Defining your brand archetype is a crucial step in crafting a brand persona that resonates deeply with your ideal audience. A brand archetype isn’t just a label; it's a strategic marketing decision that shapes how your brand communicates, engages, and stands out amongst your competitors.
Understanding the Outlaw Brand Archetype
Out of the 12 brand archetypes, the Outlaw brand archetype is the most fearless. They’re known for shaking things up, turning people’s heads, and grabbing attention in a skillful and even artistic way.
Whether you're a startup seeking to disrupt the industry or an established brand looking to infuse a new sense of thrill and daring into your persona, understanding the Outlaw archetype is the first step in shaping a brand identity that resonates with your greatest goals and leads your ideal audience straight to you.
Key Characteristics of Outlaw Brands
The Outlaw brand archetype is best described by two words: rebellious and nonconformist. Brands embodying this archetype often challenge the status quo, defy conventional norms, and celebrate independence.
The Outlaw archetype loves to disrupt long-standing traditions and societal norms. To them, freedom is air, individuality is water, and innovation is the food that keeps them alive and thriving. To sum them up best, here are some key characteristics that all Outlaw brands embody:
- Authenticity: Connecting with others is important, but only if they’re free to be transparent and completely themselves. Outlaws’ values and ideals are their lifeblood, and they encourage everyone to be authentic themselves.
- Edginess: There’s a certain aura of risk-taking associated with the Outlaw archetype. These brands may use provocative or controversial messaging to grab attention and make a statement, which is often attractive to an audience who values originality and challenging the status quo.
- Rebellion: As rulebreakers, Outlaw brands thrive on rebellion and defiance against established norms. They position themselves as outliers, rejecting expectations from society and embracing the unique and unbeaten path.
- Adventure and Excitement: Outlaw brands often associate themselves with adventure, excitement, and living on the edge. They appeal most to audiences who seek thrill and are willing to take risks.
Who Is the Ideal Audience for Outlaw Brands?
To understand the ideal audience for the Outlaw, you have to understand the Outlaw brand itself. We’ve already established the Outlaw’s most prized characteristics — rebellion, independence, and freedom — and their audience craves those same things, even if they don’t embody them yet.
Outlaw brands often attract customers who are adventurous, value individualism, and appreciate the thrill of pushing boundaries, but sometimes, they attract people who simply wish they had those characteristics, as they hold the Outlaw to be an example of what they aspire to be.
Outlaw Archetype Brand Examples
The Outlaw archetype resonates strongly with those who value personal freedom and adventure and love innovation and rebellion. Here are several Outlaw brand archetype examples that best highlight these values:
Everybody knows the line, “Redbull gives you wings!” As famous as that tagline is, it speaks to more than just extreme sports and energy drink-fueled activities; it speaks to adventure, thrill, and pushing limits.
The brand sponsors athletic events and even organized Red Bull Stratos, where a skydiver jumped from outer space — the literal stratosphere. Can’t get much more adventurous and daring than that.
Uber completely changed the ride-sharing industry when it burst onto the market in 2009. Uber challenged established norms by providing an alternative (and often more convenient) transportation option.
Uber’s ease of use via an app completely revolutionized the industry, giving people the freedom to choose their transportation method and break away from conventional taxi services.
Greenpeace, an environmental organization, embodies the Outlaw archetype by actively challenging and protesting against environmental injustices. It’s famous for rebelling against industries and practices that harm the planet, advocating for sustainable and eco-friendly alternatives.
Greenpeace attracts people who are passionate about environmental activism and who favor a spirit of fighting against the long-standing, outdated rules that contribute to environmental degradation.
Tesla perfectly exhibits the Outlaw brand archetype: its unconventional approach, its challenge against traditional automakers, and its disruption in the entire automotive industry.
The brand's emphasis on cutting-edge technology and a vision for a future free from reliance on fossil fuels exemplifies the Outlaw brand's inherent need to push boundaries and defy the odds.
How to Own Your Outlaw Brand Archetype
To assess whether the Outlaw brand archetype aligns with your company, you’ll need to understand your brand values and your target audience like the back of your hand.
To start, if you resonate with elements like freedom, innovation, and a nonconformist spirit, the Outlaw archetype may be a good fit for your brand. Let’s dive in further.
Is the Outlaw Brand Archetype a Good Fit for Your Business?
First things first — understand your target audience exceptionally well. The Outlaw archetype resonates best with people seeking independence. If your target demographic values these traits, then you’re on the right track.
Remember, being authentic is key, so if your company doesn’t exemplify the qualities we’ve touched on in this blog, you won’t be able to genuinely connect with that particular audience.
When Should You Steer Clear of the Outlaw Brand Archetype?
As we mentioned, if you can’t authentically embody the rebellious and nonconformist spirit, it's in your best interest to avoid it. Aligning yourself with a brand archetype that doesn’t truly speak to your values results in inconsistent messaging, and even worse, leads to a loss of trust among your audience.
How to Embody the Outlaw Brand Archetype
To be an Outlaw, you have to be bold. It takes courage to do things differently. Many brands within the same industry simply do what everyone in that industry does — and that’s why so few stand out.
You’ll want to create messaging that goes against what others in your industry are doing and do it your way. Communication should be bold, authentic, real, and engaging — and you can convey this voice through marketing campaigns, slogans, and social media as part of a complete marketing strategy.
The Rebel WITH a Cause
Embracing the Outlaw archetype can be a powerful strategy for brands who want to carve a unique and rebellious niche in the market.
You’ll resonate with an Outlaw’s target audience by crafting bold messaging, staying fearless among change, and thriving on disrupting the norm. Reflecting its rebellious spirit is also key to successfully expressing this archetype.
Remember, authenticity is everything — that goes for any brand archetype that you’d like to emulate, whether it’s the Outlaw or one of the 11 others.
Unsure about the best brand archetype fit for your business? Schedule a free 20-minute branding assessment with our experts and explore how the Outlaw archetype or alternative branding strategies can enhance your brand identity and ultimately drive meaningful engagement with your ideal customers.