What do you think sets some organisations apart from their competition? It is not a great product or good services, these can easily be copied or mimicked.
In today’s world, great brands are those that have a clear purpose. Consumers are following brands that represent what they believe in. Just like us, great organisations have a purpose, belief, and a cause. The organisation needs to know why they exist. Companies are known as artificial people and consumers are treating them as such today. Look at it this way, between a friend whose beliefs and values don’t fit yours or worse still, doesn’t have a purpose and one who has clear principles and lives by them, who would you rather? When you read a book like Start With Why by Simon Sinek, you understand why brands need to have a purpose.
A brand manifesto declares your core values, purpose and intentions. It will state out the brand’s guiding principles and policies. Brand Manifestos are a representation of certain beliefs and cause. Companies with a clear brand purpose have been shown to have a superior financial performance when compared to companies without a purpose. This is because consumers will align themselves with a brand that represents their beliefs. When developing a brand strategy, company’s do no focus on mission statements anymore; it’s all about brand manifestos. How do you then write a great brand manifesto?
Know your purpose
This is where it all starts. Just like Simon Sinek put it, start with why. That is the core of your brand manifesto. Making profit should not be your purpose. Profits are simply a byproduct of following your purpose. What inspires you? What motivates you? Why are you in this business? What do you believe in? Find your goals and aspiration for the future. But these must be genuine beliefs, your audience is smarter than you might think.
Find your cultural group
You need to find and define your cultural group. Understanding your audience will enable you to communicate to them effectively. Profile your target audience and understand their beliefs, values, and culture.
Align your purpose to the customer’s
For your brand manifesto to be exceptional, you need to be in sync with your clients. It’s all about them. They need to be inspired by your manifesto. Once you understand your cultural group, ask yourself whether you want the same thing as your audience. If you do, they will be fiercely loyal to you.
Speak in an active, collective voice
When writing the brand manifesto use a collective voice to represent everybody associated with the brand. Talk about your brand culture in an active voice. Do not talk about your products or services. Instead, talk about your values and beliefs.
Keep it simple but disruptive
Keep your brand manifesto simple. If it is not simple, it might as well be a mission statement. Sum up all your beliefs and values in one statement or a couple of short statements. Remember to challenge the status quo too.
Build a brand culture
Your values mean nothing if you do not live by them. Create a culture where everybody in the organisation lives by your purpose and values. Ensure that everybody in the company understands the brand manifesto and believes in it.
Having a great brand manifesto creates brand loyalty. Just look at Apple. To maximise the impact of the manifesto, ensure it’s authentic and that the brand experience is in line with your manifesto. Nobody wants to be associated with those who don’t keep their word or walk-the-talk.
Matt Wilson is our Creative Director at Animus Creative. Having worked with some of the worlds (and regions) leading brands. He has a passion for creativity and is a keynotes speakers on branding, creativity and innovation.
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