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Exploring Brand Archetypes: The Creator

Danny Ruspandini - Impact Labs Australia
Danny R.

We've been exploring the 12 Brand Archetypes.

Archetype 4: The Creator.

The underlying human desire of a Creator brand is Innovation, sometimes in pursuit of perfectionism (not always).

Popular examples: Lego, Adobe.

Other examples: Sharpie, Redbubble.

Creator brands make things, sometimes very innovative things, or inspire people to make things. One brand can sometimes do both - make things and inspire makers. One of the Creator mottos is “If it can be imagined, it can be created”.

Lego and Adobe are both creators of innovative products, where the products themselves aide and inspire creation. (I have a love-hate relationship with Adobe, their customer service is famously atrocious which I’ve experienced first hand plenty of times, so I did hesitate to list them here... but it’s tough for me to deny the products are dominant and truly remarkable).

Sharpie and Redbubble mostly create tools that makers use. The innovation is there, but in my view the driver behind both is the creation of the platform and for the makers, rather than really pushing their internal innovation.

Less obvious examples

Beck - technically all musicians are creators (anyone who makes anything really) but for the fully rounded definition of a Creator, Beck is pretty interesting. One of the Creator traits is that they are non-conformists. Beck plays a lot of the instruments on his tracks himself, and is constantly reinventing his style.

Jaycar - They may seem like your average retail store, but there’s a big focus on DIY electronic builds and general love of making things - they sell 3D printers, electronic components and kits, have a pretty big focus on STEM learning for kids, and run maker workshops. A light Creator example, but I think it fits.

Elon Musk - He’s not a traditional “brand”, but like him or hate him, he’s become a symbol of innovation and making epic things.

Can anyone become a Creator brand?

Unlike the Explorer where I believed the company’s DNA defined it - in this case, I believe non-Creator brands can become creators by adopting a real commitment to innovation in their field... Whether that takes over and becomes the dominant archetype might be a different story - it may fundamentally change the business if so - but there are elements of the creator that many brands can, and do, adopt.

Did this help? Can you think of better examples?

I’ll be dripping the remaining Archetypes gradually over the next few weeks - if there’s one you’d like to dive into next, please reply and let me know.

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