Archetypes: The Ruler

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Miranda Priestly from ‘The Devil Wears Prada’. Kings and queens. Presidents and prime-ministers. CEOs of traditional companies. The classic boss figure. All of them embody the Ruler archetype. You already understood it symbolises control, leadership, responsibility and status. The main motivation is the willing to put an order in chaos and a desire to bring back harmony to family and work environments. That’s why it needs power and authority to guarantee the protégées’ security.

The Ruler is a fond of hierarchy and cherishes good behaviour since it is a role model for society. Life needs rule and everyone must know their place, however, it encourages people to become successful in their field, so their image must exhale prestige.

It is not a coincidence that most luxury brands relate to the archetype, especially when their logos are instantly recognizable. Think about the Louis Vuitton monogram, the Burberry check, the Ralph Lauren polo player, an Armani suit. You don’t need to be a millionaire to purchase an item, but will feel more confident and powerful the minute you wear it. Car companies like Mercedes-Benz and Volvo, American Express card and Montblanc pen are other examples of the Ruler’s status.

Its branding can also work for products that help consumers feel or become more responsible or organized – a case for gadgets and apps. On the other hand, the Ruler has a close relation to patriotism (remember the Burberry campaigns with London as background, Louis Vuitton as the epitome of French distinction and sophistication and Ralph Lauren as the American WASP dream). Nevertheless, keep in mind that positive leadership and arrogant authoritarianism are separated by a thin line. The Ruler’s great attribute is the willing to take the world from chaos, but its shadow is being so controlling to the point of ignoring other’s needs. Business wise, companies who refuse to listen to consumers are destined to fail, so don’t fall in the trap!

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