Writing a brand manifesto (Brand vision: part 2)

This is the second snippet from Brand Vision, which is currently Amazon’s number 4 book on branding. (Notice the trick of defining your market in such a way that you have a chance of being number 1. Reminds me of starting work on Vidal Sassoon shampoo and being told we were the number 1 salon haircare brand. Only problem was, this segment was only 1% of the shampoo market).

Anyway, this post is about breaking out of the box filling that some teams still use to do brand visioning. Only last week I saw a 10-level brand pyramid being presented as a brand vision, without a hint of irony. And the marketing director was surprised that we were bored to tears, not jumping with brand joy.

Brand manifestos are a better way to work on the vision for your brand, allowing you more freedom to express yourself, and what you really want to "fight for". What are you guiding principles, beliefs and issues you want to take a stand on? Here’s the one for T-Mobile:

I find this a lot more inspiring and motivating than the official brand positioning tool. I encourage people to use provocative language, not politically correct corporate speak.

There are a series of exercises in the book to use in creating a brand manifesto, including:
1. Of you were on a protest march in the street to fight against something, what would you write on your banner? And if you were to flip this into a positive and fight for something, what would you write?
2. What is the bigger role your brand can play in everyday life? What sort of "legacy" would you like to leave behind after 5 years on the brand.

The key is to engage your heart and gut feel when doing this, not just your head.

Any other tips and trick on this welcome.