Joyful Design 09


An important factor to create joyful experiences is empathy. Speaking of empathy in design we have to consider that there are people (as well as brands) with different archetypes to consider. Those archetypes have very different personalities and priorities. Knowing about their mindset is the key to tailored and hence empathic design which acts as a base for joyful design.

In Branding the wheel of twelve archetypes by Carl Jung is a popular tool to explore and figure out where a brand is positioned—which also helps to find a brands voice. Carl Jung developed this concept because of his conviction that archetypes are universal, archaic patterns and image that derive from our collective unconscious. He interpreted them as our psychic counterpart of instinct, which manifests in behavior on interaction with the physical world. Therefore those archetypes not only can be connected with brands but with characteristics of people in general.

People as well as brands can be classified to one specific archetype but they can also identify with a mixture of archetypes. (such as Apple) However, classifying a brand helps to shape its character and therefore enables the audience to identify with the brand and elicit the emotional response creating a sense of belonging—competing on a more instinctive, deeper level.

Those archetypes clearly show that we not only have to consider (universal) aesthetics only to create joyful experiences, but that the emotional layer which corresponds to the feeling of belonging, identification and self-actualization is an important factor to consider too. Plus, with the help and consideration of those archetypes a personal connection to the consumer can be easier established, which in turn sets the base for creating joyful experiences as well as satisfying consumers expectations of a brand.

The twelve archetypes

The creator

The Creator brand is visionary, non-conformist and authentic. Those brands want to craft something meaningful and special—they love new ideas and to make them happen and are driven by their desire do produce and create—they are afraid of everything mediocre. Most marketing, design and technology brands are creator brands.

Goal: To realise a vision 
Strategy: To Develop artistic control and skill
Greatest Fear: Mediocre vision or execution
Personalities: Artisan, Innovator, Inventor
Key Attributes: Innovative, Imaginative, Creative, Artistic, Experimental, Willing to take risks, Ambitious, Desire to turn ideas into Reality, Inventor, Musician, Writer, or Dreamer.

Successful brands will develop a very loyal fan base, for example, Apple and have great chances to become so called “love brands”.

Creator brands promise Authenticity.

“Creator brands often position themselves as the key to unlocking a creator’s creativity. Their main focus is self-expression. The worst thing that could happen to a Creator archetype would be to be seen as inauthentic or a ‘sell-out’.”—Vision One market research

Examples: Apple, Adobe, Lego, Nintendo

The Jester
The Joker, The Fun, The Comedian

Jesters live in the moment and fear boredom. They life on the wild site and often use outrageous imagery. They are high on energy, vibrant colors, are playful and entertaining.

Goal: To enjoy the journey and to stand out
Strategy: To live in the moment and not be too serious
Greatest Fear: To come across boring
Personalities: Comedian, Practical Joker, The Fool
Key Attributes: Joker, Playful, Carefree, Joyful, Original, Teaser and Foolish

Examples: M&Ms, Doritos, Skittles

The Sage
The Teacher, The Investigator, The Mentor

Sage brands strive for truth and want to find the good and the wisdom in all situations. They will promise learning, teaching, knowledge and an open mind. They find fulfillment in finding answers to the most challenging questions and therefore demonstrate intelligence, knowledge and keen problem-solving skills. Charateristics: positivity, wisdom, truth, knowledge, provides intelligence, solutions.

Goal: To use intelligence and wisdom to understand the world 
Strategy: Seek out information and knowledge 
Greatest Fear: Being misled or ignored 
Personalities: Expert/Guru, Investigator, Mentor
Key Attributes: Expert, Thinker, Philosopher, Reflective, Advisor, Teacher, Confident, In-control, Wisdom, Intelligence, Planner

Examples: Google, TED, BBC

The Innocent
The Honest, The Optimistic, The Pure

Innocent brand have the desire to be free and happy and to keep things simple—they communicate a positive worldview. Because of the optimistic character they are often successful because of moving through barriers, that would stop others. Another characteristic is that those brands aim to motivate others. Brand in health, cleanliness and natural products work with this archetype.

Goal: To be happy
Strategy: To do things right
Greatest Fear: To come across unhappiness
Characteristics: Wholesome, Pure, Forgiving, Trusting, Honest,Happy, Optimistic, Simple.

Innocent brands will promise Simplicity. 

“They will offer a somewhat simple solution to any problem associated with goodness, morality, simplicity, nostalgia, and childhood. Innocent brands will strive to do what is right and positive. Most of the time, their simplistic view of the world can be perceived as a weakness. They fear to do something immoral and to see the world being influenced by something negative or unnatural.”—Vision One market research

Examples: Dove, Ford, Coca Cola, Disney

“Dove aims to make women feel confident by using beauty products. Their recent #ShowUs campaign celebrates women in media and advertising. The result is a gallery of women who shatter stereotypes and redefine the meaning of beauty.”—Faith Lisondra [3]

The Lover
The Idealist, The Sensualist, The Seducer

Lover brands are all about creating relationships and creating emotions. They want to make people feel special to celebrate the physical joys of being human, fostering intimacy and bliss. Those brands are aesthetically pleasing are passionate and represent anything that pleasures the senses.

Goal: To be in a relationship with the people, work and surroundings.
Strategy: To become more and more physically and emotionally attractive
Key Attributes: Seek true love, intimacy, Sensuality, Passionate, Sexy, Seductive, Erotic, Seek Pleasure, To Indulge, Follow Emotions. 
Greatest Fear: Being alone or feeling unwanted
Personalities: Harmoniser, Connector, Partner

“The Lover Archetype are customers who value the aesthetic appearance of goods and services. They are likely to be drawn to premium brands that will make them seem more attractive to others.”—Vision One market research

Lover brands will promise Passion

Examples: Lindt, Chanel, Victoria’s Secret

Perfume and Cosmetic Brands core desires are evoking emotions through their cosmetic products and fragrances—as example Chanels branding itself focuses glamour and experiencing the best things in life and therefore representing a Lover brand archetype perfectly.

Through the combination of perfect storytelling and the power of scent—since smell is one of our senses which is deeply connected with emotions, memories and imagination—perfume brands can be considered to be the most powerful brands evoking feelings of joy.

The Hero
The Warrior, Champion Or Superhero

Hero brands are successful brands at producing consistent results. They are competent and courageous—they are winner and achievers that get things done effectively, in their mission to improve the world and foremost to leave a mark on the world.

Goal: Expert mastery in a way that improves the world
Strategy: To be as strong and competent as possible
Greatest Fear: Vulnerability and weakness
Personalities: Competitor, Achiever, Coach

Key Attributes: Warrior, Competitive, Aggressive, Winner, Principled, Idealist, Challenge, Courageous and Proud

Hero brands will promise Quality

“Hero customers value the quality and trust in their products. They like to think that their consumer choices will put them ahead of everyone else, making them less likely to be drawn in by funny or cute adverts.”—Vision One market research

Examples: BMW, Amazon, Adidas

The Rebel
The Revolutionary, The Powerful, The Liberated

Many Rebel brands are seen as revolutionary. They bring fresh perspectives, new outlooks and inspirational changes—they are anything but mainstream and make an efforts to stand out. Successful Rebel brands have a cult like following of people attracted by their energy.

Goal: To overturn what isn’t working
Strategy: Disrupt, Destroy or Shock
Greatest Fear: To be powerless
Personalities: The Troubleshooter, Game Changer, The Challenger

Key Attributes: Rebellious, Shocking, Outrageous, Disruptive,  Feared, Powerful, Counter-cultural, Liberated, Radical Freedom

The Rebel brand archetype really reflects those who were born to be wild. Rebel customers appreciate the unconventional and forcefully reject the status quo. They are likely to value shocking content or advertisements that are unique with no obvious ‘selling point’.

“The worst thing that could happen to the rebel brand would be to be bought out or for the brand to become too popular. If something isn’t working, the Rebel will destroy it. If they want revenge, they will take it. If they want to start a revolution, they will just do it. […] They won’t stick to industry conventions, they introduce a new attitude and let their customers know that it’s acceptable not to be a sheep in society.”—Vision One market research

Rebel brands will promise Revolution

Examples: Vans, Harley Davidson, Snickers, Jack Daniel’s

The Regular
The Realist, The Everyman, The Friend

Regular brands are empathic, humble and put honesty first. Many people feel a belonging towards those brands.

Goal: To belong 
Strategy: Be down-to-earth and develop solid virtues 
Greatest Fear: To be left out or stand out from the crowd 
Personalities: Realist, Democrat, Comrade

Key Attributes: Everyday functionality , Honesty, Dependable, not pretentious, straight shooter, people-oriented

Regular Guy brands will promise Belonging

“The most effective products or services that a brand can channel the Regular guy archetype are those that give people a sense of belonging with a high degree of practicality, functionality, and low to mid-degree of complexity. The Regular Guy archetype helps customers be OK just as they are.”—Vision One market research

Examples: VW, GAP, Levis

The Magician
The Healer, The Wizard, The Visionary

Magician Brands have a deep impact on the customer and give imagination a reason to go wild. They tend to think out of the box and unexpected. They promise transformative experiences and focus on individuals and motivates people to trust their instincts.

Goal: To make dreams come true
Strategy: Develop a vision and live by it
Greatest Fear: Negative consequences
Personalities: The Envisioner, Healer, Catalyst

Key Attributes: The visionary, Inventor, Spiritual, Values magical moments, Charismatic Leader, Holistic

Example: Redbull, xBox, Tui

“Audi have promoted themselves through this commercial as the magician brand archetype by firstly, the choice of the soundtrack ‘Pure Imagination’ By Willy Wonka, a magical film of mystique and enchantment. The advertisement takes you through the technological processes of building the new A5, but with the idea that it has been created and innovated along the lines of your imagination and therefore magical, making dreams come true.”—Vision One market research

The Explorer
The Explorer, Trailblazer, Pioneer or Adventurer

Explorer brands are restless, independent and self-motivated—they define freedom and are ambitious. Most of us love to travel and discover new things and people. When a brand does that as a person, people love to look forward to what they bring next. Explorer brands create products that promote individuality, excitement, and a way to experience new things.

Goal: To experience a more authentic and fulfilling life
Strategy: To journey, seek and experience new things
Greatest Fear: To be trapped and conform
Personalities: Individualist, seeker, Trailblazer

Key Attributes: Adventurous, Wanderer, Restless, Independent, Self-Directed, Self-sufficient and Values freedom

“The Explorer aims to make people feel free and nonconformist and also helps people express their individuality. Explorer brands are innovative and ambitious. They seek out the new, pushing boundaries and delighting in unexpected discoveries, whilst embracing a “no limit” philosophy.”—Vision One market research

The Explorer brand archetype promise Freedom.

Examples: RedBull, Northface, Jeep, GoPro

“As soon as you press play on this advertisement by GOpro, you can already sense through the soundtrack that it is all about discovery and freedom. GOpro brand themselves through nature, outdoor hobbies and exploration and they advertise their products to be an essential of this world in the most extreme environments. They aim to inspire travel in people, to go and find themselves and of course to capture every moment with their products.”—Vision One market research

The Ruler
The Leader, The Powerful, The Role Model

Ruler brands are leaders in their field—they show authority, create order out of the mess and care a legacy.

Goal: To create a prosperous, successful community 
Strategy: To exercise power 
Greatest Fear: Chaos and being overthrown 
Personalities: Peacemaker, Powerbroker, Conductor 

Key Attributes: Manager, Organiser, Productive, Confidence, Responsible, Role Model, The boss, The leader.

Examples: Starbucks, Rolex, Apple

The Caregiver
The Caregiver, Nurturer, Parent, Angel

Caregiver Brands are driven by their need to protect and care for others. Their values are empathy, protection, safety and support.

Goal: To help and care for others
Strategy: Protecting and doing things for others
Greatest Fear: Selfishness and Ingratitude
Personalities: Supporter, Advocate, Nurturer

Key Attributes: Altruistic, Selfless, Nurturing, Compassionate, Empathetic, Supportive and Generous

Examples: Innocent, Nivea


[1] Medium. 12 Brand Archetypes You Can Use to Effectively Position Your Brand. URL:

[2] Sitebeat. 12 Archetypes Behind the World’s Biggest Brands. URL:

[3] Vision One. Brand Archetypes. URL: