If you’re reading this after taking the quiz on our homepage, or are in search of ways to take your branding to the next level using brand archetypes, you’re in the right place…

Brand archetypes are all around us. Each and every business that you buy from, or indeed work for, will fit into a brand archetype. These help brands understand their own vision, and what sort of customer will respond to this. From McDonalds to Mercedes-Benz, brand archetypes are vital parts of business growth.

But using brand archetypes isn’t quite as simple as sticking a metaphorical label on your brand. Many businesses are a mix of brand archetypes, and some crossover in many ways. At JAX Branding, we help businesses just like yours define their vision, their target customer, and then create beautiful brands to match.

But we do things a little differently.

If you’ve been redirected to this article from the ‘football archetypes’ quiz on the JAX Branding website, then your archetype will look different to the generic set of twelve. This is because we’ve tailored each archetype to fit the footballing landscape. Hopefully, this helps them feel a lot more relevant to your own experiences and outlooks.

Below, we define what brand archetypes are, how they can be used to help leverage growth in your business, and why we’ve adapted them to fit football. It’s important to remember, however, that using your brand archetype to its full potential isn’t something to be done alone.

Using a professional agency like JAX Branding will help you develop a cohesive, adaptable, powerful brand when you decide to take the next, crucial step in the business process, turning your designated ‘football archetype’ into a corporate powerhouse.

What are brand archetypes?

Firstly, let’s define what ‘-type’ words mean. The three most common ones include ‘stereotype’, which is a widely held, oversimplified belief about a person, thing, or entity. The second is ‘countertype’, which is used to describe something or someone that does not conform to a stereotype. The third is ‘archetype’, which is somebody who or something that does conform to their stereotype.

Archetype theory has been used in different creative fields. One you may have heard of is Vladimir Propp’s character archetypes. Propp theorises that every single story (whether that’s book or film) tends to contain the same seven archetypical characters. These are the princess (or the damsel in distress), the hero, the villain, the helper, the donor, the false hero, and the dispatcher.

Swiss Psychiatrist and Psychoanalyst Carl Jung furthered this idea around ten years later. Jung had begun working on the theory that humans have a basic tendency to use symbolism to understand concepts. These archetypes derive from what Jung described as the collective unconscious, explaining why certain businesses have a certain ‘feel’.

Carl Jung’s theory paved the way for the creation of brand archetypes.
Photo by Douglas Glass/Paul Popper/Popperfoto

In 2001, Margaret Mark and Carol Pearson applied this principle to branding. They devised a set of twelve brand archetypes, with individual characteristics and features that link to said ‘feeling’. These are, via OVO:

  • The Innocent: Exhibits happiness and goodness.
  • The Everyman: Seeks connections and belonging.
  • The Hero: Courageous, bold, inspirational.
  • The Rebel: Questions authority and breaks the rules.
  • The Explorer: Finds inspiration in travel, risk, discovery, and the thrill of new experiences. 
  • The Creator: Imaginative, inventive and driven to build things of enduring meaning and value. 
  • The Ruler: Typically controlling and stern, yet responsible and organized. 
  • The Magician: Make dreams a reality, the Magician is seen as visionary and spiritual. 
  • The Lover: Inspires, passion, romance and commitment. 
  • The Caregiver: Compassionate, nurturing and generous. 
  • The Jester: Brings joy to the world through humour.
  • The Sage: Serves as the thoughtful mentor or advisor.

These archetypes can then be taken and applied to, quite literally, any business in the world. Because football, especially, is such a unique industry and game, we developed our own archetypes to help our clients understand their business better.

Understanding brand archetypes is pivotal to any company.
Football Archetypes by JAX Branding

Our set of 11 football archetypes are versions of the aforementioned twelve but speak directly to the footballing marketplace and consumer.

Why are brand archetypes important in building a brand?

Understanding what your business brings to the market and matching this with your customers’ needs is the first part of creating a brand. Your outlook + what your customers need = your brand identity. A strong brand identity is key to creating customer loyalty, which we will explore further on.

Given that every brand falls into a least one archetype, understanding brand archetypes helps you discover what brands like yours – and perhaps even your direct competition – are doing to help attract their target client. Surely it’s better to be aware of your brand archetype from the get-go so you can build a brand to match?

The brand archetypes wheel gives examples of businesses who fit each category.
Credit: James Eccleston at Bridge Studio

If you took JAX Branding’s football archetypes quiz, you’ll have answered a series of seemingly unrelated questions to business. Ultimately, this has assigned you a suitable brand archetype to your outlook on life, which should shine through in your business.

At the end of the day, the only truly unique part of any business is the people behind it. A brand identity and personality puts the human in business.

How can you use your designated brand archetype to grow?

Quite simply, by teaming up and putting it into action with JAX Branding. Your football archetype guide is designed to get you thinking about what your brand really means to you. Similarly, it should allow you to question who your target customer is, and what they need from you. These two points are the fundamental questions that any new business should be founded and developed upon.

‘Personality’ and ‘identity’ are two words that often come up in relation to branding. As previously mentioned, brand archetypes can help you develop a consistent brand identity, as you’ll know that every decision you make needs to be founded upon the traits of your archetype.

It is becoming increasingly difficult to truly be ‘different’ in the marketplace, unless you invent something new. As such, a brand’s identity needs to be ever stronger to help it stand out from the crowd. Because archetypes work on the subconscious, you’ll be forming a stronger bond with your target client by sticking closely to your archetype’s virtues.

In its simplest form, growth in business comes through financial success and then expansion into other markets. As such, any question to do with growth needs to relate to increasing revenue – in other words, getting more people to buy from you. The key word there is ‘people’, and whilst it might sound cliché, the greatest businesses are consistent in their human-faced approach.

They forge such a strong identity, relevant to their customer thanks to their use of brand archetypes, that they create longevous customer loyalty. This then leads to more consistent sales, more consistent revenue, and ultimately, a stronger grip on the marketplace.

But here’s the tricky part:

The thing that glues your vision, based on your archetype, together with customer loyalty and faster growth, is branding. A beautiful, beloved, powerful brand will make a statement. From your website to your storefront, and your logo to your copy, JAX Branding will help turn your vision into a reality.

Want to kick off your business career? Chat with Jack about your vision, and get the ball rolling. 

Written/Edited by: Sam Hudspith - JAX Branding Copywriter, Media Accredited - Premier League and EFL, Editor of The Goalkeeping Blog

Published by: Jack Bies - Ex-Footballer, Founder of JAX Branding

Like the article? Share it on socials:

The Football Archetype Workhorse by JAX Branding
The Football Archetype Leader by JAX Branding
The Football Archetype Maestro by JAX Branding
The Football Archetype Legend by JAX Branding

Let us know your thoughts 👇

JAX Branding - Creative Studio Manchester - Brand Strategy + Design for Football Industry