Ever taken the Myers-Briggs assessment based on the Big Five Personality Traits? So are you an ENTJ (Extraverted intuitive Thinking Judging), or maybe an ISTP (Introverted Sensing Thinking Perceiving)?

Take that type of quiz and apply it to your company’s corporate branding. Now give it a fun, interactive application, and you have the general idea behind Archetypes in Branding: A Toolkit for Creatives and Strategists. Archetypes in Branding is a targeted exercise disguised as a game, with cards that each identify a different “personality,” and it’s the jumping-off point for an idea that has been successful in our approach to brand development with our clients.

Red Racer plays a game with our clients? You bet we do.

When we first sit with you in our branding workshop, we tell everyone in the group to choose three cards, and then we see which ones pop. Maybe you’ll choose “The Hero,” looking to change the world though your product or service. Or “The Maverick,” who wants to shake up an industry with a new or revolutionary idea. Or even “The Lover”—the response of one participant who was an employee of a back surgeon client of ours. The perplexed look on our client’s face disappeared pretty quickly when the employee explained, “You love and care for people and would do anything to help them heal faster.”

That moment is indicative of the kind of important, brand-driving intel that can come from this exercise.

The reality is that deciding who you are as a brand or a business doesn’t seem that difficult. Until you sit down to do it. By using the archetypal cards—each one representing a different “personality”—we’re able to help guide our clients toward identifying their company’s key differentiators. Trust us when we say that this exploration is always enlightening and often surprising—and not just to us.

What many companies miss is that this step is every bit as important as trying to figure out who your desired customer base is. You may have explored your target in depth, applying personality traits and characterizations that allow you to dig deeper into who they are and what motivates them; but have you done the same for yourself? You know what they say: No one else can love you if you don’t love yourself first. If you don’t know who you are, people may not even like you very much.

Or maybe they don’t know about you at all.

Developing your corporate personality helps everybody—from your potential clients to your staff—understand from a humanist standpoint where you're coming from (not to mention the fact that it can also save you considerable time and money on the back end by establishing a strong branding effort from which the marketing efforts can emanate up front).

Personifying your brand—attributing human characteristics to something non-human—may seem like a curious pursuit, especially when there’s a game involved in the process (after all, branding is serious business). And that’s exactly why it works.