Brand Manifesto

A brand manifesto clarifies what a brand stands for, why it is necessary, and what will drive it forward. It usually consists of a story or collection of phrases that foster an emotional bond between a brand and its customers.

Brand manifestos are seen as a natural evolution of company mission statements, which tend to be characterized by vague and extremely general aspirations that fail to capture why the company exists in the first place. 

Indeed, brand manifestos are concise, brave, and purposeful statements that outline the personality of a brand and the impact it wants to have on the world. This allows the company to connect with a very specific customer who shares its values and ultimate objectives and is keen to support them.

With 84% of millennial consumers distrustful of traditional forms of advertising, brands must complement product and service marketing with a statement that personifies their beliefs and makes them more trustworthy.

In the following sections are some good examples of real-world brand manifestos from a variety of companies.

Fiat

Fiat encapsulates the Italian zest for life as a small car manufacturer with large passions. 

The company equates happiness with driving, car ownership, and appreciating the little moments in life:

“There are people who simply live their lives. And then there are people who take charge of their lives and live it so passionately that they are in love with it. Love that shines through in every moment and every thing they do – big or small. It is not just cursory appreciation but unadulterated passion. It is this ability to celebrate the smallest of things with infectious excitement that arises from a certain Italian way of life. It is this attitude that is at the core of the FIAT brand, its employees, the vehicles they create and the people who rejoice in their ownership – as individuals as well as a proud collective. People who love FIAT cars not just for their simple, beautiful, iconic design. But for their attitude to live big just as they do.

Falwasser

Falwasser is an Australian range of crispbread produced by the Byron Bay Cookie Company. The company, which began as a small, home-based business, now ships crispbread with no preservatives or artificial colors all over the world.

Falwasser’s brand manifesto takes the time to personify its brand and outline aspirations for the future:

I was born and bred in Australia from an all natural family. I like parties, gatherings, and late night rendezvous. I’m one of a kind. I may be thin, but I’m strong. I’m down to Earth but I have extremely prestigious taste. I love cheese, dips, and pates, but I also taste great naked. I’m looking for someone who has an exceptional palate and desires the best out of life. Loving me is a guarantee.”

Nike

Some of the best athletes in the world use Nike’s equipment and the company has a list of achievements that most competitors could only dream about. However, its brand manifesto does not make mention of these facts and instead focuses on creating an emotional response between the brand and everyday consumers.

“Somehow we’ve come to believe that greatness is only for the chosen few, for the superstars. The truth is, greatness is for us all. This is not about lowering expectations; it’s about raising them for every last one of us. Greatness is not in one special place, and it’s not in one special person. Greatness is wherever somebody is trying to find it.

The North Face

While its competitors focus on how their products can help consumers explore the outdoors, The North Face has more of a philosophical focus on the why in its brand manifesto. 

Ultimately, the company sees exploration as a form of self-expression and its brand asks consumers probing questions. Like Fiat, The North Face also relates its products to an appreciation of life:

Why do we explore? Do we simply want to go places we’ve never been before? No, it goes far deeper than that. We explore so we may know the earth better and, along the way, ourselves. How willful are we? How strong? How brave? We embrace the struggle and accomplish things others thought impossible. The equipment we rely on is more than our tools. It is how we transport ourselves from who we are to who we will be. These are life’s great moments. We do not explore to cheat death. We explore to celebrate life. We will never stop exploring.

Key takeaways:

  • A brand manifesto clarifies what a brand stands for, why it is necessary, and what will drive it forward. Each manifesto consists of a story or collection of phrases that foster an emotional fond between the brand and its customers.
  • Fiat encapsulates the Italian zest for life as a small car manufacturer with much larger passions in its brand manifesto, while The Byron Bay Cookie Company’s manifesto personifies its brand with a humanistic description and future aspirations.
  • Nike’s brand manifesto makes it clear that anyone is capable of greatness with an emotional plea for its customers to realize their potential. The North Face, on the other hand, takes a philosophical approach and links its ability to embrace struggle and achieve difficult goals with the lives of outdoor adventurers.
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