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The Explorer


The Explorer archetype has a spiritual side. Think about the Knights of the Round Table, each entering the wilderness, where there was no path, in search of the Grail. In the 1990s, such seeking has grown to epidemic porportions, giving rise to a plethora of spiritual books, workshops, and products. (Think of the Mystic Trader and other New Age catalogues, for example, or the New Spirit Book Club.) Walking in the Moccasins of the Explorer Customer When the Explorer archetype is active in customers, their call is to explore the world and, in the process, to find themselves, so that they know who they are. Some Explorers demonstrate great exuberance and a sense of adventure. Others, like Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz, seem reluctant about all this journeying, wishing all the while to find a place to call home. Plainly, the Explorer’s inner self is sometimes not as confident as the face he or she presents to the world. To market an Explorer brand effectively, it is best to empathize with the Explorer story from the inside, imagining, for example, what it’s like to feel trapped by your life, to yearn for more excitement and adventure, to feel “bigger” than your life, as though it is constraining you. (Teenagers in Beijing in the 1980s often sported Tshirts that read “New York, Paris, Rome,” literally “advertising” their desire to break free of their sometimes suffocating circumstances.) You might also consider the part of you that wants to belong as dangerous, sacrificing your integrity to your desire to fit in. If this feeling is strong, you may consciously do things to set yourself apart—as adolescents do with pink hair, tattoos, or pierced body parts. It is as if your appearance is yelling “I’m different” so that you will resist the impulse to conform. However, the more you do this, the more lonely you feel, so the more intense will be your desire to belong. The stronger it gets, the scarier it feels, so you back off more and more . . . and so on. Even if you have experienced this only a little, you can extrapolate from it enough to know how someone locked in such a dilemma might feel. Most people have had some moment when they were afraid that if they were true to themselves, they would lose the support of some-

Profile for Lewis Lafontaine

Mack, Margaret - Hero and Outlaw Archetype  

Mack, Margaret - Hero and Outlaw Archetype