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A hero brand in the brain: Re-Positioning neuroflash through AI powered neuromarketing

Table of contents

Why Brand Positioning is Important

In today’s fast-moving market, brand positioning is more critical than ever for staying relevant and competitive. As consumer expectations and preferences shift, brands must adapt their identity and messaging to maintain strong mental availability—the ease with which a brand comes to mind when a consumer is ready to make a purchase.1

This article delves into how neuroflash, an innovator in the realm of AI-empowered neuromarketing, is leveraging brand archetypes in its repositioning strategy. The purpose is to stand apart from rivals and establish stronger emotional bonds with their target audience.

Strategic positioning involves defining a brand’s rational and emotional benefits and aligning its identity with current consumer expectations, preferences, and trends. As these factors evolve, brands must update their positioning to maintain a competitive edge. Taco Bell, for example, shifted its positioning from cheap Mexican food to a youth lifestyle brand, embodying the Rebel archetype, which resonates with their desire for uniqueness.

Similarly, McDonald’s updated its positioning to focus on healthier menu options and a modern restaurant ambiance—showcasing the Hero archetype by aiming to conquer the challenge of healthier fast food. These examples demonstrate how adapting to the consumer Zeitgeist can significantly enhance a brand’s market position.

In our digital age, the value of mental availability, the prompt recall of a brand when a consumer need arises, has escalated due to the omnipresence of online channels and fierce competition for attention. It’s imperative for digital-born brands like neuroflash, without the advantage of longstanding brand recognition, to establish and sustain mental availability to keep consumer attention.

Studies reflect that mental availability considerably impacts brand growth and market shares. A study by Kantar Millward Brown found brands with robust mental availability increased their market shares by an average of 6.5% over a year, outperforming brands with weaker mental availability who averaged a growth of only 1.5%.2 Another study by Nielsen disclosed that 59% of consumers are more likely to try new products from brands they recognize, underlining the significance of mental availability in customer purchase decisions and boosting sales.3 Digital brands, such as neuroflash, can leverage strategies that amplify mental availability, and are thereby better poised to gain a larger piece of the online market and compete against familiar brands.

Mental availability concerns the brand’s presence in the consumer’s mind.4 It entails how a brand jumps into the mind whenever a need state emerges. For example, Nike, embodying the archetype of the Ruler, strives to make you see it as the top-of-mind brand whenever someone needs new jogging shoes. To develop this reflex, it’s important to differentiate the brand from competitors vying for the same mental space.

Predicting what jumps to mind is core to neuroflash’s branding strategy. Over the years, neuroflash technology has helped many successful brands increase their mental availability. By predicting consumers’ subconscious preferences and associations, neuroflash helps unlock insights that traditional marketing research methods often fail to reveal. These insights inspire communication with a consistent, unified “feel” for a brand’s personality, building the memory structures needed for top-of-mind dominance.

As stated in this Forbes article, emphasizing uniqueness is crucial for branding; copying an established competitor like Apple, for instance, won’t make you stand out. With appeal and relevance being paramount, the focus should be on positioning the brand around client priorities, using the right archetype to foster an emotional connection. Consistency in brand positioning is also essential, requiring a thoughtful long-term approach. Lastly, credibility is central to establishing trust with customers; hence, brands should adopt a truthful and emotionally connected approach that resonates with their clients’ values and helps to personify the brand in the minds of people around the world.

Personality Archetypes – a framework for positioning 

Carl Jung’s archetypes provide a model for understanding how brands connect with our emotions. For those unfamiliar with this terminology, an archetype refers to a meaning system that is universally, subconsciously understood—no thinking required. When exposed to an archetype, everybody instantly feels the same emotions. Archetypes come in various forms; for example, the sun can be referred to as an archetype. Or, consider Dr. Joseph Campbell, the late, great Harvard Professor, whose study of world mythology revealed that all great stories are based on the same archetypal narrative structure (the Hero’s Journey). This article focuses on how to position your brand on an archetypal personality.

A great example of a personality archetype is Darth Vader. One glance at this character triggers an instantaneous association of evil across all ages, cultures, and audiences. Even dogs cower upon his arrival. The advantage for marketing is clear: archetypes help you move the masses! Emotionally, not rationally. By aligning your brand strategy with a personality archetype, your communication becomes more coherent, impactful, and recognizable. When an ad is charged with the power of an archetype, everyone instantly connects with the intended emotional meaning of the brand, which leads to higher engagement (in a world of declining attention spans), better branding, and an improved brand-consumer relationship. The consequence: A brand’s top-of-mind availability increases, helping to make the brand a ruler in its category.

Here is a brief overview of Jungian archetypes that lend themselves to building a brand’s personality:

Shifting a brand’s archetypal alignment can be a powerful but challenging endeavor. A successful shift allows the brand to tap into new emotional associations and expand its appeal, while an unsuccessful one risks confusing or alienating existing customers.

For example, Old Spice successfully shifted from a tired, old-fashioned brand to an irreverent, humorous one aligned with the Jester archetype through its popular “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like” campaign.5 The ads used absurdist humor to breathe new life into the brand while still emphasizing the core benefit of pleasant scent. In contrast, Radio Shack’s attempt to rebrand itself as “The Shack” failed to resonate, coming across as inauthentic and lacking a clear archetype.6

When considering an archetypal shift, brands must first have a clear understanding of how they are currently perceived and whether that aligns with an established archetype. Shifts that build upon existing brand traits and values will likely be more successful than those that feel disconnected. Any shift should be supported with consistent messaging and customer experience at all touchpoints.7

Brands must also consider whether a new archetype aligns with the preferences and values of their target customers. For example, a brand with an older, traditional customer base is unlikely to embrace a sudden shift to the irreverent Outlaw archetype. Customer research can uncover which archetypes the brand can credibly adopt. Ultimately, the brand must strike a balance between novelty and authenticity, using a well-defined archetype to guide all aspects of brand expression.8

But why use archetypes to guide your brand position?

Translate Brand Archetypes into mind share via content alignment

Choosing a unique brand archetype aids in directing content decisions, prompting the reader to question if their brand communication strategy aligns with their unique narrative – is it telling the right stories, striking the right tone, and engaging the relevant topics to enhance brand recall? Each archetype carries its own interactive tapestry of narratives, belief systems, vocabulary, and visuals, which work to inspire and challenge the creation and presentation of content. 

This engagement with the archetype not only shapes the “how” of content generation but also assures that the brand messaging remains consistent across all marketing platforms. Brands are encouraged to craft vivid guidelines that detail the colors, imagery, tone, and messaging that reflects their chosen archetype. Prompting the reader to consider: Does this alignment ensure a cohesive brand experience across all consumer interaction points, be it social media, websites, advertisements, or even in-store displays?

For example, Apple’s sleek, minimalist designs and “Think Different” messaging consistently reinforce its Creator archetype across touchpoints.9 Similarly, Nike maintains alignment with the Hero archetype in everything from its stirring television ads celebrating athletes’ triumphs to in-store displays featuring action shots of people pushing their limits.10

As consumer behaviour evolves, brands may need to find new ways to express their archetypes that resonate with shifting preferences and priorities. The COVID-19 pandemic, for example, appears to be driving a desire for brands that provide a sense of safety, stability, and comfort.11 Brands aligned with the Innocent archetype, with its emphasis on simplicity and wholesomeness, or the Caregiver archetype’s focus on nurturing and protection may be particularly well-positioned to connect with today’s consumers.

By maintaining alignment across all aspects of the brand experience while adapting to digital platforms and shifting consumer needs, brands can fully leverage the enduring power of archetypes. Having established the importance of mental availability and the role of archetypes in brand positioning, let’s delve into how neuroflash applied these principles to its own repositioning efforts.

Case Study: Neuroflash Positioning

To bring this to life, let’s look at how we, at neuroflash; used our own medicine to use archetype branding to drive distinctive relevance in the category of Generative AI Content Tools.

Neuroflash Technology

Our journey starts with the technology of emotion and association analysis – a fusion of data science and neuro-psychology, built on the solid foundation of large-scale language models and online survey data. Is your brand leveraging the science of word association, deeply rooted in the psychological comprehension of subconscious human responses to phrases and words? Neuroflash creates semantic models that predict emotional and associative reactions to words by dissecting data from various sources like social and mass media.

Human brains instinctively learn associations in the real world through a process described as “what fires together, wires together”. It implies that our brains have become proficient at predicting associated words – an evolutionary survival mechanism for swift responses. Does your brand storytelling prompt your audience to instinctively complete sentences like “Nike – Just do _“?

This process works based on our brains subconsciously filling voids to create probable meanings and is similar to the rapid fight-flight response triggered by the limbic brain system in threatening situations. Such reactions create semantic memory structures, or Distinctive Brand Assets, which connect specific phrases or narratives to a brand. For instance, might your brand have associations as impactful as Nike’s “Just Do It” that reflects the hero’s journey narrative, leaving no space for association with any other brand?

Semantic Space Definition

Coming back to our case study, we used Large Language Models (LLMs) to capture implicit biases and associations in the broader context of content-generation. We started by creating the “Semantic Space Definition”; we gathered a list of words and terms directly linked to content creation, such as “writing”, “creativity”, “advertisement,”, “social media” etc. This exploration extended to the feelings and hurdles associated with these activities, like the desire for expression, the pursuit of audience engagement, consistency, and authenticity. This exercise identified over a thousand relevant words.

Competitive Landscape and Archetypal Analysis

Next, we analyzed our competitors and a few archetypes that already resonated with our team, including the everyman, the magician, and the hero. By examining our rivals’ websites and slogans, we gained insights into the images and brand archetypes they project, often positioning themselves as innovators transforming ideas into content. This led to the realization that neuroflash would struggle to differentiate itself by projecting attributes associated with innovation and transformation.

In addition to leveraging Carl Jung’s archetypes, we introduced an “ideal” archetype. This “ideal” archetype emerged from an extensive workshop with Kochstrasse. The ideal-archetype helped us align our core values and our vision for effective communication in an AI-driven world, emphasizing authenticity and continuous growth.

Association Networks and Sweet Spot Identification

With a rich dataset at hand, we constructed implicit association networks. These visual maps highlight the strengths of different brands and archetypes within the network. A pivotal outcome was the identification of a ‘sweet spot’. The sweet spot Venn Diagram below illustrates the ideal convergence of associations that are emotionally positive, relevant to AI-driven content creation, and aligned with our ideal brand archetype.

Full results with graphics.

Hero Archetype Development

The distinctive words located within this sweet spot were instrumental in crafting our unique hero archetype.

AI OnlyAI + Human Edit
Words wield the power to shape the future
Into this world, a Hero is born with talent and passion. Embodying the dream that messages can connect with the heart of any audience. With the ability to predict the impact of words, this Hero crafts narratives that are a companion on the journey towards understanding and shaping your story.
This Hero empowers everyone and stands as a beacon of meaning and authenticity, a power to enlighten with a strong vision. More than just an AI content writer; neuroflash embodies the dream that the right words, are stronger than any sword. Guiding towards a future where every voice is heard, and your story can change the world.
Words wield the power to shape the future.
More than just another Al content writer, neuroflash embodies the dream that the right words are stronger than any sword!
Let neuroflash help you connect With the heart of your audience. By predicting the impact of your words, neuroflash helps you on your journey to shaping your Story, one that stands as a beacon of meaning and authenticity, With the power to enlighten your audience With your vision.

The Hero: A Distinctive Archetypal Mission for neuroflash

Neuroflash’s decision to model its brand personality around the Hero archetype helps it carve a unique position in the bustling content marketing field, diverging from competitors like Jasper, ChatGPT, and Anyword, who lean towards the Magician archetype with a focus on creativity, technology, and innovation. How does your brand stand out in a crowded marketplace?

Embodying the Hero archetype enables neuroflash to resonate with our clients’ experiences of personal growth through challenges, emphasising honour, truth, and perseverance. This creates a deep and unique emotional bond between neuroflash and its clients, proving words can indeed be mightier than swords. Are your brand’s characteristics fostering a strong emotional connection with your clientele?

The Hero archetype represents bravery, transformation, and determination, serving as a guide for inspired storytelling and the creation of empathetic human connections. It encapsulates the universal tale of overcoming obstacles to fulfil one’s destiny. How does your brand’s archetype communicate your story?

By embodying the subconscious traits of the Hero archetype, neuroflash elevates beyond just technological prowess, becoming an advocate for human growth and transformation. Are your archetype traits transcending the utilitarian perspective of your brand? Through the processes of projection and mirroring, we found that we can activate the Hero archetype at three different levels.

As the “Hero,” the emerging color palette for neuroflash will be vibrant, energetic, with hues conveying vitality and inspiration. Across its website and product interface, neuroflash should employ imagery of individuals in moments of pursuing a noble cause, perseverance, and triumph, thus reinforcing the idea of the user as the hero of their journey.

Beyond aesthetics, neuroflash can aim to express the “Hero” archetype through its customer experience. Following the narrative structure of Joseph Campbell’s Hero’s Journey, the onboarding process of neuroflash can be framed as follows:

In summary, by championing the values of the hero archetype, neuroflash invites its users to embark on a narrative journey that transcends the ordinary, fostering a sense of deep connection and loyalty.

Well-known brands like Nike, Apple, and Red Bull have also used the hero archetype to build loyal fan bases, leveraging themes of courage, victory and the pushing of personal boundaries.

The Power of Archetype Branding in the Age of AI

Brand positioning remains a critical aspect for companies striving to stay relevant and competitive in today’s rapidly evolving market. As consumer expectations and trends continue to shift, brands must adapt their image and messaging to maintain a strong mental availability – the ease with which a brand comes to mind when a consumer is ready to make a purchase.12

Neuroflash is demonstrating the effectiveness of leveraging brand archetypes to create deeper emotional connections with target audiences. By analysing implicit associations and identifying the Hero archetype as the ideal fit for their brand, neuroflash aims to differentiate itself from competitors like Jasper, ChatGPT, and Anyword, who primarily focus on the Magician archetype’s emphasis on creativity and innovation.13

As we look towards the future, the integration of advanced AI technologies with neuromarketing techniques is expected to change brand repositioning strategies. The increasing sophistication of language models and sentiment analysis tools will enable brands to gain even more granular insights into consumer preferences, associations, and emotions. This, in turn, will allow for hyper-consistent brand experiences that resonate across channels.

However, as the marketing landscape becomes increasingly data-driven and automated, brands must also prioritise authenticity and ethical practices. Consumers are growing more aware of data privacy concerns and are seeking brands that align with their values.14 Therefore, successful brand repositioning in the age of AI will require a delicate balance between leveraging cutting-edge technology and maintaining a genuine, human-centric approach. As you could see with the Brand concept, AI + Human edit resulted in a better concept than AI was able to write on its own.

In conclusion, neuroflash’s application of AI-powered neuromarketing with the framework of Brand archetypes sets a compelling precedent for the future of brand positioning. As technology continues to advance and consumer expectations evolve, brands that harness the power of new technologies and old wisdom to create authentic, emotionally resonant experiences will be well-positioned to achieve long-term growth and success.

Neuroflash’s repositioning offers a compelling case study in navigating this balancing act. By combining advanced neuromarketing technology with the enduring power of brand archetypes, neuroflash seeks to differentiate itself through a data-guided, yet emotionally authentic brand identity. As the “Hero,” neuroflash invites its users to tap into their potential and shares in their journey of transformation.

When it comes to finding words more powerful than swords, just neuroflash it!

  1. Sharp, Byron. How brands grow. Melbourne, Oxford University Press, 2010. 
  2. Kantar Millward Brown, “The Power of Mental Availability,” 2017. ↩︎
  3. Nielsen, “Global New Product Innovation Survey,” 2015. ↩︎
  4. Sharp, Byron. How brands grow. Melbourne, Oxford University Press, 2010. 
  5. Neff, J. (2010). “How Much Old Spice Body Wash Has the Old Spice Guy Sold?” Ad Age, July 26, 2010. 
  6. Carr, A. (2009). “Radio Shack Rebrands as “The Shack”. Fast Company, August 4, 2009. https://www.fastcompany.com/1325206/radio-shack-rebrands-shack
  7. Berthon et al., 2009 ↩︎
  8. Mark, M., & Pearson, C. S. (2001). The hero and the outlaw: Building extraordinary brands through the power of archetypes. McGraw Hill Professional.
  9. Holt, D. B. (2004). How brands become icons: The principles of cultural branding. Harvard Business Press.
  10. Mark, M., & Pearson, C. S. (2001). The hero and the outlaw: Building extraordinary brands through the power of archetypes. McGraw Hill Professional.
  11. Rogers, 2020 ↩︎
  12. Sharp, Byron. How brands grow. Melbourne, Oxford University Press, 2010. 
  13. Mark, M., & Pearson, C. S. (2001). The hero and the outlaw: Building extraordinary brands through the power of archetypes. McGraw Hill Professional.
  14. Berthon et al., 2009 ↩︎

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