The incredible capacity to feel, enjoy, and love are the signature traits of the Lover archetype. It’s an interesting archetype that helps us typify personalities that seek connection through intimacy, attentiveness and enjoying experiences. But, contrary to the common misconception, the Lover archetype encompasses much more than romantic affections and spans into greater universal love; we unpack this further, later on. To those with a dominant Lover archetype, experiencing the object of their affection means everything. Profound expressions of love are natural to the Lover. We use the Lover archetype in stories; sometimes as characters we create and other times as brand personalities that we design stories for. We find the Lover archetype driven to make decisions through passion, and always looking to fill their vast capacity to experience and love. For businesses that want to highlight attention to detail, incredible experiences and a deep passion for what they do, the Lover is a great fit to build their persona.
Love defies the ego’s instinct to selfishly survive. Love attunes you to something beyond yourself and, through that experience, it allows you to return to yourself with renewed devotion.
In narratives, the Lover often embarks on a journey of self-discovery through love, sensory experience, or a pursuit of beauty, ultimately seeking to merge their inner and outer worlds. This archetype embodies the power of deep emotional experience. The Lover is one of the twelve archetypes of the universally recognized patterns of the human psyche as theorized by Carl Jung— the Swiss psychiatrist and founder of analytical psychology. We use them in our story design process. We created a more detailed guide to understand archetypes; it’s recommended as a supporting read to understand why Jungian archetypes provide a great framework to typify business personas.
In this short guide focusing on the Lover archetype, we cover:
Businesses embracing the Lover
Some businesses naturally tap into the Lover archetype. The nature of their work itself prioritizes emotional and sensory aspects of human experience, allowing their consumers to connect with products or services on a deeper, more passionate level. They often place value on aesthetics, close connection, and the creation of memorable or emotionally charged experiences.
Art galleries and museums are spaces dedicated to celebrating and showcasing beauty, art, and culture; they naturally embody the Lover archetype. They often want to evoke deep emotional responses and connections with the audience. Another natural Lover archetype fit is fine dining restaurants that emphasize the sensory experience of dining, combining exquisite food, beautiful spaces, and impeccable service to create unforgettable experiences. Fashion and jewelry brands, particularly in the luxury range, often play into the idealistic and romantic aspects of the Lover archetype, offering products that symbolize love, beauty, and desire.
But, the Lover goes beyond these mentioned businesses. If your business values beauty, intimacy, and in-depth experiences, or is a devout aficionado of a craft, an artform, a science, a product or anything for that matter, it can successfully project the Lover archetype in stories and identity. We use a Brand Articulation Framework to identify a business persona, where archetypes are one of the major tools we use. In our own business, the Lover is the fourth and final archetype; see the Public Works brand articulation framework that unpacks how this archetype channels how our business connects to our audience through a shared love for stories.
The Lover archetype in Jungian storytelling represents a profound connection to passion, desire, and the exploration of intense emotions. It symbolizes the human longing for unity, both with others and with life's experiences. This is why the Lover has resonance with luxury hotels, resorts, and travel agencies that provide profound experiences and with the publishing and entertainment industries that want to immerse consumers in stories. We’ve also observed many Lover brands among spa and wellness retreats where sensory experience is a major focus; and among cosmetics and perfume businesses tapping into the sensory aspect of the Lover, offering products that enhance beauty and evoke strong emotions through scents and aesthetics, promoting self-love and self-care.
1937. Lionel Wendt, Colombo. Wendt's photography often channelled the Lover archetype—a persona we think was inherent to Wendt himself.
The Lover in stories
Businesses can incorporate Lover archetype story arcs and narratives into their stories to connect with customers at a deeper emotional level. These are stories that go beyond just selling products or services and create a meaningful and passionate connection with the audience. Businesses founded on personal dreams and aspirations and channelling the Lover archetype can share founders’ stories, portraying the journey from a passionate idea to the realization of a dream—it’s a genuine and compelling story arc that allows audiences to understand the love.
Lover story arcs capture the passionate pursuit of an ideal, a quality, a state, or a vision. This narrative emphasizes the dedication and devotion that goes into achieving something, whether it’s a high-quality product or an unparalleled service. Stories that focus on relationships are also great Lover stories; here, a Lover archetype business becomes a close companion in the customer's journey, there to fulfill desires and needs.
For local businesses with a dominant Lover archetype, story design can be centered around their love and gratitude for the community. The most often seen stories from this narrative are those that celebrate customer loyalty through special events, memberships, rewards, or personalized gestures. But, in our experience, the most effective stories from this narrative emphasize the role of the business as a beloved member of the community; this positions the business as a friend contributing to the growth and changes in customers’ lives, being part of their triumphs and challenges. For example, we designed this story showing how the client products are still relevant to the new normal of weddings. Inspired by true events, this story created emotional responses in the targeted audience, by evoking memories and projections of intimate ceremonies that became a norm during the pandemic environment when large events were not permitted. Stories like this become love letters to a business community and they always strike a chord with the audience.
One of the most popular story types inherent to the Lover archetype is those celebrating beauty. If aesthetics are central to the business, the narrative can revolve around the celebration of beauty, design or the sensory experiences that the brand's products or services offer. Businesses that offer products or services that engage the senses, such as food, beverages, fragrances, or luxury textiles and clothing, can create narratives that evoke the sensory pleasures and emotional connections associated with their offer.
Our most frequent Lover brand clients are in fashion and the creative industry. When we design stories for them, we make sure we bring out the traits that highlight their ability to offer deeply satisfying products or services with rich attributes. See how we helped a luxury sari retailer convey the depth of their product offer and difficult messages during the Covid pandemic while channeling the Lover archetype.
Why the Lover goes beyond romance
Although a common stereotype and misconception, the Lover archetype is not limited to romantic love; this archetype also connects to spiritual love, love for a place, a community, a culture, food, the environment, family, or the world. One of the most visible manifestations of the Lover archetype this way is whenever a business stands for a deep passion for anything. It could be a passion for art, music, an automobile, a career, a cause, or a hobby. This intense dedication and enthusiasm for one's interests are key elements of the Lover. It can also be expressed through a profound connection with nature. Some brands have a deep love for the environment, wildlife, or the outdoors, experiencing a sense of oneness and reverence for the natural world.
As a business with a Lover archetype, Public Works stories often channel our love for what we do and the environment we inhabit. See how we portrayed our love for stories, and the inspiration that nature lends us humans.
This emotive archetype also extends to self-love and self-care. It involves taking care of one's own well-being, nurturing oneself, and finding joy and pleasure in self-discovery and personal growth. The Lover also channels a strong appreciation for aesthetics, beauty, and sensory experiences in various forms, such as art, music, architecture, or even the simple beauty of everyday life. The Lover archetype can extend to a spiritual or mystical love, involving a deep connection with the divine, a quest for spiritual enlightenment, or a desire to experience transcendent states of consciousness. In a professional context, the Lover can manifest in the commitment and passion for one's work or craft, where the pursuit of excellence and the emotional connection to the job take center stage. Some companies embody the Lover archetype through their dedication to philanthropic or social causes, driven by a deep love for humanity and a desire to make a positive impact on the world.
The Lover archetype represents the universal human capacity to form intense, emotional connections and to passionately pursue what brings joy, meaning, and fulfillment. While romantic love is one aspect of this archetype, it encompasses a wide spectrum of emotional experiences and connections, making it a versatile and deeply human storytelling archetype.