Do you see your brand as a champion for society, a community, your industry, or the world? If it were a person, would it find injustice intolerable and have the courage, strength, and moral code to stand up against it?
If so, leaning into the Hero brand archetype could be just what you need to draw in your target audience like an adoring crowd.
In this article, we invite you to put on the armor and boots of a Hero for a moment to imagine what your brand would look like as the Hero brand archetype.
Understanding the Hero Brand Archetype
As a Hero, your brand is admired by some and feared by others (the competition).
You're seen as self-sacrificing, energetic, and triumphant. You seek to understand what motivates others and yourself to be the best version of your brand. And your audience is attracted to this personality because they see themselves similarly.
Maybe your brand is a perfect match for conquering Hero brand archetypes. Or maybe your audience would rather see your company as a Sovereign brand archetype or Caregiver. Either way, boldly stepping into a brand personality helps your brand:
- Discover your brand voice to relate to your customers
- Set itself apart
- Make branding decisions more confidently (Would your "Hero" do or say that?)
- Attract loyal customers
- Generate brand ambassadors who help spread your message — for free — because they like what you represent
- Increase customer lifetime value (CLV) and marketing return on investment (ROI)
Explore the 12 brand archetypes here.
Key Characteristics of Hero Brands
Hero brand archetype colors include bold choices like:
- Orange, if you want to be a Hero who is friendly, confident, or creative
- Yellow, if you see your Hero as one that promotes happiness, warmth, clarity, or competence
- Black or dark gray for those Heroes who exude class, mystery, intelligence, or dominance
Your Hero's greatest strengths are found in the fact that the brand is:
- Knows what it's doing works
A Hero brand archetype's kryptonite is being seen as (or becoming):
- Unwilling to back down when it's clear you must regroup to win
Be careful how you communicate what your Hero represents. Some audiences are looking for someone to save them but are not willing to put in the work to become a Hero themselves.
You may attract people who want your brand to do everything for them. Customers will be unhappy with your solutions from the jump when they find out you don't. That is — unless your brand is a Magician archetype that can deliver those over-the-top experiences.
Who Is the Ideal Audience for Hero Brands?
Hero brand archetype customers see themselves as Heroes in training. You show them how to live up to their dreams. They want to feel the satisfaction of accomplishing what they set out to do. By allying themselves with you, they become stronger and better able to take on the challenges in their own life.
This audience wants to be admired, appreciated, and remembered for doing something great — to leave a legacy. In B2B, they want this relationship with their customers. In B2C, they may want this from their peers, society, or a social group.
Hero Archetype Brand Examples
There's no one perfect way to express your brand's inner Hero, so it helps to explore how well-known brands have bravely created their own Hero brand archetypes.
Nike means "Victory" in ancient Greek. Nike encourages its audience to "Just Do It!"
Their brand voice pushes you past what others say is possible. Their products reject the known limits of both function and appearance to champion their audience's success.
Logistical reliability is everything to businesses, whether they need that shipment of raw materials to arrive on time or send goods to customers.
FedEx delivers "The world on time". They position themselves as the ones who reliably overcome obstacles and keep the packages moving.
The Royal Marines
The Royal Marines (UK) communicates directly to its audience through shared Hero values of excellence, integrity, self-discipline, and humility. They encourage others to be courageous, determined, and team-oriented. If you think you have what it takes — they invite you to join them.
At the same time, the branding is optimistic and recognizes the importance of laughter to morale and well-being.
As a business, the Marvel franchise drew in massive audiences. The movies explore what it means to be a Hero through their wide casts of characters and villains.
Of course, most of the characters have superpowers (or so much money that they can create their own). Still, each story encourages us, as ordinary humans, to find our unique human abilities, discover a calling, be brave in our own lives, and stay true to our values.
How to Own Your Hero Brand Archetype
Just think of the fumbling wanna-be "heroes" portrayed in the media. They look overconfident and laughable. If this were a superhero movie, they'd become the villains. That's not what you want to be.
Brands must be consistent to generate steady revenues. Leaning hesitantly into a brand archetype or not communicating this image effectively across channels will appear inconsistent to customers. That causes brand damage.
Revisit your brand's vision, mission, values, audience, and the competition. Will being a Hero distinguish you from the others? If other Heroes exist, can you "Hero better" or "Hero differently"?
The Hero brand archetype must feel right and aligned with your brand's values. You must be willing to take bold steps, fight for what you know works, and dedicate yourself to a lifelong Hero's journey of self-understanding and improvement.
But even more important than that, you must ask: Is my audience a Hero? Will they be drawn to a Hero personality and want to improve themselves?
When Not to Own a Hero Brand Archetype
So, how do you know if a brand archetype Hero is not for you? While it's true you can fake it until you make it, a Hero personality may not be a good idea if you don't have bold ideas or like taking chances.
If your company struggles to deliver a good customer experience, trying to be a Hero brand would become a joke. If you don't see your audience as Heroes within their own circle of influence, it would be hard to pull a Hero personality off.
Remember: Superhero brands don't just save people. They inspire others.
Give your Hero a goal. They need a quest or journey. Consider the obstacles your Hero has overcome to get here and must tackle to continue their journey. This becomes your brand's story. It reminds your audience that all Heroes face challenges. By overcoming, you encourage your audience to do the same.
Is Your Brand a Hero?
Hero brands attract and retain an audience that wants to become Heroes in their own right. Your brand leads the way by taking risks and overcoming obstacles as a Hero would.
Are you ready to take brave actions that inspire others? Learn how to become the Hero. Schedule a free 20-minute branding assessment.