Leveraging B2B Brand Archetypes

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Sophisticated business consumers know that hype is meaningless. The days of simply stating your products features and benefits are long gone. Even pinning your marketing strategy to a differentiator like “faster and cheaper” or “new and improved” means it’s only a matter of time until your competitor catches up. Today, the companies that succeed are the ones that resonate with their customers.

To find this resonance, more and more B2C companies are turning to brand archetypes. B2B marketers, however, have been resistant to acknowledge the effectiveness of brand archetypes in industry. B2B marketing deals in ‘facts’, not intangible new-age jargon like ‘resonance’ and ‘meaning’, right?

Here’s the thing. Those businesses you’re marketing to? They’re made up of people. And they’re selling to people. If your brand and theirs connect on the deeper level represented by archetypes, the boost that gives to their own brand is valuable to them. So smart B2B companies are looking for ways to use brand archetypes to their advantage.

“Okay, great,” you’re thinking. “But what’s an archetype?”

12 common archetypes

Archetypes: The Basics

Archetypes are those reoccurring characters in literature, art and mythology throughout history that embody some essential element of universal human experience: Hero. Lover. Sage. Jester. Innocent. The same dozen or so archetypes can be found across all cultures, appearing in countless stories throughout history.

Branding Archetypes

A strong branding archetype is one of the most powerful tools in a marketer’s toolbox, helping break down consumer’s natural resistance to being sold just another product by transmitting a large amount of knowledge that people are already familiar with–instantly telling the product’s story without wasting time.

When your brand and your audience share the drives and motivations, it strengthens the bond between them, resulting in increased brand loyalty and interaction. For B2B companies, especially those in highly-regulated industries, the most valuable thing archetypes can provide is differentiation. And different = value.

Adapting Archetypes to B2B

Uncovering and unleashing the power of brand archetypes for B2B companies can be tricky. It often requires a deeper dive into less prominent aspects of common archetypes. Where consumer brands emphasize the magical aspects of transformation, B2B brands more often emphasize the scientific aspect; but both are playing on the same archetype, that of the Magician/Scientist.

The branding archetype work we did for Colordyne Technologies is a good example of this. After years of growth and acquisitions, Colordyne needed to unify its digital printing capabilities under one consistent brand.

The artistic and expressive aspects of the Creator archetype are well-worn territory in consumer branding. However, the Creator is much more than that. A creator is a visionary who produces something of value, provides choices and makes ideas into reality. As a company at the cutting edge of digital printing technology, Colordyne embodied all of that.

This understanding allowed us to develop a sophisticated new brand identity for Colordyne that reinforced their experience, capabilities and knowledge while also differentiating them from the competition in the eyes of their target audience.

A Powerful Tool for Advancing Your Position

Researchers have found that both the market value and profit margin for well-known brands with a strong archetypal identity rose considerably higher and faster over the years than those without; in other words, brand archetypes drive profitability.

Your brand’s archetypes are already there: for the past two decades, our job here at LePoidevin Marketing has been to help you discover them and use them strategically. If you’re ready to start looking, schedule a meeting with Dean LePoidevin at PACK EXPO September 25th or 26th.