Brand Archetypes: The Hero

From the forthcoming book, Mass Behaving: Unlocking the Secrets of Shifting Behaviors with Archetypes. Learn more here. 

The Hero archetype is perhaps one of the most well-known or familiar archetypes. As a part of the "Change the World" quadrant in the family of archetypes, the Hero seeks to make an impact for the greater good. We've come across the Hero in many ways throughout the history of humanity. But how it manifests in brands is quite interesting. Dig in to learn more.


At the core of the Hero archetype lies an unquenchable thirst for significance and a fervent desire to make a positive impact on the world. They are driven by an innate sense of duty, an unyielding moral compass, and an insatiable need to confront adversity head-on. The Hero's motivations are deeply rooted in their belief that they have the power to enact change and bring about justice.


King Arthur: The legendary King Arthur, of Arthurian mythology, exemplifies the Hero archetype. He embarks on a quest to unite his kingdom and establish the noble Knights of the Round Table. His motivation lies in his vision of a just and harmonious realm.

Harry Potter: The titular character from J.K. Rowling's series is another prime example. Harry's motivation is driven by his responsibility to vanquish the dark wizard Voldemort, safeguarding both the wizarding world and his loved ones from the forces of evil.

Wonder Woman: Diana Prince, also known as Wonder Woman, embodies the Hero archetype with a motivation to protect the innocent and uphold justice. Her mission is fueled by an unwavering commitment to bringing peace to the world.

Brand Examples

Heroic brands are all around. As one of the most prevalent archetypes in human history, Hero brands can be found in every industry. Here are some such brands as an example:

Nike: Mostly everyone in the world is familiar with Nike’s brand slogan, Just Do It. What’s less familiar is their brand Purpose: to move the world forward through the power of sport. Clearly a heroic statement motivated by the change agent quadrant. Nike’s products serve as the tools to realize your highest potential and their marketing motivates in ways just as unforgettable as their timeless slogan.

Microsoft: With a purpose of “empower[ing] every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more,” it’s clear and obvious what makes Microsoft a true Hero brand. Empowerment is a profound offering for those looking to change the world and fight against adversity and injustice. Microsoft supplies the software and tools to do it.

Sea Shepherd Conservation Society: You may have seen them on television. This group is a force for good in true heroic fashion. Their mission is to protect and conserve the world’s oceans and marine wildlife. And they do so with attitude and zeal. Sea Shepherd volunteers don’t back down. They tap the heroic hearts in us all as they strive to save the planet’s marine life and the oceans themselves.


Courage Unbounded: Heroes possess a reservoir of courage that inspires awe. They willingly confront fear and danger, becoming beacons of bravery that encourage others to rise above their own apprehensions.

Moral Clarity: Heroes possess an unshakable moral code, serving as guiding lights in times of moral ambiguity. Their unwavering sense of right and wrong provides a sense of direction in turbulent times.

Resilience Incarnate: Heroes rebound from adversity with unyielding determination. Their resilience is a testament to their unwavering commitment to their cause, making them formidable in the face of adversity.

Inspiration for All: The Hero's actions inspire others to believe in themselves and their ability to overcome seemingly insurmountable odds. Their victories fuel hope, fostering a collective spirit of determination and perseverance.

Selflessness Supreme: Heroes prioritize the welfare of others above their own. Their altruistic acts of heroism, from saving lives to making personal sacrifices for the greater good, showcase the pinnacle of selflessness.


Hubris Haunting: The same courage that propels Heroes can sometimes lead to arrogance and overconfidence. They might underestimate challenges or make rash decisions, endangering themselves and those they seek to protect.

Tunnel Vision Trouble: Heroes' unwavering focus on their mission can result in tunnel vision, causing them to neglect other crucial aspects of their lives or overlook alternative solutions to problems.

Risk's Siren Call: Their proclivity for risk-taking can lead to unnecessary danger. Heroes may plunge headlong into perilous situations, placing themselves and others at risk due to their relentless pursuit of their objectives.

Isolated Hearts: The Hero's commitment often results in personal isolation. They may struggle with personal relationships as they prioritize their heroic duties, leaving them to grapple with loneliness.

Burnout Beckons: The relentless pursuit of heroism can lead to burnout. Heroes may find themselves physically and emotionally exhausted from the ceaseless pressure to perform at superhuman levels, with the weight of the world resting on their shoulders.

To shore it up, the Hero archetype is a beacon of courage, morality, and inspiration. While their strengths are admirable, their Challenges remind us of their humanity, making them relatable and complex characters in the grand narrative of life and storytelling.

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