Research into how brands blend archetypes to tell more powerful stories, differentiate, and build a richer emotional connection.
The research is still ongoing but thanks to Imperial College London and the many organisations who have taken part from around the world, key insights are emerging:
1. The first thing is that the vast majority of brands, intentionally or not, use blends of archetypes not a single archetype. Gone have the days of 1 brand = 1 personality (1 tone of voice).
2. Those brands that are more sophisticated in their approach are using multiple archetypes in contrasting ways to create what's known as ‘tension’. If this tension is strong enough, these brands can become 'breakaway' brands in their sector. By using a blend of typically three or more contradictory archetypal forces, the result is a feeling of excitement, anticipation and tangible energy that makes their brand different and engaging.
3. These brands are also investing 30% - 50% more time in telling these more powerful and complex stories. Stories not about their product but people, communities and how they can make a difference. The narratives work at a deeper level and need more time to relate to people's individual story.
Our research identifies the 3-Dimensions of storytelling. Each dimension addresses a deeper and more complex human need (Maslow like) and therefore requires a wider cast of archetypes to work through the narrative. Note: not every brand needs to operate at level 3 but being aware of these levels is fundamental to developing a brand's strategy.
3-Dimensions to storytelling:
Level 1: Telling, Standing Out or Fitting In.
These brands say (shout) I am, I do, I sell. They use narratives mainly to weave together product USP’s, features & benefits.
Level 2: Entertaining & Making You Feel a Better Version of Yourself.
These brands ask what you need and how you want to feel. They use narratives to create a brand experience and emotional connection.
Level 3: Empowerment & Transformation.
These brands enable us all to achieve a higher purpose. They use a narrative to empower people to change their lives, community or world.
These insights are possible because of an entirely new brand mapping tool RADNB ARCHETYPES which uses not just the standard 12 but 60 archetypes.