We unpick all these precise quirks and qualities during the Discover phase of BetterBrandBuilder. This is where we speak to internal and external stakeholders to get a full, 360 degree view of an organisation’s offering and what makes them unique. It’s imperative to our process, and despite lacking the glitz and the glamour of the later visual stages, it informs everything we do — starting with the brand story, through to the creative brief and beyond.
Flying from opposite ends of the wingspan
A more famous example of where archetypes define brands so evidently, particularly bold and rebellious ones, is airlines. Just like digital marketing, it’s a crowded marketplace where practices and functions are largely the same. Take British Airways and Virgin Atlantic as two prominent examples. The planes they fly are nigh-on identical; the destinations they travel to are pretty much the same; and the pilots who take you there are equally qualified. Yet in terms of brand experience they feel completely different. Each uses their archetype to great effect to establish clear propositions. For British Airways, stability, control, trust and heritage is the name of the game. Virgin couldn’t expect to enter the fray and compete on the same terms, so they simply don’t. Instead, they’re the alternative to the statesmanlike British Airways; speaking to you like an exciting, well-connected friend, the one who knows all the best places to go. They have deliberately occupied an identity that’s at the opposite end of the wingspan to British Airways.
There’s lessons to be learned for brands in this archetype spectrum. They truly have the bubbling potential to be exciting and explosive, even feared by traditionalists. If your aim is to shake up an industry or question the status quo, let your brand reflect it. Shout loud and proud about your non-conformity and desire to do things differently.
Make a stand and embrace it
A big, big takeaway from all this is that brands aren’t for everyone. It’s impossible. Businesses by their very nature appeal to distinct audiences and demographics. So while it’s important to remain true to yourself, it’s also essential to understand the primary role your brand needs to play in the mind of a consumer, and in the marketplace.
But always remember, brands that are blessed with a rebellious flair, brave outlook or bold stance can own a powerful space that’s clear, strong and most importantly resonates compellingly with audiences.
Before you consider the visual elements of your brand, consider your personality, who you’re here for, how you do things and why you do them. Only then can you build a brand that’s true, honest and positions you uniquely within the marketplace. If that’s all about breaking rules, taking risks, or being brutally honest — embrace it. You won’t regret it.