Michael Cowen contacted me to talk about brand archetypes and positioning, and his website, www.contextbranding.co.za is really worth a look. He identifies 10 brand archetypes which can be mapped creating a unique brand profile. A strategy can then be created to position the brand by aligning three critical areas: executive vision and business strategy, customer perceptions, and management and staff perceptions. A very useful approach – my only worry is that it is static where the world is dynamic. These 10 archetypes are constantly changing their values and weightings, and while the brand consultant may understand this, often the client company misses the point. I have often worked with clients who proudly hand over to me their brand positioning document, only to find it was created five years ago. It is understandable; such profiles take a lot of resource, both in terms of time and money to produce. Nobody wants to have have to repeat the exercise too regularly, but I would argue that is what is needed. Perhaps the trick is to identify some key indicators in the market and within the company that can be taken as live feeds and used to update the model automatically. Each view is only a snapshot of the brand in time, but the data can be used to identify and capitalise on trends.