Which Archetype Are You ?
Archetypes are images that have recurred in human societies for thousands of years. They are universally recognized ideas seen across all cultures and are particularly clear in fairy-tales. (eg the Hero, Villain, Princess, Fool)
The idea is that these images are built into the human brain. We automatically understand them and think in these terms. So, by identifying the right archetype for your brand, you can use it to access a deeply rooted place in the human psyche and get a very clear response.
Harley Davidson associates itself with the Outlaw -- living outside of the rules, pursuit of freedom, and danger. Nike's association with celebrated athletes places it in the hero archetype. It offers the ordinary person the opportunity to put on the mantle of the hero by wearing Nike shoes.
Brands strongly aligned with single archetypes gain economic and market values at a rate double of brands that have no clear archetypal alignment. Users easily identify the meaning of the brand when it is aligned with an archetype. If an image or word goes against the archetype, it's likely to diminish the clarity and acceptance of the brand.
A book on archetypes and brands: "The Hero and the Outlaw: Building Extraordinary Brands Through the Power of Archetypes," by Margaret Mark and Carol S. Pearson.
Find more here. This is also a favourite topic of Fouroboros.