2024-04-14 11:28:24

Turning Inward

Here at Free Range, we’ve been helping people find their stories and bring them to life for more than 20 years. In all that time, we’ve gone through a lot of changes—while remaining true to our original goal of helping brands tell stories that attract audiences by empowering them.

After all this time helping non-profits, mission-driven businesses, and other organizations tell their stories, we decided it was high time we revisited our own story.

Together, we worked through a few of the key exercises in our one-of-a-kind storytelling workshop to revisit where we came from, where we’re at, and where we want to go.

Working with Archetypes

The Free Range approach to brand storytelling involves working with archetypes—certain symbols, story patterns, and prototypical characters that appear again and again in cultures across time and place. Grounding a brand’s story in these deep, universal ideas helps it forge a strong link with its audience, and influence people on an emotional level.  

Our method uses 15 distinct archetypes to help organizations clarify their motives, reframe how their audiences might see them, and set goals for how they want to present themselves in the future. By exploring the archetypes as a team, we were able to get a better sense of how Free Range has evolved since its founding—and where we’d like to take the agency in the future.

Founding Archetypes

The Magician Archetype The Pioneer Archetype

Jonah Sachs, brand strategist and author of Winning the Story Wars, founded Free Range on a radical idea—that organizations could use ancient storytelling techniques to connect deeply with modern audiences. Fittingly, his agency combined the creativity and vision of The Magician with the innovation and optimism of The Pioneer. The Pioneer’s drive to push the boundaries of what’s possible—and The Magician’s willingness to have a little fun while doing it—are still big parts of our culture today.

Current Archetypes

The Architect Archetype The Professor Archetype

The Detective Archetype The Captain Archetype

Over the years, we’ve added a growing list of technical capabilities to our in-house offerings. Today, in addition to our unique approaches to brand strategy and storytelling, we offer product innovation, web development, media production, and a host of other services that help our clients turn their ideas into effective collateral and digital products. Accordingly, the archetypes which best represent our organization and its mission have changed as well.

Like The Professor, we draw on deep pools of knowledge to help others find the answers they need. Using the skills of The Detective, we sniff out problems and opportunities for our clients—and rely on The Architect’s skill with systems, models, and blueprints to help them draft plans for success. And of course, like The Captain, we see it as our duty not just to guide our clients through the creative process, but to draw out the very best they have to offer—so that they can learn to recognize in themselves the wonderful talents and strengths that are so apparent to us.

Future Archetypes

The Alchemist Archetype The Rebel Archetype

As we continue to grow, we hope to keep combining our storytelling and technical offerings in an ever-more seamless, effective whole—using the power of The Alchemist to unite the unexpected, and turn the ordinary into gold. Moreover, as we work our particular brand of magic, we’ll call on The Rebel in each of us to ensure we are always pushing back against the status quo, striving to find an even better way of doing things.

Finding Your Archetypes

We hope you’ve enjoyed taking a look under the hood of Free Range with us! If you’d like to try this exercise on your own, please click here to get the full set of Free Range archetype cards to help you find the heart of your brand story.

And of course, if you’d like our help finding and telling your brand’s story, we’d love to hear from you!