The Power Behind Brand Archetypes

Employee first day

What’s a brand?

A brand, is a group of elements that identify a company and distinguish it from the competition. This might include logo, colors and slogans. Thanks in part to new technologies like social media, brands are becoming more complex over time.

ArchetypesWhat’s an archetype?

Archetypes are images and concepts that transcend time and culture. They’re icons that impregnate the myths and legends from the past and the movies and tv shows of our present.

According to Jung, archetypes appear in our thoughts and dreams. They help us untangle our subconscious mind and explain our deepest longings and needs as human beings. This might be easier to understand as we talk about each archetype a bit ahead.

There are a total of 12 brand archetypes that are divided into four general human needs. Each archetype represents a more specific need that branches out from the main one.

Archetypes that yearn for Paradise

Coca-Colaa) Innocent (wants to be Safe)

With a positive and kind speech, this archetype sees the good in everything. Brands who use this archetype might want to make their customers feel safe and beautiful on the inside. Some brands that represent the innocent archetypes are: Nintendo Wii, Coca Cola, Dove

b) Sage (wants to understand)

The Sage is an archetype that will never know too much. His ultimate goal is to understand all things. Brands that identify with this archetype tend to have a humanist side and want to help those who follow them. Some brands that represent the Sage archetype are: Google, BBC, Oprah

c) Explorer (wants to be free)

This archetype wants to travel the world and experience everything it has to offer. Consequently, a  brand that has chosen the Explorer as its archetype may offer their clients a chance to escape. Marketing campaigns may evolve around images of far-away places. Some brands that represent the Explorer archetype are: Corona, Red Bull, REI

Archetypes that yearn to leave a mark on the world

apple-meeta) Outlaw (wants to liberate)

Particularly, this archetype wants a revolution and is not scared to break the rules to achieve it. By all means, the brands cater to misfits and/or people who like living on the edge. Some brands that represent the Outlaw archetype are: Virgin, Harley-Davidson, Diesel

b) Magician (wants power)

Indeed, this archetype knows so much that it might seem supernatural at times. They promise their customers to make their dreams come true by using their impressive skills. It is no wonder that many technology brands use this archetype. Some brands that represent the Magician archetype are: Apple, Absolute Vodka, Axe

c) Hero (wants to master)

In other words, heroes are brave, selfless, stand up to the bad guy and defend the underdog. Above all, brands that shape themselves after the Hero sell themselves to their customers as the ones who will rescue them from their woes. Some brands that represent the Hero archetype are: Snickers, Nike, Ariel, Printsome

Archetypes that yearn to connect with others:

Visaa) Lover (wants intimacy)

The lover archetype is an idealist dreaming not only of sensual pleasure, but true love as well.  Similarly, a company that identifies itself with this archetype will most likely use suggestive imagery to evoque sensations. Some brands that represent the Lover archetype are: Häaguen-Dazs, Baileys, Chanel

b) Jester (wants enjoyment)

This archetype is the very definition of an hedonist – Its only mission in life is to enjoy it. Above all, a marketing campaign designed for a Jester brand would probably be very funny or at least entertaining. Everyone loves to laugh, that’s why Jesters are some of the most beloved brands, or at least have the most memorable ads. Some brands that represent the Jester archetype are: M&M’s, Old Spice, Budweiser

c) Everyman (wants to belong)

Who’s the everyman (also known as the regular guy/girl)? Well, you look at him/her when you look in the mirror. Therefore, brands who identify with the Everyman archetype relate to people on a “real” level. The Everyman marketing campaign usually evolves around everyday life activities and routines. Their message: It is perfectly fine to be normal. Likewise, brands that represent the Everyman archetype are: IKEA, Kit Kat, Visa

Archetypes that yearn to provide structure to the world

microsoft-neuromarketinga) Creator (wants to innovate)

In addition to creators (also called builders) are non-conforming by nature, they want to build a better world using the tools at their disposal. In addition, a  creator brand will empower its customers to use their creativity by selling them a world of possibilities. Some brands that represent the Creator archetype: Lego, Adobe, Crayola

b) Ruler (wants to control)

For instance, a brand that wants to “Rule them all” will have a narrative demonstrating why they’re the industry’s leader. An equally important type of brands will suggest to their customers that they can be rulers, too. Equally important, brands that represent the Ruler archetype are: Microsoft, British Airways, Mercedes-Benz

c) Caregiver (wants to service others)

If the Ruler archetype is your boss then the Caregiver archetype is your parent. They empathise, want to help and protect their clients. Their message tends to be very positive. A Caregiver brand will exude an aura of selflessness. Coupled with, brands representing the Caregiver archetype are: UNICEF, Johnson & Johnson, Heinz.

How will this help my brand?

In conclusion, designing a marketing strategy around an archetype will help you define your message and communication strategy. Therefore, it is a creative exercise that will help you explore your brand’s identity and make it stand out from the rest.

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Antonio Massey

Production Team: Folder

Antonio Massey recently joined NWCA in June of 2022. His role on the Production Team has greatly improved our processes and productivity. Antonio is always willing to lift heavy boxes or help his co-workers during busy times. In his free time, he enjoys playing with his dog and mastering video games.


Alicia Wada

Shipping Clerk

Alicia Wada is passionate about helping her co-workers at Northwest Custom Apparel in any way that she can. She works in our Shipping and Logistics department. Alicia, who goes by Ali, has a bachelor’s degree in Applied Mathematics. She lived in Japan for ten years and recently brought her family to America in 2019. She is interested in learning crafts and textile art from around the world.


Erik Mickelson


Erik Mickelson’s position as Manager is more than a job, it’s a passion. It’s always fun and exciting because he enjoys marketing, computers, and coming up with innovative ideas to help NWCA grow. He majored in accounting and finance at Washington State University, graduating in 1996, and returned to school to obtain his Master of Business from WGU, graduating in 2016. Erik continually strives to advance his education through podcasts, audiobooks, and industry tradeshows. He is married to a remarkable and caring wife named Wendy, a Registered Nurse, with whom he shares his many hobbies and a love for the outdoors.



Ruth Nhoung

Production Manager

Ruth Nhoung is our Production Manager and Northwest Custom Apparel is lucky to have her. Thanks to her vast knowledge of machine embroidery and dedication to creating a comfortable and supportive work environment, the production plant runs smoothly and customers are pleased with our work. She is a loving mother and grandmother and enjoys spending quality time with her siblings. She says, “I love everything about Northwest Custom Apparel: the people, the atmosphere, the work, and the customers. I love what I do and I embrace all of NWCA’s core values”.


Steve Deland

Art Director

Steve Deland has been our amazing Artist since 2017. He loves working at Northwest Custom Apparel because he appreciates the goal-oriented, progressive-thinking management style. He is most passionate about his art, which includes scroll saw woodwork, and his five grandchildren.



Taylar Hanson


Taylar Hanson is a highly acclaimed Saleswoman at Northwest Custom Apparel. She has a BA in Apparel, Merchandising, Design, and Textiles from Washington State University. “Go Cougs!” The best part of Taylar’s job is getting to work with longtime customers who trust us to do the best work and take care of their needs. She is passionate about appreciating nature, traveling, and spending time with friends and family.


Nika Lao


Nika Lao is very knowledgeable in how the business is ran because she began as an Embroidery Machine Operator and has worked hard to become the excellent and personable saleswoman she is today. She enjoys the stress-free environment and the many chances to connect with her co-workers over potlucks, BBQs, and bowling parties. Nika is a proud sister of two highly successful brothers and can boast mastering three languages herself: Khmer, Thai, and English. She is an avid camper, enjoys going to farmer markets, and loves cooking.


Bradley Wright


Bradley Wright has been a vital team member of NWCA since 2017. As our accountant and knower-of-all-things, Bradley is proud to work closely with his wonderful colleagues. He studied at the University of Washington. These days he dedicates his free time to his new house.


Dominic Nguyen

DTG Operator

Dominic Nguyen recently joined our Direct-To-Garment department. He says he loves the family work environment at Northwest Custom Apparel. In his free time, Dom likes to listen to music, hangout with friends, and play video games. He comes from a very big family which can be very chaotic at times, but is always exciting.


Sothea Tann

Production Team: Trimmer

Sothea Tann recently joined the Production Team in 2022. She finds Northwest Custom Apparel to be a good working environment with helpful and friendly staff. In her free time, Sothea spends quality time with her family and, overall, focuses on a peaceful and happy lifestyle.


Brian Beardsley

DTG Supervisor

Brian Beardsley has been with Northwest Custom Apparel since 2018. He is our DTG Supervisor. Brian loves that he gets to work with high-tech machines in a fun atmosphere. He has a bachelor’s degree in Graphic Design. He said, “I always wanted to create visually interesting assets in a variety of mediums”. In his free time, he enjoys building and painting models, playing video games, designing, and playing his guitar.


UT Tri Tran

Embroidery Machine Operator

UT Tri Tran loves Northwest Custom Apparel so much that, although she has already retired after a long career in machine embroidery operations, she is happy to return part time. She says, “I love the family style work environment and how everyone shares food, laughter, and fun on a regular basis.” In her free time she is dedicated to living a healthy and peaceful lifestyle with her friends and family.



Embroidery Machine Operator

BunsereytheavyHoeu, who goes by Theavy, won our Operator of the Year in 2021. She takes on many roles in the production team. She says, “These are not my co-workers, these are my family! I cherish all the memories we make together”. When she goes home to be with her family, she makes the most of her time with them by holding family get-togethers and even karaoke competitions.


Sreynai Meang

Embroidery Machine Operator

SreynaiMeang is a hard-working Machine Operator. She is most passionate about helping people. Sreynai, who goes by Nai, likes to exercise in her free time and talk with her family in Cambodia.


Kanha Chhorn

Embroidery Machine Operator

Kanha Chhorn has been an Embroidery Operator with Northwest Custom Apparel since 2018. She is delightful and always makes everyone smile and laugh. Kanha takes on additional tasks that allow us to exceed our customers’ expectations. In her free time, she can be found at her local temple or spending quality time with her family and friends.


Savy Som

Embroidery Machine Operator

SavySom is one of our Machine Operators who is passionate about embroidery and sewing. She enjoys working at NWCA because of its flexibility. She has two teenage sons and loves spending time with her family on the weekends.



Embroidery Machine Operator

SorphornSorm has been a Machine Operator since 2011. One of her four sisters works here as well. Her other relatives are in Cambodia. In her free time, Sorphorn studies English, listens to music, and enjoys exercising.


Jim Mickelson


Jim Mickelson, after a successful career with a major oil company, founded Northwest Embroidery in 1977. This was the first commercial embroidery in the Pacific Northwest. Over the years, Jim has become the guru of embroidery never refusing to answer a question or offer advice to his fellow embroiders. Jim and his wife Leeanna raised four wonderful children who went on to successful business careers.

Northwest Custom Apparel
Northwest Custom Apparel
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Janice Herron
Janice Herron
Love their amazing customer service! From ordering over the phone, through email, or in person at Northwest Custom Apparel, everyone is very helpful, and very nice! Always! We have been ordering our apparel for our local small business through them for many years! Thank you Thank you!
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Morgan Pero
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Great product offerings/results, swift communication, and helpful staff. Highly recommend!
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Northwest Custom apparel always does great work! We have been a customer for over 25 years and are always satisfied with the products we get!!
NW Custom Apparel treats us like we’re their only customer! Everyone is always so friendly and helpful. They’re great!
Randy Birch
Randy Birch
We us Northwest Custom Apparel for our work shirts and they are incredible. The staff is super friendly, the quality of workmanship is outstanding and they stand by the work they do. I love this place.
Heidi Christiansen
Heidi Christiansen
The company I work for has been buying custom apparel for the team members for years now. We love working with NW Custom Apparel because the process is easy, delivery is timely, and materials are high quality. Anytime I’ve ever had an issue, they’re quick to resolve it. We’ve purchased both embroidered items and DTG graphic tees. We’ve purchased blankets, shirts, jackets, hoodies, etc. Everything ends up looking super professional, and our team members always have positive things to say. Ally is always there at the warehouse with a smile and a friendly greeting when I pick up materials. She is so helpful and respectful. Taylar is a wonderful customer service rep. I’ve sent her some complicated orders—like 20 different items with all different colorways and styles or 150 items with three different styles—and she is so good at getting everything just right. I plan to continue purchasing from NW Custom for high-quality custom apparel.
Hoa DeBusk
Hoa DeBusk
Have used them for years. Knowledgeable team that is always so helpful in recommending options or creating designs. Great quality too for embroidery or digital prints. Very happy with them as a vendor.
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Stacey Perez
We use Northwest Custom Apparel for all of our professional embroidery needs for the orthodontic office I work at. They do great work, are quick and have never missed a deadline. Highly recommend if you need any custom apparel needs.