At first glance a brand manifesto may seem like a marketing ploy and a bit of a yawn, but if you look beyond the cliche, you may just find a brand and a bunch of tree-huggers that you’ll love.
Manifestos are big and bold. Some make us laugh, some inspire us, some offer a quiet space of gentle reflection – and others are downright dreadful. Why are some manifestos so powerful when others fall flat?
A good manifesto shows a depth of belief. It’s what you stand for and strive for and won’t give up for. It’s a declaration that you care about something.
A bad manifesto is like a friend who is only nice to you when they want something. They’re needy and you can see right through them. Sure, you might still be buddies, but they’re not your bestie.
Look for lines like we put our customers first and anything that starts with we strive is a sign to get the hell out of there. A strive sounds like you’ll make an effort, but won’t quite get there. Sorry customers, we did say we’d put you first in our manifesto so we can’t really strive for anything else.
A true manifesto is from the heart. It’s honest and often a little messy. And if you’re genuine, a good manifesto makes your brand (and you) more human. And we need more human.
“People don’t buy goods and services. They buy relationships, stories and magic” – Seth Godin.
Here are some famous (and not so famous) manifestos that inspire me with their witty words and magical prose. I hope they inspire you too.
1. Soul Dust. We believe in turning over rocks to see what’s beneath.
I’m not an outdoor girl, but when a company like Soul Dust offers a little tree-hugging to get back to the true-est you, then I’m pitching a tent and toasting those marshmallows.
2. Apple. Think different.
It is Apple. They think differently. I see genius.
3. Fluevog. We embrace peculiarity.
My favourite Canadian shoe designer, John Fluevog, has never disappointed in manifesting the best manifestos on the planet. Truly unique soles for unique souls that often (if not always) feature on my #shoesoftheday posts on Instagram.
4. The Holstee Manifesto. Do what you love and do it often.
The Holstee Manifesto has been around for many years. It still inspires me to get out there, live like crazy and create cool stuff with people I love.
5. Wide Open Writing. We write and we’re not even all writers.
I joined the tribe from Wide Open Writing on their Tuscany Writing Retreat last year and I have to say that these beautiful souls wholeheartedly live up to this manifesto. I have nothing but love for these creative compassionate truth-seeking crackpots.
6. Fiat. A certain Italian way of life.
Small car, big passion. Are you ready to take to the open road with Fiat? Let’s drive.
7. We Are Scout. Vintage lovers. Music snobs.
This delightful manifesto from the interior design goddess at We Are Scout was the inspiration for my I AM manifesto. The We Are manifesto is is from a few year’s back (note boxed set enthusiasts), but I still have a soft spot for these frock obsessed designers because I’m frock obsessed too.
8. Falwasser. I may be thin, but I’m strong.
You might think I’m completely crackers on this one, but this tasty treat on the packaging on the Falwasser crackers sounds like an ad from a dating app. Bring me some triple cream brie and let’s slip into something more comfortable.
9. Aviation Gin. The Process.
Ready to make some magic?
Here’s an article on how to write a business manifesto with some great questions to help uncover the business (and human) you, so you can start manifesting your manifesto.
And remember, no striving or putting the customer first. Well, you can put them first (always), just don’t tell them you’re doing it.
People procrastinating over writing their brand manifesto also read:
Note: I don’t get any perks from talking about these brands, I just genuinely love what they do. But if by chance John Fluevog is reading this, I’d like a pair of the Petrella Mary Janes in a size 10. Thanks :-).
Feature photo by Adam Jang on Unsplash.