Make Your Brand Strategy: Guide For Coaches & Consultants

If you’re a coach or a consultant, you’ve probably heard that you need to define your brand strategy. This makes perfect sense, of course, since people won’t just magically book calls with you. 

But how do you actually do that? How do you come up with the right brand messages to get people to buy your products or services? How do you actually communicate with your target customers?

Those are tough questions, but this guide will help you answer them. In it, I will talk about the basics of brand strategy. Then we’ll talk about a neat framework called the 12 Brand Archetypes which can be really helpful for figuring out what your messaging should be when you don’t know how to proceed.

The Basics of Brand Strategy: Quick Recap

If you are looking to build a personal brand as a coach or consultant, you no doubt want to have a tight brand strategy. That’s why I recommend you check this post – The Ultimate Brand Strategy Guide For Coaches & Consultants.

If you’re in a rush, though, here’s a quick summary of what you need to know.

Personal branding plays a big role in how you stand out in your competitive market. Building up your brand means marketing yourself and your career with the same consistency and care you would apply to a corporate brand. The basic idea is to make yourself known and credible so that potential clients or employers will seek you out.

Brands need to be tailor-made for specific audiences, so being able to define your target audience is essential. You need to know who your ideal clients are so you can understand their needs and challenges.

From there, you can identify your unique selling proposition (USP)—what makes you different and better than your competitors. When you start to develop your brand voice and visual identity, you want to do it in a way that communicates your USP clearly. That way, whenever someone encounters your brand – for however brief a time it may be – they get a decent idea of who you are and what you do.

Once you figure out what needs to be said, then you just need to say it. Go to places where your audience gathers – online and offline. Then do what you need to do to earn attention.

Still Not Sure Where to Start? Introducing the 12 Brand Archetypes.

At this point, I’ll level with you. You can read the ultimate guide, get a lot of good advice, and still walk away not knowing how to actually execute on it.

It’s true! It’s tough to know where to start sometimes. That’s where the 12 Brand Archetypes come in. 

12 Brand Archtypes
12 Brand Archetypes

Is this scientific and precise? Not exactly – marketers got these ideas from Carl Jung, and he borrowed them from psychoanalysis.

Treat the Archetype like a horoscope. It’s not to be taken literally, but it can sure start an interesting conversation. And when you’re feeling stuck, that can make it a lot easier to proceed!

Here’s a breakdown of the 12 archetypes.

1. Hero

The Hero is all about courage, determination, and honor. Heroes seek to inspire others to take action and create positive change in their communities and beyond. Heroes appeal to our aspirations for bravery and integrity, and in doing so, motivate us to rise above our limitations and fight for a better world.

Examples: Nike, Marvel

2. Sage

Embodying wisdom, knowledge, and an unwavering commitment to truth, the Sage guides its followers toward deeper understanding. Sages value enlightenment over ignorance. In business, that means offering insights that clear confusion and lead to well-informed decisions. The Sage’s voice is one of reason and clarity, aiming to enlighten and inform.

Examples: Google, BBC, Harvard University

3. Explorer

Celebrating the spirit of adventure, the Explorer encourages us to seek out new experiences and go beyond familiar boundaries. Explorers appeal to the independent spirit within us all, pushing us to uncover the unknown. Explorer brands promote growth through exploration.

Examples: Jeep, Patagonia, National Geographic

4. Outlaw

Defying conventional norms and challenging the status quo, the Outlaw embodies the spirit of rebellion and freedom. Outlaws break free from traditions and forge their own paths, and often encourage you to do the same. The Outlaw appeals to those who feel restricted by societal rules, offering a vision of liberty and radical change.

Examples: Harley-Davidson, Virgin

5. Magician

The Magician focuses on transformation and the promise of turning visions into reality. Magicians bring a sense of wonder and suggest the possibility of achieving the seemingly impossible. When Magicians are at the top of their game, they can feel like miracle workers.

Examples: Disney, Apple, Tesla

6. Everyman

Grounded in reliability and trustworthiness, the Everyman resonates with common, heartfelt values. An Everyman appeals to universal desires for connection and stability. That doesn’t necessarily mean looking backward, but rather focusing on community and camaraderie. The Everyman brings comfort in the familiar.

Examples: IKEA, Levi’s, Ford

7. Lover

Lover brands focus on passion, pleasure, and sensuality, and aim to create deep, intimate connections. A Lover evokes strong emotions, celebrates the beauty of emotional bonds. Lovers encourage us to cherish and nurture our closest relationships.

While the term Lover can imply a certain steaminess, that’s not always the case. In coaching and consulting, it can imply familiarity and friendliness too. Kind of like the concept of hygge.

Examples: Victoria’s Secret, Chanel, Haagen-Dazs

8. Jester

Jesters embrace fun, humor, and a light-hearted approach to life. Jesters inject joy and laughter into everyday situations. They break up monotony and routine, and ward off stress. Focused on entertainment, Jesters remind us to enjoy life’s moments and not take things too seriously, providing relief and a dose of happiness.

Examples: Ben & Jerry’s, Old Spice, M&M’s

9. Caregiver

The Caregiver focuses on nurturing, caring, and protection, promoting comfort and safety. It seeks to provide a supportive environment, where individuals feel secure and cared for. Through acts of kindness and support, the Caregiver reinforces the importance of community and mutual aid, making everyone feel valued and protected.

Examples: Johnson & Johnson, Campbell’s Soup, TOMS

10. Ruler

Rulers exude control, power, and stability. Their promise is simple: order and leadership, especially in chaotic situations. Rulers represent authority and governance, offering a sense of security and structure. Rulers appeal to those who seek clarity and command in their lives.

Examples: Mercedes-Benz, Microsoft, Rolex

11. Creator

Creators celebrate creativity, imagination, and innovation. As brands, they encourage self-expression and originality. Creators value the creation of new ideas and unique perspectives, pushing the boundaries of what is possible. The Creator inspires us to explore our artistic sides and to innovate, bringing unique visions to life.

Examples: LEGO, Adobe, Moleskine

12. Innocent

Focusing on simplicity, goodness, and optimism, the Innocent offers a sense of safety and trust. It appeals to our desire for purity and virtue, promoting a positive and wholesome outlook. The Innocent reminds us of the good in the world and the value of having a clear, optimistic perspective.

Examples: Dove, Coca-Cola, Innocent Drinks (this one is really on the nose!)

Choosing an Archetype as a Starting Point

If you read through the full list of archetypes, odds are that at least one is going to feel like the right fit for you. But if you still feel stuck, think about your dream clients and their pain points. Which archetype is going to let you tell the brand story most likely to sound like a solution to their problem?

If you still feel stuck, go look up 5-10 competitors in your space. You want to find ones that are not necessarily huge corporations, but just reasonably successful companies. Try to figure out what their archetypes are and who you’d like to imitate.

Once you settle on an archetype you like, you can incorporate it into your messaging, design, and processes at every step of the way.

Competitor Comparison Table
If you need something to help you analyze the competition, you can save this image.

And remember – if either you or your customers don’t like your brand strategy, you can always pivot!

Final Thoughts

Building a brand is very much about having a consistent image and messaging. It’s about having a clear idea of your target audience, knowing what they need help with, and how you can help them.

But when it comes to personal branding? It’s all about what you like. What you can do. What you can credibly “pull off” on a day to day basis.

That’s why I like looking at Brand Archetypes and using them as a conversation starter. Sometimes, it’s hard to look in the mirror and see what’s there. To know who we really are. Sometimes, we need an artificial construct to help us do that. And this one is my go-to when it comes to finding the right brand strategy.

I hope you find it helpful!

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