The Sage archetype’s motto is: “the truth will set you free". They are described as someone who seeks information, wisdom, and the truth.
What are some well-known examples of the Sage archetype? It aims to show the way to wisdom and to honor education.
Sage brands use a knowledgeable, assured, and guiding voice. They always speak in an authoritative, perceptive, and decisive manner.
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In this article, I'll show you 10 examples of how to use the Sage archetype in branding.
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To begin, we will define the Sage archetype, as well as its traits and characteristics.
Then I'll give you 10 real-life examples of the Sage brand and describe what they do in terms of expression.
What kind of voice, message, colors, and imagery are used to express that persona?
I'll also go over some of the best use-case scenarios for this Sage archetype.
I will show you how the Sage archetype fits into the overall archetypal framework.
We’ve got 12 main archetypes, but there are actually 60 archetypes in total.
The Sage archetype family is consists of: the Mentor, the Detective, the Shaman, and the Translator.
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The Sage archetype is defined as a seeker of truth, knowledge, and wisdom.
The Sage archetype’s motto is: “the truth will set you free".
The Sage may also be known as an expert, scholar, advisor, researcher, thinker, mentor, or teacher.
In films, there is no character that personifies the Sage better than Yoda in Star Wars.
His experience definitely contributed to his intelligence and philosophical views.
A Sage person has a desire not only to understand the world, but also to share that understanding with others.
They are thought leaders and reliable information providers.
People rely on them to gain a better understanding of their surroundings.
They believe there is no limit to what they can learn and are constantly educating themselves.
They are lifelong learners who enjoy sharing their knowledge and engaging in philosophical discussions.
Sage brands are aimed towards people who are intelligent and place a high value on quality.
The Sage’s core desire is the discovery of the truth, and they fear ignorance and dislike misleading information.
The Sage brand aims to show the path to wisdom and celebrate learning.
What are some well-known examples of the Sage archetype?
These brands emphasize that education is the path to wisdom, and wisdom is where the answers lie.
Each brand is briefly described so that you can relate to it and understand how to use this archetype to define your own brand.
Here are some examples of how the Sage archetype has been used in branding:
Google is the perfect example of a Sage brand—they serve as a guide for their audience to find the answers they require.
Google owns a bunch of products that all have one mission: to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.
They have a desire not only to understand the world but also to share that understanding with others.
The second example is TED, which stands for Technology, Entertainment, and Design.
They present speeches from intellectuals from all walks of life, and the organization's audience is rapidly expanding.
The brand’s slogan is "ideas worth spreading", which embodies the Sage archetype.
This platform brings together great innovators and thinkers, demonstrating a Sage's mentor, teacher, and thinker roles.
CNN is a a completely different example of a brand that has adopted the Sage archetype.
CNN, or Cable News Network, is a multinational news-based television company.
The Sage archetype is a natural fit for this company because it emphasizes disseminating fact-based information.
With its slogan "CNN, the most trusted name in news", they seek out the truth and share it with the world, which speaks highly of the Sage Archetype.
Another example is the BBC, which focuses on fact-based news as well.
They always showcase their authentic and extensive vocabulary.
They are sage brands because they are a trustworthy source of information about the current events happening in the world.
Their slogan, "Nation Shall Speak Peace Unto Nation", is a natural Sage archetype.
The New York Times is an American daily newspaper with a global audience.
With a tagline "We speak the truth and help people understand the world", this brand is dedicated to giving people up-to-date facts happening around the world.
Sage characteristics such as independence, integrity, curiosity, and excellence are also embedded in the company's values.
MIT is a private research university that has played a key role in the development of modern technology and science.
They are the beacons of information and wisdom.
And the brand as a whole is dedicated to creating, disseminating, and preserving knowledge.
Harvard University is the oldest university in the United States and a private Ivy League research institution.
The brand focuses on research and development, which has helped them become one of the world's leading universities.
Their dedication to knowledge and analysis exemplifies the Sage brand archetype perfectly.
Mayo Clinic’s mission perfectly aligned with the values of the Sage archetype.
To inspire hope and contribute to health and well-being by providing the best care to every patient through integrated clinical practice, education, and research.
Toyota Research Institute promises to improve vehicle safety measures through this research initiative.
They embody the characteristics of the Sage personality in their brand image.
It is now considered an innovative and knowledgeable brand.
Last but not least, is Audi, a luxury vehicle manufacturer.
The Audi brand presents its cars as smart people.
In addition, Audi often offers incredible features in their vehicles.
The brand is a beacon of innovation in the automotive sector, which is a great example of a Sage brand archetype.
Since you've seen some Sage brand examples, let's summarize everything so you understand how this can be expressed in branding.
Sage brands use a knowledgeable, assured, and guiding voice.
The qualities of competence, safety, and dependability convey a message of truth-seeking, expertise, investigation, and attentiveness.
The colors shown above are only suggestions; colors should be chosen based on brand strategy and identity development.
Their tone of voice is always authoritative, intelligent, and decisive—and by doing so, they’re leaving their consumers feeling educated and engrossed.
These brands aim to guide customers and educate people to make better decisions like The New York Times.
Images containing research-based facts and informative graphics are commonly used as well like CNN or BBC.
And so, common image subjects include things like books and graphs.
Therefore, the culture within the Sage brand is solely focused on research-based facts.
There may be a lot of innovation and change, but there is definitely a strong emphasis on getting things right over and over again with little room for error.
In general, the Sage archetype provides a good identity for brands that promote learning and promise new knowledge.
The Sage archetype is best for consultancies, education, research, news, and books.
These brands often have functions associated with either sophisticated language or extensive vocabulary that are infinitely hard to learn.‘
This archetype embodies quality, dependability, safety, authority, and tranquility.
The Sage brands are usually priced above average; these are usually moderately to high-priced products.
The Sage archetype might be a good option for those businesses who are looking to have a primitive approach to things and are unsophisticated in their ways.
To summarize, the Sage brand archetype is a perfectionist who cannot tolerate any type of error.
Culture is oriented towards information and analysis, and these brands don’t want to be the source of misinformation or misleading claims.
They have high levels of consciousness and intelligence—some would say even to the point of naivety.
The Sage brand would do well in industries that involve research and development, institutions of higher education, research firms, news sources, and bookstores.
Each of the 12 main archetypes has four sub-archetypes, and the Sage Archetype represents this family.
The Sage archetype’s family includes: Detective, Mentor, Shaman, and Translator.
You can also delve deeper and investigate other archetypes within the Sage family to gain more specialization and differentiation.
The difference is that the top-level archetypes share more in common with other family members—they function as a unifying thread among each family member.
So, you know, it’s like you have your own personality, and you may have a lot in common with your parents, right?
So here are the other four Sage archetypes:
Now, each of these sub-archetypes is a topic for a whole new article, but at least you have some examples so that you can figure it out for yourself.
And if you want to learn more, I recommend these two books:
(1) The Hero and the Outlaw by Margaret Mark and Carol Pearson
(2) Archetypes in Branding by Margaret Hartwell and Joshua C. Chen
Lastly, please check out my Brand Strategy Guide where I explain how to use archetypes to develop a comprehensive brand strategy.
Check out my new course about brand archetypes (including the Sage)—it's a deep dive that elaborates on the free content available on my blog.
The preview of this course is also available on my Youtube channel (2nd module only).
I'm a branding expert and graphic designer based in NY. I specialize in the development of brands: brand strategy, identity & web design. Need help with your project?—Get in touch