The Ruler Archetype: 10 Branding Examples

Arek Dvornechcuck
Branding Expert

I'm a strategist and designer based in New York who help brands grow by crafting distinctive brand identities, backed by strategy. Need help with your project?—Get in touch

If you are planning on including the Ruler archetype in your brand strategy, you have come to the right place.

This article contains 10 examples of how to include the Ruler archetype in branding.

I will present a summary of the Ruler archetype, covering its qualities and characteristics.

This post also includes examples of the Ruler brand in the real world.

What kind of voice, message, colors, and imagery are used to express that persona?

There will also be some of the best Ruler archetype use case scenarios to be emphasized.

12 Brand Archetypes

This article will demonstrate how the Ruler archetype fits into the larger archetypal framework.

Did you know there are different levels to this archetype?

In general, there are 60 archetypes available, and there are 12 primary archetypes.

The Caregiver archetype family consists of the Sovereign, the Judge, the Ambassador, and the Patriarch.

Table of Contents

  1. Ruler Archetype Definition
  2. Ruler Archetype Examples
  3. Ruler Archetype Expression
  4. Ruler Archetype Use Case
  5. Ruler Archetype Family

1. Ruler Archetype Definition

The Ruler believes that taking control is the best way to avert chaos.

The Ruler archetype’s motto is “ Power isn’t everything. It’s the only thing”.

The Ruler is the boss, the leader, the corporate CEO, the role model, or anyone who commands and has an authoritative manner.

Ruler Archetype Definition

There are many stories about rulers in films, but few are as well-known as Don Corleone in The Godfather.

The Ruler archetype is a dominating personality that seeks control above all else.

This archetype is well-connected, politically intelligent, and a natural leader who understands how people and power interact.

The Ruler recognizes that grabbing power is the most effective method to avoid disaster.

They use their abilities to lead to create wealth by exerting control or constructing structures and systems.

Ruler archetypes empower their customers to dominate their own universes and to put quality over quantity in their work.

The Ruler's primary goal is to lead responsibly and to maximize their power.

Ruler brands believe that rules are meant to be followed and that policies and processes are necessary for maintaining order.

They also fear chaos and being overthrown.

2. Ruler Archetype Examples (10)

The Ruler archetype is used in the following branding examples.

Each example is briefly described so that you can relate to it and see how this archetype may be used to define your own brand.

Ruler Archetype Examples

Rolex (1)

Rolex is the perfect example of the Ruler brand.

Rolex

Rolex watches give the impression that those who wear them are winners.

Wearing this brand demonstrates your status and perceived power.

The brand aligns with the ruler archetype by keeping the brand exclusive and high-priced.

Their slogan, "every Rolex tells a story", is meant to spotlight successful people by recounting their stories.

Louis Vuitton (2)

The second good example is Louis Vuitton, a luxury French fashion brand.

Louis Vuitton

This business sells things that are affordable, inclusive, and aimed at the general public rather than a specific target market.

This platform provides products for a wide range of people and demonstrates inclusivity.

The brand’s slogan is “Expect more. Pay less.” which embodies the Ruler archetype.

Mercedes-Benz (3)

Mercedes-Benz is another brand that has adopted the Ruler archetype.

Mercedes-Benz

Almost all of Mercedes-Benz's messaging incorporates the tagline "The best or nothing".

The brand is implying that they will build the best car no matter what, and they have merchandise to back up this statement.

The company has a nearly impenetrable reputation for producing high-end, safe, and trustworthy vehicles.

Qantas (4)

Another example is Qantas Airlines, the flag carrier of Australia and an internationally recognized airline.

Qantas

For several years in a row, Qantas has been named the safest airline by airlineratings.com.  

Without a single safety issue, this company has been one of the world's main airlines.

The company’s continual flaunting of these characteristics aligns them with the Ruler archetype.

It is the largest airline by fleet size and is famous in its slogan, "The spirit of Australia".

Rolls-Royce (5)

Rolls-Royce manufactures and distributes power systems for aviation and other industries.

Rolls-Royce

The brand’s main goal is to make their customers feel powerful and on top of the world.

Furthermore, this brand is typically quite exclusive, either expensive or only relevant to a tiny number of individuals.

Rolls-Royce, with a motto like "strive for perfection in all you do", you can easily see why.

Apple (6)

Apple is a multinational technology retail company.

Apple

They are known for connecting with their target clients, which is one of the Ruler's primary characteristics.

The company claims they are the industry's champions and pioneers of inclusivity.

From 1997 to 2002, Apple's advertising slogan was "Think Different" which is still well-known today.

Microsoft (7)

Microsoft is a multinational technology company that makes computer software and related services.

Microsoft

Microsoft has expanded rapidly since Bill Gates launched the company.

They were considered untrustworthy and predatory due to their aggressive expansion strategy early in their rise to power.

The company has grown from a bully to a market leader as it has gotten older.

Their new motto is "Be what's next" which replaces "Your potential, our passion".

Verizon (8)

Verizon asserts that "only one number one" exists, and they are that number one.

Verizon

This assertion is backed up by reliable data and consistent evidence that places them in the Ruler archetype.

When they grew into a Ruler, they received some negative publicity for their semi-tyrannical behavior and mistreating the common people.

"Never Settle" is Verizon Wireless' tagline, which is also used in other Verizon holdings.

Hugo Boss (9)

Hugo Boss is a clothing and fragrance company based in the United States.

Hugo Boss

They embody the characteristics of the ruler personality in their name and brand image.

They are now considered one of the best known and trusted brands.

The Hugo Boss brand always wanted to finish positively, and it shows in their tagline, "Be boss, be kind".

American Express (10)

Last but not least, is American Express, a credit card service company.

American Express

The brand is a real trailblazer because of its attention to tone and individuality.

The brand is a wonderful example of the Ruler archetype since it drives steady growth in a competitive environment.

"Don't Leave Home Without It" tagline became synonymous with American Express, making it one of the most successful campaigns of all time.

3. Ruler Archetype Expression

That sums up some of the best examples of the Ruler brand.

Let me summarize everything for you so you can see how the Ruler archetype can be portrayed in branding.

The Ruler brand’s tone of voice is always commanding, refined, and articulate.

Ruler brands are known for marketing themselves with sophistication, confidence, significance, and stability.

Ruler Archetype Expression

The message is often about truth-seeking, providing expertise, research, and showcasing diligence.

Like American Express, these brands aim to guide customers and to bring order into their lives.

Images with positive messages and wholesome content are also widely employed, like Rolls Royce.

The Ruler brand's culture will be completely focused on becoming extraordinary.

Common image subjects include ordinary people enjoying luxury.

Although there is a lot of innovation and change, there is a significant emphasis on repeatedly getting things right with limited space for error.

4. Ruler Archetype Use Case

In general, the Ruler archetype gives a good identity for brands, which helps people belong or feel like they belong.

These brands might be associated with qualities like: integrity, high-quality, dependable, safety, and inclusivity.

The Ruler brand would do well in luxury cars, watches, and the upscale hotel industry.

These bands frequently perform functions that are linked with positive, colloquial messages.

Ruler Archetype Use Case

The ruler brands are typically expensive—these are typically midrange to high-priced items.

The ruler archetype might be a good fit for businesses that prefer a more primitive approach to life and are unsophisticated in their ways.

The Ruler archetype is straightforward and realistic, and their culture is oriented towards giving the best value at a fair price.

Ruler brands want to stand out and be seen as the market leaders.

They exhibit high levels of consciousness and intelligence, and some would say even to the point of naivety.

5. Ruler Archetype Levels / Family

In summary, there are 12 main archetypes, as I mentioned earlier in this post.

However, each archetype has 4 sub-archetypes, so the Ruler archetype is the family's representation.

The Caregiver archetype family includes: Guardian, Samaritan Healer, and Angel.

The top-level archetypes, on the other hand, have more in common with other family members.

Ruler Archetype Levels / Family

The top-level archetypes, on the other hand, have more in common with other family members and serve as a unifying thread for all members of the family.

It's as if you have your own personality and share a lot of traits with your parents.

Here are the other 4 Ruler archetypes:

  1. Sovereign—brand examples: Mercedes and US Treasury Dept.
  2. Judge—brand examples: Standard & Poor’s and Snopes
  3. Ambassador—brand examples: Rolls Royce and Rolex
  4. Patriarch—brand examples: IRS and Volvo

If you want to learn more about the Ruler brand and the other archetypes like the Innocent, the Caregiver, the Sage, the Creator, the Hero, etc., 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

If you want to learn more about how to leverage archetypes in your brand strategy, check out 12 Brand Archetypes: The Ultimate Guide, which includes all of this archetype information.

Everything is well-organized and presented in such a way that you can immediately put it into practice.

Ruler Archetype
Branding Guide

Build a brand your customers will love.

Save money

Best Deals for Creatives

This post may contain affiliate links, meaning when you click the links and make a purchase, we receive a commission.
Start a project

Need help with your brand?

Important Announcement
Top bars don’t need to be tiny you know. Check out this one.