The term ‘branding’ is a perpetual favorite for both designers and entrepreneurs. At a root level, people are very much driven to achieve a sense of identity which others respect, and to align with a known brand is a form of recognition. Even better is to craft a brand of one’s own.

In a world of ideas contending for our attention, a brand is essential a ‘designed idea’. When we undertake the process of developing our brand as an individual, or the brand of our business we are shaping and strengthening a core idea which permeates all activities of the business and upholds the ethos of the organization.

One single idea.

Well, not a single word, or even a single sentence, but a collection of concepts which concisely capture the character of the brand. This is because brands develop trust and operate in memory along the same lines as how we develop trust and respect for people in our lives. People have character, brands have character.

As Aristotle identified, the minimum framework for defining character must address the three levels of style, logic and ethics. For the formulation of a new brand, or the strengthening of an existing brand, it is useful to call upon a framework of archetypes to ensure that there is enough definition (and proven past performance) in the collection of traits we hope will underpin a resonate brand for our purposes.

The wheel of archetypes presented here is based generally on the work of Carl Jung. These character-based archetypes are a good starting point for defining a strong and cohesive character for your brand.

Preserving clarity of understanding of your brand is a practice all businesses must develop. It is best done by periodically cycling back to the core principals of the character of the brand, and reinterpreting these principals against new challenges and opportunities and the business moves forward in its scale and points of interaction with the world.