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Everybody has a wild side: Meet The Outlaw

Updated: Oct 7

putnam seo marketing

Everybody has a wild side, and The Outlaw Brand Archetype appeals to this inner yearning for revolt through nonconformity. The Outlaw disregards social conventions and pursues destruction if only to restore society to its ideal state. Happy Revolution Day America!​

The Outlaw | Brand Archetypes | Putnam Marketing


  1. PROMISE: Rules were made to be broken.

  2. CORE DESIRE: Revolution

  3. GOAL: To destroy what is not working

  4. FEAR: Being powerless

  5. STRATEGY: Disrupt, destroy, or shock

  6. GIFT: Radical freedom

  7. MOTIVATION: Mastery

Putnam Marketing The Outlaw. Everybody has a wild side, and The Outlaw Brand Archetype appeals to this inner yearning for revolt through nonconformity

The Complete Outlaw

The Outlaw, who by nature is a disruptive force, seeks to upend the status quo, whether for one’s own benefit or the benefit of others.

The Outlaw, who represents the archetype’s darker side, becomes enraged when they are personally offended.

Since fear is viewed as a strength, it doesn’t mind being feared by others.

Extremist organizations are frequently used as examples of The Outlaw Brand Archetype.

Positively, the Outlaw disturbs others’ comfort with the current quo in an effort to spur change.

For instance, many civil rights advocates participated in nonviolent protests while yet embodying the Outlaw character.

Using the Outlaw Brand

The Outlaw is a countercultural force that has the power to break down social taboos (rock ‘n’ roll, drugs, and sex, anyone?) by appealing to the dark side of human nature.

Any company that aims to free itself (or others) from oppression and escape the current dominant culture qualifies as an outlaw.

Look at Robin Hood, Malcolm X, Harley-Davidson, MTV, Howard Stern, and Miley Cyrus as instances of the Outlaw archetype.

The Outlaw Archetype’s Various Levels

Outlaw brands have the power to overthrow tyrannical governments or perpetuate morally dubious beliefs. These firms rely on advertising that highlights taking chances and deviating from the boring status quo.

This can be done by using imagery that is either bold and revolutionary or dark and destructive.

Whether extreme or just a funny or surprising joke, there is frequently some element of shock value.

Brands that advertise generally “regular” or “healthy” goods or services frequently include playful references to the Outlaw, implying that their product or service is suited when consumers want to feel slightly terrible or out of the ordinary.

Because employees of Outlaw businesses frequently identify as Outlaws and exhibit their passion in all aspects of their work, the organizational culture of these companies is frequently highly revolutionary in and of itself.

Level 1: Recognizing oneself as an outcast and distancing oneself from mainstream culture.
Level 2: Using frightening or disruptive behavior.
Level 3: Revolutionary status.
What are Brand Archetypes? A brand archetype is a way of presenting a brand – its metaphorical meanings, values, behaviors, and messages – as a persona, making it more instantly recognizable and relatable to target audiences. Brand archetypes offer businesses a personality that makes them approachable and relatable to people that share similar values

The Rebel

​The Rebel is a risk-taker who disregards the rules. The Rebel pushes the boundaries to bring about societal change, a new viewpoint, or a reawakening because they are tired of tradition.

The Rebel must watch out not to cross too many lines in its pursuit of reform since it has the capacity to be motivated by resentment and bitterness.

To drastically alter some economic, political, or social structure, the activist campaigns for a cause. This sub-archetype gathers support for its cause by believing in the ability of individuals to bring about change.


To drastically alter some economic, political, or social structure, the activist campaigns for a cause. This sub-archetype gathers support for its cause by believing in the ability of individuals to bring about change.


​The Gambler enjoys taking chances. There are no restrictions on the amount of money the gambler would wager, which can cause addiction and compulsion. However, this sub-archetype is sociable and has sound judgment.


Any type of classification or restriction is rejected by the free-thinking Maverick. The Maverick demonstrates intelligence, assertiveness, and fearlessness while going against the grain and has an independent streak a mile wide.​

Brand Examples Archetypes Putnam Marketing

Examples of Outlaw Brands in the Real World


A classic example of a mainstream Outlaw brand is Harley-Davidson. For motorcycle enthusiasts, Harley-Davidson stands for liberation from strict social norms. “A lot is expected from you, to be certain things for a lot of people all day long,” as one devoted rider put it. And if you don’t keep an eye out, you might not be aware of your true identity. When riding a Harley, none of that is an issue for you. You and your friend are present.


PayPal positions itself as the “new money in town” in a very strong Outlaw manner, despite the fact that some could say there are more innovative forms of commerce available today (such as Bitcoin or near-field communication via Apple Pay or Samsung Pay).

The Outlaw Consumer

The consumer of The Outlaw may feel like a byproduct of the dominant culture. Alienation is a catalyst that can bring on rage.

Outlaw customers enjoy risky activities and may even engage in destructive behavior for the sake of feeling “bad.”

When they feel particularly alienated, young people who are trying to “discover themselves” frequently push past The Explorer tendency and move straight on to Outlaw status.

Consumers in the underworld are drawn to things that are risqué, provocative, or controversial.

They have a burning need to be free.

Surprisingly, though, well-adjusted, law-abiding members of society who occasionally feel the urge to vent off some steam may also be among the fringe Outlaw buyers.

Brands that want to connect with Outlaw consumers must determine their level of extremism and take appropriate action.

Mass communication is the most effective technique to get in touch with peripheral Outlaws. They do have a lower threshold for shock value but be advised.

Due to the risk of offending consumers, brands with a larger emphasis on revolution tend to steer clear of the mainstream and must instead connect with customers through niche special interest groups and online hubs.

Are You an Outlaw Brand?

Outlaw brands frequently tread a narrow line since they may occasionally be seen as insulting. Look at the goods or services you provide. Do they alter the social or economic norms in your field? How big is your clientele?

#12brandarchetypes #brandarchetypes #TheOutlaw

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