Brenda Peterson
Brenda Peterson
How to Write an Impactful Brand Manifesto
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Your brand is not just the logo slapped on your products and marketing materials. Your brand is a story, an image, a set of values, and an attitude your organization is trying to develop. It’s the standpoint you take. All these details determine how your audience perceives you, how they associate themselves with your brand, and how attached they become.

At first glance, a brand philosophy might seem secondary to things like product quality, the responsiveness of customer support, and the effectiveness of the marketing strategy. But the truth is, people make decisions driven by emotions, not just pure facts or logic. Arguably, 95% of purchasing decisions are made subconsciously. This means that appealing to your customers simply by demonstrating the benefits and features of your products is not enough to sparkle people’s interest.

Your brand needs to evoke emotions to drive customer behavior. These emotions should be conveyed through all of your business operations and marketing activities. But first, you need to take a standpoint and outline your ideals and aspirations. That is why you need a brand manifesto.

What is a brand manifesto?

A brand manifesto is a declaration of your brand’s motives, goals, and values. It answers the questions about what your brand stands for and why it keeps going. The “why” questions are central to brand manifestos. So, when you write one, you don’t need to focus on what you offer (a product or service) or how you make things work. Instead, you should define what moves your business and how it can change people’s lives.

Writing a brand manifesto is a part of brand building. Not only is it vital for establishing your brand image and creating an emotional connection with your audience (which can further lead to increased conversion rates and customer loyalty), but it also plays an important role in the formation of your company’s identity. A well-written brand manifesto can help you figure out the right direction for your marketing strategy, attract top talents in the industry, and facilitate the on-boarding process within your organization.

How to write a brand manifesto?

A brand manifesto must bear an emotional value in order to establish a connection between your company and its audience. Besides, it should be consistent, inspiring, and creative. Remember, it is not about what you offer. It is about who you are and what difference you can make. Below are some tips you will find useful when composing your brand manifesto.

Answer your “whys”

Why should people care about your brand? Why are you doing that specific kind of business? Why did you start the company anyway? Why do you keep going despite all the hurdles? People love to know “why.” Besides, answering all the “whys” can be quite enlightening and inspiring for your team as well. First of all, it helps to revisit your company’s goals and priorities. If you’re the founder, try to recall why you started the whole thing in the first place. What motivated you? If you’re not the founder, ask those who established the brand.

Define your goals and intentions

What does your company want to achieve? How is it supposed to influence people’s lives? Your goals and aspirations drive the development of your company, and realizing them clearly is the first step toward success. Meanwhile, knowing what success means to you helps your customers associate themselves with your brand.

Hear out multiple opinions

When creating a brand manifesto, more heads are definitely better than one. Even if you’re the founder of the company and have a clear vision of your business, its core objectives and values, it is still advisable to pull your team together and brainstorm ideas for the manifesto. Ask people around you (shareholders, employees, etc.) how they view your company. Looking at your brand from different perspectives can open your eyes on ideas that have never crossed your mind.

Analyze your audience

Your customers are an integral part of your brand’s identity. After all, your entire business exists for them and because of them. Who exactly are you targeting? What kind of people buy your products or use your services? Identifying your buyer persona can be a good start. Define who your typical customers are, what they do, what they believe in, how they behave, and what their goals are. The values of your audience should overlap with those of your brand.

Develop an attitude

A brand manifesto is no place for neutrality and a status quo. It is for screaming your opinion out loud. It is about your attitude and how you project it on your business. So don’t be afraid to tell the public what you stand for and what inspires you. Famous brands usually express their attitude in their marketing materials in order to reach the right audience. For example, Nike with its “Just do it” slogan appeals to decisive people with an active life stance, while Apple stands for innovation and thinking out of the box.

Describe how you change lives

Great brands do not simply offer quality products. They change people’s lives. A comfortable pair of sneakers may be a reason for someone to start running in the mornings; a convenient and good-looking ebook can encourage a person to read more, etc. Think about how your brand adds to the lives of your customers, and then try to explain it creatively in your manifesto.

State your values

What is it that you value most in your business and life in general? Is it integrity, ingenuity, ambition, professionalism, loyalty or accountability? It can be anything you find important. Every brand promotes certain values that allow them to build their image and come up with marketing messages that resonate with specific audience groups. That is why your brand manifesto is where your values must shine.

Pay attention to presentation

A brand manifesto can be written in any format. It can be page long or contain a single sentence. You can present it as a coherent text or a multitude of disjointed words that reflect your brand’s goals and values. A brand manifesto can be embedded in an advertisement, presented as a slide show, or simply be posted on your business website. The choice is yours. Just don’t make it dry and uninspired. Remember that your manifesto must evoke emotions in the first place, so make sure it comes from your heart.

Time to get creative!

Creating a brand manifesto may seem like a challenge at first glance. But it allows you to get a bird’s-eye view of your brand, its goals, and achievements, to set the right priorities and to determine your niche on the market. Plus, it lets you show the human side of your business to the audience. So, when writing your brand manifesto, be bold and don’t shy away from emotions.


Brenda Peterson

Brenda is Technical Specialist at Ning