Outlaw Brand Archetype: Rebel and Misfit Brands

There is a myriad of reasons behind each purchase. However, contrary to a popular belief, reducing the price of your products is not the optimal way to increase your market share.

The true difference is made through branding.

Branding is one true differentiator that can cause customers to follow their emotions and purchase your products; daunting competition or no. Effective branding gives the customers a reason to opt for you instead of other companies with similar offers.

However, it is important to approach branding in the right manner. When implemented improperly, branding will not only reflect on poor sales, it can also irreparably damage your company’s reputation.

A natural and effective way to employ branding is through the use of Jungian brand archetypes.

In this article, we are going to focus on the importance of the Outlaw brand archetype, as well as how Outlaw brands like Harley Davidson create a connection with their ideal audience.

Speak with the Voice of Your Customers

Often, you’ll hear marketers say that we should focus on our customers; speak as they speak, and think as they think.

However, this is easier said than done. When companies try to think like their customers, sometimes they don’t grasp the essence of what truly motivates their customers.

The key to unlocking the potential of customers purchasing due to relating to a product are personality archetypes established in the early 20th century by Carl Jung, the founder of analytical psychology.

According to Jung, humans think in archaic patterns; be that about themselves or about the world around them. Thus, their decisions derive from what they believed and perceived. However, these archetypes are obscured from view; they are underlying motivators influencing your customers’ purchasing behavior and behavior at large.

When put into practice, what brand archetypes truly accomplish is value alignment.

After all, 87% of consumers buy products from brands whose values align with their own.

Therefore, by employing Jungian brand archetypes to improve customers’ perception of your brand, you will not only put yourself in the shoes of your customers; you will speak, think, and act exactly as they do.

There are 12 brand archetypes:

  1. The Sage
  2. The Lover
  3. The Hero
  4. The Everyman
  5. The Creator
  6. The Ruler
  7. The Caregiver
  8. The Outlaw
  9. The Explorer
  10. The Magician
  11. The Jester
  12. The Innocent

Each archetype speaks to the unique motivations behind customers’ decisions, and when it comes to customers who want to challenge the status quo, the Outlaw brand archetype cannot be bested.

The Outlaw Brand Identity

The Outlaw, also known as the Rebel, brand identity not only wants to cause trouble – it wants to change the world.

This is a sentiment shared by the customers of that brand. So, by positioning your company as the Outlaw, you will be more effective at capturing the interest of your target audience and increasing your market share.

The Outlaw does not only challenge the status quo; instead, a brand embodying this archetype aims to completely overturn it.

Often, brands that embody the Outlaw brand identity keenly identify the processes, products, as well as facts that are no longer serving their audience. It may be a less than ideal product that has a monopoly on the market: a subpar service.

At its core, the Outlaw values perfection and quality, and it is due to that the brand archetype is able to attract more evangelists and followers than any other archetype. Simply consider Harley Davidson, whose customers even tattoo the brand’s logo onto their bodies.

The main values the Outlaw stands for are freedom, risk-taking, and honesty. Therefore, any brand that embodies the archetype is not afraid of being direct and raw. Even if that is not taken lightly by the general public, it will be appreciated by the people the Outlaw wants to attract.

Consider Apple and its legendary “Think Different” campaign. Even though they are primarily the Creator archetype, their branding slightly overlaps with the Outlaw as well, for they have always been a brand that particularly resonated with rebels and misfits, as well as all those who desired to be rebels and misfits.

Thus, the Outlaw always resonates; it shares the values of its customers.

How to Embody the Outlaw Brand Identity

Because of their daring messaging, the Outlaw brand identity is no stranger to shock and pearl-clutching. In fact, it is a brand to whom flock only customers who want to raise hell on their own.

Should you want your brand to embody the Outlaw brand identity, it is important to implement a brand strategy that includes the following elements:

  • Acute awareness of your (ideal) customers’ values
  • Raw and risqué advertising (consider Diesel’s Be a Follower campaign)
  • Guerilla marketing and other grassroots advertising techniques
  • Brand aesthetic that celebrates outlaws and rebels
  • Messaging that would shock audiences which are not your target audience

Risk may not be beneficial to all brands, but when a brand embodying the Outlaw takes risks, it only delights its audience further.

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