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Similarly, entire product lines can take on a meaning that gives them symbolic power in all of our lives. A tuxedo (black tie) signifies that an occasion is important. Champagne says that we are celebrating. It used to be that a golden ring signified marriage, but a successful advertising campaign has helped to confirm social convention, so that now, “A diamond is forever.” Some product lines also feel right as gifts in certain circumstances, because they serve as props in the story someone is just entering: a pen for the bar mitzvah boy, an attaché case for the MBA, a car for the young man or woman coming of age, a household item for the newlyweds. Buying a taco kit for a child signals that she or he is competent to make something to eat, even if mommy and daddy are busy. The Pinocchio Effect When you understand the potential archetypal power of your product, marketing becomes much simpler, more rewarding, and worthier of respect. The management of meaning is about selling products, but it also is about selling meaning with integrity. If companies fulfill their meaning promise to the same degree that they deliver quality products, they help customers in two ways: (1) by providing a functional product or service and (2) by helping people to experience meaning in ordinary life. If they do not, they are unlikely to compel brand loyalty. Archetypes ennoble life by highlighting its meaning. For example, someone might feel attracted to another person without experiencing meaning, but the moment they connect with the love story, the archetype of the Lover is evoked and the world comes alive. Similarly, you might have a good time on a cross-country trip, but if you undertake the journey to find your long-lost father (or to discover the soul of America, get in touch with yourself, or seek your fortune), the archetype of the Pilgrim or Explorer is activated, and the experience becomes filled with meaning. In a way, archetypal meaning is what makes brands come alive for people. Think of stories like Pinocchio or The Velveteen Rabbit, wherein an inanimate object comes alive. Archetypes are the heartbeat of a brand because they convey a meaning that makes customers

Profile for Lewis Lafontaine

Mack, Margaret - Hero and Outlaw Archetype  

Mack, Margaret - Hero and Outlaw Archetype