Brand Archetypes: The Rebel
The Rebel archetype can be best described as a disruptive force that aims to shake up the day-to-day, whether it be for selfish reasons or to improve the lives of others. At their worst, rebels lash out in anger when taking offense to something, and are empowered by others fearing them. At their best, rebels can make people feel uncomfortable with the status quo in hopes of inspiring change for the better. For example, civil rights activists seek to disrupt the norm and inspire a productive change.
The rebel also seeks to expose society’s taboos by tapping into the darker side of human nature. Any brand that seeks to disrupt the system, put out radical new ideas, or distance themselves from societal norms would be considered a rebel.
PROMISE: Rules were made to be broken.
CORE DESIRE: Revolution.
GOAL: Destroy what doesn’t work.
FEAR: Being powerless.
STRATEGY: Disrupt, destroy, or shock.
GIFT: Radical Freedom.
The Rebel Archetype at a Glance
The rebel archetype is often seen in motorcycle dealers, edgy clothing companies, activists, and anywhere a company is looking to question the norm. It can also be recognized in media and entertainment including movies such as Wolverine, Guardians of the Galaxy, and Robin Hood. These movies are all about rebelling against a flawed system and seeking to overthrow it for a better life.
The rebel archetype can best be seen in the fictional character, Robin Hood. Robin Hood is a hooded vigilante whose mission is to steal from the rich and give to the poor. Robin is considered a Rebel because he is revolting against the ruling class to improve the circumstances of the poor.
Levels of the Rebel 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: Identifying as an outsider and pulling away from conventional society.
Level 2: Engaging in shocking or disruptive behavior.
Level 3: Becoming a revolutionary.
Examples of Rebel Brands
MTV started as a television program looking to break the boring cycle of shows on cable television. They started airing shows such as Silent Library, Parental Control, and played the newest wave of music that most adults disliked. However, because of the way MTV shook up the world of pop culture, many new forms of entertainment are accepted.
Harley Davidson is usually the first thing to pop in your head when you think of a Rebel brand. Harley Davidson’s brand represents freedom from the regular rules of society. The feeling of freedom that comes with breaking away from the world to go ride is the feeling of freedom that Rebels are often chasing.
Mountain Dew is often remembered due to their “less than normal” advertisements. Mountain Dew is a brand that looks to peak people’s interest and promotes doing what you want, hence the slogan “Do the Dew”. Through a variety of intriguing commercials and sponsorships of extreme sports Mountain Dew has most certainly broken away from the norms of society.
When you think of a Rebel, PayPal is likely the last thing you think of. However, PayPal was the first company that made digitally exchanging funds safe, and easy. At the time it was a radical idea but has since become a regular application in people’s lives. In particular, their campaign slogan “The new money in town” challenges the idea of regular printed money with a new digital payment method.
Where Does Your Brand Fit In?
If you think your brand may not fit into the Rebel archetype check out the remaining 11 archetypes and see where your brand fits in best. You might be interested to see who your brand aligns with.