Archetypes: The Caregiver

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Mother Teresa and Pope Francis. Princess Diana (after the divorce) and Angelina Jolie (after adopting the 1st child and becoming a UN ambassador). What do they have in common? They embody the Caregiver archetype, symbol of altruism, caring and protecting others. The closest association is with mothers and fathers but it is present in any figure related to attention and dedication (nannies, grandmothers, teachers, doctors…). This works for people and also for brands.

Traditionally, companies associated with health, life insurance and some kinds of foods (think Campbell’s soup), plus NGOs, are a fertile territory for Caregivers. In the fashion sector, its use can be challenging but when target to customer services there is room to improve. The American department store Nordstrom, known for an impeccable service, is an evidence. In the beauty industry, it’s not common either, however Dove has created a powerful identity with a soap that contains ¼ of moisturiser, in other words cleans and nourishes the skin, and with campaigns to strengthen women’s self-esteem. Jonhson’s Baby is another classic example, with a range of shampoos, lotions, soaps etc that doesn’t irritate the eyes or the baby’s delicate skin. And that delicious smell…

The Caregiver is also linked to children, elderly, deficient or community care but this is a limited view since everybody needs or appreciate attention. The archetype is sleepy in contemporary culture where individualism rules and even charitable gestures are perceived with a certain amount of cynicism. For this reason, it can be an excellent USP to brands with its attributes.

Focus on demonstrating in a practical way that you care about clients by offering a product or a service that also helps them show their affection to others, in a kind of good will chain, like Toms shoes and Warby Parker do. Attention, empathy and gratitude always attract positivity for people and for the brands they purchase!

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