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Archetypes and adventures in Brand Voice discovery
from Andrew, Sumit, Konos and Jerry at How to Brand You
Thanks to everyone who hit reply last month and said "keep going Mackay," and welcome to all you new subscribers. I read and reply to every email, so write on.

More than 1900 people have discovered their brand voice at howtobrandyou.com. If you know someone who's starting a new venture, struggling to tell their story authentically or has a thing for archetypes, please forward this email to them.

This is the first month you'll find your brand voice archetype matched to one of the UN's 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), so have a look, have some hope and if you're of a mind, follow the links for some actually-doable doins. For a deeper SDG dive, tune in to Kevin and James on their SDG Talks Podcast for both heart-warming and game-changing stories from around the world.

Today, November 12 (if this edition of inwords meets its deadline) is the last day of COP26 in Glasgow so the observations attached to each archetype this month are from twelve Scots: 6 women and 6 men.

β€” Andrew

First: Archetype Housekeeping

If you can't remember your brand voice archetype, fear not!
You can find it at an address in your browser that looks like:
(Replace /report/how-to-brand-you with your brand name.)
If you can't remember the brand name you used, just reply to this email and I'll have a look for you.

The twelve Archetyped Enterprises and Observations for November, 2021

Archetype Journey Icon 1 - The Innocent
An Innocent brand and an observation from bonny Scotland this month πŸ‘‰

The Innocent Archetype is proactively honest, transparent and wonder-ful.

READ MORE about The Innocent Archetype's brand voice

1. The SDG Talks Podcast

Kevin (Chicago) and James (Scotland) at the SDG Talks Podcast, interview fascinating change-making individuals who are working to transform the world through the lens of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The October 21st episode with Rianna Patterson, "Living a Healthy and Happy Life" (34 min) tackles tough topics but it's an episode full of hope.
"I'm truly sorry man's dominion
Has broken Nature's social union."

β€” Robert Burns, Alloway

Good Health and Well-being

SDG 3's aim is to "ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages" and its 13 targets are designed to do so; from Reducing Maternal Mortality to Fighting Communicable Diseases and achieving Universal Healthcare. They are huge goals β€” here are some ways you can be part of them.
Archetype Journey Icon 2 - The Everyperson
One Everyperson brand and a wee, musical observation from Scotland this month πŸ‘‰

The Everyperson Archetype is inclusive, individual and the salt of the earth. They can often be spotted wearing their striped socks inside out (more on socks in this month's Jester Archetype spot below...)

READ MORE about The Everyperson Archetype's brand voice

2. Insight Timer

I sit to meditate most mornings. And most mornings, not long after I acknowledge the chatter of my monkey mind and just before I notice the calm that has been instrumental in quieting a lifetime of depression, I get clues as to why I spend more and more time on this inwords project each month.

And on every one of those mornings I am grateful for the usually 5,000-ish others all over the world who have been sitting with me and Insight Timer. As Christopher, Insight Timer's CEO, wrote last month, "If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together."
"Whoever you pretend to be, you must face yourself eventually."

β€” Alastair Stuart, Glasgow

Zero Hunger

The goals of SDG 2 are to end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture. This Global Goal aims at eight targets to end world hunger; from ending malnutrition to maintaining the genetic diversity in foods. The "Things To Do" on this SDG's page basically boil down to "eat more vegetables" but you're smarter than that aren't you? Get yourself some hummus and Sherlock this page for inspiration.
Archetype Journey Icon 3 - The Hero
A Hero brand and an anti-heroic observation from Scotland this month πŸ‘‰

The Hero Archetype is as humble and vulnerable as it is valiant.

READ MORE about The Hero Archetype's brand voice

3. Slimbridge Wetland Centre

As you may have noticed, there's a pelican icon in the new How to Brand You brand, and my second "hire," for the position of Pelican-in-Chief, was Konos, a Dalmatian pelican from Greece β€” long story short, I have bird issues.

To be honest, although Slimbridge Wetland Centre's 75th anniversary this year would have been worthy of mention, the reason I included SWC this month is because I noticed in a BBC News app article that "the number of species [they've] cared for has [...] increased, with the largest and rarest of the pelican species Dalmatian pelican now calling its Arundel Wetlands Centre home."

Bringing these beautiful birds back from extinction in the UK is hopeful news.
"What's so brave about being bald? I've not fought for my country or found the cure for cancer β€” I've just gone out without my hat on!"

β€” Gail Porter, Edinburgh

No Poverty

I matched SDG 1, No Poverty, with The Hero archetype because it seems to me that heroic is the level of effort it's going to take to achieve its targets. It's an overwhelming goal but we are making progress. The "Decade of Impact" Report talks about that.
Archetype Journey Icon 4 - The Caregiver
A carrying Caregiver brand and an observation by a Scottish Professor of Divinity and Biblical Criticism (who knew such things existed in tandem!) πŸ‘‰

As gutsy as The Hero Archetype, The Caregiver Archetype embraces compassion and empathy. The risk for this archetype is indifference in the face of hopelessness.

READ MORE about The Caregiver Archetype's brand voice

4. We Carry Kevan

In the summer of 2016, a guy named Kevan from North Carolina and five friends took a three-week trip across France, England and Ireland.

Kevan has Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA), a rare neuromuscular disease.

His friends carried him for those three weeks in a backpack.

And there are more brilliant caring, carrying and redefining accessibility stories like Kevan's here.
​"A man may well be condemned, not for doing something, but for doing nothing."

β€” William Barclay, Wick

Gender Equality

Thankfully the authors of SDG 5, Gender Equality, went beyond the token = symbol in its icon and tasked this goal with empowering all women and girls. There was evidence of progress (whew! more hope!) this past Monday, November 8. From almost 8,000 applicants, Google.org announced the winners of its Impact Challenge for Women and Girls.
Here are the targets for SDG 5.
Archetype Journey Icon 5 - The Explorer
An Explorer brand and inwords' first Makar observation from Scotland this month πŸ‘‰

Explorer Archetype thinking is synonymous with bucking mainstream mores and myopic thinking β€” like an albatross and not unlike The Outlaw Archetype.

READ MORE about The Explorer Archetype's brand voice

5. Atlas Obscura

Founded by a couple of Americans in 2009, Atlas Obscura is part Unsplash, part Google Maps, part Airbnb experiences and part Epicurious.
Their Explorer stories are inspiring, both because of where they go and because like Grammarly and Carrot Weather (and maybe How to Brand You someday) I love it when a new, enthusiastic brand explores and disrupts an established space.
Corporation Road II
​"On my red swing I swept
high as its iron
chains allowed, the sky
I rushed toward disdained
to gather me; I birded up,
dizzied by its blue, its ungovernable clouds -
come back, said the Earth
I have your shadow."

β€” from 'The Bonniest Companie' by Kathleen Jamie, Currie, Scotland's fourth Makar (makar is a Middle Scots word meaning maker, and, since 2004, has been the official title of the National Poet for Scotland)

Life On Land

The targets for SDG 15 aren't specifically about people, which I think is a nice change because, as a species we have been such selfish, destructive asses.
Ultimately the SDGs are all about us righting as many wrongs as we can before 2030 so that we survive, but it is a breath of fresh air to read about us caring for this planet and the poor creatures that are stuck on it with us, which is what you'll find at the links below.

Here are SDG 15's targets and the UN's suggestions for supporting it.
Archetype Journey Icon 6 - The Outlaw
A bearded, Outlaw brand and a stand your ground observation from Scotland this month πŸ‘‰

Although The Outlaw Archetype is challenging, confronting and sometimes disruptive, it's inherently honourable.

READ MORE about The Outlaw Archetype's brand voice

6. Bearded Badger Books

I came across a Tweet by a bearded British bookseller bloke in Belper named Paul (if only his name had been Bill or even Barry) last month: "Ok guys, I’m gonna level with you… I need some help. This week has been another disastrous week, and so far we’ve sold just 5 books all week. Sadly, this isn’t a one-off week, it’s becoming the norm, and as you’ve probably worked out, it isn’t sustainable."
As you can probably guess, (see references to us being a shitty species above) a chapter or two of nice readers took up the cause and things are looking up at the Bearded Badger. Here's Paul's online store.
​"You cannot run away from weakness; you must some time fight it out or perish; and if that be so, why not now, and where you stand?"

β€” Robert Louis Stevenson, Edinburgh

Climate Action

The map element in the icon for SDG 13, Climate Action, actually looks like another planet, which would be great because that would mean we could just carry on buying shit and throwing it away for at least another generation.
Unfortunately, if you look at it in motion on its official SDG page, you'll see it's just a view of earth taken by a drone with crappy resolution from above Santa's workshop.
And if enough of us do something to save Santa and his elves...
Archetype Journey Icon 7 - The Lover
Two fruit and planet loving brands and a Bali honeymoon quote from Aberdeenshire πŸ‘‰

The Lover Archetype seeks union (not Union, the Slovenian beer brand), is comfortable in surrender, dedicated, and powered by passion and tenderness.

READ MORE about The Lover Archetype's brand voice

7. Lemonaid+ and ChariTea

Usually the first thing I discover after I find what looks like a good-for-the-planet with a great brand voice beverage brand is that it's owned by one of the monolithic soft drink brands. Groan.
I'm almost certain that's not the case with Lemonaid+ and ChariTea, two brands with brilliant microcopy like "Just passion and fruit," "Sweetened by nature," and "squeezed from fresh fruit without squeezing our growers," that fund a Hamburg-based charity that promotes partnerships for economic independence in the global south.
​"My first real foreign holiday was my honeymoon 20 years ago, and we went to Bali. It was particularly special for that reason, I enjoyed it very much - I had packed music scores and a practice drum pad, suspecting that I would be completely bored, but actually they remained in my case."

β€” Dame Evelyn Elizabeth Ann Glennie, CH, DBE, Aberdeenshire

Reduced Inequalities

The principle of SDG 10 is that "when every individual is self sufficient, the entire world prospers." This Global Goal has 10 targets that are "big picture" macro-level benchmarks. Even the action items take effort and guts and humility and passion: like the Lover Archetype. What? You thought it was all about hugs and kisses?
Archetype Journey Icon 8 - The Creator
A Creator brand and a wish by a Scot from the Bahamas πŸ‘‰

The Creator Archetype is imaginative, artistic and visionary. It loathes inactivity, occasionally to the point of workaholism.

READ MORE about The Creator Archetype's brand voice

8. The Marginalia

While I mainly write about finding the words to craft an authentic voice, The Marginalia's creator, Maria Popova, has been curating and writing "about ideas of timeless nourishment" (as Brain Pickings until last month) since 2006.

Her story about becoming The Marginalia is a beautiful read about literacy "in the language of life" that sashays to particular atoms, neural configurations and who we love (for Keith, Nancy and Sam in Creemore.)
​"More than anything else, I'd like to be an old man with a good face, like Hitchcock or Picasso."

β€” Sean Connery, Edinburgh (Connery died in the Bahamas on October 31, 2020 at the age of 90.)

Affordable and Clean Energy

Of all the SDGs, this one struck me as being uber-technical but when I listened to Greenlight Planet's Radhika Thakkar speak to James from the SDG Talks Podcast on October 8, 2021 about off-grid communities, individuals walking miles to charge their mobile phones, kids not having lights to study by β€” I got it.
The SDG 7 web page
Archetype Journey Icon 9 - The Ruler
A Ruler brand (because of its majesty not its Majesty) and a few words from another Scottish Annie πŸ‘‰

The Ruler Archetype's Brand Voice is challenged to temper ego with understanding, and to distinguish majesty from bravado.

READ MORE about The Ruler Archetype's brand voice

9. Earthshots

Launched by Prince William and The Royal Foundation in October 2020, the "Earthshot Prize is centred around five β€˜Earthshots’ – simple but ambitious goals for our planet which if achieved by 2030 will improve life for us all, for generations to come."

The 2021 finalists and winners for the Nature, Air, Oceans, Waste-reduction and Climate prizes hail from places as metropolitan as Milan and as I-wish-I-was-on-a-beach-there-today Costa Rica.
​"You just decide what your values are in life and what you are going to do, and then you feel like you count, and that makes life worth living. It makes my life meaningful."

β€” Annie Lennox, Aberdeen

Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions

Whenever I read about SDG 16's mission to, "Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels," I get a little overwhelmed.
We have been asleep at the wheel for a long while.

The idea that I can connect these 17 goals and their 169 targets to this archetype and branding experiment gives it more meaning; and the idea of sharing them with you gets me out of bed in the morning β€” all that and coffee, oh, and I had to pee.
Archetype Journey Icon 10 - The Magician
A Magician brand and an observation from a Scot, singer, songwriter and Terminator this month πŸ‘‰

A Magician brand voice β€” must strive to weave delight between the lines of its visionary and intuitive story. Its tendency toward arrogance β€” expectations of colleagues and customers to read its mind β€” risks distancing its worth from its audience.

Read more about The Magician Archetype brand voice

10. Hakai Magazine

"If we discover that there is an entire civilization basically under our nose, maybe it will result in some shift in the way that we treat our environment. And maybe it will result in more respect for the living world." β€” Michael Bronstein, Imperial College, London

… from the story, Are We on the Verge of Chatting with Whales?" by Christoph Droesser in Hakai Magazine, a Canadian coastal publication from Victoria, British Columbia.
​"I want to hear from the creature who isn't blessed with unbelievable good looks and incredible genes. I want to hear from the geek girl, the forgotten girl, the invisible girl and the miserable girl."

β€” Shirley Manson, Edinburgh

Sustainable Cities & Communities

Sometimes I talk too much. And this SDG title does too. If SDG 11 was Sustainable Communities, the cities that are collections of those communities would magically look after themselves. We have to think small, local, community to achieve these larger, global goals.
Read the targets for SDG 11
Archetype Journey Icon 11 - The Sage
A Sage brand and an Inverness observation πŸ‘‰

The Sage Archetype is wise and the only archetype whose name is the same as its colour. The Sage is forever seeking balance; it struggles with idealism and its inability to compromise. "Listen more attentively" is sage advice for this archetype.

READ MORE about The Sage Archetype's brand voice

11. Treehugger

I avoid Big Brand mentions as much as possible but I love great About pages and Treehugger's (owned by Dotdash) is warm, easy to navigate and about as exhaustive as they come.
This Sage brand's management team is largely made up of women and stands for: reporting with integrity, never preaching, trusting science, refusing greenwashing and welcoming everyone. I thought their promises (previous sentence) was a well done flip-flop of pluses and minuses.
​"We'd never expect to understand a piece of music on one listen, but we tend to believe we've read a book after reading it just once."
β€” Ali Smith, Inverness

Autumn, "the first serious Brexit novel," was shortlisted for the 2017 Man Booker Prize for fiction.

Responsible Consumption & Production

I didn't align SDG 12, Responsible Consumption and Production, with The Sage archetype because the colours of their icons are similar (just getting ahead of the few smart-assed subscribers who would have pointed that out β€” you know who you are). I chose the pairing because responsible production requires tough choices and forward-thinking leadership; two qualities that our dumb-assed decisions have been lacking lately.
Here is SDG 12 in detail.
Archetype Journey Icon 12 - The Jester
A Jester brand and an observation from a Scottish-born Canuck (as opposed to the Canadian-born Scot who writes these emails) πŸ‘‰

The Jester Archetype lives for the experience; it is naturally compelling, entertaining and delightful, and is challenged by the tripartite trap of self-importance, disingenuity and indifference.

READ MORE about The Jester's brand voice

12. Dedicated.

On my arrival in Wallasey last week, my mate Pete dragged the luggage I'd left here pre-COVID down from the attic. In it was a rainbow of running, compression, snow-shovelling and, "if I ever have another date night" dress socks.

So I was in just that kind of foot-longing head space when I stumbled on Dedicated., a Swedish clothing brand that sustainably produces clothing with designers from around the world and says things like, "Support your Local Planet" and "It means the world, literally."
​"Everybody can cry at the same thing, but it's a lot harder to get everyone to laugh at the same thing." β€” Colin Mochrie, Kilmarnock-born Canadian

Clean Water & Sanitation

SDG 6, Clean Water and Sanitation is a tough Global Goal to write about after sticking my writer's toe in the water of a sustainable garment and sock company from Sweden but I refuse to give in to the possibility that my generation and the last few before it have screwed this completely for my six grandkids.
Our World in Data illustrates the situation beautifully.
Charity Water illustrates working toward this Global Goal beautifully.
Here's the juice on SDG 6 from the Global Goals website.


2030, the deadline for the Sustainable Development Goals, is eight years and one month away.

Some of us will not be here when that time comes.
All of us need to behave as though lives depend on the actions we take between now and then.

I believe this is important work but 17 SDGs and their 169 targets are a lot to digest.
"The UN Sustainable Development Goals: an Interdisciplinary Academic Introduction" is a FREE, self-paced course in English from KULeuvenX (The Katholieke Universiteit in Leuven, Belgium) if, like me, you'd like to learn more.

Thanks to all 342 of you for sticking around while I weave more magic, heroics and soon, birds, into this inwords magazine.

Namaste, Andrew
How to Brand You Pelicon graphic
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Konos, our Pelican-in-Chief (a Dalmatian Pelican from Lake Prespa in Greece), and Jerry, our Chief Algorithm Officer (a Jerdon's Courser from Andhra Pradesh, India) are difficult or nearly impossible to find.

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