The Caregiver. The character who appears in stories in the form of a healer or nurse. Selfless. Always seeking to help others. The caregiver archetype is a highly valued and respected personality.
Archetypes are recognisable patterns of human behaviour - often amplified in stories. Stories are the way we make sense of the world around us. Therefore for those involved in the disipline of 'managing meaning' archetypes become a powerful tool which enable brands tell powerful stories. They help teams build extraordinary brands and create remarkable creative work because archetypes help to communicate on a deep psychological level with their audiences. More on the power of archetypes here. In this post we will review the Caregiver archetype building on the work of Margret Mark and Carol S Pearson in their book "The Hero and the Outlaw".
An introduction to the Caregiver Archetype
To whom do we look to when we are poorly, exhausted or under the weather? Feeling vulnerable and desiring to recover we seek for the safety of a helper to nurture us back to health. To support us in our difficult time. This person is the Caregiver.
Desire: to care for others
Goal: to help and protect others
Greatest Fear: ingratitude and selfishness
Strategy: doing positive things for others
Vulnerability: martyrdom to self, entrapment in other peoples needs
Talent: compassion and generosity
Motto: "Love your neighbour as yourself"
Caregivers are selfless characters who exist to help others. They look after and are protectors of those weaker than themselves. They use what skills they have to look after and protect others from harm. and are all about hearty cheerful service. They are often selfless and sacrifice their own wellbeing for others. They are people of compassion and generosity and struggle to get on with those who are selfish or not grateful for what they offer.
Johnson's baby is a good example of a Caregiver brand
Examples of creative images and brands which embody the Caregiver Archetype can be found on my specially curated Pinterest board here. Note: I will be frequently updating this board as I come across new Caregiver images so bookmark it!
Brands which embody the Caregiver: Johnson’s Baby, NHS, Boots, Bupa, Pampers, Nivea
According to Mark and Pearson, the Caregiver sits in the quadrant of archetypes which serve the customer motivation of 'Safety'. According to Maslow's hierarchy of needs, this archetype therefore serves one of the basic levels of human needs.
The archetypes motivation is that of stability. They want to re-correct what is broken. They want to defeat the chaos of sickness, illness and poor health so that the ones they serve can get back to being happy and well.