How to Define Your Brand's Tone of Voice with Brand Archetypes


Every strong brand has its own voice.

The question is, how do you define yours? Brand Archetypes make answering that question easy. Once you discover which archetype suits your brand best, the sky's the limit.




Your voice is what sets you apart from everyone else.

Your voice connects you with your target audience and keeps them coming back for more. Your brand's message to the world is how people will remember you - so it’s essential to define it well.

Leaving your mark on people with a strong tone of voice is fun and easy when you find which brand archetype you resonate with the most.




A brand archetype depicts your brand’s persona based on human desires and values. In the most simple terms, your brand archetype is the personality of your brand.

There are 12 brand archetypes, each with its own unique set of characteristics: The Rebel, The Creator, The Jester, The Innocent, The Lover, The Explorer, The Regular Guy, The Sage, The Ruler, The Magician, The Hero, and The Caregiver. After analyzing thousands of customer reviews and interviews, Vox Verba identified a 13th archetype: The Athlete.

When you understand your brand's archetype, you can use it to define your voice and create a compelling story that connects with your audience on a deeper, more emotional level.




Begin by thinking about your company's values. What are the core values that guide your business? Are you passionate about making a difference in the world? Do you put your customers first? Do you go against the social norm? Your answers will help you identify which archetype best fits your brand.

Learn about each archetype below. If you are still unsure which archetype your brand resonates most with, we can help you. Take our “Brand Archetype Quiz” to discover your archetype and begin defining your voice and telling your story.



The Rebel  

You're the advocate brand that paves the way for change and bends the rules. You do not conform to trends or ideologies. People come to you without a voice and stand behind your boldness.



Traits and Characteristics:

Loud, bold, wild, strong, undaunted, enterprising, spokesperson, supporter, speaker, expounded, substantial, tenacious, capable, and secure.

Modern brands today include:

  • The American Red Cross (Branding example from their website) “Each year, the generous support of donors like you enables our disaster workforce— 90% volunteers—to help millions of people in the U.S.”

  • AmeriCorps (Branding example from their website) “AmeriCorps members and AmeriCorps Seniors volunteers represent the best of America: tirelessly serving people and communities across the country.”

The Creator

You’re willing to go the extra mile to create a change in the world. You are not afraid to do something that has never been done before in order to reach success. You have the ability to think of out-of-the-box ideas that leave people amazed.



Traits and Characteristics:

Innovative, visual, revolutionary, expressive, artistic, imaginative, original, and a dreamer.

Modern brands today include:

  • Apple (Branding example from their website) “iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus introduce critical safety capabilities such as Crash Detection and Emergency SOS via satellite, a first in the industry. And with amazing battery life, industry-leading durability features, and super-fast 5G, this iPhone lineup is more advanced than ever before.”

  • YouTube (Branding example from their website) “We started the #WithMe campaign to encourage folks to do things at home together. From learning new skills, and finding new ways of teaching and learning, together we’ve found new ways to share the uniquely creative ways we are getting through this time— not just as consumers of video, but as human beings trying to find a way together.”

The Jester

You are the life of the party. You seek to bring joy and fun to people's lives. Amid a sometimes dark world, people look to you as a light.



Traits and Characteristics:

Playful, comedic, charming, light-hearted, mischievous, and fun.

Modern brands today include:

  • Geico (Branding example from their website) “There are a lot of things we don't need more of. Like overscheduling. But we could all use more ways to save. So switch to GEICO, and you could save on car, homeowners, motorcycle, and more.”

  • Ben & Jerry’s (Branding example from their website) “Imagine a wild ride through the wintriest, chocolate mintiest wonderland of ice cream filled with crunchy cookie swirls and marshmallowy drifts. Honestly, if this flavor were a toboggan, you’d already be on it.”

The Innocent

You are all about being optimistic. You believe the world is a good place, and we should all strive for happiness. You desire to keep life simple and be kind. You are morally pure, and in no way are you controversial.



Traits and Characteristics:

Happy, upbeat, simple, honest, pure, kind, transparent, faithful, and optimistic.

Modern brands today include:

  • Coca-Cola (Branding example from their website) “Open Happiness.”

The Lover

You value a deep connection with people. You seek to evoke emotions and create relationships. Your goal is to help people feel special and appreciated. You believe that everyone is deserving of love.



Traits and Characteristics:

Passionate, romantic, intimate, devoted, emotional, comforting, blissful, sensual, and committed.

Modern brands today include:

  • Godiva (Branding example from their website) “Surprise someone special with an elegant gift box filled with their favorite treat—our luscious chocolate truffles.”

  • Kay Jewelers (Branding example from their website) “From traditional jewelry to personalized pieces, find the perfect gift to celebrate your love story.”

The Explorer

You are driven by a deep curiosity about the world and a desire to discover new things. You're not afraid to take risks and explore uncharted territory, both literally and figuratively.



Traits and Characteristics:

Passionate, optimistic, authentic, courageous, curious, independent, resourceful, and open-minded.

Modern brands today include:

  • National Geographic (Branding example from their website) “We support a diverse, international community of changemakers — National Geographic Explorers — who use the power of science, exploration, education, and storytelling to illuminate and protect the wonder of our world.”

  • Patagonia (Branding example from their website) “At Patagonia, we appreciate that all life on earth is under threat of extinction. We’re using the resources we have—our business, our investments, our voice and our imaginations—to do something about it.”

The Regular Guy

You are all about being relatable to your customers. You seek to give everyone a sense of belonging and comfort. You believe that everyone is equal and that we all have the same basic needs. Your business is like the “person next door” who makes people feel safe.



Traits and Characteristics:

Relatable, comfortable, inclusive, approachable, understanding, down to earth, faithful, safe, loyal, and kind.

Modern brands today include:

  • IKEA (Branding example from their website) “If you want to elevate your craft, we want to stand beside you. IKEA rewards our partners with steady referrals, complete job-site control, and some of the best business practices in the industry.”

  • Southwest Airlines (Branding example from their website) “Employees are treated with the same concern, respect, and caring attitude within our organization that they are expected to share externally with every Southwest Customer.”

The Sage

Your brand revolves around knowledge and truth. You seek to pursue the truth by gathering reliable, factual information and sharing it with others. By doing this, you hope to help people better understand the world. You are a leader in a world filled with confusion and miscommunication.



Traits and Characteristics:

Wise, consistent, insightful, intelligent, trustworthy, reliable, practical, and sharp.

Modern brands today include:

  • BBC (Branding example from their website) “BBC reaches a weekly audience of around 364 million people worldwide. It is one of the UK’s most important cultural exports - inspiring and illuminating people's lives across the globe, helping them make sense of the world we live in.”

  • Reuters (Branding example from their website) “FACT CHECK: Photo shows Duchess Meghan on Remembrance Sunday in 2019, not during public appearance after Queen Elizabeth’s death. A widely-shared claim that Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, dressed up like Princess Diana for Queen Elizabeth’s funeral is false.”

The Ruler

You aren’t afraid to take charge. You may help people get more organized, restore order, and create more stability or security in a chaotic world. People trust your leadership and authority.



Traits and Characteristics:

Powerful, authoritative, efficient, confident, responsible, organized, leader, and administrator.  

Modern brands today include:

  • Mercedes-Benz (Branding example from their website) “The three-pointed star doesn’t just identify a Mercedes-Benz. It represents over a century of tradition, a commitment to quality, and a promise to always shine brighter than ever before.”

  • Amazon (Branding example from their website) “To support career development, we have introduced apprenticeship programs that offer our employees paid training and on-the-job learning that leads to certification, technical skills, and an opportunity for rewarding work.

The Magician

You make dreams come true and create something special for people. You give people hope and promote wonder and the use of your imagination.



Traits and Characteristics:

Transformative, visionary, charismatic, imaginative, spiritual, fascinating.

Modern brands today include:

  • Polaroid (Branding example from their website) “This is a fully refurbished vintage Polaroid camera. Each day we save original Polaroid cameras from decades past and lovingly restore them to give them a new life.”

  • Disney (Branding example from their website) “Ever since Snow White first twirled across the silver screen, Disney has inspired daydreams of stepping into the life of a Princess—the stories, the songs, and, of course, the style!

The Hero

You're the bold brand, the brand that inspires others. Your goal is to save the world. People come to you to solve significant problems and trust you will leave a positive mark with your solution.


Traits and Characteristics:

Courageous, bold, honorable, strong, confident, inspirational, problem-solver, responsible, high-principled, incorrupt, upright, sincere, unfailing, and determined.

Modern brands today include:

  • The American Red Cross (Branding example from their website) “Each year, the generous support of donors like you enables our disaster workforce— 90% volunteers—to help millions of people in the U.S.”

  • AmeriCorps (Branding example from their website) “AmeriCorps members and AmeriCorps Seniors volunteers represent the best of America: tirelessly serving people and communities across the country.”

The Caregiver

You are the selfless brand that people can rely on and fully trust. You are known as compassionate; customers come to you in their most vulnerable state because they know you genuinely care.



Traits and Characteristics:

Caring, maternal, selfless, generous, compassionate, service-oriented, responsive, humane, understanding, humanitarian, charitable, sympathetic, and altruistic.

Modern brands today include:

  • Campbell’s Soup (Branding example from their website) “When you grab the familiar red and white can, know you’re grabbing a trustworthy brand that lacks artificial flavors and colors.”

  • Dove (Branding example from their website) “#DetoxYourFeed. Empower young people to spot toxic beauty advice, detoxify their feed and make social media a space of positivity.”

The Athlete

You are the brand people use to set targets and push themselves; they desire achievement and increased performance in their physical body. Your customers resonate with sports stars like Serena Williams, Michael Jordan, and Michelle Kwan.



Traits and Characteristics:

Focused, resilient, fast, record-breaking, efficient, rebounding, expansive, winner, mover, productive, systematic, well-organized, experienced, profitable, and proficient.

Modern brands today include:

  • Lululemon (Branding example from website): “Visualize your next move, then make it happen in non-stop stretch and incredibly light fabric. Pro Tennis Champion and Ambassador Jack Sock put it to the test.”

  • Adidas (Branding example from their website): “Drive to the rim, pull up from deep, and leave defenders in your wake — just like James Harden. These Adidas basketball shoes are made with BOOST for the energy return you need from the opening whistle to those grueling last seconds of overtime.”