First, I am a brand professional, and have studied and used archetypes for client branding over more than a decade, starting when I worked for Landor, the sister company of Y&R, which developed the idea of archetypes in branding many years ago. Having said that, I am always looking for refining or expanding my tool set or processes. In that, this book/ toolkit falls short.
- Distills complex archetypal traits into bite-sized easily digestible conversation starters.
- The idea of cards as visual/ verbal tools is a useful concept.
- Easy to read.
- Appreciate attributing archetypes not only to (1) client brands that brand professionals must help brand position (emotional, personality, character, intangible), but also to (2) client audiences/ customers--in order to help bridge interactions between each side.
- Beyond the traditional proven 12 archetypes, the additional 48 spin-off sub-archetypes appear a useful concept in theory. Indeed, it loosely resembles the post-Jung archetype work of Dr. Carol S. Pearson. However...
- The additional 48 archetypes appear more like stereotypes. Some additional archetypes are questionable in content, and do not appear to be proven or valid from a scientific/ psychological standpoint.
- Descriptions overlap across archetypes and newly introduced sub-archetypes, so that in practice the sub-archetypes render both the primary archetypes and sub-archetypes useless and ambiguous. The authors have have gone well beyond creative license with regard to the original Jungian archetypes--and seem to distort the later well-respected Pearson archetypes.
- The book offers no scientific or empirical way to qualify participant responses--nor does it offer any qualifying questions to ask participants that would divine any corresponding archetypal tendencies.
- The artwork on the cards is very disappointing. (a) Either highly biased/ interpretive, or simply arbitrary images; (b) Images are not very original or immediately recognizable. Rather each card appears to be a montage of existing/ rehashed artwork; (c) No distinctive universally recognized archetypal iconography that would trigger definitive responses; Astonishing, especially under the auspices of psychology and branding; Instead, just a crude blur of color, shapes, typography and photos; Feeling the visuals are not the result of any scientific creative exploration.
- The artwork on each card is labeled with the archetype name. Therefore, this is not an unbiased visual exercise as led to believe in the book. Rather, each card's archetype name on the visual side can lead the participant in a biased way beyond the visuals toward the archetype name itself. This renders any visual exercise practically useless.
- Missing what I feel is an important "Matriarch" archetype, that which is "systematic, controlled, organized". One of the first branding firms to pioneer brand archetypes from Jungian psychology, Young & Rubicam, included this archetype (example, Mastercard); Yet no equivalent archetype may be found in Margaret Hartwell's "Archetypes in Branding: A Toolkit for Creatives and Strategists". Granted, Pearson archetypes do not include this archetype either.
- The "toolkit" would have been much better organized in a ringed binder; The wire-bound book is absolutely worthless in terms of organizing, keeping notes, or running a workshop; Physically, this book is absurd as a toolkit.
- Where should we store the cards, once we meticulously one-by-one punch the cards out of the pages? A pouch or other convenient organizer to contain the cards would have been smarter.