August 23, 2016

Exploring Brand Archetypes: The Sage

August 23, 2016

Exploring Brand Archetypes: The Sage

Branding, Brand Archetypes


The Scholar. The Teacher. The Thinker. The Expert

The whole world is open for a sage.

— Democritus

Sages are truth seekers. Their goal is to understand the world and share it with others. They find and depend on wisdom in every situation. Think of Hermione Granger in Harry Potter or Yoda in Star Wars or Professor Ray in Finding Dory. In real life, we have Albert Einstein, Bill Gates, Neil Patel, and Oprah.

At their core, they are rational intellectuals, and they find fulfillment in seeking answers to the big questions. They are able to detach themselves from their own opinions and biases to reach an absolute truth.

At their worst, the Sages are excessively concerned with minor details and rules, they are detached from reality, and they can know about all things but never act on them. Their fear? Being misinformed and duped.

Sage customers look for knowledge and new sources of learning. They are most attracted to advertisements that challenge the way they think and offer wise solutions. They want to feel that they are in the know.


How Sages Bring Their Brand to Life

To connect with their potential customers, they avoid sounding stupid. Instead, they communicate using facts, higher level vocabulary, and deep imagery. Their tone of voice is intelligent, factual, authoritative, and researched.


Categories that Have the Sage at the Foundation

Sage brands with this archetype promise wisdom. These are clearly seen in the foundation of the following categories.

  • Broadcasting networks
  • Online news journals
  • Schools and universities
  • Consulting companies
  • Search engines, like Google


Examples of Sage Brands

IBM-sage.pngIBM. Click this link to open IBM’s homepage, and you will be greeted by this: “Welcome to the Cognitive Era.” This is reflective of their Sage brand personality.

CNN-sage.pngCNN – “Be the first to know.”


Harvard Business Review. This is a website to go to in order to find “ideas and classic advice on strategy, innovation and leadership”.


National Geographic Channel. This ad picks on the curious in you. Classic example of a Sage brand.





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