Archetypes: The Hero

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Courage, determination and strength. From Hercules to Superman, going through Luke Skywalker, and all the heroes from comics and fiction, the archetype embodies these values in an inspiring, admirable way. The Hero motivates us to overcome limitations, believe in ourselves, fight for noble causes and make the world a better place. Along courage comes a good dose of altruism, which, most of the time implicates in personal sacrifices.

In theory, it’s all good, but in our increasing sceptical and individualist society, the Hero can raise a lot of eyebrows (if you have watched Batman v Superman, know exactly what I’m talking about), so the best way to work it is as a warrior, competitor or athlete, after all we are constantly being exposed to messages of ‘overcome your obstacles’, ‘give your best’, ‘win a battle every day’, ‘beat the competition’ etc. In other words, we are living in an everlasting hurdle race against the world… or against ourselves!

Focusing on this quest for overcoming limits, Nike has positioned itself as a Hero brand when the classic campaign ‘Just do it’ was created, but also fell in the archetype trap, arrogance, with the mishandling of slavery work accusation. It still is a great example of archetypical brand, but faces heavy competition from other sportswear labels such as Under Armour and Adidas, which also adopt the Hero in different levels.

By now, you can notice the archetype fits well in some specific product categories linked to performance or social causes. Nevertheless, it is a challenging choice for fashion (ready to wear) and beauty. But, as the Hero loves a challenge, it can be an amazing differentiation point to innovative brands willing to impact the market and promote messages of social responsibility. Keep in mind that the motto is ‘where there’s a will, there’s a way’, and go for it!

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