The Archetype Behind the Brand: Massimo from Modena

The Archetype Behind the Brand: Massimo from Modena

Credit: Bruno Cordioli


Silver-haired celebrity chef, Massimo Bottura is a force of nature. In episode 1 of Netflix series, Chef’s Table, the much-decorated Italian chef jumps from creative idea to creative idea - smashing up not only lemon tarts but centuries of culinary convention along the way.

It is in this - his theatrical manner, his story, his drive - as much as in his food, that Bottura’s brand truly derives its power: the power for his Osteria Francescana restaurant to rank among the world’s best, to earn three Michelin stars, and the adoration of fans worldwide.

A solid brand foundation

As described in our introductory blog, telling a successful brand story is what can take a company or individual operating in a crowded industry space - like IT or fine dining - to the next level.

In our Brand Foundations process here at Bang, one of the first steps is to engage our clients in a comprehensive Brand Archetypes survey. In it, you’re asked a series of questions about your brand’s ideals, vision and personality. We then focus in on some preferred archetypes for your brand, eliciting crucial internal buy-in along the way. Ideally, the archetype will reflect the “real you”, warts and all. Authenticity is key.

In week one of Bang’s group archetyping exercise focusing on the celebrity chefs featured in Chef’s Table, we’ve taken a slightly different tack. After tackling the arduous task of sitting back with a wine to watch the hit show, Bang’s team each selected the archetype they believe most closely reflects the featured chef’s personality.

THE RESULTS (drum roll please…)

With a majority of votes as the primary archetype that best represents Bottura, The Creator is driven by a desire to realise a vision. They seek self-expression, and are prone to perfectionism and even over-dramatisation. They also want to create a lasting legacy.

As a secondary or shadow archetype, The Explorer is characterised by his or her desire for freedom and new experiences. They are ambitious and work hard to stay true to themselves. They ultimately want to live a fulfilling life.

Other archetypes that popped up in our debate about Bottura include The Outlaw and The Jester, with their tendency to break the rules, challenge the status quo and engage in outrageous, fun or witty behaviour.

Why does this matter?

Being the multifaceted character he is, it is not surprising that Bottura’s invoked the variety of responses it did from our team. There are elements of his vibrant character that support each of these archetypes.

In branding for companies, we also find a certain level of disagreement among stakeholders. This is where we come in, using our own research and insights into your organisation, industry and competitors, to put forward our recommendations on which archetype would not only most realistically represent you, but also help you differentiate yourself most successfully. We then present this back to clients and look for their input before a final decision is made and we move into the creative and communications portions of our engagement, using your archetype (and in some cases, a shadow archetype) as a key cornerstone.

What do you think? Join the conversation by sharing and commenting.

Up next week: American chef, Dan Barber - farm-to-table innovator behind New York’s famed Blue Hill restaurants.

Interested to hear more? Follow us on our website, Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter to discover what happens when the Bang team talks archetypes at the Chef’s Table.