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Applying Jungian Ideas to Digital Branding

Just 22% of businesses are satisfied with their conversion rate, defined as the ability to encourage visitors to their website to perform a desired action, such as signing up to a newsletter or making a purchase. This means that almost 80% of businesses are failing to meet their digital marketing goals. A possible, if surprising, reason for this is their lack of understanding of Jungian concepts. Through the use of storytelling and archetypes, those working in communications will be able to improve results and drive up sales resulting from online campaigns.

The Need for Symbolism

Symbols are usually processed unconsciously, but can have a powerful effect on behavior. Digital marketers who overload a campaign with data, but neglect symbols risk failing to connect with their audience. Consider this quote from Jung in Man and His Symbols: “we constantly use symbolic terms to represent concepts that we cannot define or fully comprehend. This is one reason why all religions employ symbolic language or images.”

It is not surprising that religions have little difficulty attracting followers. The use of symbolism and narrative taps into a person’s deepest emotions and helps them to feel a meaningful part of the community. By studying symbols closely and using them in your social media campaigns, you will be sure to improve conversion rates.

Tapping Into the Collective Unconscious

The collective unconscious could be a powerful tool for digital marketers. Rather than framing your campaign around specific details, aim for something which taps into something evolutionarily ingrained in every human. Like with symbols, this is about forming an emotional connection with potential customers.

Although long form articles and discussions are appealing to people already on board, digital marketers need to wow people straight away. For this, it is better to use powerful music and images. Using a digital camera to film some beautiful natural landscape, overlaid with music, will appeal to the collective unconscious in a way facts and data cannot. Music has a profound neurological effect, stirring up strong emotions, which motivates behavior.

Archetypes Fit for Online Campaigns

Choosing the right archetype for you brand relies on an understanding of your core customer base. Which kind of character is likely to resonate with them? Popular modern day archetypes include the fearless explorer, exemplified in the North Face slogan “Never Stop Exploring” or GoPro’s “Be a Hero”. However, an online university might go with the Wise Old Man archetype, while a more laid back company would create a Jester-like figure. The point is to study these Jungian archetypes, understand how they resonate so strongly with an audience, and then produce a believable recreation of them in your digital marketing campaigns.

Jung’s ideas can be applied to almost every industry, but many professionals are uneducated on his work. If you work in digital marketing, then dust off your old Jung books and give them a read. You may be surprised at how an understanding of symbols, the collective unconscious and archetypes can turn your online campaigns into a huge success.

~Jane Sandwood
Freelance Writer

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