Archetypal Brand Building

In the early 1990s, in my role as Executive Vice President and Worldwide Director of Consumer Insight at Young & Rubicam, I had the luxury of an R&D budget devoted to exploring ideas of potential significance to our clients and to the industry. It was during this time that I first became intrigued with the idea of iconic brands—brands with meaning so deep and resonant that they transcended time, cultural chasms, and competitive assault. I was intent on understanding what made these brands so meaningful and so different from business as usual, leading me to the study of universal symbolism and archetypes, and to the work of Carol S. Pearson.

I recognized the tremendous potential of applying Carol’s powerful construct to the development and stewardship of brands. Once I started my own practice and Carol overcame her concern that the application of her model not be just about artificial “image-making,” we began to collaborate on several important projects, and to jointly author The Hero and the Outlaw: Building Extraordinary Brands Through the Power of Archetypesa book that has had a major impact on the marketing field.

Psychiatrist C.G. Jung helped his clients connect with their deeper selves and, in so doing, with their callings and values through the individuation process. Similarly, the process of Archetypal Branding helps clients identify the deep human truth underlying their products, services, corporations, and causes and to bring this meaning alive in a way that forms unassailable connections with both internal and external audiences.

— Margaret Mark