History of the Archetype

Borrowing generously from Jungian archetypes, marketers have created a model for developing brand identity. Carl Jung was one of the most influential psychiatrists who ever lived. His theory of archetypes has had a profound impact on the way we understand the world, the way we tell stories, and the way marketers go about developing a brand.

Jungian archetypes refer to vague forms that evoke relatable images and motifs. These shapes are molded by history, culture, and personal experience. They are specific enough to be personal, and vague enough to be universal.

Mother. Child. King. Journey.

Despite the fact that these words illicit approximately 7 billion varieties of personal reference, they carry with them an acute universality. This can be called upon to solidify brand messaging. Heady stuff? You bet. Useful? Absolutely.

Empowered Systems is no different than many of the thousands of brands worldwide that use Jungian archetypes to inform its marketing psychology.


There are 12 brand archetypes. Together, they cover just about every personality type and can appeal to nearly any audience. The key to successful branding is in careful archetype selection and consistent messaging. Attempting to speak to everyone is ill advised. (We couldn’t do it if we wanted to anyway!)

Business loyalty is about exclusivity. It’s only a club if everyone isn’t invited. Humans don’t want to be like everyone else. We want to be different. We want to stand out. But we also want to connect. Brand archetypes help to clarify and maintain a sense of belonging that we all so desperately long for.

As such, Empowered has chosen the Sage as its primary archetype.

The Sage

What is the Sage brand archetype?

The Sage archetype revolves around knowledge and truth. For the Sage, the key to success is collecting information and relentlessly pursuing the truth. This particular archetype believes that by gathering reliable, factual information and sharing it with others, we can make the world a better place. It’s common for Sage brands to have raised levels of awareness, and to avoid uncertainty, misinformation, misleading assertions, and naïveté–in others and/or in itself.

PROMISE: The truth will set you free.

CORE DESIRE: The discovery of truth

GOAL: To use intelligence to understand the world

FEAR: Being deceived; ignorance

STRATEGY: Seek out information; understand processes

GIFT: Wisdom

MOTIVATION: Independence and fulfillment

The Sage archetype in action

Sage brands are considered “experts.” These brands inform consumers and guide them towards making the right decisions. Oprah Winfrey, Harvard University, Mayo Clinic, The New York Times, and CNN are all examples of Sage brands that consider themselves to be leaders and enlighteners in the midst of a confusing, and often deceptive, world.

Any company that finds value in analysis and advancement, the possession of knowledge, or distributing information can easily call themselves a Sage.

Brands that identify with the Sage archetype regularly use perfected and refined marketing materials–they don’t try to impress with unnecessary or elaborate additives. Sage brands tend to lean towards neutral or muted color palettes for their designs and logos. Some Sage brands create marketing materials that deviate from the status quo in an attempt to make people see things in a notable way.

Sage brands never “dumb down” their marketing, as that could be perceived as an insult to the intellect of their target customers. Instead, a Sage focuses on education, information, and sometimes exclusivity. (Example: Ivy League colleges–not everyone makes the cut and only an elite few receive that very special acceptance letter).

Why the Sage for Empowered?

The Sage matches our quest for fulfillment, our relentless search for the truth, our unwavering commitment to be a leader in our industry, and it empowers our characteristics. We are confident. We are clever. We are committed. Therefore, we identify most with the Sage archetype.

This archetype helps us in our messaging to our clients, creates a clear brand identity, and helps us focus our abilities on customers and partners that match our level of enquiry and knowledge driven practices.

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