kids throwing paper airplanes

Think, for a moment, about your coworker, Deb. She works in a different department from you. Payroll, maybe. Deb is generally pleasant and good at her job, and has at one time or another jokingly admitted she’s not a creative type — doesn’t know the first thing about brand marketing. She clocks in at 8 and out at 5. If you ask about her purpose for coming to work, she’ll tell you it’s about putting food on the table for her family.

Okay, maybe you don’t have a coworker named Deb, but you probably have plenty of Debs on your team. Aware of your company’s marketing but not engaged with or inspired by it. This is a shame — as someone who interacts with your brand every day, Deb, if anyone, should feel energized by it.

After all, brand authenticity is created from the inside out (that’s the heart of our say it. live it.® philosophy). Once you’ve done the work of uncovering your brand identity, you’ll need to share it with people (particularly your people) in a way that resonates.

Here, I’ve outlined a simple way to use your rebrand to make a splash internally — before using a similar tactic to connect with your customers, too.

“After all, brand authenticity is created from the inside out”
Izzy Sliker - Associate Creative Director

But first: why?

I’ll tell you why: because rebranding is your best chance to reinvigorate everyone’s sense of purpose. Everyone surrounding your organization, from staff to customers to prospective customers, ought to be excited by what you do, how you do it, and — maybe most important of all — why you do it.

Imagine putting an end to the “Sunday Scaries” for people like Deb, and giving her a reason to think bigger about her responsibilities. A rebrand is a new opportunity for your people to feel excited about the contributions they can make in their role. It’s their chance to be champions for the cause and give greater meaning to the hours they put into the culture they’ve helped you build.

What can you do?

One compelling and fundamentally simple way to engage your audiences is creating a brand manifesto: a powerful, emotionally driven statement that encapsulates your organization’s purpose, values, mission and vision. This is exactly the approach we took with our partners at TriHealth after helping the health system align its brand with its culture.

To first connect leaders and team members with the new brand and encourage them to continue to “live it,” we produced a brand manifesto video. The video helped show the new look, feel and emotional tone in a way that captured the hearts and minds of the system’s internal team.

The voiceover was ultimately provided by one of the company’s senior leaders in population health, underscoring the system’s commitment to transforming healthcare for its communities and position of servant leadership.

Ultimately, we didn’t need a big budget to create something beautiful and profoundly moving. After all, words carried much of the weight. But making the manifesto a carefully curated experience helped ensure it would leave a lasting impression.

That’s because a well-crafted manifesto like this digs at the heart of your “why.” It reminds your team that what they do affects so much more than their paycheck. It puts a stake in the ground about the difference your brand has the power to make: an experience they’ll take pride in being a part of.

It’s also a great litmus test to gauge the strength of your brand platform. In this case, we received incredible feedback from the TriHealth team.

“I absolutely love the new brand. This is exactly how I feel and why I do what I do.”

“Love the brand promise! It’s who we are! Incredible!”

“It’s so great to have our branding truly match our culture of care.”

“It’s so great to have our branding truly match our culture of care.”
TriHealth team member -

Make your manifesto a public message

Of course, the goal of many rebranding efforts is to strengthen your market position — and customer perceptions of your organization. When appropriate, a brand manifesto can also be used in your external marketing. (In fact, top-tier brands like Apple and Nike are known for the strength of their manifestos.)

Think about your customer, Todd. Okay, you don’t know Todd, because you’ve never personally interacted with Todd. Imagine a guy named Todd. Todd has heard of your brand. In fact, he owns one of your products — but he bought it because the features were good and the price was right. When it’s time for an upgrade, well, he doesn’t really feel any affinity for you.

Todd doesn’t think about you very much. Like Deb, he’s a person with a family and bigger priorities. But Todd, like all humans, is an emotional creature. If you can strategically appeal to Todd’s emotional desires (the part of him that wants to be a hero in his own story, to make his life a little easier, to make his world less stressful and more fulfilling, to put more focus on his family and the tribe he wants to be a part of), well, Todd is more likely to be a customer for life.

This means manifestos can be an especially powerful creative tactic when your organization hasn’t made a case for its purpose and position in some time. This is exactly why we ultimately decided to use TriHealth’s new brand manifesto as the foundation for a brand TV commercial.

The positive response from the TriHealth team proved that our creative expression felt authentic, aspirational and energizing: all qualities of a well-executed idea. Confident in the direction, we distilled the internal manifesto into a more concise and consumer-friendly TV spot that highlighted the system’s unique care approach and the healing that results.

As a key component of our consumer-facing Be seen. Be heard. Be healed. campaign, the TV spot gave us an opportunity to share an emotional new look and feel in a way that helped the community see themselves reflected in the brand story.

Is a brand manifesto right for you and your people?

Our work with TriHealth is a great example of a brand manifesto at its best — but it’s not a one-size-fits-all solution. Consider the following before creating a manifesto of your own:

Timing - A brand manifesto is a great tool to help kick off the excitement of a new brand, particularly after a lull in brand-level marketing. If your brand is seemingly always trying to reinvent itself, a manifesto simply won’t carry the same weight.

Relevance - Make sure you understand the relationship between what your organization offers with your team’s values and goals — as well as your customers’ priorities. If you plan to share your manifesto with both audiences, remember to adjust the messaging accordingly to so it resonates emotionally with their respective priorities.

Delivery - Remember it’s a manifesto, not a Mad-Lib. This isn’t the time for plug-and-play or asking ChatGPT to write you a script. Your understanding of your own brand should inform your creation and delivery of the manifesto. Carefully consider the tone, the messaging, the medium, the visuals, and the time and place of where, when, and how it will be delivered to ensure it carries the right energy and emotion. Consider popular influencers among your audience: who inspires them to act, and which of their qualities can you put to use?

Like any other brand-level creative tactic, a powerful brand manifesto requires thoughtful and thorough discovery to align on your organization’s goals, values and expression. It isn’t a band-aid for a weak brand. If your organization hasn’t figured out its identity and a promise it can deliver on, a manifesto will only create more confusion (think of poor Deb! As for Todd, he’ll just ignore your message if it doesn’t ring true).

Of course, getting an objective opinion from strategic, creative partners can help you determine if you’re ready for this step in the brand-building process, and if so, the best way to share your message and galvanize your people, inside and out. We’d love to help.

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