Page 297

282

FINDING TRUE NORTH

creativity may have encouraged the adoption of that concept within both the primary target audience and the culture at large. Sinister forces can fill these vacuums as well. For a culture desperate to feel any vestige of national pride, Adolph Hitler was an easy sell—a Ruler tapping into the desire of a people to feel powerful, important, and in control. In the increasingly secular society of postwar America, the dark side of the Magician—the need and the vulnerability—was so deep and so broad that delusionary and greedy “priests”—in the form of Jim Jones and those like him— were easily able to command the loyalty and commitment of thousands. When archetypal forces are less visible in a culture, they are all the more powerful—like black holes actively searching out the life forces that will fill them. Hucksters and charlatans intuitively understand this, but marketers tend to favor a more rational and literal route, struggling to chase down the latest “trend.” The system of archetypes can offer a more substantive route to our understanding of individual customers and the culture that surrounds them by enabling us to focus on “trends” in a far deeper and more meaningful way than is now practiced. We are not talking here of swerving from one archetype to another, based on what is in style and what is out of style. At the time a brand is launching its identity, it may do well to ride the wave of a suppressed but emerging archetype. Once that identity is established, then determine how to stabilize that expression of a basic human need in a way that can endure over time. In either case, it is useful to reflect on questions such as: “Which fundamental human needs are being well served at this point in our individual or collective history, and which are being underserved?” These questions will lead to real insight and inspiration. And so, the final step delves much more deeply than conventional approaches into the wishes, fears, conflicts, and aspirations of the target audience in order to thoroughly understand how the archetype will resonate with them. Step Five: Staying on Course: Managing the “Brand Bank” By the end of this unique analytic process, companies have an unprecedented degree of confidence regarding their potential iconic or

Profile for Lewis Lafontaine

Mack, Margaret - Hero and Outlaw Archetype  

Mack, Margaret - Hero and Outlaw Archetype  

Advertisement