You know your organization stands for something special in the world.
But do your constituents? Your partners, customers and clients?
Do they understand your plan to make a difference...to help create an equitable world? Can they feel the passion that fuels your fire, serving others and making the planet a greener, healthier place to live?
If you're uncertain about that, I have one word for you: manifesto.
A brand manifesto differs from your mission statement. Their intentions may be the same. But their language is not. While the mission statement is very left-brain and logical, the manifesto is right-brain and emotional. Well-crafted manifestos can last for decades if not centuries.
Think Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" masterpiece, the U.S. Declaration of Independence and the Ten Commandments. A manifesto is your bold plan for a better world, for healthier communities. It's a moral compass that will guide and define your brand to both external and internal audiences.
Is a manifesto right for your organization? Consider the following criteria we believe must be a part of one:
- Communicate Your Deep Emotional Principles. What is your organization's reason for existence?
- State Your Core Values. What is it your organization stands for? Justice? Compassion? Health?
- Speak the Truth. Are you authentic? Does your language and ideas reflect that?
- Relate to Your Audience. Are you using emotion to touch your audience's core?
- Differentiate. How does your organization differ from others appealing to your audience?
The manifestos we admire and that resonated with us all share things in common. These elements include:
- Speaking in the Collective Voice.
- Speaking in the Active Voice.
- Looking to Change the Status Quo.
- Serving as a Compass for Future Decisions.
For contemporary examples of well-crafted manifestos, we happen to be particularly fond of Albertina Kerr's "Army of Angels" here in our hometown of Portland, OR. And if I may toot my own horn, I also like the Hering Creative manifesto.