Establishing A Brand Voice: The Innocent Archetype
Tammy Slaughter wrote this article
Powerful brands are actually individuals with their own unique personalities.
If they weren’t, no one would be able to tell them apart from a line of products and services offering the same thing. This goes further than just relatability, tapping into our collective subconscious by mirroring our shared human needs.
It helps us as business operators and marketers to create consumer connections that are practically instinctual.
In 1954, Carl Jung described this phenomenon as ‘archetypes.’ These can be observed repeating across cultures and generations over the decades, helping to shape our collective human experience. From historical figures, celebrities and some of your favorite movies in Hollywood — to all across the literary pages, archetypes can be seen in our most beloved (and bemoaned) personas.
Archetypes are essentially the heart of a brand in the eyes of the consumer, conveying meaning that makes customers relate to them as if they actually were alive in some way.
We explore the importance of archetypal brand marketing in-depth in another blog post in this series. There is a lot to cover here!
In this post, we’ll explore the Innocent archetype and its different subarchetypes. If that concept is unfamiliar to you, head to the aforementioned blog post to brush up on the basics!
Brands Rooted in Spirituality
Deep roots in spirituality is what unites these archetypes, whether it’s through our shared need for safety and comfort, gaining knowledge, freedom and the fulfillment that comes with it. In one way or another, these brands all yearn for Paradise.
Eternal optimists, the Innocent archetype sees the good in everything — seeking to do things the right way.
The underlying goal? To make their customers feel safe and beautiful on the inside. Innocent brands draw on our human need for safety and comfort.
Examples of Innocent Brands
– Typically non-profits, churches, local businesses and natural products.
Beacons of Positivity: The Innocent Archetype Family
The Innocent archetype can be viewed from a few different angles, depending on which specific attributes are at play.
With an unbridled sense of wonder, the Innocent sees the world as honest and wholesome. Emanating a sense of renewal and nostalgia simultaneously, these brands reflect high virtue and purity. A possible weakness? The tendency to avoid or deny problems in the name of inner peace.
Real-World Example: Annie’s Homegrown, Inc. Because there’s no guilt in organic
Energy is key when it comes to the Child archetype, alongside a positive, maybe even jovial attitude. The Child is easily amused, or even fascinated. With a relentless belief in the goodness of humanity, they’re open to new possibilities and market themselves as such. This brand’s curious, innocent nature tends to bring out the best in others. However, the Child can seem easily influenced and have trouble assuming real responsibility.
Real-World Example: Hello Kitty Small Gift, Big Smile
Get swept away by all the possibilities. Dreamers communicate abstract ideas, showing off a vivid imagination. With a faith that is near child-like, this brand Barketype prefers to live in what some might call ‘la la land.’ A potential area of weakness lies in lacking the structure necessary to execute ideas in the real world.
Real-World Example: Anthropologie Our customer is a creative-minded woman, who wants to look like herself, not the masses. She has a sense of adventure about what she wears, and although fashion is important to her, she is too busy enjoying life to be governed by the latest trends.
Driven by the belief that each individual can make the world a better place, they believe in the possibility of positive change through action. Motivated by the ideals of harmony and peace, cooperation and collaboration, the Idealist acts as a catalyst for positive change. Always the idealist, they tend to view the world through rose-colored glasses and might choose to overlook potential dangers for missions’ sake.
Real-World Example: Seventh Generation We’re on a mission to transform the world into a healthy, sustainable & equitable place for the next seven generations.
As its name implies, the Muse is a source of pure inspiration and may serve as a conduit to knowledge and deeper understanding, often centering around creativity and artistic expression. Although the Muse excels at motivation of expression, at times its unfocused, unbridled energy can bring chaos.
Real-World Example: Tumblr Come for what you love. Stay for what you discover
Marketing for Innocent Brands
Marketing leans heavily into simplicity. It may dazzle with moments of nostalgia and togetherness, or shine through with its sincerity, and honest message.
– Soft imagery
– Wholesome and sincere in tone
– A clear, honest message
– Represents good, clean fun
Common Brand Colors
– Blue: Strength, Competence, High Quality, Dependable, Trust, Tranquility, Peace, Integrity, Intelligence, Security, Balance, Calm, Safety, Committed
– White: Goodness, Sincerity, Purity, Balance, Calm, Fresh, Cleanliness, Easy, Innocence, Light
– Yellow: Happiness, Warmth, Optimism, Clarity, Competence, Bright, Sunny, Energy, Joy, Enthusiasm, Enlightenment
From color palettes to typography and imagery, honing in on your brand’s ‘voice’ will both accent and inform all of your decisions when it comes to messaging and presentation.
Evolution of Innocent Brands
There are different levels to be achieved in a given archetype, depending on the strength of the displayed persona, and the brand’s evolution.
The general rule of thumb being, the higher level attained, the more success and wider net that can be cast to attract consumers.
Level 1 of Innocent brands are defined by a childlike perspective and traits such as naïvete, even narcissism in some cases. Despite its namesake, messaging can center around those who feel paradise is their birthright, and not having it makes them bitter or in constant pursuit of higher attainment.
Level 2 is the midpoint in the process of achieving innocence that focuses on renewal, reframing, and cleansing. People at this level are still searching for paradise but haven’t quite found it yet. It’s all about reinvention through new beginnings.
Level 3 belongs to the most highly-evolved Innocents who believe that people make choices for a simpler, values-driven lifestyle and as a result create their own paradise and sense of spiritual oneness. The core belief is that true innocence (paradise) comes from within.
Is Your Brand Innocent?
If this post resonates with you and your company’s mission and values, it’s entirely possible!
Many brands possess archetypal qualities within their messaging that they’re often entirely unaware of.
This is because brand storytelling is far from a new art form, but it is more and more essential to achieve success in a highly competitive marketplace.
So, learn it. Know where your brand falls in this spectrum. And use it to establish marketing guidelines and company operations at a cultural level.
To start, ask yourself these questions:
– Which archetype do your competitors most resemble?
– Which archetypes do your customers resemble?
– What drives them (customers and competitors)?
– How can your brand do things differently amongst your competitors?
– What role does your brand play in customers’ lives?
Then, look within.
– What is your team culture like? (their personalities, interests, etc.)
– What motivates team members to come in for work?
– What are your company values?
Know any Innocent brands?
Let us know in the comments, and keep reading our ‘Branding’ series if you don’t see your brand represented here!
About ChopDawg.com: Since 2009, we have helped create 350+ next-generation apps for startups, Fortune 500s, growing businesses, and non-profits from around the globe. Think Partner, Not Agency.
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