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The Whys and Whats of a Corporate Manifesto
Know Who You Are

A good manifesto serves a vital, yet highly specific and undiluted purpose.

It is a rallying cry for an organization. An anthem. A way to give everyone a powerful vision of why it does what it does. 

It CANNOT be just a longer version of a mission statement, nor a reiteration of the vision. And it can’t be a line list of an organization’s “What”—what it’s doing to achieve the vision. We have lots of other horses in our communications stable to run that race.

No, a manifesto should be the ultimate instantiation of an organization’s “Why”. Its manifest destiny, in its very purest, most rousing form.

It needs to communicate that its people have a common purpose, a noble cause through which they will make a tangible difference in the world.

It is the goosebump moment that drives every touchpoint of a brand going forward.

Looking for a little inspiration?

Have a look at Cult’s own manifesto, highlighting why we do what we do, and boy do we love doing it:

We’re not one of those creepy cults your mother warned you about. Although much of the dictionary definition does seem to fit us. We are certainly a group bound together by a devout belief in common ideals. Yes, we place true enlightenment above all things — but only insofar as it relates to our clients’ businesses, customers, prospects and significant others. And absolutely, we observe sacred rites and rituals that fall outside the traditional mainstream — though strictly because they have been proven to turn brands into cult-like objects.

We believe brands need more than customers, they need a cult following.

It’s sad, but customers just aren’t that loyal anymore. They usually buy things because they have a need, not a burning desire. Consequently, they don’t rant to their friends about how great an experience or a product is. On the contrary, customers are more likely to whine and complain and wait for the next sale. Cult followers on the other hand? They’re the hard-tostarboard-and-full-throttle, 180-degree-u-turn, reverse-engines of all that. Cult followers are almost blind in their devotion. They are Ambassadorson-Steroids for companies and what they do. They are the reason Apple is the largest company in the known universe, why tattoo artists have gotten rich on the words “Harley Davidson” and why Coca-Cola can make one of the worst product decisions of 20th century and still come out on top.

Executive summary? In a world with too many choices and too little time, companies without highly engaged, devoted and vocal customers (aka cult followers) won’t survive. Period. And in this brave new world, those who embrace the non-traditional and the unexpected will inherit the earth, or the parts that count. Cult is here for marketing people who share our belief that organizations with cult-like status will always make more money, be better places to work and survive economic downturns better than those others… whose names seem to have slipped our mind.

It’s your turn, know who you are and don’t be afraid to put it in writing.

Further Reading
The CULT of Customer Experience
FIX: A new prescription to cure disengaged customers, prospects or staff
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