The Explorer Archetype – Brand Personality Examples

This is a series on brand personality examples.  Learn more about brand personality and the 12 brand personality examples to understand their importance and ubiquity in business. 

The Explorer Archetype

You’re self-sufficient. You’re restlessly ambitious. You take the road less travelled. Summing it up – you’re “the explorer.” Individuality reigns supreme and “The Explorer” is always looking for the freedom to grow and be whoever and wherever they want to be. A strong belief in personal experiences, self-sufficiency and personal growth being achieved through adventure and the joy of discovery characterizes this personality. 

“The Explorer” is ready to start a journey at the drop of a dime, and they want to help their audience achieve the same freedom. This personality doesn’t appeal to the successful layperson. Any noncomforming, non-traditional person is this brand’s primary audience. More than helping them start their next adventure or arrive at their next destination, “The Explorer” is most focused on helping their consumers find and express themselves, no matter their voyage.

“The Explorer’s” brand experience revolves around authenticity. Finding one’s place in the world is difficult enough without being misled by corporations only looking to increase their bottom line. Explorer brands encourage their audience to take risks while providing services and products that help them do so safely by mitigating any possibility of real risk and/or danger. “The Explorer” promises freedom from rigid structure and conformity and lowers the barrier to entry to doing so. 

The Explorer – Personality Profile

Common industry trends:Sports equipment, energy bars/drinks, sports cameras, off-road vehicles
Values: Adventure – Ruggedness, discovery, freedom
Philosophy:Be independent, bold and pioneering – while taking risks, even if it means standing tall and alone.
Fears: Conforming to society and becoming trapped – losing independence

The Explorer – Brand Examples

Products that focus on aiding or helping consumers discover their sense of adventure are well suited to this brand archetype. Equipment, vehicles, gear and even food and beverages can all emulate this personality extremely well – as long as they support their users in their voyages.

Here are a few examples.

Red Bull

(https://www.redbull.com/)

While one wouldn’t normally associate food and beverages with an explorer personality, the Red Bull Energy drink is a prime example of branding done right.

Energizing beverages are often construed as either aggressive or extreme. Monster Energy is one such example – with their iconic green claw logo and rebellious typography – it almost seems out of place to place any brand of energizing drink in this brand archetype. 

And with Red Bull, this was almost certainly the case. 

That is, until they rebranded themselves. 

the explorer brand archetype
Red Bull's initial marketing style (https://www.redbull.com/in-en/how-red-bull-gives-you-wings-(2016-edition)

Here, we can see an office secretary behind her desk obviously overwhelmed by the sheer volume of calls that she is receiving. So much so, that multiple phones are needed just to take in all the callers. To her right, a can filled with Red Bull energy drinks and behind her, a mini-fridge stocked to the brim with even more – no doubt to help her tackle her day. 

It wasn’t until a few years later that Red Bull decided to take their branding in another direction.

By partnering themselves with sports events and competitions did they manage to really stand apart from the rest of the competition. All of a sudden, their slogan of “Red Bull Gives You Wings” made more sense than ever. By associating themselves with extreme sports, Red Bull took the non-conformist, rugged nature of the Explorer personality to the extreme.

Extreme sports are non-traditional, but then again, so is the Explorer.

GoPro

gopro logo
(https://gopro.com/en/ca/)

Until the advent of GoPro, it wouldn’t be too far from the truth to say that there weren’t any sports cameras available for consumer purchase. Up until their inception, the majority of such technologies were limited to professional sporting events and extreme camera hobbyists. If push came to shove, you might opt into jerry-rigging a small-framed DSLR onto your helmet.

 

This was actually what led to GoPro’s creation. Nick Woodman, founder of GoPro, was motivated to create an action camera that was small, portable and compact enough to capture high-quality action photos and videos of himself surfing without having to spend a fortune on the requisite camera gear and equipment.

Following Red Bull’s cadence, GoPro also associated themselves heavily with sports events, competitions and companies. While Woodman’s original goal might have been to make the “subject look like a hero,” we think it’s far more apt to their personality as an explorer archetype due to their encouragement for others to seek adventure and freedom.

Today, their tech is most commonly utilized by extreme sports athletes and travel vloggers alike. No matter the adventure or voyage, GoPro is there to help consumers record it all.

How to Emulate The Lover Brand Personality

If anything can be gleaned from this brand personality archetype, it’s that content marketing and sponsorship needs to align with the personality. Such partnerships can define your brand entirely, as we’ve seen with the case of both Red Bull and GoPro.

From the above examples, we can see that in addition to traditional marketing, these brands encourage community content creation from their consumers. Their goal is to help their audience discover their individuality, support their freedom and elevate their adventures. The Explorer brand archetype never lives the adventure for the consumer – they simply act as a support – a porter to help the actual explorer themselves in their quest for adventure.

A branding strategy needs to be intentional, strategic and heavily researched in order to be effective. While this type of work can be done in-house, we strongly recommend consulting digital marketing specialists such as ourselves for an entire suite of branding services including but not limited to interactive design, content, copy and graphic design and branding and identity. 

Get started on your free 30 minute consultation today at https://advesa.com/

Vincent Lee

Written By Vincent Lee

The Managing Editor at Advesa, Vincent is a mechanical keyboard enthusiast, a lover of cats, and a purveyor of fine roasted matcha teas. When not writing, he enjoys exercising and biking around his beautiful hometown of Vancouver. He is also a strong supporter of the oxford comma.