Got a little archetype-boost yesterday. I was quoted in an article on GE’s ecomagination website: check out

Mobile solar power, you say? What the….

Well, in my role as VP Marketing for Pure Power Distribution, I have become an expert in mobile solar power.  I have been quoted in Forbes, the LA Times, and other publications.

The point is, this article, sponsored by this revered company, helped my personal branding as an archetypal Sage.

There is a lot of info out there on archetyping, but in my humble opinion, Mark & Pearson’s The Hero and the Outlaw is the most comprehensive study on archetyping in marketing and communications. I know I’m not alone in this thinking. And though I might quibble about whether the Caregiver and the Lover; and Magician and the Creator; are often too close to distinguish in reality, my copy of “H&O” is well-thumbed.

When creating a brand for yourself (or a company, if you do this professionally), it makes sense to first think about where you fit in the world of archetypes. Archetypes are simply personality categories or types that are common throughout cultures – using an archetype, one can understand what a person (or brand) should do in a situation.

Take Clint Eastwood: Outlaw (Rebel hero who goes his own way), Explorer (seeking truth and freedom) and now Sage (now that he’s the elder statesman of actors). Or Apple Computer: Magician (formerly Outlaw when “battling” with Microsoft back in the day) with hints of Innocent and Explorer.

I believe my personal Archetype is Magician, with Sage and Explorer qualities. (Brandhouse has summarized the Mark and Pearson definition of Sage here).

So this article was helpful in supporting the Sage role I enjoy playing. I know my stuff, deep and wide. I research the hell out of topics and practice speaking about them until I can tell a compelling and simple story, no matter how complex the topic. As a creative thinker and copywriter (Magician), I can make esoteric stories interesting using quote-worthy phrasing.

Tax credits? Got it. Green building. Call me. Mobile Solar Power. What would you like to know?

And while I worked with other clients, I knew their stories cold: What does FAO stand for in FAO Schwarz? (I wrote the FAO Schwarz catalogues for 2 years). Has Bill Bowerman’s original waffle iron ever been found? (I wrote the history of Nike, including the waffle-iron-story, for the Nike exhibit at the Boston Marathon). Why was the first building in Portland’s “River Blocks” called the “Meriwether” (I named both).

As a Magician (+ Sage/Explorer), I know what to expect from myself, and my clients know what to expect from me. It helps in getting hired, and it helps in doing a job well.

~ Christopher Smith