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Truth Brand Archetypes: A model for today

Brand archetypes have been an integral brand creation and development tool for three decades or more.  Centring on the twelve personifications popularised by Carol Pearson and Margaret Mark, the archetype approach has helped to define, differentiate and humanise many of the brands we know and love.

Times change and we live in a very different world now. Although many of the old, established brands that were around when brand archetypes were conceived still thrive, there are also many global brands that have come to dominance after the creation of archetypes.  The old and the new exist side-by-side.  But differently.  The global cultural melting pot that we now live in is a very different entity, with a raft of new and evolving norms, behaviours and needs.

That’s why the Truth team decided to take a fresh look at the archetype model.  We explored the demands on brands and the shifting cultural, social and economic landscapes. The new and emergent brands, that now occupy a dominant position in the global brandscapes and our everyday lives, were pulled apart to see what lay within their DNA.  We realised that the old archetypes needed to be moved on. 

Our new brand archetype model has six dimensions (the original had four) detailing the core territories of the brand universe.  To this we added 18 archetypes (the original model had 12), three for each dimension.  We have kept most of the original archetypes, although the detail of these has been refreshed.  What’s really interesting is that many of our newer brands (emerging in the last 30 years or so) are defined and represented best by the new archetypes.  Essentially, by sticking with the traditional model, we ran the risk of forcing brands into an archetypal state that neither represented who they were or could be, nor provided the right foundation for authentic development and expression.

To be continued…..  If you would like to know more, then please do get in touch.  We’d love to talk.  Contact us on: 


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