Understanding your brand's emotional characteristics can help to guide development of messaging strategy, tonality, and brand character for advertising campaigns, as well as identify endorsement, promotional sponsorship, and co-branding opportunities that are most likely to be successful.


Archetypes are simple, universally understood human truths, rooted in our historical experiences. What makes them useful in branding is that they are based not on an emotional feeling alone (anger, love, joy), but rather on the result, action, or consequence of having that emotion (rebellious, indulgent, spontaneous), thereby acting as a filter that determines how the brand will behave or react to outside influences.


AcuPOLL's approach to archetype testing is based, in part, on the 12 archetypes identified by Margaret Mark and Carol S. Pearson in their book The Hero and The Outlaw: Hero, Outlaw, Caregiver, Innocent, Ruler, Sage, Explorer, Regular Guy, Lover, Magician, Creator, and Jester. We have established 48 sub-emotional characteristics (4 for each archetype) that are representative of these basic 12.

Consumers select the characteristics that best describe a given brand if it were a person, and rate the strength and intensity they feel for each one. Their selections point to the predominant archetype of the brand, and can serve as the basis for messaging tonality.


In today's competitive markets where brands often aren't very differentiated on their core benefits, brand character and tonality can make a real difference to drive growth (e.g. most people would agree that Apple, Target, Red Bull, NyQuil, and Axe use brand character for another layer of differentiation from competitors).

Understanding the type and intensity of the emotions consumers have toward your brand will not only help to create more relevant and differentiated messaging, tonality, and character for your brand, but can also help you identify the best partnerships for celebrity endorsements, sponsorships, media placements, and more.

Read more about archetypes here, or contact us to learn how to apply Archetype Testing to help grow your brand.