Now, this guy knows. His. Stuff.
His background is in behaviour science and working with startups, and he’s recently – p.s. congrats Matt – been appointed the Chief Behavioural Officer at Clover Health, a startup seeking to overhaul the state of healthcare in the US.
The topic of discussion was motivational theory, essentially looking at exactly how people make choices (a topic dear to our hearts here at Brandonian). Matt spoke about a familiar concept – the balancing act of individuation versus belonging.
There is a constant push and pull between wanting stand out, and wanting to fit in. At the very core of it, if you don’t feel like a special snowflake, you get depressed. But also, if you don’t feel like you belong as a part of a group, you get depressed.
And he’s bang on. However, he’s forgetting another crucial element here, because we believe there’s another balancing act forever at play, and that’s the one between mastery and stability.
Freud talks about the eternal struggle of the id and the superego. They don’t find a happy medium. They don’t learn to peacefully coexist. They are doing battle, constantly – some days the id comes out on top, and we lash out at a friend, and some days the superego wins and we just smile and nod.
Life requires constant negotiation along these four poles.
Matt’s absolutely right in that there is an eternal, immense struggle between wanting to be liked and fit in, and wanting to stand out and do things our own way.
Similarly, there is an internal struggle in every person between the deep desire for security and stability, and wanting to act on our ambition by taking risks and achieving mastery.
Margaret Mark and Carol S. Pearson say, “When we sacrifice one end of one of these continua to the other end, there is a tendency in the psyche to seek balance. That’s one of the reasons some people experience midlife crises; they have gotten out of balance, and some part of them that has been suppressed for too long seeks expression.”
For this reason, the 12 branding Archetypes each appeal to one of these drives. The Creator, the Caregiver and the Ruler appeal to people most driven by Stability and Control. The Jester, the Regular Guy/Gal and the Lover appeal to those driven by Belonging and Enjoyment. The Hero, the Outlaw and the Wizard appeal to those most driven by Risk and Mastery. And the Innocent, the Explorer and the Sage appeal to those most motivated by Independence and Fulfilment.
Of course, the desire we’re most driven by changes many times throughout our lives, and therefore different branding Archetypes will appeal to us at different times.
It’s important to understand not only who your target market is, but also what motivates them and what they’re seeking at that point in their life. Armed with this knowledge, you can align your brand with the Archetype that will best speak to them to make sure your message is heard.
Thanks for visiting us all the way down in Brisbane, Matt; it really was an enlightening forum. Let’s do it in New York next time?