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The hero

eivind holum
The hero

The Hero

The Hero archetype is all about rising to the challenge, overcoming hindrances, achieving certain objectives, and inspiring others. No matter what, the Hero is determined to sacrifice it all to make his mark, and it is this characteristic that makes it all the more appealing.

Although comic book superheroes personify this archetype, the Hero is around us in real life as well. For instance, individuals such as Michael Jordan along with Nelson Mandela and brands such as Nike and BMW all exemplify what the archetype hero is all about.

The Hero in Organizations

The Hero archetype naturally fits philanthropic organizations or businesses that have corporate social responsibility as a core value. Achievement-orientation, having high standards, and being dedicated are characteristics of the organizational culture of a Hero brand. Such qualities bolster overcoming challenges and fuels a passion for making a difference.

4 Shades of the Hero

Although not fifty the Hero does have certain shades or in other words, sub-archetypes with differing characteristics. They are as follows:

•       Hero: The Hero is representative of strength, mettle, conviction, and penance. The Hero lives to vanquish difficulty and will defeat incredible odds to facilitate change for the better.

•       Athlete: The Athlete's objectives rotate around physical capacity and mental focus. Restrained and achievement-oriented, the Athlete is persevering in the quest of his goal. The craving to be better, faster and more significant is typical for this sub-archetype. Examples include Nike, Adidas, PUMA, and all other sports brands.

•       Rescuer: The Rescuer swoops in with utmost bravery to help other people in need. With the gift of intuitive sensibilities and snappy reflexes, the Rescuer turns into a recognizable personality in desperate conditions. The Red Cross is an example of the Rescuer sub-archetype at a higher level, providing disaster relief and emergency response in critical situations.

•       Liberator: Battling for the benefit of the disappointed and feeble, the Liberator is a boss for philanthropic rights, equality, and equity. Examples include The International Labor Organization, which exists to promote social justice, human, and labor rights. Amnesty International, which works to raise voice against human rights violation around the world is also another example.

The Hero in Branding    

The Hero brand archetype encourages individuals to be everything they can be. It takes care of noteworthy social issues and urges others to play their part in society. It has a reasonable rival – a dark horse or a challenger brand – that needs to be beaten. Hero brand is solid and enables individuals to do intense jobs extraordinarily well, but it should be separated from contenders that have issues following through on their commitments or staying faithful to their obligations. The customers of Hero brand archetype consider themselves to be great and upstanding residents that make a positive imprint on the world.

Let’s look at a couple of examples of brands that exude the Hero’s qualities:


In the long list of the numerous Hero brands, Nike stands at the top. It’s motto, "Just do it" encourages people to take chances. Nike emphasizes on the point that nothing will happen except if you take action and accomplish it. Disregarding size, shape or age, Nike motivates people to do what they want as it characterizes an athlete as anybody with a body.


Surely, you would have seen BMW’s adverts in which they urge you to never shy away from taking risks but instead to confront your fears as well as apprehensions and become the seeker. Rousing you to take action and explore, BMW makes full use of the Hero archetype to deliver it’s message just as an impeccable vehicle drifts through hindrances and defeats a media divider with negative words, for example, 'no', 'stop' and 'failure'.

They are perking you to make up your psyche and become the person who 'dares'.

So, what did we learn?

We have seen how the Hero archetype is present all around us in brands and how it continues to affect us as well as encourage us to buy certain products. The Hero tries to make a mark on the world through his actions and is brave enough to do so. Brands that use this archetype inspire their customers to become improved versions of themselves. 

We saw how iconic multi-national brands such as BMW and Nike instil these beliefs through their marketing campaigns and have become very successful because of it. One thing is for sure; this particular archetype is here to stay.