The branding experts who by day inhabit 10a Stevenson Square (or now their home-based makeshift studios) have decided to part with some of their hard-earned knowledge on their specialist subject – and let’s face it, we’ve probably all a bit of extra time to read, reflect and start planning aspects of our business’ branding we’ve never before had chance to ponder.
The team at Glorious Creative have nearly two decades behind them in working with a diverse range of businesses, helping clients to articulate the very essence of brand personality, in order to attract exactly the right type of customer. Over the years it’s become clear that although there is undoubtedly an enormous variety in the types of company, product or services we’ve worked with, there isn’t actually all that much variation in the type of brand.
And funnily enough a number of papers and experts have pointed to the same conclusion, identifying 12 archetype brand personalities that all successful brands can be built upon. Just like us humans it seems, a business can be filed and sorted based on outwards appearance, with whom they associate and by the way in which they engage with the world around them. And again just like our younger selves who have their cards marked on the school playground, so too do businesses fall to their ‘brand fate’ pretty early on in their lifetime.
So let’s imagine for a moment reading the horoscope of Heinz, what would it tell us about what makes them tick and what ticks them off? If the celestial prediction read ‘it’s important for you to stay open-minded and accepting of other people’s ideas. …’ what could we glean about the way Heinz interacts with the world around them? Are they over confident and dismissive of alternative ways of thinking? Or are they introvert in character, afraid of change?
Well thankfully our insight is built less on what’s read in stars and planets and more on our day job, living and breathing branding. Over the next 12 months we’ll take you on a whistle stop tour of who’s who in the 12 archetype brand personalities, leaving you equipped to see in their reflection the brand you work for, work with or own.
Enter, The Hero
The Hero brand archetype sits amongst the 12 personalities twitching with competitiveness. They’re sure of themselves yes, but not so much so that they don’t feel a sharp urge to convince others to be sure of them too. Leaders in efficiency, mastery and triumph, just like one of our heroes Muhammad Ali, their energy can feel contagious. If this were rounders, the hero would be first picked to captain a team. They’re known for their ability to turn a challenge to an advantage, and aim to leave a lasting legacy spurred on by their fear of being beaten.
Boxing ring, dance studio, racetrack: all backdrops to the advertising campaigns of Beats by Dr. Dre. Set to a pacey tune, the signature red wire of an earphone appears to the driving force behind this celebrity-endorsed athletic movement. All aimed at convincing us that this particular audio equipment is capable of propelling us to such fitness levels, or at least of making us look as though we’ve the potential be propelled, and not through hours of intensive training and physical excursion.
Fairy Liquid might seem like an unlikely hero in your household but look a little closer. That cherub etched onto the side of the bottle is more like squadron leader, furiously insisting ‘IT DOES LAST TWICE AS LONG AS OTHER LEADING SUPERMARKET BRANDS’. And don’t overlook the Labrador puppy, as when the question of ‘how Andrex do you feel?’ comes along you’re asked to remember one brand and one brand only. The hero is always about promoting themselves as endlessly superior in both quality and value.
Perhaps the most heroic in our arsenal of clients at Glorious, is Team GB. With the weight of a whole country’s patriotism behind them, the national sports team have a brand that positions them as champions even before they get to the track. Spot any similarities with Beatz by Dre?
When Red Bull “gives you wings” and Snickers tell you “get some nuts”, we’re looking at another two heroes, messiahs of action and change. Over promise as they do but convincing nonetheless, that the products are vessels to triumph, just like Popeye’s tins of suspiciously powerful spinach.
And remember the nostalgia of a Friday night trip to Blockbuster? Their door was slammed shut when the streaming heroes appeared on the scene (/screen). Heroes like Netflix are so dominant that their Brand name is now a verb, deployed in the context of ‘Netflix and chill’. Satisfying millennial impatience, the service gives the green light to series binges, retiring the archaic one-episode-a-week schedule.
Another brand with heroic ambitions of becoming the solution is Lifts To. They came to Glorious Creative looking to increase their market share with a campaign that addressed the problems customers might face when trying to arrange airport transfers abroad. The idea was rooted in saving consumers from holiday transport nightmares, a suitably gallant quest. In an industry that can be quite dry creatively, the Glorious team developed an illustration style unique to the brand, appreciating that originality is especially important when creating for hero personalities. The outputs were all story-boarded around specific situations the consumers wouldn’t want to find themselves in and pitched Lifts To as the triumphant answer: efficient, top-on-quality and determined to go the extra mile – whether figuratively or literally.
So if the personality of the hero archetype has got your attention, then here’s a checklist of traits that will set your business well on its way to glory…
How to brand a hero:
• The Hero brand always shows a commitment to overcome challenges faced by consumers, from kitchen roll that does plenty,
to the boy born in Carlisle, made in the Royal Navy.
• They foster and inspire discipline, strength and focus in the audience.
• Creative outputs should use powerful images that evoke the sense of a quest, along with a bold colour palette.
• Tone of voice should be authoritative and demanding, almost interrogative when questioning why the viewer hasn’t yet chosen your brand.
• Execute all of the above with the confidence and courage of someone who is sure of their ability to win (and who is also a pretty sore loser).
Bolshie and brave the hero brand is relentless in convincing the audience that they can do it with superior swiftness and skill. Just as the most convincing of them all says ‘Just Do It.’ We think now might just be the time to reflect on ‘who’ you want your brand to be – and come out fighting on the other side.
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