“There is no life I know to compare with pure imagination. Living there, you’ll be free if you truly wish to be.” Willy Wonka is the ultimate Creator – it’s his personality, and his brand.
The Creator’s goal is self-expression, to create something of enduring value, to give form to a vision. The non-conformists of the world, Creators dance to the beat of their own drums. The Creator Archetype is seen in the artist, the writer, the inventor, and the entrepreneur – anyone who is driven by a need to innovate, invent, or reinterpret something.
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 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.
The Creator takes pleasure in both the process of creating and in developing something that did not previously exist. They value and encourage out-of-the-box thinking, seeking to make customers feel amazed and inspired. They are ambitious and not afraid of risks, and for this reason the Creator is a natural fit for many marketing, design or tech brands.
Though Creators are inherently non-conformist, they are still driven by the desire for control. The act of turning a concept into something tangible is a way to exert control in a world that’s totally chaotic and wild, creating structure by bringing an immaterial idea to fruition.
The Creator contains three sub-Archetypes, each representing a different face of the Creator – the Artist, the Entrepreneur, and the Innovator. The Artist paints a picture that reflects their soul. It is something unique from within that they create for others to enjoy – it’s all about style over substance. The Entrepreneur does business their own way, often “jumping off a cliff and building a plane on the way down”. Similarly, the Innovator in any industry turns their back on business as usual, tapping into their ability to imagine a different way.
Who is the customer of a Creator brand?
They are often Visionaries, people who yearn to be part of a change that is bigger than their lifetime. They understand the importance of what the vision will mean for society, and also for the creative process. They will be dedicated in their role for the achievement of the vision even if they are not around to experience it.
They are also often Early Adopters – these people are a Creator brand’s best friends. They are the kind of consumer that is always on the lookout for the newest and best, but want someone else to do all the thinking, innovating and problem solving for them. They may choose to get involved in the creative process by contributing ideas or insights into their problems via focus groups or choose to invest in the innovation of a new product or idea in order to bring it to market – Kickstarter is a dream platform for this kind of consumer.
Another huge market for Creator brands is, unsurprisingly, children (or, at least, the people responsible for buying them toys). “Creative play” is often touted as being hugely beneficial for children, and “open-ended toys” that encourage imaginative play are enormously popular – things like building blocks, Playdough, and any toys encouraging creative or lateral thinking.
Let’s start with the obvious and perhaps most easily recognizable:
Inspire and develop the builders of tomorrow
The ultimate in open-ended toys, the entire purpose of Lego is to encourage creative play. Lego blocks can become absolutely anything the beholder sees (including a rather effective torture device for bare feet).
While Lego sets often include directions and the exact blocks required to build a particular model, they are also sold as a big jumble of bricks in various colours with no intended design, under names like “Creative Building Basket”.
Lego Group’s Mission and Vision is all about inspiring children to think creatively and realizing the human possibility.
Creativity is an enormously important (and, some fear, declining) facet of human nature so this encouragement for children is incredibly important, and thank goodness we have Lego to look out for them.
The 3M Company
Science. Applied to Life.
Innovators through and through, 3M use “science and innovation to stimulate progress and make a real impact to people and communities across the globe.” The adage “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” may well be the antithesis of 3M, who seek to revolutionise and improve anything they can get their hands on.
Forever thinking outside of the box, 3M’s business model is “to foster organic growth by inventing entirely new, market-changing products.” The process of project creation goes through three separate life stages at 3M – a team called the Scouts identifies potential opportunities and devise ways to revolutionise the product or process in question. They hand the idea over to the 3M Entrepreneurs who then invent or reimagine the solution, before the team of Implementers take over and commercialise the product.
While 3M aren’t necessarily artistic like other companies ascribing to this Archetype, their advertising is as creative and remarkable as you’d expect from a Creator.
Time is what you make of it
As Swatch themselves put it, you can tell a Swatch when you see one – there’s no boring black-band-and-white-face watches here.
In addition to their already somewhat outrageous designs, Swatch offer a product called “SwatchXyou” that allows customers to build their own custom timepiece, selecting their choice of colour for all elements of the watch.
Like Lego, Moleskines provide customers with endless opportunities – they are a truly blank slate. Notebook, sketchpad, bullet journal, diary – a Moleskine is whatever you want it to be.
The following ads encourage the perception of Moleskins as being made for creatives. Always by your side, they’re ready and able to take in any idea, interesting sentence or sketch that you just have to get down right here and now.
So you think your brand would do well to position itself as a Creator. 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.