How to Write Your Brand Manifesto

If you find yourself sitting down to write a brand manifesto you might find yourself asking, “why am I doing this?” and “can anyone remind me what a brand manifesto is?” Here are those questions answered and everything else you need to succeed.

Brand Manifesto Definition

A brand manifesto is a short speech about your company with the power to affect how everyone perceives it. This is also the reason you’re writing it.

1. Find the Right Voice

Everything we write about a brand can change people’s minds about it, but what makes a brand manifesto different to an advertisement is the voice. A brand manifesto sounds like it’s being spoken by the brand’s founder and that this person has a particular cause and sense of occasion backing them up.

It might bear traces of what’s revealed about the brand in other places, but a great manifesto says something well enough that it only needs to be said once. Find a voice that sounds like you have been with the brand since the beginning.

2. Draw on Your Name

What’s already been communicated about your brand in its name, logo, slogan and other branding and marketing materials? Be consistent with these messages when your write your manifesto. Be consistent, but elaborate further. Where your brand name is enigmatic and your slogan is concise, your manifesto can be talkative and demonstrative.

For example: if you’re a printing company called PrintX and your slogan is “Fast Delivery. Perfect Copies.” then you might have successfully told your customers what you do and what you aim for, but you haven’t revealed why this is important to you and where your passion comes from. There’s always something more to tell.

3. Tell a Story

If there is a single day, memory or achievement that encapsulates what has brought you success, use this as the central idea to flesh out in your manifesto.

Take the manifesto of our friends at Hatch Quarter:

Tiny ideas, fleeting moments of genius, beats of meaning and thoughts you wish you’d wrote down are all the start of something big. If you have one of these, come here. This is a place to chase the unknown, keep moving, and go higher. We believe in work that helps, includes, excites and inspires. Let’s do the hard things together and do them well. Let’s begin.

Hatch Quarter is a startup agency. Their slogan says “we’re the startup consultancy agency that isn’t afraid to believe in you from the start,” and their manifesto successfully builds on this and reads like a story.

It takes time for all of this to take shape and while you’re on your way it’s good to seek out opinions from others.

4. Get a Second Opinion

You should open yourself up to a second opinion once you’ve composed a good draft. This could come from someone who you work closely with, but it doesn’t have to be. Good feedback can come from anyone. If you’ve got the option, go to someone who’s has a lot in common with your target market. How does your manifesto make them feel about your brand and about themselves?

A fair alternative to sharing your work with someone else is to read your manifesto aloud. Sometimes it helps to record it and play it back when you can focus on it in isolation. Is something missing? Is anything jarring? If it is it should be obvious.

5. Publish It Where It’s Useful

When you’re happy with your manifesto you need to consider placement. Good placement reflects your target audience, desired impact and reach. You’ll usually find a brand manifesto in three places:

  • Company website
  • Office staff area
  • Staff inductions

If you have the budget a manifesto on the wall of your office will serve staff, visitors and clients and it can be a pretty powerful way to inspire and motivate these groups. However, if you’re going to choose one, go for the company website because this has the biggest possible audience and serves potential clients.

When you’ve got your manifesto and chosen where it should be placed, there’s just one last step.

6. Design It

Design is the final step to writing an awesome brand manifesto. A strong design will attract interest, encourage people to read the whole thing and help them to remember it later and even to re-read it. They will be just as likely to want to go back to it if the design impressed as if the words did. You must involve both. A designer will be happy to help you with this.

We hope these tips help you as you come to write your own brand manifesto.

If you have a query about branding or brand design, talk to us.


Originally published at www.moworks.com.au on May 19, 2017.

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