An archetype is a pattern of character types, images, descriptive details, and plot patterns that find their way from our minds to our myths, to our literature, to our lives (Holman 34). The psychologist Carl Jung, first popularized the use of the term archetype when he postulated the theory that humans are born with a “collective unconscious,” wherein the source of the molds exist. He believed it was this collective unconscious that gave humans certain predispositions to specific stimuli. In other words, we all respond to archetypes in the same way because our minds are made the same way and “preprogrammed” by thousands of years of human experience. And it was fair enough that the marketing and communication industry quickly took all this knowledge to guide its understanding of the target audiences, the people we have to convince and work with. Many companies created schemes to simplify the perception and regroup the people under the same specifics
We all used those fantastic tools that make us sharp, decisive, explanatory, convincing…and they work, this is proven. But then, I wanted if I could find a system in my daily life and used Added Value – Character Lab Tool. I was aiming to find a similar logic for myself and my acquaintances and try to understand what was going right/wrong. I started to identify similarities with some people I work with or I see quite often, some of them might be completely following the same archetype as myself, and anyway most of them are living in the same conditions as me, for part of them even with comparable education… But then, I was just observing our daily lives, our consumption, our tastes…well, the brands we wanted to be part of our lives. That was quite mind-opening. We don’t eat the same things, we don’t wear the same clothes, we don’t vote for the same people, we don’t go to the same places for vacation or for dinner and many other things…because the choices are infinite and because our world is changing so fast, providing us so much and giving us so little time. Does the theory of archetypes can’t really go so deep to direct a brand into sure directions to touch their consumers? Archetypes are a great tool of simplification but the world is far to be simple. We live in the complexity era where the unexpected is happening for more than the sure thing.
We may have to get to another step to really understand the people. Or we have to really go deeper in terms of understanding. We have other tools that are related to quantitative and qualitative backgrounds – sub-groups, sub-tribes, consumer journey…Well, do you really think if we are in the same mindset, we really want the same things? We are one, we are different all the time. I can’t help thinking about astrology, you know that small text that you read about your sign and can fit any situation somehow.
I don’t want to destroy a tool that I use myself sometimes. I just want to know if we can get deeper. Food for thoughts…food for change.