The Sage is a thinker. A philosopher. Their top priority is cognition and critical thinking. They seek to understand the world around them and doing so is their grandest adventure. To do this, they bring to bear great intelligence and analytical skills. They can be quick—sometimes too quick—to offer a fact or quote in any situation.
The Sage Brand Archetype
The sage brand seeks knowledge and shares that knowledge with others. In so doing, they aim to build a strong, loyal following that will keep them going forever. The sage brand dislikes misinformation, ambiguity and misleading claims. Sage brands exhibit higher than average insight.
These brands excel at using language and symbolism. They often differentiate themselves by publishing case studies and other pieces of literature that display their knowledge.
Brand Promise: provide wisdom and guidance
Goal: To educate.
Strategy: Become a thought leader.
Personality to project: the wise man, the expert, the investigator, the mentor
Ideal Customer: Sage customers see value in lots of different sources of information. While they get their knowledge from many sources, they’ll come back to a valuable source again and again. The sage brand seeks to profit from this loyalty.
Weakness: This brand can come across as a know-it-all, their image can be compromised by incompetent executives, and they can be seen as out of touch.
TED stands for Technology, Entertainment and Design. It’s a non-profit, but it’s a stellar example of a sage brand. TED features talks by intellectuals from all walks of life, and they have a very loyal—and rapidly growing—fan base.
Since the late ‘90s, the Oprah brand has focused on positioning itself as a source of wisdom and knowledge. Oprah utilizes a television network, magazine and book club to maintain her position as a thought leader.
Since 2016, Toyota has been trying to differentiate itself from competitors like Honda and Hyundai by investing heavily in automated driving. The company has devoted over 1-billion dollars to the Toyota Research Institute.