Tapping into your organization’s archetypes

jungIt was Carl Jung who put archetypes on the map of modern consciousness. Archetypes have been around since the time of Plato, whose work was influenced by ancient teachings from Babylon.

Most archetypes are psychological patterns derived from historical roles in life, such as Mother, Child, Trickster, Prostitute and Servant. They can also be drawn from natural cyclical events or situations, such as Life Initiations or Death and Rebirth.

Along with our personal and individual unconscious, which is unique to each of us, there is a second psychic system of a collective, universal and impersonal nature that is identical to all individuals. This collective unconscious is inherited and is composed largely of archetypes and mythological figures.

In the early 1980’s, gkBRAND developed a short list of archetypes that we were seeing existed within corporations and public organizations. This list of universal archetypes is still as relevant today and includes the following:

• Creator     • Caregiver     • Explorer
• Hero         • Innocent      • Jester
• Lover        • Magician     • Outlaw
• Ruler        • Sage            • Regular Guy/Gal

We have found that working with this select list of archetypes is a valuable and empowering process for our clients. Occasionally, an organization is compelled to add a second one from the list. In fact, it’s sometimes appropriate to have primary, secondary and tertiary archetypes.

Tapping into the collective unconscious of an organization’s archetype adds significant insight to a branding project. This exploratory process gives your brand deeper, more meaningful, memorable and lasting qualities.

Using research methodologies we can identify what has been an organization’s past, present and future archetypes. Integrating this valuable perspective into our strategic branding process generates powerful and lasting brands.

– Vásken Kalayjian, CEO of gkBRAND

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