While Kevin goes to get himself some more coffee, I’ll go ahead and let you in on the topic for the day. Today, we’re talking about high-energy archetypes. Those choice few archetypes where being high energy is a strategic decision and can when done properly, lead to super-strong brand strategies AND higher levels of excitement. For you, your products, and your services.
To be clear, high energy does NOT mean you need to come across as looney.
As in our review of low-energy archetypes in our last episode, let’s start out by listing which ones we’re talking about. So, which ones do you think of as high energy?
The top of the list would be The Jester, along with The Hero The Lover (well, at least part of The Lover. We’ll talk about this in a bit.)
The Other Five — The Medium Energy Archetypes
So, that leaves 5 archetypes – The Artist, The Outlaw, The Magician, The Explorer, and The Ruler – to be put on our Medium Energy list. I’m not sure we’ll do an episode on these as there’s no specific strategy to be either high or low energy. Basically, by picking one of the medium energy archetypes, you’re simply saying energy level isn’t going to be a focal point for your strategy
Don’t forget, that by being middle-of-the-road, you might still have high energy competitors claim you’re not exciting enough, or low energy competitors claiming you’re still too “out there.” But, that’s OK. You’ll always have competitors going against you regardless of which direction you choose.
Pros and Cons of High-Energy Archetypes
So, for these three, let’s talk about the pros and cons.
One of the cons is super high energy brands can be portrayed as unpredictable, immature, not serious, and lacking trustworthiness. However, we will all ALWAYS have competitors who frame us in an unflattering way. When this happens, trust your strategy …. Stay true to it … know that you’re on the right track and you can succeed more by leaning into your strategy, NOT reacting to every competitor, or letting yourself be put back on your heels and making you reactionary.
Another pro is that having a high-energy brand is SUPER FUN!!! Especially The Jester. This idea is so important, we suggest that it can be a barometer of if you’re staying true to your strategy. For example, you might want to talk, at some point, about customer service. There’s nothing wrong with this … unless, for that one piece, you’re drawn to a low-energy message. Again, don’t do that.
Similar to that fun aspect, there’s something that happens in marketing for a lot of people that has nothing to do with your brand strategy. There may be people in your organization that have fairly high-energy personalities (like the sales team) and who feel that ALL marketing should be high energy. If these individuals are working for a high-energy brand, there’s no problem. BUT, if you put them into a group that has chosen a low-energy approach, they will tend to push back. Sometimes hard!
So, the benefit is that there are in almost all organizations, people who think and behave this way. If you pick a high-energy archetype, you’ll find you don’t need to fight against these natural inclinations.
We’ve got one more benefit that fits with this fun/energetic approach.
A lot of high-energy marketing pieces and campaigns, tend to be a bit more memorable than less energetic ones. This isn’t a hard-and-fast rule, It’s more of a concept that you just need to keep in mind. Which is more memorable; The Maytag man sitting next to a washing machine, waiting for somebody to call … or, a little old lady, portraying the queen of England, saying “I put that shi* on everything!” in a Frank’s Hot Sauce ad?
The Emotions Behind High-Energy Archetypes
Take a look at the three we’ve listed: Jester, Hero, Lover.
If you consider the underlying emotions of each of these, you’ll easily find Humor, Success, and Love. What ideas are more important to us as human beings than these three concepts? This important idea is reflected in the fact that these are three of the top five most frequently selected archetypes. This is reflective of the fact that yes, people are naturally drawn to the higher energy archetypes, but we should also point out that these tend to be a little easier.
It’d be interesting to do a little study to see if this is actually true and based on data. But, our impression is that organizations that pick any one of these archetypes, TEND to stay on track and are less likely to dilute their brand with off-brand campaigns and off-brand messaging.
Do you agree?
If you’re considering a high-energy archetype or if after taking the FREE questionnaire you find one or more high-energy archetypes on your shortlist, you might still have questions. Feel free to contact us!
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