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The Outlaw archetype’s motto is: “Rules are meant to be broken”. They are romantic characters who are prepared to radically alter society.
What are examples of the Outlaw archetype? These are the finest brands to utilize if you want to represent this archetype.
Outlaw brands use disruptive, rebellious, and combative tones of voice. They are frequently linked to audacity, excitement, and adventure.
In this article, I'll show you ten examples of how to use the Outlaw archetype in branding.
We'll go over the Outlaw archetype and its traits and characteristics.
Then I'll give you real-life examples of Outlaw brands and describe what they do in terms of the expression.
What kind of voice, message, colors, fonts, and imagery do they use to express that persona?
We'll also discuss some of the best use-case scenarios for the Outlaw Archetype.
Moreover, I will show you how the Outlaw archetype fits into the overall archetypal framework.
We’ve got 12 main archetypes, but there are actually 60 archetypes in total.
The Outlaw archetype family is consists of: the Activist, the Gambler, the Maverick, and the Reformer.
The Outlaw is one of the main archetypes that has the enticement of forbidden fruit.
The Outlaw archetype’s motto is: “Rules are meant to be broken”.
They are romantic figures who are ready to shake up a society that has become tyrannical, repressed, conformist, or cynical.
We certainly see the Outlaw in its most positive form in characters such as Robin Hood and Zorro.
In the worst-case scenario, there are typical villains like Superman or Batman, Lex Luthor, or the Joker.
An Outlaw aspires to be a revolutionary and is not afraid to deviate from the norm and shake things up.
They are willing to tear down the current system in order to create a better one.
They, too, stand out from the crowd, but they are naughtier and more aggressive.
Outlaws like to go against the flow to avoid the mainstream.
They despise rules, regulations, and conformity that rob all forms of freedom of choice.
Even though they are motivated by anger, they are still kind-hearted.
The Outlaw archetype is ideal for brands that allow customers to express their unorthodox personalities and desires.
They use marketing to show that they are willing to take risks and that they aren't like everyone else.
Now, let me show you some branding examples that use the Outlaw archetype.
What are some well-known examples of the Outlaw archetype?
These are the best examples of brands that you can use if you want to apply the Outlaw archetype to your brand strategy.
Harley-Davidson is the perfect example of an Outlaw brand.
They are most likely the most focused archetypal personalities.
They perfectly embody the Outlaw persona and appeal to their audience's inner Outlaw.
Their slogan, "Screw it. Let’s ride", represents liberation from the strict constraints of society.
They inspire their target audience to get out of their repetitive daily lives and experience the thrill of the outdoors.
Diesel Jeans is another brand that has made excellent use of the Outlaw archetype.
They are an Italian retail clothing company that sells denim and other clothing, footwear, and accessories.
The brand’s slogan is "For Successful Living", which embodies the Outlaw archetype.
Diesel broke the stereotype by creating a series of advertisements urging customers to act foolishly because being smart is so "mainstream'.
On the other hand, Virgin is a totally different example of a brand adopting the Outlaw archetype.
They are a global growth investor across multiple sectors, including travel and leisure, health and wellness, media, and aerospace.
The Outlaw archetype is a natural fit for this company because they always push the boundaries of what is possible.
They are known for challenging the status quo and shaking the market while advocating for people and the planet under the slogan "Insatiable Curiosity. Smart Disruption".
They are known to challenge the status quo and shake the market as they stand up for people and the planet.
Another case in point is Levi Strauss, a clothing company best known for its denim jeans.
They always showcase their authentic and superior quality products.
They are an Outlaw brand because they are free-thinkers who reject all kinds of labels and restrictions.
Their slogan, "Live in Levi's", demonstrates how much they value customer feedback.
Apple is a multinational technology company that specializes in consumer electronics and computer software.
This company changed the rules of the game and the game itself.
They produced different kinds of computer software and completely different mobile phones.
They connected with their audience by sharing their desire to push boundaries in the world of technology.
Uber is an app-based transportation platform best known for pioneering the ride-hailing business.
Their slogan, "Move the way you want", speaks to the Outlaw archetype.
The company has experienced ups and downs, but there is no doubt that it has succeeded in trying something different.
MTV, which stands for Music Television, is a 24-hour music and entertainment cable television network.
It has fueled the music industry by dedicating an entire channel to the industry.
They had a monopoly on almost all music ever released, but it was the rebellious nature of the music that surprised the entire generation.
PayPal is an online payment system that enables people to send money electronically rather than using paper money.
According to the website, its mission perfectly aligns with the Outlaw archetype values.
"To democratize financial services to ensure that everyone has access to affordable, convenient, and secure services to take control of their financial lives".
Dollar Shave Club has developed a subscription service that delivers razors to your door every month.
They wanted to help consumers avoid cuts caused by cheap razors.
Their message skillfully turned them into rebels who rejected the traditional shaving experience—a classic Outlaw characteristic.
Last but not least, there is Bitcoin, which is a completely virtual type of money.
It is a completely unorthodox form of money—a perfect example of the Outlaw archetype.
Bitcoin is a digital currency that operates independently of central banks or governments.
The brand is a beacon of boldness and liberation, which is a great example of an outlaw brand archetype.
Now that you've seen a few examples of Outlaw brands, let me explain how the Outlaw archetype can be expressed through branding.
Outlaw brands use disruptive, rebellious, and combative tones of voice.
Outlaw brands are typically associated with confidence, boldness, adventure, and excitement.
Other modes of communication include competence, desire, and unusual characteristics.
The message is often about encouraging their audience to move past their norms.
Their tone of voice is always authoritative, revolutionary, and bold.
And by doing so, they’re leaving their customers feeling free and enthusiastic.
These brands want to give people an alternative to the mainstream and let them go their own way like Apple.
Images symbolizing freedom and change are commonly used as well like Diesel Jeans.
Common image subjects include things like automobiles and nature.
Therefore, the culture within an Outlaw brand will be solely focused on revolution and changing the status quo.
Innovate with inventive thinking while still providing practical, in-demand solutions.
The Outlaw archetype, in general, provides a good identity for brands which promote evoking change and becoming genuinely revolutionary.
The Outlaw archetype is best for body art, construction, motorcycles, and more.
These brands might be associated with qualities like courage, boldness, passion, strength, and enthusiasm.
They often come up with truly off-the-wall products—an Outlaw is trying to solve a problem in a new way.
Outlaw brands are typically low-to-average in price, and their products are similarly priced.
The Outlaw archetype may be a good fit for businesses that want to make the world a more logical place as well as innovate.
In summary, the Outlaw brand archetype is unconventional and willing to take risks.
Culture is oriented towards fresh perspectives and new outlooks.
Outlaw brands don’t want to be powerless or ineffectual, and they have high levels of consciousness and intelligence — some would say even to the point of naivety.
The Outlaw brand would do well in industries that involve automotive, motorcycles, construction, body art, technology, statement clothing, and rebellious groups.
Generally, there are 12 main Outlaw archetypes.
The Outlaw archetype’s family includes: Activist, Gambler, Maverick, and Reformer.
But there are also 4 sub-archetypes for each, so the Outlaw archetype is like the representative of this family.
You can also go deeper and explore other archetypes within the Outlaw family.
The difference between the Outlaw and other archetypes is that the top-level archetypes share more in common with other family members.
That’s why they function as a unifying thread among each family member.
It’s like you have your own personality, and you may have a lot in common with your parents.
So here are the other four Outlaw archetypes:
Even though I will not go deeper into explaining those sub-categories, at least you have some examples so that you can figure it out for yourself.
If you want to learn more, I recommend these two books:
(1) The Hero and the Outlaw by Margaret Mark and Carol Pearson
(2) Archetypes in Branding by Margaret Hartwell and Joshua C. Chen
Lastly, please check out my Brand Strategy Guide, where I explain how to use archetypes to develop a comprehensive brand strategy.
BTW. Check out Kaye Putnam's online course about Outlaw Archetype (otherwise known as "Maverick").