Archetypes: The Sage

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The Sage believes that knowledge is never enough. Maybe it is one of the easiest archetypes to define since it is instantly associated with figures such as the professor, the specialist, the researcher, the detective or the “geek”. However, this search for knowledge has a deeper motivation as he thinks only the truth set us free and allow us to build a better world.

Renowned universities, like the American Ivy League ones, Cambridge and Oxford in the UK, the Discovery Channel, newspapers like the New York Times and Wall Street Journal, the CNN, and scientists in general, like Albert Einstein and Stephen Hawking, are typical examples of the archetype. Google, with its tools to help us search, organize and file information, is another example of the Sage, albeit more contemporary and technological.

Ironically, we live in an era of easy-to-access, abundant information which doesn’t mean it is always accurate or sufficient. Quite the contrary! For this reason, we are in constant search for reliable sources and references in all sorts of subjects. Can you see why coaches, experts and gurus are multiplying like Gremlins on the internet? Yes, we need ‘sages’ to advise us, answer our questions and even tell us what to do as life gets more complicated every day… Unfortunately, their expertise can’t often be proven and the biggest fear of the archetype is activated: being fooled or misled. Once this happens, trust is broken and there is only a tiny little chance to recover it.

Summing up, brands and organizations that stimulate consumers to think and are based on data and proven scientific results are a natural field for the Sage. Obviously, it’s not an easy task for the fashion and beauty categories. Nevertheless, the rise of technology can offer some interesting opportunities in wearables, for example, if the company is willing to show the consumer the whole process of design, manufacturing and attest the benefits of the product. In the beauty market, brands like Paula’s Choice are evidencing the ingredients behind each formula without over promising the results, something that position them as Sages.

Remember: Sages want to be well informed to make conscious choices. It doesn’t matter if they are buying a book, a gadget or a lipstick as long as they feel like experts about the product. So, if you win their minds, you can win their hearts!

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