The Explorer Brand Archetype

The Explorer Archetype is one of 12 brand personas that allow businesses to shape their visuals and messaging in a recognizable, relatable way. When your audience understands your brand, they can get to know and trust you. And as we all know, connections makes sales! 

Brand archetypes are one of my favorite ways to shape and build brands. Psychologist Carl Jung actually coined the idea of brand archetypes and came up with the 4 main categories of personas that encompass personality traits. In the years since, various branding experts have subdivided those into 12 categories that will bring out the best in your brand. 

Finding your own archetype will help you appeal to your ideal clients. Spoiler alert: they’re probably the people who would personally identify with the same archetype your brand presents. You can take a quiz to determine your brand archetype, or you can read along here to learn more about the 12 brand archetypes. Today, we’re kicking things off the The Explorer archetype. 

The Explorer Archetype: An Overview 

Explorers are all about cultivating freedom and independence. They want to experience an authentic and fulfilling life. If you’re an explorer, you probably love the idea of an unconventional life, and you don’t want to be boxed in or tied down. You’re ambitious, authentic, adventurous, and you love looking for new experiences. Explorers are often travelers, but they don’t need to be: you can explore new ideas without ever changing your location on the map. 

The Explorer May Also Be Known As

The title of this persona may not feel totally right to you if you don’t often hit the trails or travel around the world. Don’t worry – the Explorer archetype is really about a mindset, not a hobby or behavior! This persona can also be called: 

  • Seeker
  • Iconoclast 
  • Adventurer 
  • Pilgrim 
  • Wanderer 
  • Quester 

The Explorer Brand Atmosphere (i.e. Visuals and Aesthetics) 

Brands with The Explorer archetype typically highlight earthy colors and rugged textures. These brands often focus heavily on nature and finding new experiences in the great outdoors. When it comes to color palettes, you’ll often see Explorer brands use greens along with wood tones and textures. Alternatively, you might see a focus on the urban jungle – think grey shades, stone, and repeating geometric patterns (also found in nature).

The Explorer Archetype Brand Voice & Messaging 

Your brand voice is self-sufficient without being domineering, brave without being reckless, and open minded about just about everything. When clients interact with your brand, they should feel fully alive. Share your archetype in your brand by taking your audience on a journey with you over time, sharing your unconventional approaches to life or work, and by bringing them along as you travel or experience new things. 

The Explorer Archetype Client 

Explorer clients want to feel cultured and adventurous. They love to stand out for their unique lifestyles, but they don’t want to feel like aimless risk-takers (not the rebel archetype here). Your brand can steer that restless, high-energy vibe into purposeful living and authentic connection! Remind your audience that exploring isn’t meant to make them feel isolated – it’s meant to help them discover who they truly are, and to invite others to do the same. 

Your Brand Is Likely A Fit for The Explorer Archetype If: 

  • Your product or service helps people feel free or is pioneering 
  • You sell a product that is rugged in nature and easy to use on the road or ‘on the go’
  • You help people find what makes them unique as individuals 
  • You are not trying to conform or identify with everyone (that would be The Human archet) 

Well-Known Explorer Brands

Jeep • Timberland • Patagonia • The North Face • Starbucks

Well-Known Explorer Characters

Indiana Jones • Bear Grylls • Alex Honnold 

My Clients Who Identified with The Explorer Archetype: 

Craft Your Wild  • Miranda Marquit  • Lauren Still Living

The Explorer archetype actually is my secondary archetype! It often informs my brand visuals and voice (I’m even living that nomad life)!