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An Archetype in Action: What a Toy Store Teaches Us About Living Your Story

It’s hard to find a better definition of a “brick-and-mortar store” than LEGO’s New York City shop. (Yeah, yeah, mortar and plastic bricks don’t exactly blend well, but what pun is perfect?)

LEGO's flagship store in Manhattan invites visitors to play with bricks before they buy, participate in activities that take their real-life creations into a digital space, observe statuesque designs of New York City landmarks, and interact with the company’s Storytelling Table. It’s all tactile and all plays into LEGO’s story archetype — the Creator.

Story archetypes are a shortcut to understanding what makes an organization tick and how they present themselves to target audiences. For LEGO, they are most readily identified with the Creator (some may call them an Artist, which is similar). Creator organizations, unsurprisingly, are focused on unleashing creativity, building something new that meets a vision, using the imagination and being innovative.

But it’s not enough to enter the market and say, “Hi, we’re LEGO. We’re Creators.” To truly live a story, an organization must be authentic to its message and connect with audiences in a way that displays the Creator’s traits. Put the archetype in action — or, if you’re trying to determine your company’s existing archetype, work backwards. Think of what you already do, what it says about your organization and research archetypes that will help focus your story.

Not every tactic to share an organization’s story can be as literally hands-on as LEGO’s, but there are always ways to live your story that will engage target audiences and lead them to act.

Want to learn more about archetypes? More examples of an archetype in action? Check out my book "Finding Your Capital S Story: Why your Story Drives your Brand."

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