If you want to amplify the power of your marketing message, use the power of archetypes to tap into the roots of human desire.
The theory of archetypes is simple. All human cultures have similar themes – similar characters and stories that crop up again and again. Archetypes relate to the most important human characters, such as the warrior, the priest, the lover or the caregiver.
The idea is that if you style your self or your message around these timeless themes, you can make them much more powerful. Here are a few examples of how to go about doing so.
Create A Reputation For Customer Care
One of the most common archetypes of all is the “caregiver.” This figure appears in mythologies across the world, relating to roles such as motherhood, friendship and teaching. The caregiver seeks to provide assistance for others that they cannot provide for themselves, and to protect them from harm.
If your company provides protective services, it makes sense to appeal to this side of the human character. Examples could include anything from companies selling anti-virus protection for computers to home removal companies and medical providers.
Stress your compassion and empathy, along with your desire to reduce anxiety. Remember that you are providing something that people need, but cannot do for themselves. Make yourself indispensible by caring for your customers.
Play the Role of Creator to Show Off Your Imagination
The creator is perhaps the most powerful archetype of all. The godhead, the eternal creator is a common thread in almost every culture – providing inspiration, reassurance and power.
In modern life, tech firms are probably the clearest example of the creator archetype. To succeed, they need to portray themselves as unique sources of imagination and creativity. They are the innovators, constantly offering new ideas and methods to people who lack such skills.
But anyone can play the creator. Whatever your line of work, from teaching to landscaping, stressing your creativity and power to inspire can tap into the need your audience feels for a creator figure.
Surprise Your Customers in the Role of the Magician
Think back to Norse mythology. Wherever something strange was observed, and nature laid traps for the Vikings, the trickster god Loki was to blame. In Arthurian legend, there was Merlin. In Christianity, the devil.
The magician is characterized by the ability to perform tricks and miracles. They derive their power from the mystery of the world, in all of its unpredictability and strangeness. In the modern economy, much remains uncertain, and miracle workers are still effective, even if they sometimes promise more than they deliver.
Don’t make false promises, but do play on the need that people have for magic. Magic is what brings order to chaos, and creates peace from uncertainty. Market yourself as a firm with the ability to think around corners, to anticipate the future and to guide others along the way.
Entertain Your Customers as the Jester Figure
Throughout history, people have sought catharsis via entertainment, whether it is from clowning around or Greek drama. That’s why the Jester is one of the most potent of all archetypes, and one that you could learn from.
The Jester draws his power from the need that people have for happiness and enjoyment. So market your business as a provider of pleasure, a company that can constantly enhance the happiness of your clients.
Think about Apple – making billions by bringing music to the fingertips of the world, or NetFlix, making cinema and TV available for all. The secret is to promote yourself as fun and light-hearted, while remaining a serious business. To do so, you need to connect with your audience, making them part of the drama, not spectators.
Use the Outlaw Archetype to Achieve the Rebel Sell
Sometimes, the only way to reach an audience is by playing the rebel – which is why so many cultures romanticize the outlaw. From Jesse James to Robin Hood and the Samurai of Japan, rebels feed our desire for freedom, escape and justice.
Sell yourself as a provider of liberation. Offer a solution to an injustice that only your firm can provide, or promote your products as an iconoclastic alternative to ordinary varieties. People will respond to sales pitches with an authentic air of rebellion – whether it’s the populist spirit of Bernie Sanders or the hedonistic escapism of bands like the Doors.
By harnessing the ancient power of archetypes, you can communicate directly to the minds of your customers in ways that soulless, everyday marketing never can.
You can make all of the Youtube videos and Tweets that you want, but the hearts of your customer base are what you need, and by appealing straight to the basis of human desires, you can reach them.