BGBS 067: Margaret Hartwell | Archetypes In Branding | What’s the Deeper Meaning?
Margaret Hartwell is an innovation and strategy leader on a mission to empower purpose-driven change at the intersection of design, brand & culture, and technology. Her diverse accomplishments range from co-founding and establishing the innovation practice for Cognition Studio, a subsidiary of Certus Solutions, to authoring Archetypes in Branding: A Toolkit for Creatives and Strategists. She uses a transformative approach to everyday innovation and employs skills and best practices from a range of disciplines: archetypal branding, transpersonal psychology, sustainable management, and design thinking.
Her experience spans 20+ years developing design-led businesses in the US, UK, Europe, and APAC. Industries include technology, social and environmental advocacy, health and wellness, media, entertainment and the arts, leadership development, automotive, telecommunications, packaged goods, and travel. She holds her MBA in Sustainable Management from Presidio Graduate School, her BA from UC Berkeley, and an advanced coaching certification from the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology. She thinks in systems, strategies, and surprises. She creates in metaphor, music, and story and relates with empathy and curiosity.
Recognized for a breadth and depth of applied skills and experience across multiple creative disciplines and business sectors, Margaret began her career as a designer as one of the founding members of Suissa Miller Advertising where she served in various roles from studio director to art director to vice president. In London, she was Director of Development for the London Design Festival and Head of Marketing for the Design Council. Returning to the U.S., consulting and coaching includes work with Saatchi & Saatchi S, PayPal, Jive, BVG, Inc., Flextronics, BFG Communications, Omegawave, Stanford Lively Arts, Verve Coffee Roasters, TwoFish Bakery, and the San Francisco Symphony. She taught "Live Exchange" in the pioneering MBA in Design Strategy (DMBA) program at the California College of the Arts, and is an engaging speaker/presenter/facilitator.
Margaret has been called an information junkie with a childlike curiosity and is known for having an insatiable appetite for travel, trends, and technologies. She has been an actor, singer, improv player, photographer, scriptwriter, environmental advocate, and founder of a line of infant sportswear called zerosomething. She currently lives in Salem, Massachusetts.
In this episode, you'll learn...
- An archetypal approach opens a door to a deeper level of connection to yourself, society, and any relationship. This helps particularly in the branding space because it is no longer about pushing your ideals, it's about relatedness.
- Once you recognize that failure is to be embraced, that is where your brilliance will shine through. These lessons become the tools you use throughout life.
- Archetypal strategy brings about a unique curiosity about life and people. It can apply to benefits beyond branding by helping people understand themselves and how they want to move in the world.
LinkedIn: Margaret Hartwell
[33:20] The process of this kind of introspection and alignment of everything changes the way that people hold on to right and wrong. They're not as much about finding a solution, as opposed to finding a process that continues to reveal value…This is actually something that is going to grow along and with and inside and outside of us.
[40:58] Branding is really about increasing the value of a relationship, much in the way that you would increase the value of a relationship with your family or a friend or your community.
[56:33] It's hard to have the courage because we've been taught that we can't fail. And that's not real. Good relationships don't have conflict. No way. As human beings, you know, the more we can just say, 'Yes, awesome. That just came up; let's go there'…I think that's really where everybody's unique brilliance is, is recognizing that all those things are baseline, all those things are to be embraced. And if you just left them out of the right 'wrong box', then they're all actually just gifts and tools to be applied to however you want to live and be and do.
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Margaret Hartwell 0:02
I used the vulnerability and shame work in my startup in New Zealand a lot to build the innovation process that change people to that change their reactions, because using innovation tools requires you to let go of that kind of judgment. And then we're never going to get to the kind of creativity or the kind of satisfaction from the daily work if they were constantly protecting something, you know, shaming someone else judging someone else. So I've seen an architectural approach have all kinds of secondary and tertiary benefits to people's relationships to people's understanding of themselves and how they want to move in the world. So it definitely can apply and way more levels than just in your brand. And for me, it's moved a lot into the culture space.
Marc Gutman 1:05
podcasting from Boulder, Colorado, this is the Baby Got Back story Podcast, where we dive into the story behind the story of today's most inspiring storytellers, creators and entrepreneurs. I like big backstories and I cannot lie. I am your host, Marc Gutman is your brand the provoca tour. Maybe it's the activist. Perhaps it's the muse, Marc Gutman, and on today's episode of Baby got backstory, we are talking about meaning deeper meaning and connection. And one of my favorite topics, archetypes in branding. And before we get into this amazing episode, and I do promise that once you hear who the guest is, you'll agree that it is amazing. I'm asking you to take on the archetype of the advocate, or the companion or the cheerleader, and rate and review this podcast on Apple podcasts or Spotify. Apple and Spotify use these ratings as part of the algorithm that determines ratings on their charts. And we want them to identify this show with the archetype of the podcaster. Don't we? Thank you for your reviews. I do appreciate it. Today's guest is Margaret Hartwell. Margaret Hartwell is such a great name. Sounds very harrowing, yet playful as well. And I didn't even realize that until I just said it. But that's how I kind of see today's guest. Margaret is one of my true real life heroes, because she's the author of a book and toolkit that has transformed who I see the world and how I interact with clients, her book, archetypes and branding. The toolkit for creatives and strategists is a must read, whether you're in branding, or not. archetypes, and archetypal analysis, are all about stripping away the noise in getting down to the essence, the core, and that's also the aim of today's interview. In addition to being an author, Margaret Hartwell is an innovation and strategy leader on a mission to empower purpose driven change at the intersection of design, brand, and culture and technology. By developing people centered solutions, she serves as a guide, mentor, an alchemist. Those are all archetypes by the way. To help senior executives in teams solve complex issues. She uses a transformative approach to everyday innovation employs skills and best practices from a range of disciplines, archetypal branding, transpersonal, psychology, sustainable management, and design thinking. All topics we touch on in today's episode. Her experience spans 20 plus years developing design led businesses in the US, UK, Europe and APAC industries include technology social and environmental advocacy, health and wellness, media, entertainment and the arts, leadership development, automotive, telecommunications, packaged goods and travel, and she draws upon and expands on toolkits from the design council UK, the grove society for organizational learning, IDEO Stanford D school in Jean Lukas work at the Darden School of Business, to name just a few sources of inspiration. Recognize recognized for a breadth and depth of applied skills and experience across multiple creative disciplines and business sectors. Margaret began her career as a designer is one of the founding members of swiza Miller advertising, where she served in various roles from Studio director, the art director to Vice President. In London. She was the Director of Development for the London design festival and head of marketing for the design Council. When she returned to the US she consulted and coached with Saatchi and Saatchi Pay Pal jive Flextronics BFG communications, Stanford Lively Arts, to fish bakery in the San Francisco Symphony. She has teaching experience as she taught live exchange in the pioneering MBA and design strategy program at the California College of the Arts, and is an engaging speaker, presenter and facilitator. Margaret has been called an information junkie with a childlike curiosity is known for having an insatiable appetite for travel trends and technologies. She has been an actor, singer, improv player, photographer, script writer, environmental advocate and founder of a line of infant sport were called zero something and she currently lives in Salem, Massachusetts. And this is her story.
I am here with Margaret Hartwell, innovation consultant, innovation coach, and yeah, that's all great. We're gonna talk about that. But I know Margaret, from a book that she wrote called archetypes in branding, and I have it right here. And it is literally like it's well law that got like, the corners are like kind of, you know, dinged up a little bit. And things are like noted and ripped in here. And I like more than any other book. You can see here, Margaret, like, you know, and people that are on the listen to the podcast, I'm here at the halfway house studio, I am surrounded by books. And I believe that books have energy and power. And I just love books. And so I get a lot of books. And this book is probably the one that I reach for more often than any other book because it's, we're going to talk about this book, but it's because it has knowledge that you receive when you read it. But it's like a working book, it's a book that like, has like a purpose that I work with in my job, like, on a daily basis. Now I want to talk to you about that. So I'm extremely, extremely excited to have you on the podcast. So welcome. And as we get into this, like to me, archetypes are definitely about the universal, the the essence, but they're also like sort of mystical and magical. They're like a portal or a window to me, you know, in a lens. And so with that kind of definition at least and I'm sure you have your own. When you were like a young girl, were you into these types of like portals in Windows and translation like what was what was young Margaret like?
Margaret Hartwell 7:58
Gosh, well, thanks, Mark, I really pleased and chuffed that I get to chat with you on your great podcast. And that's a great opening question. Because one of the things as I was reviewing the kinds of influences and and trajectories and defining moments and stuff is I had imaginary friends that I was asked by the kin urban, my mother was asked by the kindergarten teacher to have me leave them at home because it was taking too long for me to answer questions and to do things because I was doing everything in collaboration. So yeah, I think that was huge, because my sisters are eight years older than I am. And they're identical twins. And so I had to go to the magical mystery portal world to find my twin was like, hey, they thought each other. So I made up my own and I made three, so I outnumbered them. So, but um, you know, I think combining that with super bad eyesight.
is where I went into books. So for me, I love what you just said about books too. I do think they're alive. And they they are portals as well. So you combine those things together. And yeah, it was it was pretty evident early on that I had a very favorite place in my imagination.
Marc Gutman 9:22
And were you a creative as a child, or did you think that you'd have a creative career did you want to do something else?
Margaret Hartwell 9:28
All I wanted to do was sing? Well, I should say all I wanted to do was anything creative. You know, let's paint let's work with clay. Let's sing Let's dance, let's act let's make diagramas just anything kind of maker ish was really, I loved it. And but music was my wheel. You know, that was really where it all came together in terms of what it felt like as your body as an instrument and playing the piano. No, and story. So you know, every song that we sing has huge story too. And I think that that became like a third way of going into the mystical in a way because music so amazing in terms of its portal.
Marc Gutman 10:16
Yeah, absolutely. And so you're into music and you're creative. I mean, Was this something that was supported in your household as a child did? Or did your parents want you to do something else? Yes, it
Margaret Hartwell 10:30
was supported in so much is that it was the child like thing to do, and that when you grew up, you should be a doctor. So that was, that was kind of what I was told is that, ultimately, that the arts weren't a career, they were just a hobby. And I tried to debunk that. But I did go to Berkeley and Gosh, studied medicine or pre med at the time. And it was,
I don't know, it's kind of funny, I
look back on it now. And I kind of see the paradigm. And the paradigm was is that it was kind of like cheating to go and do something that you were already really good at. They should do things that you're not so good at. And then you are a whole and complete person. So hard work meant everything in my family. I'm a third culture kid, Canadian mother and a Chinese father. That doesn't, you don't really see it so much. But I'm actually more Chinese than my sisters from what the ancestry 23andme says. But yeah, so you know, it's a great, my parents were awesome, don't get me wrong. I mean, they really supported everything that I loved and wanted to do. And they, they were just like any parent, they wanted to make sure that I was going to be self sufficient, and be able to make a living, and they didn't see how it all works gonna come together if I was just doing the arts. So they were very happy when I got my MBA. Instead of, you know, I'm not going to med school. I'm leaving for London, and I'm doing a Shakespeare program. And my father's like,
I said, Well, because every doctor, you know, needs to know how to speak. And I am big pentameter, right? And it just looked to me like you've lost your mind. And my mother says, Let her go. She'll get it out of her system. Yeah, no, never got it out of my system.
Marc Gutman 12:28
But I just love imagining you and your sisters having arguments about who's more Chinese, I can see it now. It's the holidays. And so take me back there to Berkeley, you're in pre med, I imagine that you've at least convinced yourself you want to be pre med, you know, like we all do, we tell ourselves that, okay, this is my path. And then something's kind of welling up in you something is saying maybe this isn't my path. What was that decision like to, to go to London,
Margaret Hartwell 12:56
but like barely passing all my science classes. Fear has a way of doing that to you. But yeah, I think I got three days the whole time I was there. And it was in kinesiology, exercise, physiology and psychology and photography. So, um, what was welling up, I was singing all during college, I sang in the perfect fifth and then in the golden overtones. And that was really what I loved to do. And so I was seeing that I was kind of dying inside. And I was getting unhappy. And I was kind of isolating myself at that point. And I thought What's going on? It was, you know, I always look back and go, whatever, the first kind of crises or existential moments of awakening, and I think, before going choosing to go to London, that was mine, where I just feel like why am I doing any of this? What what's the point? I mean, it was, wasn't that I was super bad at and I was really good at, you know, intuiting people's needs and really listening to people and all that, but, but to spend the time. So yeah, that was the moment of thinking, well, I, let's see what this is going to be like. And quite frankly, that's really what kind of changed everything for me. Because I just came alive in London, and not just from the tack on the you know, the tactics and the skills building that that the Shakespeare program gave me, but really from the interest in people, and in kind of the myth and metaphor just popped. And I think if I look back, I think that was probably where the notion for an archetypical approach, kind of which I would never have been able to put the words to, but that's where it kind of took hold is I was constantly looking around corners sideways and looking for meaning what's the what's the deal. Meaning here, how does it translate into other arenas or cultures or to different people? So and, you know, Shakespeare is an amazing primmer for that kind of symbology and metaphor. So, yeah, that's where it kind of took hold.
Marc Gutman 15:20
So the question I always disliked when I was going through school, because I never really knew what I wanted to do was people always ask me, they always say, what are you going to do with that? Yeah, what are you going to do with that? And so I as much as I disliked that question, I mean, were people asking you that about the Shakespeare program? What are you going to do with that? So you're going to wonder why don't you have Shakespeare but what after Margaret? What are you going to do?
Margaret Hartwell 15:43
Oh, totally. Well, yes. So I was told to come home to finish my degree at Berkeley. And because three years at Berkeley didn't mean anything. So my parents said, Wait, if you want to go back, you can go back because I what I really wanted to do was go to the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, because musical theater then had become my thing. So what did I really want? You know, what were you going to do with that? Well, I was just going to keep studying.
I love learning.
I love being in school, I love, you know, playing essential. And that's what this program was, but came back and finished my degree. And my parents said, Well, what are you going to do
I was like, Well, I'm going to move to LA. And I'm going to try my hand at acting, and her shaking their heads completely. But at that point, being an actor, without a lot of credits, you either become an aerobics instructor or a waiter. And so I started teaching aerobics. And then I found my way into a theatre company. And at that point, I met somebody who was working on a commercial shoot. And she introduced me to my then former future boss in advertising.
Unknown Speaker 16:55
Margaret Hartwell 16:56
it was a complete like pinball of, I had no idea what I was gonna do with that. And I said, I have no idea. But you know what? I'm, again, I think I've always had a certain level of faith that whatever happened, you know, I came from a great background, and my family always had my back. And I could pretty much do whatever I wanted, anything was possible. So I went with it. And my parents were thrilled that I got into advertising. You know, finally, something that sounded like a job. So,
Marc Gutman 17:31
absolutely. What was that first advertising job? Like when you were in LA? And who were you working for? And what was your responsibilities?
Margaret Hartwell 17:39
So I joined suissa suissa group when we had 13 people. And I left after we had gotten the accurate account, as we said, Miller, and we've been sold to IPG, so the trajectory of this tiny little agency, I mean, when we got accurate, the headline said, you know, there's a snowball's chance in hell, that this agency is going to get this, but I was the designer on that pitch. So that's kind of where I, I was able, then at that point, to kind of parse out all my responsibilities, because in a smaller agency, I was running the studio, I was doing my own, you know, art direction for clients. I was also doing all the it, which is the joke of that of everything. But nobody else had the confidence to do it. So I was like, Okay, I'll learn this. And do that. So, yeah. So I was able, what was it like it was, it was like a total roller coaster, and really fun. I mean, la advertising in your, in your 20s and early 30s is super fun. People are unencumbered. And yeah, then it was a good support. It was it was a nice family. And I was able to have my daughter during that time. So as a single mom, that was a huge support network. So I learned a ton. And I think that's really where I learned about brand strategy. And marketing is from the creative side of advertising.
Marc Gutman 19:13
Yeah, at what moment in that advertising journey? Did you think to yourself, oh, wait, like, I might be an advertising. I might make a career out of this. This might be like what the future holds for me? Yeah,
Margaret Hartwell 19:25
I what moment was that? I think it was truly winning the accurate account. Because up until that point, I had just been kind of like a Swiss Army knife in terms of being our art director, designer, creative director all around whatever you need. And at that point, I thought, Hmm, maybe I really do have a knack for this for understanding people's needs and wants and finding a way to connect with them. So that there was some exchange that was mutually beneficial and so that there were a couple of great strategists at the agency to, and then ultimately, they were a huge influence. And so that when I left my agency, actually, I gotta be honest, I got laid off because it was at a really difficult time for the agency. And, and so I got laid off. And I thought, huh, what do we do when we're at our lowest moments, all change moments, we go back to London. So that's what I did.
Marc Gutman 20:31
When was your first interaction with archetypes like, when did you those even become on your radar and something that you're like, Ah, this is interesting. I
Margaret Hartwell 20:41
was actually in my coaching program that I took at the Institute of transpersonal psychology in Palo Alto. And we, it was goddesses and every woman, the Jean Shinoda bowling book, she also wrote gods in every man, and reading that brought all of you know, Edith Hamilton's mythology back because I studied that in high school, but never really never took hold. And Joseph Campbell, and I've been on the path with James Hellman, and, you know, and other kinds of, you know, I guess the suit, you know, the source code was a huge impact for me. But that's when I first found it. And then I found Carolyn meses work. Have you been across her?
Marc Gutman 21:25
I don't know her. So the
Margaret Hartwell 21:26
book, so she
isn't a medical intuitive. And she wrote a book called sacred contracts, that has outlined very descriptions of a lot of archetypes. And she uses archetypes as a way of doing just like we would in branding as a shorthand for understanding people's drives and journeys and motivations. And that's a nice, so I found that book. And I thought, this is pretty cool. I don't know what. And I looked more into it. And she actually had a deck of cards. So I could backup that at the time, I was doing brand strategy work as a consultant, just kind of for hire. And so when I found these cards that Carolyn mace had done, I went to the guy that I was working with, who's actually my co author, Josh chin. And I said, you know, can I trial working with the right kind of client with these cards and lists? Let's see if the brand strategy process goes differently, or let's just experiment with it. And the feedback that we got was the cards were way too, whoo. And it just, it made them feel like, you know, somebody was trying to read their Tarot or something. And that it, that it wasn't validated. And it wasn't real at that point. So, so yeah, so Josh, and I, you can clap, well, maybe this is an opportunity. And he had had an agreement with his publisher for previous books that they had the agency had published. And they had been kind of after him saying, well, what's next? So Josh came to me and said, you want to write a book about archetypes and branding? I went, sure. Okay. Because it was working, you know, the, the process, the dialogue, the kind of different conversations that we were having, were actually unlocking areas that were resistances in a business, that by using this archetypical kind of world, somehow it gave them a 30,000 foot view, and they soften some of the ego identity attachments that people had about what their brand was supposed to be or how they were going to do things. So yeah, that's a long winded answer to your How did you first find archetypes?
Marc Gutman 23:49
No, it's amazing. I want to know and it's funny that you say woo so you know as I mentioned, I love them and I'm a little like, you know, little dislike neurotic and like the little perforations on the cards bother him. So I bought some of your cards like the Korean version like back when you could get them real easily. And then I had someone at Etsy make me a special leather case because when I bring them out that's like I'm like this is this is some This is magic little bit you know, and we're gonna learn to go through the deck and I agree there's just something that you conversate because I don't think most client especially when you want to involve like the leadership team half the words like they don't have the words and so the conversation that comes up out of these is so amazing. But look, summon another team had already written kind of what was considered the book on archetypes, you know, and Carolyn Pearson and Margaret mark and, and they they wrote they wrote about 12 of them so like, why not? Like, why is that not just enough? Like, why did you create this amazing book with six because now it seems so easy and obvious to me, but like, also must seem really daunting. You know? Like, like, why didn't you think that there was a market for this? Well, first
Margaret Hartwell 25:02
off, I mean, the here on the outlaw wow, you know, this is all the work is standing on their shoulders totally I give them massive props, they were at the forefront of bringing this, of course into the business and branding world. And so it just wasn't nuanced enough for me. I from I started out, you know, looking at things and they, they felt like they were bordering on stereotypes, or, like so many words that kind of find their way into their vernacular that they end up losing their meaning losing their unique essence and stuff. And I think that's true as culture evolves is that, you know, words go in and out of having meanings. So I didn't see any thing wrong with trying to, you know, nuance something a little bit, you know, nuanced the magician, to an alchemist.
You know, why,
why wouldn't you do that? And so I guess, I mean, then the next probably another theme, you know, people ask me, why do you do this? I think or why did I do anything? Like in my life, man? Pretty much my answers were Why not? Do it? So, yeah, it was a little daunting. And on the first to say that, you know, we're here with writing any book that gets published? Like, I go back, and I shake my head, like, No, no, I should put that there should have put that there. You know, there's always improved room for improvement. So, yeah, just, I've got a list on my computer of the next kind of set to flesh out with people. And I'm looking for a way to, to maybe do that in a collaborative sense.
you know, somebody came to me and said, will you work with me, as a brand new practitioner, we work with me to find this as a unique expression of an architect for this client. And we did and we completely front fleshed out the connoisseur. And it was super fun and super cool to work together like that. But I love your cover. And that makes me You just can't know how much it means to know that something that I've poured my heart and soul into, has meaning for people. It's really, it's really lovely. And I love that they've got the little cover for it and everything.
Marc Gutman 27:25
No, I mean, means a lot to me, it's meant a lot to people I've worked with and clients, and did you do the artwork on these cards? Is these your design creative,
Margaret Hartwell 27:33
creative director, creative director, with Josh, he and I both, but we had an amazing team of designers. So the breadth of designers, you know, of course, you see different styles all throughout there, but we all know so so we're kinda It was kind of our, our backstop if you will, like, if this wasn't going to work, we thought, Well, at least we'll have something that we could say, well, I don't like green or, you know, like, I like that style of design that clients could say. So we're backing ourselves up with some some other layer of meaning or usefulness in the design world for that, hence, the different designs. Oh,
Marc Gutman 28:14
yeah. And I find archetypes. So interesting. I've often just thought about, like, completely writing an entire agency process around our top the bottom, like just being like, like archetypes, I haven't gotten there yet. But when you work with clients, what's kind of your go to way of using archetypes? How do you like to start with the cards and the conversation? And what do you ultimately hoping they're going to, they're going to land on or discover,
Margaret Hartwell 28:40
right? So I'm rarely hired to do the one thing to do just the archetype work. It's, it's odd how the first they'll come, because they want to do architectural work. And then we have the initial conversation. And it always kind of flushes out into something that's more what you would just call a big brand strategy, like the work that you do. So the archetypes are, I see them as part of the Gestalt of your brand strategy in a sense that you can't ask them to do all the heavy lifting. And also, I think that they're evolving. So as as stakeholders change and their relationships with the brand change, then they have to, they have to have a certain developmental path to them as well. So I usually include a developmental path for an architectural approach. But to your question about how do I, how do I usually start? It's kind of a classic design thinking process where I do a kind of discovery phase to understand where there may be gaps or potential alignments to be found. And then we go into really exploring what has been done before because I don't want people thinking that you Let's not throw the baby out with the bathwater. What What can we use moving forward? And and then they usually just it's a codification of truly what value they're providing what values they have, what is their mission, you know, and getting them to distill that. And at that point, I do it pretty much the same way that that I said, I do it in the book, which is that you you just sort with a facilitated question process. And I think that's probably, if I will, you know, say the secret sauce is because you can't just do this digitally and go, Oh, I've got my archetype. Now, there's a deep reflection that says, You don't even tell you because you're doing it all the time to it reflects back something that resonates like you're almost you can feel it in the room when it when it's happening. There's that term entrainment, which is that musical term, where a frequency will start to create another frequency at the same resonant vibration, that's what I feel when we're starting to get close in the sorting process and in the questioning process. And then before we actually decide is not really the right word, because we've been revealing things all along. But before we say commit, choosing commit to a process of including archetypes throughout the value chain, we actually dig into the value chain, and see whether or not this this archetypical expression can come to life. In all the different areas of the business in the operations in the you know, in the processes and the systems in marketing and sales? How can it become a organizing principle for both the brand and the culture? So those are the kinds of questions I asked. And it's really more about chunking them down into modules that I do in the different workshops. And I use a lot of other exercises to, to elicit this, the kind of resonance that you will. And a lot of them are design thinking exercises, I like to really see how an art we put it to the test before we choose and commit. So what would this how would this affect the customer journey? Right?
Does does this
affect your value proposition? How does this align with, you know, the strategic path for the business? Because that might shift things as well? Like, are they on an m&a track? Because at that point, we're actually dressing up something differently than we would if we were a startup. So those overlays, the developmental overlays of the business come into factor as well.
Marc Gutman 32:57
Do you find it hard to sort of back up or back out if you've chosen a archetype? And you've gone through this prototyping, if you will? And you're like, that's not working design? Everyone just kind of says, Yeah, like, it's not working?
Margaret Hartwell 33:11
Pretty much at that point. No, you know, what, I'm curious to see what your experience with the process is. But for me, the process of this kind of introspection, and alignment of everything changes the way that people hold on to right and wrong. They, there's not as much about finding a solution, as opposed to finding a process that continues to reveal value. And it's not so solution based. So it's not just one and done, you know, everybody understands that this we're going this is some actually something that is going to grow along. And with an inside and outside of us, we've actually changed the game. And it you know, it's not for everybody. Some people really want just a solution. And it's pretty amazing to watch them fight. Yeah. And you just go Okay, well, this isn't the right time. I'm not the right one for you. So that's okay.
Marc Gutman 34:19
A lot of it. And, you know, I think about that, I mean, one of the challenges I have with clients is they are so like, solution oriented, even when it comes down to working with archetypes. And so they're like, like, okay, like, what are we doing here? Like, what are we trying to get to and right, and, you know, so I've, I have put some parameters around it. You know, I'll say things like, Oh, well, we want to find your archetype that makes you want your like the resonates with your why or the architecture that makes you unique in your space. But that's just kind of the way I've done it because I feel like you have to put these like these parameters, so the client can understand what we're Trying to get otherwise, it's harder for them, it's a little too little too woowoo, you know, and
Margaret Hartwell 35:05
I totally agree. And I'm kinda like them down the edge to kind of calm down the cognitive dissonance if you will. And usually, I've done a poll pre education about the value of archetypes and how they, you know, increase your economic value, when you know what a brand lead valuation looks like, and how it actually translate into an intangible asset for your m&a if that's what you're doing. And then also just, you know, really looking at educating them in a way that gets them on the same page, so that they, they'd let go a little bit to kind of shake some loose, so and then you can do those things without that. The other piece that I think that's been really important lately, for me, is Bernie Browns work fitting out founded, seemingly, you know, a long time ago, but I used the vulnerability and shame work in my startup in New Zealand a lot to build the innovation process, and that change people to that change their reactions, because using innovation tools requires you to let go of that kind of judgment. And then we're never going to get to the kind of creativity, or the kind of satisfaction from the daily work, if they were constantly protecting something, you know, shaming someone else judging someone else. So I've seen an architectural approach, have all kinds of, you know, secondary and tertiary benefits to people's relationships to people's understanding of themselves and how they want to move in the world. So it definitely can apply on way more levels than just in your brand. And for me, it's moved a lot into the culture space.
Marc Gutman 37:04
A common question I get all the time is Mark, can you help me with our brand? Yes, we help companies solve branding problems. And the first step would be to schedule a no obligation brand clarity call, we'll link to that in the show notes, or head over to wildstorm comm and send us an email, we'll get you booked right away. So whether you're just getting started with a new business, or whether you've done some work and need a refresh, or whether you're a brand that's high performing and wants to stay there, we can help. After you book, your brand clarity call, you'll learn about our brand audit and strategy process, we'll identify if you need a new logo or just a refresh, will determine if your business has a branding problem. And you'll see examples of our work and get relevant case studies. We'll also see if branding is holding your business back and can help you get to the next level. So what are you waiting for, build the brand you've always dreamed of. Again, we'll link to that in the show notes or head over to wildstorm comm and send us an email. Now back to the show.
So my friend assha she's a brand strategist, she knew I was talking to you and she wanted me to ask you a question she she wants to know why some brand strategist like us use archetypes, then why some don't like what's your what's your thought on that? Like? We'd like sort of in what and perhaps, I think to broaden the scope of the question, What might those other brand strategist be be missing by not employing archetypes in their work?
Margaret Hartwell 38:50
why do some users and some not?
I think there are a lot of people, regardless of what they do Alicia's in brand strategy, the think that there's a way, a way for the way. And that if you just do the way, then you'll just get what you want. There's like this linear, aided, you know, Zed kind of thing that you get. And they like they have a certain commitment to that kind of process. They give some confidence. They can replicate it, there's bits, it's something that they have identified with and studied with. But, gosh, I'm stopping myself, but I'm gonna go ahead and say it. You know, it's there was this guy who put archetypes in brain as he put it on his bullshit meter. And he said it was the sixth biggest marketing bullshit thing that ever was, and I just burst out laughing I and I thought it was great because it's like, we were right after Seth Godin work. And it was like, yeah, you made it right after so But I think that the gig is up for people in, in any form of consulting or business, or helping or creativity, maybe even anyone, that you can't bring your whole self to things anymore. And I think that archetypes, you have to do that. Now, what I mean to say, probably got my negatives caught up there. But the art and architectural approach, I think, just opens a door to a deeper level of connection with yourself, with your society with any any relationships. And I think understanding that branding now isn't is about is no longer push and telling it's relatedness. And we and I'm not saying anything that you are meant all of your listeners are already across. But it's an orienting principle to understand that a brand. Branding is really about increasing the value of a relationship, so much in the way that you would increase the value of relationship with your family or a friend or your community. So why do they not use them? I think they're scared of them, because they don't know how to flesh them out into a 360 degree, living and bodied way of being. And I will admit, I probably have a leg up here, because I studied acting,
I mean, you
I know how to step into a character and kind of feel what that is. Right? You know, I've done a ton of improv. So, you know, just the idea of sparking new thing of new ideas off of other people and being able to play in that space. I've studied a ton of psychology. So I understand motivation and behavior and how to move people in that sense. And I've also been in the art world and the sustainability world, where you understand that everything is connected on some level. And it's just, it's we're working in a system. So to answer your question, in the most long winded way, is that I think that people don't use them because they don't really grok the depth of them, and that they're part of a system. So they still see it as a separate, you know, branding is still something separate. I think it's like the thread that is, who we are, and who a company is. So that's why I think people who are naturally curious, and always continuously learning are the most successful brand. Practitioners out there for an archetypal strategy or for even if they don't use archetypes, because they're just, they're just curious about life and curious about people. And they look at the cross sections, which is what I think archetypes do.
Marc Gutman 42:57
Absolutely. And that was a great answer. Not long winded. And you touched on this, but I just want to clarify, when when you're using archetypes in the archetypal analysis, are you starting off that way? and using it as a centering device? Are you doing it later? Like a lot of times? I'll do it later in the process, especially like when we're in a more typical brand strategy process like personality, voice and tone. That's where, you know, it comes up a lot for me, because I heard you speaking. Sounds like it could be very useful. Maybe in the beginning of the process, especially when you're talking about like purpose and why and why do we exist? Is that how do you approach that? Well,
Margaret Hartwell 43:36
I've been criticized for always approaching everything uniquely, which is why I probably work harder than I have to. Because everything seems like it's some bespoke thing. Again, I have to say, I think I just feel my way, I wish I could say that there was a process but you can from the discovery, half an hour with with a company and a discovery session about what it is they're saying they want, what it is that they're doing, and asking them where they want to be revealed something that tells me then, where this needs to happen. And I've done it at the very beginning,
just to kind of ground them into the notion of talking about what's going on in a story fashion with people that have specific drivers and motivations and then universal stories to them. I've done it in the middle, and I've done it with with each one of the little teams too. So that was an interesting one. Instead of doing it with the C suite. I went in and did the exercise with each one of the kinds of teams marketing and sales, Ops, HR, and even finance. So he did one with each one of those. And then I asked one person out of each one of those to come with me, and then we did it with the C suite Bigger. And those people were, were so that they were, of course, really engaged at that point. And loving the process, that they were the greatest kind of contagion excitement for the process that the C suite had to give up their Oh, boohoo on it all. And, and they were fed by the people that worked really were on the front lines, I don't like to use those metaphors. But you know that in the trenches with that with the company's purpose, and not just directing it, so I've used them at every different phase, it's this crazy, but it's really satisfying to walk back into a client's office and see the image of the car, somebody has it on their t shirt, or somebody is using it within a mug, or, or, or they're actually sitting there because we do some, some grounding work, I guess you could say, for creativity purposes, to get you in a place where you can hear your own creative news. And so they have a little technique that I teach them. So I'm watching them do it, it's pretty cool. It comes from Eric Moselle, who's a renowned kind of artistic and creativity coach. And so you know, it's a breathing process, but it it puts people quickly into a space of being able to channel the archetype, the story of that archetype. So, so yeah, it's it's everywhere. At the beginning, I think it was more that we use it right, we use it more in a kind of more traditional sense that it came, it came after, usually, after the collage, I used to do a lot of collaging, with people to try and get them to, to elicit what was going on visually for them, and also to hear how they would tell a story because we'd have them collage on a certain theme. And then they would have to tell the story back to the group, while listening to music telling me then which music actually worked for them, too. So it was it was a little bit more of a predictable process at that time. But then, I've seen it just it seems to work everywhere now.
lots of applications.
Marc Gutman 47:14
So many. And that's and that's what's so great about archetypes, and archetypal analysis. What's it like? Being the archetypes and branding person being the expert? Like what's hard about it? Like what I mean, I imagine that a lot of people come to you for different things, you get a lot of probably comments and criticism, like the like, like the person that said, You were the six most bullshit marketing trend or whatever, like, exactly, yeah, I mean, what's what's hard about it, like, like being having put this work into the world, and so many people resonating with it and using it, which is great, but like, what, what don't we see about that?
Margaret Hartwell 47:54
I guess, based on who I am, and I'm, you know, which is a overlay all unto itself to the work, I guess what's hard is that sometimes it does make me want to hide, like, I'm going to disappoint people, or that I won't be able to find it with them, or, you know, sometimes getting too egoic about and find it for them, you know, that somehow I will let them down. And I think that's been the gift and the challenge of having this work kind of fall into my lap, where the threads of my, all of my education and training and everything kind of came together is that the task now is again, to just recognize that, whatever is going to be is needs to be and to trust that we will get there together. And so to not get too attached, I think that's what's hard is that it's like having a baby in a way is like, Hey, don't criticize my baby. But do whatever, you know, good days and bad days, too. There's there's definitely people that like to criticize, and all I think back to is the way that Bernie Brown has brought the the quote about being, you know, kudos to the man in the arena, as like, Hey, I'm in the arena. Like maybe bloody but I'm, I'm in there, you know, one thing sincerely, to help and to, to guide in a way business to be the powerful force for change that I know it is, and I know it can be. So that's my whole driver of why I'm in it. So I just have to keep reminding myself that's what's hard. is even when you forget sometimes in the midst of it all that this is you have to return to your why, like you said earlier, you know, always
Marc Gutman 49:55
so I imagine this is a lot like picking your favorite child But everyone, you know, and and, you know, I tell people, you know, I have three, I have three kids and I tell people, I don't have a favorite overall child. But I always do have a favorite at any given moment. And so yes, you know, do you have a favorite archetype? At this moment? Or what? What right now would you say? Is your your favorite archetype and why? Well,
Margaret Hartwell 50:25
so I'll answer it from two different places. One from a play place, and one from a meaning place. Not that the two are, are not together. But what's happening in the world right now from a social justice perspective is soul destroying to me. And to me then, but I really, if we can awaken the strength of the activist in people that think that doesn't touch them, but it is shifting them. It's, I love the power of the activist. I love the confidence and the, the giving ness of it, you know, the, the infusion of doing what's really right for humanity. So that one's high on my, my favorite slash right now. I think from the play position. I cannot lie. You like big stories. I cannot like I like the provocateur, I cannot lie. I just, it's anything that wakes people up is totally my favorite thing.
Marc Gutman 51:36
So what's your favorite? What's your favorite provocateur brand right now?
Margaret Hartwell 51:41
Marc Gutman 51:43
that's such a tough question. But like what's like, just what's one that's on your mind? And that represents that archetype? Well, well.
Margaret Hartwell 51:50
So this is where I think that what I'm going to name is, is actually a company where I think that the provocateur is either a secondary or tertiary. But the insurance company lemonade, has they're they're disrupting and provoking a different mindset around the insurance industry. Are you across their work?
Marc Gutman 52:11
Yeah, I'm familiar with lemonade. Oh, yeah.
Margaret Hartwell 52:13
It's I just think it's amazing what they've done with, you know, machine learning to get claims processed quickly, and, and that it's actually in the benefit for that the collaborative in a way. So I think that that's part of they've provoked people to say, I don't need to accept this. So I think I think there's probably a big provocateur in that company right now. But I wouldn't say that they're provocative or bland. I really think they're citizen brand. Citizen Jester, actually, cuz I just think they're fun. You know, funny.
Marc Gutman 52:54
Talk a little bit about that really quick. I mean, you mentioned primary, secondary, tertiary, like, how do you organize that and use that as overlapping lenses? when you're when you're talking about archetypes?
Margaret Hartwell 53:05
Yeah. Um, I do. Again, I know I said this in the book, but I do kind of think of it as you're wearing different clothes, you're still the same person. But when you go hiking, you're not going to wear black tie, you know. And so the primary and secondary and tertiary show up, like you just said, as lenses for I like to think of them as facets of, you know, like a, like looking at a kaleidoscope if you if you change the the orientation just a little bit, you get a completely different color picture and all that it's still the same Kaleidoscope and it still has all the same parts, you're just choosing to put one part of it forward with the intent of not being what kind of sycophant Would you like me to be, but with the intent of actually connecting? So what part of me is going to connect the most what authentic part of me, so if that's my tertiary, or you know, the fine, if that's the tertiary archetype, that's fine. Um, for I'm just thinking of a way that this was kind of quantified is that we had metrics, we established metrics for kind of how much of certain pieces of communication would be in the primary, secondary and tertiary. So we tried to keep a balance, we graded basically how the writing was netting out in terms of the stories so that we understood that we weren't over indexing on one or another. And that if we did find ourselves shifting around, or being uncomfortable with it, it was time to refresh
Marc Gutman 54:47
of it. I love it. And so, you know, I started off the show, introducing you as an innovation consultant, innovation coach. What is that like? Like, what is like, what does that mean? And how does that show up for you? Because that's where you're focusing your time right now,
Margaret Hartwell 55:01
I think I, basically,
I'm a change person, I just am a change agent. And that's usually what I get hired to do is to do some kind of change with people, whether it's on a one to one basis, or on a company basis or a family basis, because I, I also do just coaching with people as well, executive coaching. So, you know, I have attorneys and CEOs that are looking for a different way of showing up and recognizing, much like you said earlier in the, in our chat, is that you kind of know, something is going on inside of you. And an architectural lens can help with that, and other kinds of connection as well. So, innovation is just a thing for me a fancy word for creative change. So I like to say that I instill creative courage in people. And that's what I do, and help to do.
Marc Gutman 56:07
Why is it hard for people, your clients to have creative courage? You know, it's not easy?
Margaret Hartwell 56:13
we've been fed a pretty steady stream of fear breaks, you know, steady diet of fear, recently, a lot. And I think that the, the macro world is also making us feel very, you know, insecure, and, and changing. And so it's hard to have the courage because we've been taught that we can't fail. And that's not real. You know, it's like, like, good relationships don't have conflict. No way. You know, like, yeah, and if you're a successful person, you don't fail. Sorry, the human beings, you know, the more we can just say, yes, awesome, that just came up, let's go there. I think that I'm just keep looking at your hat mark. And I think that's really where everybody's unique brilliance is, is recognizing that all those things are baseline, all those things are to be embraced. And if you if you just left them out of the right wrong box, then they're all actually just gifts and tools to be applied to however you want to live and be and do.
Marc Gutman 57:25
And so we're in the midst of a pandemic, pandemic, hopefully winding down. But how have you been dealing with archetypes because I talked a lot about, you know, my box and my cards, and it's so magical to be in a room. So how have you translated this into a tool that people can use virtually? Well,
Margaret Hartwell 57:45
I think I've mentioned to you that my favorite tool is Miro, how give them a shameless plug, I don't own any stock or anything. But to me, that has changed everything. The ability to collaborate in a virtual space on a whiteboard in that way with post its I mean, I can run innovation workshops in the same way that I did, you know, physically, it is what I had to get used to was using a couple of different monitors to make sure that I could still really catch into people's reactions and in their engagement. And so how is it changed the way I facilitate? Well, I, I'm much more cognizant of getting people to, to play specific roles for me, I don't because I'm needing to watch in a way where I can't sense it as much. I have, I always have a timekeeper with me, that's only doing that somebody who's looking at my time to Agenda sit, you know, saying, Hey, we only got five more minutes for this one, what do we want to move. And also great note takers, because I can't do all those things. Virtually, I can actually take notes, when I'm there physically, and going around, because somehow that works out because it's kind of part of the making of it all. But it can't seem to do that in a virtual space. So having good note takers and people who are actually listening, and putting in putting the stuff into the boards has been important. I found that Nero was an easy way for people to sort as well, because they just, I just put up all of the archetypes and then they would just pull into piles. And then we'd sword again. So that's what it is. I think I've worked only with Miro and zoom. And now they have an integration. Thank you safeer
Marc Gutman 59:40
Yeah, I like mirror to mirror if you're listening, I don't like your pricing model, we have to talk about that. We're not gonna use time, it takes a lot of management on my time. Like, I don't need to be managing like seats and things. But what I also wanted you to mention, you kind of alluded to it, but I just want everyone to know that Margaret has also digitized all the cards and so you You can go to her website, we'll link to that in the show notes. You can grab a licensed version of those cards and bring them into Miro, so that you can play around with them, which I think is amazing. You know, and I think it really, look, is it as good? No. But is it the next best thing? Absolutely. And I think it's really made things amazing. So I just want people to be aware of that if people are looking to get into archetypal analysis, like how would you suggest they get started? I mean, you know, I'm assuming get your book and then what?
Margaret Hartwell 1:00:30
Well, I would like to get them sooner than that, in so much is, gosh, be curious, be hungry, you know, be a hedonist at the shore gets bored of life and just study and look and observe and witness anything that you can. And then once you've identified that this is really a path for you in terms of, of brand, don't stop learning about yourself and learning about myth and story and narrative. You know, that to me, I
deepening your, your resonance with the impact that different messages have is one of the best ways to hone your skill at on earthing and revealing a true archetypical brand rallying cry, if you will. So, yeah, that's what I would say. And then yes, of course, you know, read Margaret, Mark,
read Carolyn mace, read Joseph Campbell, you know, just read, read, read, read and watch. I think films are one of the greatest ways of learning about,
you know, what is alive in a culture? What are the influences, so I guess it's really more just about being really hungry, and for knowledge, and for input stimulus, and looking for the intersections and then making sure that they also somehow come together for positive meaning, and that you take responsibility for the impact that you create. So that the way I would say get in how to get into this business, you know, follow your nose, you'll be led.
Marc Gutman 1:02:12
And if you're listening, I'll just say, Margaret's being humble. Her book synthesizes everything. I'll admit something right here on the show, I have tried to read Joseph Campbell's work like 100 times I get through maybe 30%. Each time at best. I want to tell everybody that I'm a Joseph Campbell person. It's pretty, it's pretty rough. So if you want to go through that, you know, some of that academia Be my guest. But if you want to have something that's quick and actionable, and synthesizes it with some beautiful artwork, as well, as great words, I highly, highly recommend the book, Margaret.
Unknown Speaker 1:02:48
Marc Gutman 1:02:49
What's Yeah, by the way, I keep seeing your name Margaret Hartwell on zoom. I'm like, What a cool name like Margaret. Well, like it sounds like like, like, maybe work like at the newspaper and a comic book or something like murder. I just love it. But what's next for Margaret Hartwell? What? What are you most looking forward to?
Margaret Hartwell 1:03:07
Well, I'm looking forward to getting back with people. Gosh, I missed I mean, I'm kind of an introvert. I am an introvert. And I didn't realize how much I really wanted to be around people. So what's next is really enjoying being able to just connect with people in all areas of work and play and community and everything. I think your question was probably more in terms of what am I going to do next? Or where is my work taking me?
Unknown Speaker 1:03:36
Am I right? That's one
Marc Gutman 1:03:37
way to take it. Absolutely.
Margaret Hartwell 1:03:39
Well, so strangely enough, I've gotten to travel the world with work, and I've just loved being able to do it. And I really am traveling hard, you know, three, four trips to China, New Zealand, Australia, it gets really hard. And I I've been getting a little tired of it. So my partner and I actually bought a huge Victorian in Salem, and we've been renovating it. So now the hope is that we bring kind of the world to us here. So that's one component of it. Because it's amazing how many people that have booked into our Airbnb have actually read the book, this wild lady, well, I guess Salem's kind of all archetypes, right? So that's kind of just in the background for fun, but it's really, I'm really keen to move into more of a coaching and teaching place at this point. I'd like to keep on, you know, maybe 234 clients, but teachings really amazing. I taught at the California College of the Arts, and it was one of in the design MBA program and I loved it and so I think the future is going to hold more Teaching and building out an online course right now again, when came out when the book was first published, but it was less than what I'd be proud of. So doing that building that out. And, and we'll see how the coaching goes really working with individuals, practitioners who want another sounding board or another input for bigger clients that they're doing this work with.
Marc Gutman 1:05:26
And we'll make sure to link to all your contact info in the show notes, if anyone's interested in continuing that work with you.
Margaret Hartwell 1:05:32
Yeah, I will say Mark if people want to, you know, if they want to follow me on Instagram, and then send me a message, just put the vgts or what does that maybe not backstory did GPS. There it is. What is it again? Mark,
Marc Gutman 1:05:47
BG bs? No, no. Yeah, PGP
Margaret Hartwell 1:05:51
got back. So yes, sir. Just put that in your message. And I'll send you an email to give you a discount on the the course when it comes out. So
Marc Gutman 1:05:59
that's fantastic. Thank you for that. I'm sure there's gonna be a lot of people who are interested, Margaret, as we come to a close here, and we're running out of time, I'm going to think back, I want to think back to that. That little Margaret version of yourself that was singing and dancing and, you know, didn't have a care in the world. And what do you think she'd say, if she saw you today?
Margaret Hartwell 1:06:24
She's probably say, See, I told you so. And that she, she had such faith, that being a hybrid divergent was okay. And that she just lived it and all that and expend a lot of time trying to get back to that place. So they are an archetypical perspective, the book, all of it came together. And that would be her closing shot. I think it's like, See, I told you, so he told you, it'd be okay. You'd get it all, all the creativity, all the fun people, all the arts, you know, all the meaning. It's all there.
Marc Gutman 1:07:08
Then that is Margaret Hartwell, author of archetypes in branding, go buy the book, we'll link to it in the show notes. And look, I get nothing from your purchase, I have no vested interest or incentive in you buying this book. Other than I want you to open up your aperture, broaden your possibilities. And think, a little more human. One thing we touched on, but didn't really explain is that the book explains all this awesome archetype stuff. But there are also 60 cards in the back that punch out. So you can get a full deck of cards too. You can apply this in your branding work, professional life, writing personal life, there really are so many applications, go to Amazon and get the book right now. One nugget that stood out to me was when Margaret said, brand is about increasing the value of a relationship. And at the end of the day, that's it. Now how we get there isn't always simple or easy, just like real relationships. But I think what matters is that we show up. We keep working at it, because we want to because we care. And over time, the value of that relationship increases even when we make mistakes, put her foot in her mouth, or have a bad day. brands are no different. I hope you enjoyed this conversation as much as I did. It was such a treat to talk with Margaret here her perspective and learn about what she's doing next. I'm not joking when I say Margaret is a hero to me. And I hope you got as much from this episode as I did. A big thank you to Margaret Hartwell. I want to be your BFF let me know if I can send you one half of a branding BFF locket and we can make it official. We will link to all things Margaret Hartwell in the show notes, her book, her website, her course. Well, all things and if you know of a guest who should appear on our show, please drop me a line at podcast at wildstorm calm. Our best guests like Margaret come from referrals from past guests and our listeners. Well that's the show. Until next time, make sure to visit our website www.wildstorm.com where you can subscribe to the show in iTunes, Stitcher or via RSS so you'll never miss an episode. A lot big stories and I cannot lie to you other storytellers can't deny