Archetypal Kittens

 

Archetypes, colour-wheels and cats.

There’s an infinite number of colours in the world. But they’re all made up of three. Red, yellow and blue are the primary colours from which every other colour is born. These three colours are the building blocks of every rainbow.

Music is similar. Just seven different notes combine in different ways to sing every song. And every book is a complex combo of 26 different letters. And, according to Myers Briggs, every personality is a unique blend of: valuing, visioning, relating and directing.

Myers-Briggs, Carl Jung and Mr Mistoffelees.

Personality theory goes all the way back to the old-dead-shrinks of the 19th Century. Carl Jung was fascinated by the way different people did different things in different situations. Jung is the undisputed father of personality, but he did get a little dark and Freudy on it.

Meanwhile, personality was picked up in a popular way by Katharine Cook Briggs and her daughter, Isabel Briggs-Myers. Their 126 question self-administered ‘quiz’ helped people identify their core personality traits from four fundamental pillars. Answering these questions aligns people into one of 16 different ‘personality types’ – like Mr Mistoffelees – the ‘Logician’.

Why does personality matter in marketing?

Personality profiling can give us a deeper understanding of our customers to help us sell them more stuff. Problem is, who’s going to fill out a survey before buying a tin of beans? 

This was a problem famously solved by Cambridge Analytica. They used the natural narcissism of social media to get people to complete a simplified test called OCEAN. This gave them a deep understanding of someone’s openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness and neuroticism – which they used to swing the Brexit vote and get Trump elected.

The data-science was incredible. Cambridge Analytica basically tripped over by going nuclear on fake news and landing on the wrong side of history.

How does personality work for brands?

Personality types can also help us define brands. They give us a short-hand language to clearly understand ‘who’ a brand ‘feels like’ – and we can use that short-hand to help keep brand personalities consistent. These personalities are often called archetypes. 

Most brand theory drives you back to twelve core personality types – built out of four core pillars: brands that provide structure, explore spirituality, pursue connection and those who want to leave a legacy. Just like humans, these archetypes will never accurately describe the nuance of every brand. But, just like humans, the basic boxes are really helpful in understanding the basics.

How does this relate to cats?

Ultimately, it doesn’t. So we changed that. As luck would have it, there are 16 core personality types and 16 different characters in the world famous musical. So we’ve adopted the journey of Myers-Briggs and crafted some core cat questions. So you can explore the interestingness of personality while discovering which Cats cat are you?

It’s all a bit of fun – and an interesting journey. Because the more we understand different personalities, the better marketers we’ll become. Personalities help us understand our customers, brands and even each other – and the more we know, the better the Hunch.

 

 
Michael Goldthorpe