Discovering, understanding and embracing archetypes can build a stronger, more meaningful brand: it can be one of the most powerful tools in branding. How has Anthony Bourdain, the adventurous explorer, been so successful at exposing us to exotic culinary traditions around the globe? Why is Oprah the most powerful woman in the world? What has led to the resurrection of a brand like Levi's? They all know, embody, and communicate the power of their archetype. Archetypes help personify a brand, borrowing established character types from human storytelling. Using these archetypes helps define a brand’s personality and character and provides a clear path forward.

In this lunch and learn, Sunny and Ashleigh will cover:

  • A brief history of archetypes and why they matter;

  • The 12 Archetypes and some examples of how archetype characteristics and story patterns continuously re-emerge and can be a means to effectively tell your brand’s story;

  • The process we go through in discovering a brand’s archetype;
  • An interactive exercise and much more!

Sunny Bonnell
Co-Founder & Creative Director
In 2014, Sunny was named one of GDUSA’s Top 25 Creatives to Watchand writes for Forbes, Entrepreneur and Inc. Magazine. Sunny is also a member and contributor for the YEC, an elite organization compromised of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs. Fascinated with instinct, paper boy hats and great writers, she loves storytelling and anyone that can make her laugh. Oh, and you should see her play guitar. 



Ashleigh Hansberger
Co-Founder & Brand Strategist
Ashleigh is a brand strategist, creative thinker and designer. Ashleigh is an Inc. 30 under 30 alumni and the youngest Count Me In for Women’s Economic Independence award winner. Born and raised in Chicago, Ashleigh shows up to do work that matters, not for accolades.




So, are you the Hero, the Rebel or the Magician? Find out more this May 8th!

Crafting Identity - Working Lunch Recap

As a creative professional, I strive to be a Creator. I doubt anyone would describe me as a Rebel, but I secretly wish I was one. And, in my everyday life, I am an Innocent, an optimist dreaming of ways to make things better. Since attending the "Understanding the Brand Archetype" working lunch presented by Sunny Bonnell and Ashleigh Hansberger from Motto, I've been pondering my personal archetype and those of the brands around me.

Branding is hard. Self-branding is a chore at best. But branding a product in an already saturated market or giving the intangible service a sense of purpose? Ugh. The branding process can get complicated quickly and when not guided aptly, it often ends up like the muddy scribbles of a two year-old using all the crayons. 

That's why I was intrigued when Sunny declared "If I tell you, 'I am a Rebel, a badass outlaw' you know immediately how you would relate to me." Because she was right. Before she finished her sentence, I had already invoked mental images of her as a gritty gunslinger kicking ass and taking names. I had branded her in my mind instantly. 

"Brands can also harness the power of the archetype to connect with their audience and evoke an emotional response. Archetypes transform lifeless things into tangible aspects. They transcend age, race, and culture. When you anchor a brand against something iconic or symbolic, it gains that signifigance and identity. Archetypes create a path for clients to talk about their brand as it informs the language and visuals to use", explained Sunny and Ashleigh.

So what are these Archetypes? Glad you asked. There are 12 of them and you can read all about them in the book "The Hero and the Outlaw: Building Extraordinary Brands Through the Power of Archetypes" by Margaret Mark and Carol Pearson

Want some recent real world examples? Lucky for you, Sunny and Ashleigh have shared their presentation with us, complete with commercial examples of brands using archetypes in action.

After going through the Archetype overview, we broke into teams to put our newfound understandings to the test. Could we assign archetypes to random brands given to us? It was an intriguing excercise, as some brands that seemed obvious at first changed when given a second look. It did became quickly evident that when talking about a brand using archetype identities, it was easy to build a narrative around that brand. Something relatable and human.


One of the most important lessons I took away from the lunch was to "stay the course and commit to your archetype". It's a lesson that both Sunny and Ashleigh take very seriously, as they both have crafted archetypes for themselves specifically for Motto.

“[We] committed to it fully - even though we are very different people at home - we run our business based on the archetypes we have crafted for ourselves at Motto. And when something comes along that does not align with those values, you have to say ‘no.’ You and your brand will suffer otherwise." 

This level of committment to a strategy was really impressive to me. Staying the course is an area is where clients, and even creatives, often stumble when creating a brand. Strategy is often thrown out for reactionary tactics.

As always, I left the working lunch filled with ideas and eager to apply the concepts presented. It's a great feeling when you've learned something new and can immediately benefit from its use. And the Creator in me was itching to build better branding.

If you would like to do some brand exploration on your own, but missed out on the working lunch, Motto has self-guided excercises that you can download to help you craft your brand strategy. Many thanks to Sunny and Ashleigh for an intriguing and informative working lunch!