The Explorer. The Adventurer. The Trailblazer. The Indiana Jones of branding, the Explorer promises new experiences and self-discovery. It’s a siren song for the wanderers, the ones driven by a yearning to break out of their daily routine and who’ll try everything once.
So grab your hat and whip, Indiana, and let’s get cracking.
As we’ve discussed previously, Archetypes help create a tangible, relatable persona for a brand that invites its target market to build a deeper connection with them. Each of the twelve branding Archetypes we use are symbolic of a particular set of personality traits and characteristics that seek out and speak to the kind of consumer that brand is targeting.
Within the Explorer are three sub-Archetypes, each representing a different facet of the Archetype: the Pioneer, the Guide, and the Seeker. The Pioneer is a groundbreaker, paving the way for others to follow in their tracks. They leave the known for what could be, innovating with an adventurous spirit.
The Guide understands the depth of the environment they operate in, holding a seemingly bottomless wealth of knowledge and insatiable desire to spread that knowledge among others.
The Seeker is on the path to find wisdom and fulfill a higher calling. They are patient, persevering and tirelessly motivated on a path for intellectual, emotional and spiritual knowledge.
Who is the customer of an Explorer brand?
It’s someone who doesn’t like routine; who wants to always be challenged in their life. It’s someone who finds value in experiences, not belongings, and their purchasing habits reflect this. It’s someone who’s up for anything; who wants to boldly go where…well, tonnes of other Explorer consumers have gone before them (just don’t try to tell them they weren’t the first!)
In this way, we can see how valuable a tool the Explorer is to an adventure or travel product:
Intrepid Travel promises “Real World Experiences”, which is music to an Explorer consumer’s ears. They offer a grassroots travel experience, using public transport and doing homestays with locals. An Explorer consumer is drawn to this more “authentic” experience over the heavily scheduled “follow the umbrella on and off the tour bus” style of group travel, which is too prescriptive and predictable for them.
The North Face
The North Face is a brand of adventure and outdoor clothing and equipment for hiking, camping, skiing, and snowsports – essentially all the extra-curricular activities a typical Explorer consumer participates in. Outside of their product offering itself, The North Face lives and breathes the Explorer Archetype. They sponsor a series of trailrunning events all around Australia, and they host an initiative called The North Face Adventure Grant, which offers $10,000 to valiant explorers looking to head off on their dream expedition.
Jeep, whose current product range consists solely of SUVs and 4WDs, has truly committed to the Explorer Archetype right down to the names of each of their models. Compass. Wrangler. Renegade. A very capable off-road vehicle, Jeep allows Explorers to inject a little adventure into mundane, everyday tasks like driving to work or running errands.
We sometimes forget that NASA is a brand (and one with a surprisingly comprehensive style guide at that). Their vision is to “reach for new heights and reveal the unknown” – essentially what Explorer consumers seek to do, only on a slightly more grand scale.
Like NASA and Jeep, National Geographic is another brand enabling inquisitive explorers to include a little growth, learning, and adventure in their everyday life. They’re not subtle in playing to their Archetype, having produced a TV show called Explorer, in addition to countless other exploration and educational programs and publications. However, they take it one step further having partnered with adventure cruise line Lindblad Expeditions to offer Scandinavian and Antarctic exploration cruises on an expedition ship called, you guessed it, the National Geographic Explorer.
Outside of travel and adventure, the Explorer is still an incredibly powerful Archetype. Your brand may be suited to an identity as an Explorer if your product:
Explorer brands can speak to their target marking using words like liberation, freedom, independence, choice, action – words that make their customers feel empowered to take their product and use it to conquer the world.
So you think your brand would do well to position itself as an Explorer. How else can you play to this Archetype? It’s in your language, your visual communication, your social media, and at the very heart of your brand – its people. Brandonian wants to help you awaken your Archetype, so get in touch today.