Sage Brand Archetype: Businesses that Pursue Knowledge

Customers don’t only want to buy quality products from companies. Most often, what they truly want to buy is the story.

A brand identity that is capable of resonating with target audiences is what allows companies to secure their market share and influence the world.

This can be implemented with Jungian (brand) archetypes.

Each brand must strive to provide something, be that providing structure or changing the world.

Consider Google. They are in pursuit of knowledge. Therefore, it isn’t surprising to see that they attract like-minded customers. These are evangelists who can’t imagine not supporting Google when it stands for the same things they stand for.

In this post, we’ll discuss the brand identity archetype that Google embodies: The Sage.

What Are Brand Archetypes?

Simon Sinek, a famous author, speaker and consultant, once said:

“People don’t buy what you do. They buy why you do it.”

This statement correlates with personality archetypes which were first developed by the notable psychologist, Carl Jung. And therein lies the success of powerful brands: They know how to use brand archetypes to their advantage.

Jung described archetypes as psycho-physical patterns given meaning by human consciousness and culture. Nonetheless, we frequently only perceive them as stereotypes or model images.

To comprehend this, consider observing a friend’s behavior. It’s simple to give their behaviors a collective name that would be used to describe them as people.

However, brands can embody these archetypes, as well.

Truth be told, it is very hard to develop a powerful brand strategy as well as move forward with brand development without the existence of archetypal embodiment.

The most notable 12 brand archetypes are:

  1. The Sage
  2. The Lover
  3. The Hero
  4. The Everyman
  5. The Creator
  6. The Ruler
  7. The Caregiver
  8. The Outlaw
  9. The Explorer
  10. The Magician
  11. The Jester
  12. The Innocent

Each archetype comes bearing with behavior, messaging, as well as goals they ultimately want to achieve.

The Sage brand archetype is relentless in its pursuit of truth. Therefore, brands that embody this archetype evoke the thirst for knowledge in their customers, which is a powerful way to differentiate themselves from competitors.

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The Sage Brand Identity

The Sage is famously described as the archetype that “yearns for Paradise.”

Furthermore, brands who embody the Sage archetype are:

  • Knowledgeable
  • Unwavering in their relentless pursuit of the truth
  • Motivated to spread knowledge and educate the masses

Often, these are technological and journalistic brands.

Consider BBC; they not only stand for truth but also “open the eyes” of their customers. Thus, they bring them closer to understanding.

They frequently publish information that considers all points of view, in order to give their readers the most objective overview of an issue. They also aren’t afraid of broaching sensitive subjects.

TED is another example of the Sage brand identity. They constantly question the world around them thus aiming to bring their customers closer to enlightenment.

Their brand strategy is seeking out information and knowledge, and their messaging supports it. They organize conferences with the brightest minds of the era, and encourage their customers to question everything.

It is of the utmost importance that Sage brands don’t come across as patronizing. However, they must intellectually stimulate their customers and trust them to understand complex ideas.

Who Trusts the Sage?

The Sage archetype would not be suited to everyday customers attracted to brands promising optimism.

Instead, customers who trust Sage brand identities believe that they are growing and improving as they obtain new knowledge.

As a result, challenging advertising and thought-provoking messaging are recommended. 

Customers oft drawn to the Sage brand archetype trust no information unless it comes supported by research.

In terms of brand culture, Sage brands advocate freedom of thought and encourage customers to use analytical and critical thinking when approaching anything (their products included).

Furthermore, Sage brands are careful to use sophisticated language.

This contributes to the general atmosphere of the brand; not only does the meaning of their messages matter, but so does their vocabulary.

How to Use the Sage Brand Identity Archetype

The Sage brand archetype is particularly well suited to:

  • Bands who provide information and expertise to customers
  • Businesses whose products are based on experimental knowledge, esoteric knowledge, or simply new scientific developments (that can be supported by research)
  • Companies who, unlike their competitors, provide helpful information

And therein lies the formula for success: Brands in the space occupied by competitors who do not provide enough information can stand out and win a larger market share by supporting their theses with research and offering applicable advice.

Sage brands can share their wisdom by:

  • Telling stories through data and science-backed research
  • Experimenting with new methods and providing applicable tips for customers
  • Employing sophisticated language to convey complex ideas
  • Challenging customers and posting thought-provoking content

Usually, brands are a combination of two or more archetypes.

However, crafting brand identity with the help of an experienced brand strategist can help your customers relate to the story your brand is presenting. Consequently, they will be more loyal.

And with the Sage archetype as your brand identity, you will find that customers come to those who seek knowledge.

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