How to Craft a Brand Manifesto [Guide + 10 Examples]
To inspire your audience to be loyal to your brand, you need to have a core message that focuses on your brand’s purpose and shows why your brand is worth following. To do this, you’ll need to craft a brand manifesto that expresses your brand’s values.
A compelling brand manifesto will appeal to your audience’s emotions and show the “why” behind your organization.
But how do you discover the “why” behind your organization? How do you connect with an audience and inspire them to follow you? Here’s what you as a marketer need to know about brand manifestos, how to craft one, and examples of successful brand manifestos.
What is a brand manifesto?
A brand manifesto describes why your organization exists, its purpose, and why people should care about your brand. It’s typically an emotional story that captivates your audience, emotionally connects with them, and persuades them to support your brand.
Not only can it build a loyal customer base, but it can also attract top talent to your organization.
Why a Brand Manifesto is Important to Your Business
It’s not always enough to have quality products; consumers also care about a brand’s values. According to a 2022 study commissioned by Google Cloud, 82% of shoppers want a brand’s values to align with their own.
Furthermore, 75% of shoppers said they’ve parted ways with a brand over conflicting values.
A manifesto is an opportunity to assure your target audience that your values align with theirs, thus building trust and customer loyalty.
10 of the Best Brand Manifesto Examples
To give you some inspiration for your own brand manifesto, here are some examples to consider.
1. Poseidon Dive Systems
Poseidon Dive System’s manifesto appeals to its audience thirst for curiosity, freedom, and adventure.
Essentially, the company’s manifesto gives the impression that its products are designed to help consumers on their journey to explore and deeper understand the ocean.
What We Like: The manifesto uses descriptive language like “beneath the sea” and “incredible creatures” to paint the picture of an underwater world worth exploring.
In doing so, the brand describes an enticing world and tells its audience that it’s products can take them there.
2. Under Armour
Sportswear company Under Armour’s manifesto speaks to the competitiveness of athletes or anyone on their fitness journey. However, instead of insinuating its audience competes against others, the manifesto explains the brand’s goal is to help consumers compete against themselves.
The idea is to help consumers push their own limits and become the best version of themselves.
What We Like: The manifesto adds context to Under Armour’s simple motto — overachieve.
Nespresso’s manifesto makes its clear the brand believes everyone, regardless of status, should be able to enjoy premium coffee. The manifesto includes all the right words to set the tone for the brand — “premium,” “fancy,” and “luxury.”
However, the brand quickly establishes you don’t need to break out your best suit and tie or be a coffee connoisseur to enjoy its product.
What We Like: The manifesto gives the impression that Nespresso products are luxurious yet affordable and makes Nespresso’s values clear — the company isn’t elitist. It believes everyone should have access to superb coffee.
Moleskine’s manifesto captures the beauty and art of writing with phrases like “the solemn, thoughtful, and meditative gesture of the pen gelding across a blank page.”
Whether journaling, note-taking, or outlining — writing is a personal and artistic expression.
Highlighting this in its manifesto shows Moleskine is in tune with its audience.What
What We Like: Moleskine’s manifesto shows brand consistency. The company manufactures paper and writing products, and its manifesto reflects both its products and its consumers values.
KIA’s manifesto doesn’t include much vivid imagery, but it lays out in plain language the company’s goal. KIA’s purpose is to deliver innovative products that are convenient and respects its consumers most valuable resource — their time.
What We Like: If you’re not one for flowery writing and overly descriptive language, this manifesto shows it’s possible to clarify your values with simple prose.
Even though Nike endorses some of the biggest names in sports, like LeBron James, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Serena Williams, it never boasts about how the best athletes in the world use its equipment.
Instead, Nike sticks to what has skyrocketed the brand to the top of the sports equipment industry — emotional resonance.
Nike wants people to understand that success doesn’t mean becoming the greatest of all time. It means you did everything possible to become the best possible version of yourself.
What We Like: Nike’s manifesto perfectly expresses the “why” behind its brand — to empower every athlete, regardless of their talent or ability, to reach their potential and achieve their greatness.
Fiat isn’t just selling a sleek, Italian car. It’s selling a lifestyle. In its brand manifesto, you get a glimpse of the life it wants to offer customers — a life they can live with burning passion and thrilling excitement.
However, Fiat doesn’t want its customers to live recklessly. It wants them to treasure the little things in life just as much as the big things.
So the “why” behind Fiat’s brand isn’t really changing its customers’ lifestyle — it’s changing their attitude toward life. And that’s a compelling mission to have.
What We Like: The manifesto appeals to an emotion — love. The words “love” and “passion” are used multiple times throughout its manifesto.
8. The North Face
Most travel equipment brands focus on how its products can enable you to travel and explore your surroundings, which is engaging on the surface. But, in The North Face’s brand manifesto, it goes another layer deeper by diving into why we explore.
What We Like: By describing how exploring helps us understand ourselves better, The North Face’s purpose is crystal clear — it not only want to help us explore more and help us change for the better, lead more fulfilling lives, and cherish what we have.
Steve Jobs’ bitter disdain for the status quo compelled him to shatter conventional wisdom whenever he could, driving such a significant wedge between him and his colleagues that they forced him out of the company he founded.
Despite all his controversy, though, Steve Jobs’ ability to think differently fueled Apple’s innovation and transformed it into the most valuable brand in the world.
Steve Jobs’ story is the driving force behind Apple’s purpose. If Apple can inspire people to think differently and challenge the status quo, it can help propel society forward and change the world — just like he did.
What We Like: Apple’s manifesto tells a story of misfits and the hurdles they have to overcome due to their differences. Storytelling is an excellent way to appeal to emotion.
No one wants to coast through life. But, often, we drift away — and we don’t even notice it happening.
To help catch yourself settling in life before it’s too late, Levi’s crafted a brand manifesto overflowing with so much purpose that it could convince Eeoyre from Winnie-the-Pooh to make his mark on the world.
Levi’s manifesto encourages its audience to make the world a better better place and says all they need is their gut instinct and the clothes on their back to make that impact.
What We Like: Levi’s conveys a brand purpose almost anyone would passionately follow for the rest of their lives — don’t ever settle.
How to Write a Brand Manifesto
- Identify your organization’s “why.”
- Write in second or third-person to place your audience into your story.
- Describe how your brand’s purpose will improve people’s lives.
1. Identify your organization’s “why.”
Your brand’s purpose drives your entire brand manifesto. Without a clear and convincing purpose, your manifesto will seem like an inauthentic, emotionally manipulative sales pitch.
Your audience wants to know why they should care about you — and your product’s “best-in-class” features have never been a compelling enough reason to support a business.
To uncover your organization’s “why,” ask your founders why they started the company. What problem were they trying to solve? Why did it bug them so much? And why do they want to keep growing the company?
You’ll most likely find your organization’s purpose within those answers.
2. Write in second or third-person to place your audience into your story.
In each of the brand manifestos above, you’ll notice that the copy pulls you in by including the words “we” or “people.” That’s because Nike, Fiat, and The North Face all know audiences primarily cares about how the brands can help them.
Using pronouns like “you,” “we,” and “them” (when referring to a customer base) can engage people on a personal level and place them in the narrative the brands are crafting.
3. Describe how your brand’s purpose will improve people’s lives.
Most people aspire to transcend their current identities and lives. Self-actualization is a universal goal that almost everyone wants to achieve. And the smartest brand marketers understand this about the human condition.
For instance, did you notice how each of the brand manifestos above is a life mantra that can improve your life? Nike — define and meet your greatness. Fiat — enjoy life to the fullest. The North Face — never stop exploring. Apple — think differently and challenge the status quo. Levi’s — don’t ever settle in life.
By describing each brand’s purpose in a genuinely selfless fashion, each company’s brand manifesto can prompt audiences to imagine a future with the brand’s product or service bettering their lives.
Start with ‘Why.’
Your brand’s purpose is one of the most challenging things to pinpoint and communicate. But if you want to craft a compelling brand manifesto that will engage an audience and persuade them to support your brand, you must be able to convey the reason you exist and why anyone should care.
Only then will you be able to build the loyal following that every brand craves.