I have done a little bit of acting in my life, and have learned that acting often involves removing aspects of yourself and replacing them with aspects of your character. Just like donning a mask to cover parts of your head.
Perhaps the character you are playing as an actor may be dramatically different from your own self. To my knowledge, Carroll O’Connor did not insult non-white people like his character Archie Bunker did.
Yet at the same time, the character necessarily acquired some traits from the actor, and the actor identified with the character.
When we spoke to (O’Connor) prior to his death, he explained to us that he constantly had to battle writers who thought they understood the character better than he did.From https://www.hollywoodoutbreak.com/2022/09/13/carroll-oconnor-the-burdens-of-being-archie-bunker/
But this post is not about “All in the Family.” It’s about “All in the Business.”
When a business’ archetype is not your own
I’ve previously written about archetypes before, in the August 2021 post “Why is Kaye Putnam happy that I’m IGNORING her marketing advice?” That post describes how I took an online test to see which of twelve brand archetypes matched the personality of Bredemarket, and also myself. The results clearly showed that I was primarily aligned with the Sage archetype.
For those unfamiliar with the Sage archetype, Kaye Putnam explains:
Primary Goal of the Sage Brand Archetype: To understand the world and teach others what you know. To seek and share the truth.From https://www.kayeputnam.com/brand-archetype-sage/
So when left to my own devices, I tend to get somewhat curious, investigative, and explanatory.
But we can’t always be left to our own devices, and sometimes I have to don the mask of a different archetype.
Such as a maverick.
No, not that guy. THIS guy.
(Ignore the political ramifications. Stay with me here.)
So how do you doff a “Sage” mask and don a “Maverick” mask, or perform some other archetype switch?
You need to understand the brand archetype you are targeting, and consciously adapt your communication to fit that archetype rather than your own.
So perhaps I might write a sentence like this in my normal Sage mode:
Finding the perforations in the wrapper, I carefully unwrapped the ice cream sandwich.
But how would a Maverick open an ice cream sandwich?
Removing the barriers that separated me from the final product, I boldly unwrapped the ice cream sandwich.
In the past, I guess I’ve subconsciously absorbed the tone of voice for a client or employer for whom I was writing, but in most cases I never thought of this in archetype terms.
What is your archetype? And should you care?
So when Bredemarket starts to write something for you, should you fret and fuss over what your archetype is?
If you feel like it. But it’s not essential.
What is essential is that you have some concept of the tone of voice that you want to use in your communication.
And how do you know what tone you want to use? You have to answer some questions.