Tapping into your organization’s archetypes


Carl Jung put archetypes on the map of modern consciousness, although archetypes have been around since the time of Plato, who was inspired by ancient Babylon. Plato referred to pre-existing ideal templates as “forms.” It was believed that these eternal forms were reflected in material objects.




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 universal events or situations, such as Initiation 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.

By defining and tapping into your organization’s archetype, you can give your brand deeper, more meaningful and memorable qualities.

Traditionally, there are four archetypes of survival that we all share:

  1. The Child: Wounded Child, Abandoned/Orphan Child, Magical/ Innocent Child, Mature Child, Eternal Child, Dependent Child, Divine Child

  2. The Victim

  3. The Saboteur

  4. The Prostitute.

The more extensive list of archetypes includes Actor, Addict, Alchemist, Anarchist, Artist, Avenger, Beggar, Bully, Bureaucrat, Caregiver, Child, Clown, Companion, Coward, Craftsman, Creator, Crone, Crook, Damsel, Detective, Diva, Dictator, Dilettante, Diplomat, Disciple, Dreamer, Divine Child, Eternal Child, Evangelist, Explorer, Fool, Gambler, God, Goddess, Gossip, Healer, Herald, Hermit, Hero, Historian, Innocent, Innovator, Jester, Judge, Knight, Liberator, Lover, Magical Child, Magician, Martyr, Masochist, Matriarch, Midas, Monk, Muse, Mystic, Nature, Networker, Nun, Olympian, Orphan Child, Outlaw, Patriarch, Pilgrim, Pioneer, Poet, Politician, Predator, Priest, Prince, Princess, Prophet, Prostitute, Provocateur, Puck, Puppet, Puritan, Rebel, Redeemer, Regular Guy/Gal, Rescuer, Revolutionary, Robot, Ruler, Saboteur, Sadist, Sage, Samaritan, Scholar, Scout, Scribe, Seductress, Seeker, Seer, Servant, Settler, Shaman, Sidekick, Slave, Spoiler, Storyteller, Student, Teacher, Thief, Tramp, Trickster, Tyrant, Vampire, Victim, Visionary, Warrior, Witch and Wizard.

More than thirty years ago GK founders Terry Glazer and Vasken Kalayjian had developed a short list of archetypes for corporations and public organizations. This list is still applicable today. It includes the following:




• Ruler

• Innocent

• Everyman (Regular Guy/Gal)

• Caregiver

• Lover

• Jester

• Outlaw

• Explorer

• Creator

• Hero

• Magician

• Sage

GK Brand Archetypes

We have found that working with this select list of archetypes is very helpful and empowering. Occasionally, an organization is compelled to add a second one from the list. Indeed, it may have primary, secondary and tertiary archetypes. You may also want to explore what your organization has been in the past and what it is right now, versus what you want it to be in the future—all based on your marketing and strategy. Archetypes can also help you explore how you are perceived versus how you would like to be perceived in the future.



Our all time favorites depicted in most movies:

• The ruler or the king

• The jester or the joker

• The outlaw

• The explorer

• The hero and the warrior

• The magician


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