental model for almost everything that I do because they represent the shared stories of the human experience.
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