As a marketer, it’s important to not only understand your brand but to also know how that brand interacts with customers to build relationships.
There are 12 brand identities, or archetypes, your business can assume. To make this a little more fun, let’s align those archetypes with “Game of Thrones” characters.
Syrio Forel – The Magician
Syrio was hired by Ned Stark to teach his daughter the art of sword fighting because he knew her dream was to be a fighter. The brand mindset is to avoid being afraid of what’s between a dream and reality. But rather, to consider how you can make it so. A good example of this would be Disney.
Samwell Tarley – The Sage
Wisdom is the key to success for these brands. They aren’t built on creating experiences, but rather offer truth and knowledge. Samwell said when he first arrived at the Wall, “I read it in a book.” Brands in this category, traditionally, are educational institutions. Other brands you might know in this space would include Google, PBS, or National Geographic.
Tommen Baratheon – The Innocent
For brands in this space, the world is a wonderful place, free and virtuous. These brands avoid guilting you into buying their products or services. Rather, they charm you with nostalgia. A traditional example might be a brand from your childhood, such as Coca-Cola.
Arya Stark – The Outlaw
Outlaws aren’t afraid. They seek revolution and prey on one’s desire to stand out from the crowd. Arya said to her father (and a few others), “I don’t want to be a lady. That’s not me.” She bucked tradition and sought her own truth. One brand that embraces their outlaw archetype is Harley Davidson.
Tormund Giantsbane – The Jester
Humor, silliness, and fun are part of this brand’s character traits. Its goal is to make you laugh and live in the moment. Brands you might know in this category include Skittles, Old Spice, GEICO, and Doritos.
Tyrion Lannister – The Lover
This archetype wants you to associate love, pleasure, and sensuality with their products using celebrations and indulgence. You might think of some food brands like Godiva or Haagen-Dazs, or clothing, like Victoria’s Secret. The motto for this brand is to “do it with passion or not at all.”
Ygritte / Yara Greyjoy – The Explorer
Freedom is a priority for brands in this archetype. They want you to explore, to live outside your boundaries, and to avoid conforming to norms. Its goal is to help you experience new things and to escape from boredom. A classic example of this brand would be Jeep or Amazon.
Cersei Lannister / Daenerys Targaryen – The Ruler/Royalty
Absolute power is one of the key ingredients to brands in this archetype. They focus on luxury, quality, and ruling their product class. Cersei said to her son, “Everyone who isn’t us is an enemy.” Daenerys said, “I will take what is mine with fire and blood.” Brands you may know in this space include Rolex, Mercedes-Benz, Mont Blanc, and Grey Goose.
Gilly – The Caregiver
Brands in this archetype avoid confrontation and build trust with consumers by doing things for others. Think of brands that are family oriented, such as Johnson and Johnson, Huggies, or Campbells. They want customers to feel loved and taken care of.
Jamie Lannister – The Hero
Chivalry is not dead for brands in this space. They are always looking to prove themselves. Jamie said to vigilantes, “Her name is Brienne. Brienne, the Maid of Tarth. You are still a maiden, I hope? Oh, good. I only rescue maidens.” Their goal is to be as strong and competent as possible, causing you to act and to overcome challenges. Military brands come to mind quickly. You might also think about Nike and others.
Jon Snow – The Regular Guy/Girl
Unpretentious and wanting to be liked by many, this brand has solid values, can be down to earth, hard-working, and nice. Jon said this of Samwell Tarley when he joined the night’s watch, “Sam’s no different from the rest of us. There was no place for him in the world, so he’s come here. We’re not gonna hurt him in the training yard anymore. Never again, no matter what Thorne says. He’s our brother now, and we’re going to protect him.” If this brand had a motto, it would be to work hard and stay humble. Examples include brands like Levi’s, Ikea, and Kit Kat.
Qyburn – The Creator
Brands in this archetype do not seek to create new things, but rather to master one. For example, Qyburn’s original scorpion design did not pass muster with Daenerys’ dragon. He and the designers went back to the drawing board to create an even better-designed machine. A perfect example of a creator brand is Lego. They used simple blocks to recreate some of the world’s most iconic architecture with great attention to detail.
If your brand is aligned with its archetype, what would its motto be?