Developing a strong brand can take time. You must first establish your brand identity, design your logo, define your goals, and then begin spreading the word. However, today's consumers, employees, and business partners expect more from brands. They want to know why your brand does what it does and what it stands for, not just that you have a high-quality offering. This and other questions are answered in a brand manifesto. This article explains what is brand manifesto, why it's vital to your branding efforts, and how to write a brand manifesto.
What is Brand Manifesto?
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A brand manifesto is a statement of your company's motivations, goals, and values. It provides answers to what your brand stands for and why it continues to exist. The "why" questions are at the heart of brand manifestos. As a result, when writing one, you don't have to focus on what you offer (a product or service) or how you make things work. Instead, define what drives your company and how it can impact people's lives.
Writing a brand manifesto is an integral part of brand development. It is crucial to establish your brand image and create an emotional connection with your audience (which can lead to increased conversion rates and customer loyalty). Still, it is also vital for forming your company's identity. A well-written brand manifesto can assist you in determining the best direction for your marketing strategy, attracting top industry talent, and easing the onboarding process within your organization.
What is the Importance of Brand Manifesto?
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"To manifest" means to make something prominent, visible, and easily seen. Why would your company or organization need to make its motivations and intentions obvious? A manifesto can frequently serve as a guiding force in important decisions such as hiring, marketing campaign decisions, etc. However, it is more than just a set of rules or guidelines for a brand. Instead, it's a motivational statement that exposes the heart and soul and encourages everyone involved to commit to it.
Having a brand without a well-kept manifesto is akin to a chicken walking around blindfolded. That is not to say that a manifesto is a strict instruction manual for proceeding, but it does provide a driving force for people to react emotionally and bond with.
A brand as an identity is an ethereal concept. To manifest is to bring that identity into being, and when done correctly, it can help guide key strategic decisions such as:
1. Recruiting and firing
2. Acquisitions and mergers
3. Which new services or products to develop
4. Acceptance or rejection of a new client
How to Write a Brand Manifesto?
The strategies listed below intends to take your brand beyond the expected outcomes of a standard brand manifesto. You simply cannot accept anything less.
1. Connect Your Brand to a Larger Mission
Remember that a brand manifesto is not the same as a mission statement, vision statement, or values statement. While you can put them all on the same page of your website, you should make a separate manifesto. This is your opportunity to show how your brand contributes to something other than its bottom line. It makes no difference how big, or small your brand's mission is. It could be as simple as adding more happiness to people's lives. Just as long as you inform potential customers about what you stand for and why they should invest time, energy, or money in your brand and cause.
2. It's Not Just What You Say, But How You Say
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The power of a manifesto is undeniably in its message, but that message would be greatly diminished if written in the wrong tone. It's not just what you say but how you say it that counts. Here are a few things to think about to get your manifesto just right.
First, the manifesto uses language to connect the audience and the brand. They frequently speak to 'you,' the audience, and they speak as 'we,' the brand, but they make it appear as if the brand and the audience are on the same page, feeling the same things, and working toward similar goals. The use of the word "we" when we write a brand manifesto simply means that they and their audience have come together to form something bigger than themselves.
When you create a brand manifesto, keep in mind that a manifesto thrives when written in the active voice. This is optional, but you'll see why using the active vs. passive voice in your manifesto makes sense. One reason for this is that it makes the brand appear to believe in what they're saying as if they're already doing everything they believe in.
3. Include a Variety of Elements
A manifesto lacking diverse elements will fail to deliver on its promise of revealing the brand’s true colors and inspiring its target market. This is not to say that a manifesto should adhere to a set of rules or include an excessive amount of a specific element, but brands require a general guideline for what to include.
As you are aware, when you write a brand manifesto, it must first and foremost inspire. It will struggle to do so unless there is a hopeful message. It's difficult to be inspired by a depressing, helpless message, no matter how well written it is. Another thing to consider is the appearance of a story, no matter how brief. These two elements should blend with your brand’s values and philosophical ideals. Naturally, there will be additional elements that you believe you should include in your brand manifesto. But before branching out, make sure you agree on a foundation.
4. Commit to Being Authentic
It's simple to write a brand manifesto full of inspiring words and ideas, but if your brand doesn't align with these values or lacks a clear direction, the manifesto will appear deceptive. There must be a genuine connection between your brand and what is stated in the manifesto. This isn't always easy to detect or correct, but you can find the right balance with enough effort. Brands that put forth an authentic manifesto give their audiences a reason to believe in them beyond the product or service offered. They explain why they do what they do and how they intend to push these beliefs forward in the future in collaboration with their customers. Once these concepts are established, a brand manifesto can be published for all to see without fear of embarrassment or meekness because it represents the truth.
5. Don't Bother if the Impact is Minor
Most people would think this goes without saying, but look at any successful brand's manifesto – none of them are flat, dull, or lacking in ambition. A manifesto is not a way to demonstrate how great a brand is or how high-quality a product is. Instead, it's an opportunity to show audiences how their lives can align in a whole new way with the powerful ideals. A manifesto should be a philosophical injunction to push yourself in your personal life, with the underlying idea that the brand is right alongside you, supporting you forward and mirroring your values so that together you can change the world.
6. Use the First and Second Person
Listen to any TED Talk or commencement speech to get a sense of what a brand manifesto should sound like. Those distinguished speakers do not take the stage and speak about themselves in the third person. They use the words "I" and "we" and address the audience as a group as "you." It's not always because they're attempting to be informal. They could be discussing a serious subject in a formal setting. However, listening to a storyteller or lecturer is much easier when it sounds like a one-on-one conversation rather than a corporate document.
7. Make Your Manifesto Erratic
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No one outside of your brand should be able to guess what your manifesto will be within a reasonable range. Because a brand's manifesto isn't meant to correspond with its products, services, or competitors, the idea that someone can predict your manifesto should make you nervous. It is supposed to step outside of comfort and predictability and make a bold statement, proclaiming itself to be bigger than anyone ever imagined.
As you've probably figured out by now, the point is to avoid fitting in or being put in a metaphorical box. You don't have to make grand promises or pretend to be someone you aren't, but the manifesto should include a surprising idea. Make sure it blows customers away and conveys to them that you're out to change the world, not just sell a product.
8. Include a Call to Action
A brand manifesto instills brand trust in customers and spreads their loyalty throughout the organization. You can also use it to attract employees and partners who want to fight for a similar cause and contribute actively to it. A call-to-action should be included in your brand manifesto, regardless of who reads it.. Alternatively, you could donate to a common interest or cause.
9. Maintain a Consistent Brand Tone
Regardless of the style of your brand manifesto, it should always have the same tone and carry your brand voice throughout. Consistency is essential, and you should consider it when selecting words and the overall visual identity of your brand. With a clear brand style guide, you can outline all of your brand assets, including your manifesto, in one place.
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It's too limiting, especially in today's world, for a brand to exist solely to assist customers with the products they sell or the services they provide. Their values and ideals have so much more to offer a customer.
A brand manifesto shows that a company is willing to share its vision with customers, share similar viewpoints, and be ambitious.