THE REBEL – Brand Archetype & Leadership

Disrupting the status quo

There is a storming brewing, and it’s been coming for quite some time. In the last several years, our ways of governing, running businesses, and sharing resources have been showing the cracks in their foundations.

While some feel that it’s best to patch it together and keep the status quo alive, others have been feeling ever more restless and dissatisfied with doing business as usual. Under this climate, the collective soil is ready for the REBEL archetype to flourish. However, this archetype is a double-edge sword, for it can either burn very hot very quickly or fail to embody its second stage of development: truly give birth to a new world.

The motivation of the REBEL is to bring change and disrupt the status quo — a situation that is stagnant and creatively stuck. They are driven to give voice to the shadow aspects of our culture and to bring in a new world.


Their goal is to destroy what isn’t working. Their challenge is to not throw the baby out with the bathwater. This is where embodying this archetype can be a challenge — between burning too hot and fizzling out too soon, or being able to carry forward both sides of the creative coin: tear down what no longer works, while giving room to something else to be born.

The REBEL archetype also serves as a threshold guardian, for they both disrupt, but also give birth to the new.

Other related archetypes are:

  • Revolutionary
  • Iconoclast
  • Misfit
  • Activist

In terms of business, the REBEL archetype often shows up in start-ups, small businesses that are disrupting a given field with nimble strategies and resourceful, creative output. Often their owner is the very figure of the REBEL archetype, and these brands are intimately linked to the persona of its founder.


It’s out of the gold gathered from facing their challenges that each archetype shows their medicine in the world. The challenges reflect both that which the founders have faced themselves, but also what they are helping other customers/clients tackle.

When it comes to the REBEL archetype, the challenges they face or help others navigate fall under these categories:

  • Being carried away by anger and negativity
  • Going too far in their drive to destroy the status quo
  • Identifying too much with the outsider archetype (outside the establishment)
  • Taking disruption and shock too far and being able to know when to tearing down and building/creating
  • Fanaticism for the cause

They have to remember that their motivation is to disrupt what isn’t working and be the creative and change-makers for a new world. The goal is to destroy what isn’t working, not the entire establishment, leaving the situation prone to anarchy, confusion, and further unmitigated destruction.

The challenges of the REBEL reflect its shadow aspects. These aspects live in the unconscious response that many have either for or against this archetype. It’s both this edge that is attractive, but also repulsive to many. Brands that embody the REBEL need to be very conscious of where they can tip over too much to the other side and lose their bearings.


The strengths of the REBEL is where their focus and energies need to be in terms of product or service creation, and their messaging. Their strengths are their natural attractor and what will send out a powerful signal to their market, followers, and clients/customers.

Their strengths are:

  • Risk-taking
  • Progressive
  • Honesty
  • Change-maker
  • Radical Freedom
  • Courageous vulnerability

This is the gold inherent in this Brand Archetype. If your brand aligns with the REBEL, then ask yourself how these strengths are more visible in your branding — services, products, and, more importantly, in your messaging. It’s critical that what you and your business stand for the need to be made clear, but also that every action your business takes reflects that you are walking the talk.

Our world needs people, institutions, and businesses that can speak honestly, even when they don’t know all the answers, and by doing this, invite others to come and share their strengths and resources. Businesses that embody the REBEL can show up as progressive and creative in opening up avenues of expression for their followers/clients/customers while inviting personal authority and responsibility too.

One of the core gifts of a wise REBEL is that true freedom is only possible when we can act courageously, own our vulnerability, and be aware that my freedom can only go as far as the freedom of another goes. There’s a nuanced difference between anarchist and rebel, and a brand that embodies this archetype needs to be very aware of both its shadow and strengths.

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