Put simply, a brand anthem (also known as a brand manifesto) is a declaration of who your brand is and why it’s here.
When people read a brand anthem — and by people we mean employees and customers — they should gain an instant understanding of your message and a strong sense of your organization’s purpose. To accomplish this, the anthem needs to be built around a radically simple idea, and it should be artfully crafted so it makes your audiences feel something.
Brand anthems come in many flavors.
At Speak!, we tend to prefer anthems that string together thoughtful sentences with bold language. That’s exactly the feel we were going for when we created the “For the Futuremakers” brand anthem for the Dell Technologies OEM Division (case study).
“For the Futuremakers” isn’t an empty statement. No marketing fluff here. It’s a confident declaration about how Dell Technologies is helping its business customers change the world.
The brand anthem is making three important differences for Dell. And if it’s written properly, an anthem can have these same three effects on your brand.
1) Inspire employee belief – Whether it’s a new hire or a grizzled company vet, the brand anthem should serve as a rally cry that unites all your employees behind a singular purpose.
2) Forge a positive connection with customers — A brand anthem should be emotionally charged and inspire customers to take part in your brand’s larger purpose.
3) Provide a platform for storytelling — The anthem and the idea it’s built around should allow you to scale the story across video, events, campaigns, etc.
What all brand anthems have in common
If you’re going to create a brand anthem that accomplishes these three goals, you need craft it around something you’re serious about. Consider GE’s Ecomagination platform. It’s a bold, lofty, aspirational commitment that would fall flat if the company didn’t live by it. The difference between strong brands (like GE and Dell) and weak brands is that strong brands have a belief in a bigger, more important mission.
The key takeaway here is it’s unlikely you’ll just be able to sit down and write an effective brand anthem in the next couple hours. It will require some companywide soul searching.
Before putting pen to paper, make sure you do the hard work of figuring out what your brand is really all about. We’d love to help you do that. Give us a holler. We’d be happy to walk you through a 15-minute overview of our Brand Intervention service.