Three questions from the community

Updated: Dec 30, 2020

The community of archetypal practitioners keeps growing. That means the body of wisdom, insights, and experiences keeps growing too. Trying to catch up with the backlog of questions and emails, here are a few responses to share.


1. I’m interested in learning more about this collaboration (archetype development). How can I get involved?


As archetypal practitioners we are all tapping into the collective unconscious. So it would follow that we as a community could be more expansive, more motivated, and more insightful together than apart. So a few months ago we tested the desire for creating some kind of collaboration/cooperative to continue to deepen the archetypal well with the addition of “new” archetypes.


In 2021 we’re aiming to launch a Membership Forum area to host various collaborations and conversations, provide resources for additional learning, and grow the community. Will keep you posted!


2. I am interested in your views about how your set of 12 archetypes aligns with those defined by Kantar in their Needscope framework.


There are many, many frameworks grounded in archetypal theory. Needscope is one of the more developed, rigorous and comprehensive frameworks for brand strategy. Both Archetypes in Branding and “Needscope” highlight the unlimited aspect of archetypes. I don’t subscribe to there being a “best” or “right” set of 12 or 18 or 60 or whatever. The collective unconscious is a limitless well of stories and ways of making meaning.


I respect all the work that has been done, and continues to be done. My personal criteria for which are helpful vs hurtful is that any framework is used to create deeper authenticity, humanity, and integration. There is always the shadow side of applying archetypal knowledge for manipulation, vanity, gimmickry, puffery, authority and/or insincerity. (h/t to Jonah Sachs’ “Winning the Story Wars: Why Those Who Tell - and Live - the Best Stories Will Rule the Future” for the 5 Deadly Sins of Marketing.


3. I am enjoying reading your book and have a quick question regarding reference #2 on page 105 about the term "motivational field." Could you please give me more info on this?


The reference to a motivational field is a strong example of “standing on the shoulders of giants.” Motivational Theory is a huge field of study that includes, just to name a few:


Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

Carol Pearson and Margaret Mark

John Corlett

McClelland’s Theory of Needs

Ken Wilbur

Eric Erickson


Marketing depends heavily, some might say entirely, on understanding human motivations. Linking those motivations with products/services/brands is the challenge. Archetypes mediate that gap because they provide an intangible experience of deep emotional meaning.

The two-axis format depicts all desires as part of the human experience and that they are “both-and” not “either-or” creating an inherent tension. There will be an inordinate number of deep and often unconscious factors that ultimately influence the pull experienced in a given moment. We are constantly negotiating with ourselves on these spectrums.


Hope this helps even though it barely scratches the surface of all the applied and theoretical knowledge out there. Check out this overview motivational theories in psychology more a start. https://positivepsychology.com/motivation-theories-psychology/


Stay curious!



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