Positioning yourself and a new brand within the world can be a daunting task. You need to know who you are, why you’re there, and how you want to sell that to the world. These questions are crucial to moving ahead, but if you’re stuck, there’s a simple solution that can help you: a brand manifesto!
So what exactly is a ‘Brand Manifesto’ though?
According to Dictionary.com, a manifesto is “a public declaration of intentions, opinions, objectives, or motives, as one issued by a government, sovereign, or organization.” That’s fairly simple to understand, but we feel like that doesn’t 100% cover what that means in terms of a brand. A brand manifesto should explain the purpose of your brand’s existence – what you believe in and why. It shouldn’t be some manufactured response that can be said about a thousand other companies. Your manifesto should be a singular voice that puts itself out there to stand apart from the rest so you can build an emotional bond between your customers.
The point is, a brand manifesto can help you stand out from the competition by making your business unique and important. Is writing one of these things that important? Well if for whatever reason you weren’t paying attention to the title of this blog…yes, yes it is. Not only that, but we’re going to tell you how you can get started.
Say it Your Way in the Brand Manifesto
When you start the process of writing your brand manifesto, you’ll begin to think about what you want to stand for. Obviously, your message is going to be an important factor on the type of people you attract, but that’s only half the battle. How you say your manifesto is going to be just as, if not more important, in building your brand.
Let’s be real here, while you may have a cause and a message that you truly believe in, chances are that has already been said by dozens, if not hundreds of other companies (I know, lame). This is why how you say your message is going to play a big part.
A manifesto should be all about uniting people for an active cause. Using words like ‘you’ for the audience and ‘we’ as the brand establishes a personal connection with people. Once you’ve made that connection, you can influence people with your tone of voice and emphasize the important aspects of your brand and values. This will be the foundation for your brand.
Write Your Own Origin Story
Everyone loves a good origin story. Like Superman, crash landing on Earth after his home planet is destroyed, just to fight for peace and justice. We’re not saying your origin story has to be out of this world, but the point is that people enjoy learning how you got to where you are today.
What made you or your team want to create this brand? How did you end up there? It might sound like a simple, almost pointless step, but people will want to find ways they can relate to your company. Tie in your brand manifesto with what brought you to that point, and it’ll make for a more resounding, authentic voice.
If you try looking at examples of other brands and their identities and how they present themselves, then it’s easy to get swept in wanting to mimic these successful brands.
DON’T YOU DARE!
Sorry, that was aggressive. What we mean to say is, your brand should only be YOU and not a copy of someone else’s. Consumers these days are smart and can sense when a brand is just saying a message to try and get more sales. Your beliefs must be backed up with consistent actions.
Give the audience a reason to believe in you beyond the product or service. Why do you do what you do, and how does that align with your values? If you can take your personal beliefs and project them onto your company, you’ll have an easier time gaining an authentic following, which ties into our next tip.
Not Everyone Will Like You
This is one of the hardest lessons to learn when you start finding your brand voice and begin to write for it. (Unless you’re Betty White. Who doesn’t like her?) Your first instinct might be to try to appeal to everyone. The truth is though, you can’t.
Incorporating your beliefs into your manifesto is a lot like showing off your personality. You’ll be able to make friends with people who get you, but you won’t be everybody’s cup of tea. That may sound scary at first, but consider the opposite scenario: if you’re too broad in your approach, you could be seen as disingenuous, or worse, completely unmemorable.
Your brand will have a better chance of surviving if you stay true to your message. Because all-in-all, you’ll be forming your own kind of community with the people who agree with you, and those are the best kinds of customers you’ll want to attract.
In this day and age, building a brand that only cares about the products and services they sell is no longer enough. We’ve reached the point where social media has made customers want transparency and similar values with the companies they associate with.
By writing your manifesto, you’re sharing your perspective of the world. Add on good marketing and a bit of luck, it won’t be long before you build a community of people who are diehard fans of your vision.
Take our free brand performance audit!
Your business is important us. To help make sure you're set up for success, we've created a brand performance audit to see how you compare to your competitors!