Now that you’ve had the opportunity spend some time getting acquainted with your Brand for your Brand Book, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and write (or include) your Brand Manifesto and Tagline. (If you’ve been following Finding Brand for awhile now, you might recall me addressing manifestos before in The Secret Sauce.) The Brand Manifesto and Brand Tagline are critical elements of both your brand and Brand Book. They communicate the crux of your brand to your internal and external audiences and when included correctly in the brand book, they will help bring your brand to life.
First, a Definition of “Manifesto” and ”Tagline” for our Brand Book
According to the Merriam Webster Dictionary, “manifesto” is a noun, meaning: “a written statement declaring publicly the intentions, motives, or views of its issuer.” That’s exactly what we need to include in our Brand Book. A statement that clearly articulates the intentions and motivations for our Brand — our reason for being, if you will.
Tagline, according to the same Merriam Webster Dictionary, is “a reiterated phrase identified with an individual, group, or product.” This is the phrase that, after time, will trigger your entire brand position in the consumer’s memory. Nike-”Just Do It.” Avis-”We try harder.” Bissell-”Life is messy, clean it up!” Obviously, it will be a key element in our brand book.
Manifesto = Our Flag at the Top of the Brand Mountain
This section of our Brand Book will be our touchstone. The document we go back to before we create new Brand collateral, before we post to our social media, before we begin blogging, and most certainly before we talk to the press. The manifesto is the flag we place on the top of the brand mountain staking out our beliefs. It doesn’t equivocate. It doesn’t hedge. It says it plain and clear. It’s an integral component in our brand book for clarity and invoking the appropriate emotional resonance.
Tagline = Our photograph of the Flag at the Top of the Brand Mountain
The tagline is what we share with our friends, bosses, enemies, and stakeholders showing off the accomplishment we made climbing to the top of our Brand Mountain. Since no-one wants to be the person with a photograph of every leaf on the way up the to top, the tagline is the best, most succinct and memorable image from our trip. It will be what we use on business cards, advertisements, and as our call to action whenever we need or want to invoke our Brand position. The tagline the public face of our brand in our brand book.
A Word About the Brand Manifesto’s Format for the Brand Book
While there doesn’t have to be a format for the manifesto in the brand book, it simply needs to come from the heart, occasionally you’ll find references for one. (Check out David Brier’s “The Last Word in Branding” for Fast Company.) What’s more important than format is that it comes from the heart, creates an emotional response and is both inspirational and aspirational. In my opinion, the manifesto should culminate in the tagline for the Brand position. Doing so, both demonstrates how you got to the tagline and gives the tagline additional depth and resonance.
Rubber Duckie Brand Manifesto for the Brand Book
As we have with this entire Brand Book Series, it’s now time to apply the Manifesto and Tagline to the Rubber Duckie brand position for inclusion in our Brand Book.