Connecting with Stories and Archetypes: How to think, talk and act like your customers

Given the ongoing upheaval in the ad world, I feel there has never been a better time to be in this advertising business. Consumers see more than 5,000 ads per day, most of which make little to no impact.

To me, there is a tremendous opportunity to shift the ad strategies of yesteryear into much more effective, thoughtful marketing.

But how are advertisers supposed to connect in such a cluttered world of product-driven messages, particularly when the average attention span for a human is now just 8 seconds?


Source: Microsoft



The Answer: Do NOT rewrite history. Tap into the stories your customers already know. Get them to remember, rather than expecting them to connect with new things.

We all have certain stories that we’ve heard over and over and still love because they are wired into our DNA. Brands can tap into these stories and customize with their own unique characters and mini plot lines. It’s a proven method that works again and again to drive brand equity, connection and, yes, even sales.

When the Think Different campaign launched in ’97, Apple aligned itself with seventeen 20th Century iconic personalities including Albert Einstein, John Lennon, Amelia Earhart and others. Each of these people represents specific archetypes that trigger a connection with our unconscious. Apple brought its tagline to life with these heroes, inspiring us all to change the world for the better (by using Apple products, of course).


To connect with customers, brands need to see the world through their eyes. They need to think, act and talk like their customers and, most importantly, do so authentically and transparently.

Brands can most easily do this in social by tapping into the archetypes of their customers. Archetypes represent a pattern of ideas and thinking that transcend time and cultures. According to Carl Jung there are 12 core archetypes. Each one represents its own basic human motivations, values and traits. Jung said Archetypes tap into our collective unconscious and control most of our decision-making. They set the foundation for how we see our place in the world and how we connect with other people and with brands.


How are smart brands using Archetypes in Social Media?

Click here for the full story on what other brands are doing to tell stories in social media and how they are tapping into archetypes to build true connections with their customers.