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Creating a powerful brand manifesto

Your brand is one of the most important assets you have, it differentiates you from your competition and communicates your “Why” ‘How” and your “What”.

Often the true reason a brand started, why it exists or the problems it solves for its customers are left unspoken outside of the company vision and mission statement, and as business grows it can lose its connection with the purpose of the business and the difference the business delivers.

A manifesto is a great way to bring your brand beliefs, vision, mission, and purpose to life, and to consolidate lots of thinking in to one simple compelling customer facing statement.

Manifestos are useful because they help everyone in the business understand what the brand is about. And, if everyone understands what the brand means, the brand becomes stronger. It’s a chance to do all the boring brand vision stuff with some emotion.

I like to see a brand manifesto as a promise, a promise to the business itself and a promise to the sector and its customers, it is a public declaration of intent and it put the essence of your brand front and centre.

By putting a strong belief out there, and by making an overt promise to your customers and your employees you are building several essential brand elements:

Memorability - building memorability for your business is best done with stories and with associations. A good brand manifesto will start to tell your story – this creates memorability and meaning - people can’t buy what they don’t remember – your manifesto can make you memorable.

Affinity – when you put a strong belief out there you are inviting other to agree or disagree and you will find that if your brand is routed in an understanding of your customers, market and people that your manifesto will build affinity from the audiences you want to engage with most.

Differentiation – in a world where there are very few new ideas and most sectors are commoditised that area that you can win hearts and minds is by building an emotional difference – your manifesto will communicate this difference.

Meaning - Memorability and difference is no good without meaning, your manifesto is your chance to create a meaningful connection, this could be by being an ally, or by better solving a problem – however you create meaning you can communicate this in your manifesto.

Salience – your manifesto must seem relevant to the culture in which you operate – I like to ask the “so what question” – the so what question puts yourself in the shoes of your audience and of the culture you are working in, and it challenges you to ask yourself if you are relevant in their worlds. If you write a manifesto and then ask the "so what question" and it falls flat you need to rethink as it probably means you are not aligned with culture or with the broader market.

The language that forms the manifesto needs to be human to human, it needs to excite and guide customers and employees – this is not a board statement it needs to feel real and it needs to align with the actions and marketing of the business that customers and employees with see and experience in other environments.

A manifesto can be a single page statement, or a lengthy, designed “bible,” but it needs to have some basic elements:

Clarity – You need to be really simple and clear about the difference you make this must be routed back to an insight that connects your business to your consumers and offers a clear line of thought

Intention – This is your rallying cry, for your brand, your employees, and your consumers. What is your intention what do you want to change/enable/create/solve?

Belief –– What do you live by? what do you believe that drives your business and how you work? Why are you getting out of bed every day to do this? Why should your customers care?

Tension – How are you solving problems? How are you stirring emotions and opening up a real tension that needs fixing? This must be authentic and linked to your vision and mission.

Positivity - A good brand manifesto is positive and for the future, it is relevant to today but never entirely achievable it is something a business lives by and is always working towards.

If you are looking for help in finding your brand narrative and building a strong and powerful brand strategy that adds value to your business get in touch today.

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