The Sage

Table of Contents

“The sage wears clothes of coarse cloth but carries jewels in his bosom; He knows himself but does not display himself; He loves himself but does not hold himself in high esteem.”  – Lao Tzu – Chinese philosopher and author of Tao-Te Ching or the Way and Its Virtue [1]


The sage focuses on the understanding, obtaining, and dissemination of knowledge. They are free thinkers whose knowledge and intellect are the very reasons for their existence.

Also known as expert, scholar, detective, advisor, thinker, philosopher, academic, researcher, thinker, planner, professional, mentor, teacher, contemplative, and guru.

The Sage

Key Characteristics

  • Motto: The truth will set you free
  • Driving desire: To find the truth
  • Goal: To use intelligence and analysis to understand the world
  • Biggest fear: Being duped, misled—or ignorance
  • Strategy: Seeking out information and knowledge; self-reflection and understanding thought processes
  • Weakness: Can study details forever and never act
  • Talent: Wisdom, intelligence

Description of the Sage

The Sage represents wisdom and knowledge. It also symbolizes power gained through the pursuit of the previous two things. As an archetype, the Sage operates under the assumption that “the truth will set you free.” Meaning not only do they love to gather and understand knowledge but spread it among others as well. Businesses operating with the Sage archetype often focus on gathering and disseminating information information and are rarely the ‘movers’ of the world. Sages are considered experts. People go to them for their expertise on a few or many different topics. Businesses branded by the Sage often raise awareness about different issues, shed light on previously unknown subjects, and make information known to many.[2]

There are three levels to a Sage brand. The first hunts for truth by looking for specialists and experts in a field to provide objective and current knowledge. The second brand type seeks to become an expert through research, analysis, critical thinking, and peer review. The third is the expert. This brand has achieved knowledge levels high enough that their status from their customers is unquestioned.[3]

One example of a famous Sage brand is Google. Google is the ultimate provider of knowledge. Anybody can find nearly a facet of knowledge they want on Google’s platform. Google aims to provide as accurate information as possible, its search algorithms prioritizing and pushing credited information, making it easier for the user to find.

  • Brand Motivations
    • Intelligence
    • Brilliance
    • Skill
    • Wisdom
    • Expertise
    • Information
    • Influence
    • Precision
  • Brand Challenges
    • Haughty
    • Overbearing
    • Insensitive
    • Misinformation
    • Inaccuracy
    • Propaganda
  • Brand Strategy
    • Provide guidance and wisdom
    • Focus on learning and growth in awareness
    • Increasing knowledge and expertise

The Sage in the Wild

The following companies, organizations, and industries are good examples of the Sage.

  • Archetype Examples: Google, BBC, CNN, Mayo Clinic, IBM, PBS, Gallup
  • Industries: Media, News, Educational Institutions, Consulting, Museums, Bookstores, Libraries, Search Engines


If your business is the type to gather and disseminate knowledge, the Sage is the perfect marketing brand. It tailors itself to companies that shed light on previously unknown information, which creates excitement within their customer to begin a journey of life-long learning. The Sage delights in knowing all and educating all, no matter who they are, for knowledge is their true joy.