If you value simplicity, optimism, and seeking happiness overall, you may fall into pure confines of the innocent archetype. The innocent seeks to do things the right way—free of corruption or influence and works to bring harmony to their lives and those around them. Compared to other archetypes, the innocent promotes positivity and is less likely to rock the boat.
Fleshed out as a person, the innocent archetype would be the general store owner; spending their days promoting small business products and their weekends volunteering at the local dog shelter. They’re dependable and honest, but usually predictable. The overall goal of the innocent is to be happy.
PROMISE: Life doesn’t have to be hard, keep it simple.
CORE DESIRE: Experience paradise
GOAL: To be happy
FEAR: Doing something wrong that will provoke punishment
STRATEGY: Do things right
GIFT: Faith and optimism
MOTIVATION: Independence and fulfilment
The Innocent Archetype at a Glance
The innocent archetype leans heavily into simplicity. They are motivated by feeling fulfilled and can be trusted to always do things right as they have proven to do so time and time again. Commonly found in companies like non-profit organizations, churches, local general stores, and organic or natural products, the innocent archetype may promote sentiments of wholesomeness and sincerity.
A strong example of the innocent is Tom Hanks as Forrest Gump. A dependable character who valued happiness and friendship and sought no gain other than companionship. Forrest exhibited a feeling of nostalgia and lived his life in immense simplicity.
The Innocent Archetype in Business
Innocent brands will usually market themselves with soft imagery, muted colors, and a clear, honest message—leaving the consumer with feelings of safety and comfort. This brand wants to inspire you to take a step back and seek happiness in the simplicity of life. Images conveying moments of peacefulness and nostalgia are commonly used in this archetype’s marketing. Common image subjects include nature, animals, and moments of nostalgia or togetherness.
Work culture within an innocent brand will be solely focused on honesty and dependability. There may be a lack of innovation and change, but a strong emphasis on getting it right over and over again with little room for error. Those with an eye for details and organization will thrive in this type of environment.
Levels of the Innocent Archetype
Each of the 12 different archetypes can be expressed in scaled rankings of intensity represented by three levels. Level one is less mature where level 3 is the furthest developed.
Level 1: The innocent archetype is expressed through the belief that they deserve complete happiness.
Level 2: The innocent is focused on shifting their life and mindset to develop a path to a simple, happier life.
Level 3: The innocent is a believer that happiness comes from within.
Examples of Innocent Brands
With popular brand messages like “It’s a real thing” and “open happiness”, the Coca-Cola brand is the perfect example of the innocent archetype. Often depicting moments of simplicity, Coca-Cola encourages consumers to find fulfillment in the everyday moments that matter like spending time with family and friends.
Muted colors, natural imagery, and simple messaging are all consistent within Aveeno’s branding. Aveeno emphasizes the natural ingredients found in its products to communicate that their skincare can be trusted by the consumer. In their marketing efforts, Aveeno frequently depicts people enjoying simple daily activities and encourages viewers to “Get Skin Happy.”
Volkswagen leans into being light-hearted and wants you to “Get in. Get Happy.” Yes, they’re selling you a car, but they’re also selling you the happiness that comes with the simple act of riding in that car—in the most obvious way.
Its very name embodies the purity and simplicity associated with a dove. Dove uses predominantly white in its marketing and employs campaigns like the campaign for real beauty and Dove real beauty sketches. They are committed to honesty and realness which is very apparent in their messaging.
Where Does Your Brand Fit In?
If you’re thinking your company might not be a Hero brand, check out the remaining 11 archetypes to see where you fit in! You may be surprised to see what archetype your brand resonates with.
–Written by Caitlin Rostampour