Six Thoughts On The “Brand Manifesto” Trend

What the heck is a brand manifesto? Think of it as a corporate mission statement written with verve and dramatic flair. Here are some classic brand manifesto examples:

Levis Brand Manifesto | Brand Manifesto Examples

Brand Manifesto Examples

Apple Brand Manifesto

bfw Advertising | Brand Manifesto TrendBrand manifestos are trendy in advertising and marketing right now for a couple reasons. They are seen as a way to elevate the mission of the brand beyond a base desire to make a profit. They also help advertising agencies and clients bridge the gap between a dry marketing strategy and a compelling ad campaign. Both of these intentions are worthwhile and productive.

However, brand manifestos are not an umbrella solution for all advertising needs. We see them used often in today’s ad industry, with mixed results. Here are six things to keep in mind about brand manifestos.

Useful > Philosophical

Your audience almost certainly prioritizes quality and price point over philosophical musings. The first responsibility of your advertising is persuasion. Your brand manifesto can certainly inspire a persuasive ad campaign. But waxing poetic should not stand in the way of your unique selling points.

RELATED: Thoughts on Advertising and the Three Modes of Persuasion

Winning Over The Boardroom Isn’t The Same As Winning Customers

Growing your brand occupies a great deal of your time and attention. It may even occupy a special place in your heart. You feel a sense of purpose when you hear the brand manifesto It might even get a standing ovation at board meetings. Great! That’s a valuable thing you can build on.

But your customer may only think about your brand a few minutes a week. They view your product through a completely different lens than you do. So, the message that stirs your soul may not even register on your audience. Understandably, that can be a tough pill to swallow after there has been so much good karma internally. But you owe it to your brand to create ads for your customer first. The brand manifesto may help you create a winning message, but it may not be the solution in itself.

Keep Your Message Quick And Simple

Brand manifestos are often a couple paragraphs long. That’s too wordy for most ad mediums. The main message of your advertising should be understood in a sentence or two. Can you condense your manifesto into something quick and simple? Then it may work in an ad campaign.

Explore The Range Of Human Emotion

Most of the brand manifestos we see portray the brand as a happy, enlightened, and positive force for good. And there’s nothing wrong with that. But after a while, they all start to sound similar. Even if the brands themselves are different. What other emotions can your manifesto stir? Laughter? Wistfulness? Love? Anger? The author of this blog once made a client cry with a sad and poignant manifesto, followed by an ad campaign with a similar tone. Between facial tissues, she approved the campaign.

RELATED: How To Create Really Good Advertising Ideas for Complex Products & Services

Words Aren’t The Only Way To Speak

Just as in an ad campaign, visuals and music in a manifesto can speak without words. Every element should feel aligned to communicate your message. This will also help you make an ad campaign based on your manifesto, because you’ll already have identified powerful elements.

Be Yourself

The world already has too many brands professing ideals they don’t live up to. Thanks to the internet, empowered consumers can find out fast if they should take your creative brand manifesto seriously. Your company doesn’t have to be perfect. Just don’t claim to be something you’re not.

For more really good insight on advertising trends, rely on bfw Advertising

Our team of writers, designers, and strategists doesn’t follow the trends to say “me, too.”  We follow the trends so we can give you the truth. Count on bfw Advertising to give you the really good ideas you need to build your business. We also have a blog dedicated to healthcare advertising and marketing content on our life sciences site, Check it out!

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