Brand Archetypes: The Ruler
The Ruler archetype, in contrast to the Outlaw, seeks to prevent chaos by taking control. Rulers are defined by their need for security and order, they strive to gain and retain power. A stickler for policies, they enjoy the rigidity of procedures and frown upon bending the rules. The Ruler sees itself as the role model for others to follow and seeks to provide leadership.
Like other archetypes, this archetype exists with varying degrees of how the Ruler expresses itself. At their best, Rulers seek to provide for those in need and look to be a leader for them. At their worst, the Ruler is ruthless and power-hungry—seeking to gain control by any means. In between these two extremes is a wide spectrum of ways the Ruler expresses itself.
PROMISE: Power makes the world go ‘round
CORE DESIRE: Control.
GOAL: Create prosperity and success.
FEAR: Chaos and being dethroned.
STRATEGY: Exert leadership.
GIFT: Responsibility and leadership.
The Ruler Archetype at a Glance
The ruler archetype is often seen in industries such as security, finance, tech, and government. They also are evident in industries offering high-end products. The marketing efforts that surround these types of brands draw on people’s needs to feel important, empowered, and safe. The imagery associated with these brands is often classical, noble, and proper.
The culture of a Ruler brand is very structured and follows a clear hierarchy. As one could expect from a Ruler, they maintain an orderly office environment. Most of these brands are slow to make decisions due to their long chain of command and tend to grow slowly by acquiring smaller competitors.
Levels of the Ruler 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: Taking responsibility for one’s own life.
Level 2: Being a leader of a family or group.
Level 3: Becoming a leader of government or community.
Examples of Ruler Brands
Qantas is a well-known leader in air travel. For multiple years in a row, Qantas has been awarded the safest airline by airlineratings.com. Over the years Qantas has been one of the largest airlines around the world to never have a safety issue. Their consistent boasting of this places Qantas in the Ruler archetype.
Verizon touts that there is “only one number one”, and they are it. They back this claim with consistent and accurate data that put them in the Ruler archetype. However, over the years as they’ve grown into a Ruler, they have received some bad press for semi-tyrannical behavior and mistreating the little guys.
Mercedes Benz includes their tagline “The best or nothing” in almost all their messaging. What Mercedes is implying is that no matter what, they are going to build the best car. They have the goods to back their messaging too. Mercedes Benz has developed an almost soundproof reputation for producing high end, safe, and dependable cars.
Microsoft has been growing non-stop since Bill Gates started the company. Early on in their rise to power, they were considered untrustworthy and predatory due to their aggressive growth strategy. As Microsoft has aged, they have become less of a bully and more of a leader in their field. However, some still think Microsoft is continuing to expand its monopoly.
Where Does Your Brand Fit In?
If you think your brand might not fit into the Ruler archetype check out the remaining 11 archetypes and see where your brand fits in best. You might be surprised to see who your brand fits in with.