February 23, 2022
People have a tendency to gravitate towards tours, activities, and experiences that share similar personality traits to themselves. For example, someone who is introverted and enjoys peace & quiet isn’t going to book the 50-passenger booze cruise. This is why creating a strong personality is one of the most magnetic marketing tools in your toolbox! And leveraging the archetypes is one of the best ways to go about developing that strong personality.
Archetypes are essentially different types of persona identities that are rooted in centuries of psychological research. They represent the range of human behavior, including but not limited to desires, motivations, values, personality traits, strengths & weaknesses. They have been used for decades by storytellers to create layered, nuanced characters. They have also been used for just as long to create layered, nuanced brand identities.
Your archetypes act as a filter to gauge on/off brand decisions, establish consistency across the entire visitor journey, and most importantly, help you stand out and stand for something in a competitive market. When you dedicate yourself to creating marketing and an experience that aligns with your archetypes, you are setting yourself up for success.
Here’s a brief overview of each archetype we see in the travel industry:
The Explorer: all about adventure, freedom, escaping the monotony and moving outside of one’s comfort zone
The Sage: all about intellectual stimulation, curiosity, deep exploration into intriguing ideas and discovering new perspectives
The Innocent: all about peace, optimism, reconnecting with a childlike wonder, and low-pressure experiences
The Joyful: all about living in the moment, laughter, highly energizing pleasurable moments void of boredom and seriousness
The Romantic: all about beauty, highly sensorial moments, intimacy, and emotional connection, living with a full heart
The Genuine: All about authenticity, opportunities for down-to-earth connection and avoiding superficiality
The Rebel: all about the bold, edgy, offbeat opportunities to ‘go their own way’ and foster independence
The Creative: All about imagination, artistry, creative expression, and opportunities to channel their inner artist
The Spellbound: All about dreaming, expansive magical moments, miracles, and seeing what else is possible
Which of these archetypes do you resonate with most? It’s okay if there’s more than just one – in fact, creating a dynamic personality requires combining a few personalities into your brand identity.
For example, the ‘explorer’ archetype is a popular one for outdoor adventure. If all outdoor adventure brands take on the explorer personality, then at some point they all start to sound and look the same – which is not great if you’re looking to stand out. But let’s say you really do resonate with the explorer archetype and want to integrate that personality into your business? The best thing you could do then is to layer it with another archetype.
Your brand could be the explorer at the core, but when combined with, say, the rebel archetype, it comes off a bit edgy and rule-breaking. The Rebel Explorer tour or activity will shine bright like a beacon, calling to the traveler looking for something a bit different. Which right now, is everyone.
It’s very possible that right now, your brand personality has very little direction or structure. This is not unusual for small businesses (and even large businesses). Big brands with large marketing teams and millions in their marketing budget spend a lot of time and energy on creating a magnetizing personality. Think of brands like Jeep (The Explorer), Wendy’s (The Joyful), and Disney (the Spellbound).
But with the archetypes, even the smallest of brands can get started creating a clear identity that resonates with their ideal customer. Because when you know your unique mix of archetypes, you can then use them to shape your marketing and experience. The words, photos, touchpoints, symbols… everything you express across the entire visitor journey is heavily influenced by the archetypes you select.
Take some time to really figure out how you want your tour & activity to show up in this world. The Archetype Attraction Workbook can help you select the archetypes best suited for your experience. There is so much more to learn about each archetype than just the few keywords we’ve shared above. And once you know, you can begin to re-evaluate how you communicate with your ideal guests!