What do powerful songs, movies and really good books have in common? They stir up enough emotion for you to remember them forever (or at least a really long time). A brand anthem, when done right, can do exactly the same.
Brand anthems are one of the hottest things in marketing right about now, although they’re not necessarily the newest thing. Also known as brand manifestos, brand anthems have been around for years. Whether you’re familiar with the concept or just learning about it now, brand anthems remain a timeless way to bare and share your company’s soul.
Brand Anthem Explained
A brand anthem is a declaration of what your brand is all about. It proclaims who you are, what you stand for and—perhaps most importantly—why you exist. While you may immediately think of a song when you hear the word anthem, you won’t find any brand anthems blaring over loudspeakers at a baseball game. The ones with the biggest impact are showing up as brand anthem videos.
Unlike the explainer video that talks about the how, or straight-up commercials that tell you all about the what, brand anthem videos focus on the why.
Why do you do what you do?
The why gets to the heart of a company’s passion and purpose. And if you can open that heart to your audience, your brand anthem will be one powerful declaration indeed.
Example of a Brand Anthem Video
One of the best ways to get the gist of a brand anthem video is to see one in action, like this example from my web video narration library.
This particular video is only 1 minute and 22 seconds long. But we don’t even get a hint of the product or company behind the video until a good 45 seconds into the clip. That’s because the video is not about the product or the company.
It’s all about the purpose behind the company’s product, the why. And why should you buy life insurance? Because you’re sharing the love with someone you care for. Or, as the company so sweetly sums it up: “Life insurance is love insurance.”
What a Brand Anthem Does
One of the most obvious effects of a well-crafted brand anthem is its ability to make an emotional connection with the audience. Emotions are a potent force that can:
- Make your brand more memorable, with people remembering things that stirred up emotion much more easily than they remember a lineup of statistics or facts
- Gain more attention, for both your company and your content; people particularly love sharing videos that leave them feeling warm, fuzzy, empowered and altogether good
- Create new customers, as emotion is bigger driving force behind purchasing decisions than logic or rational thinking (even though people like to think they make purchasing decisions based on logic)
- Strengthen bonds with existing customers, resulting in increased customer loyalty and enthusiastic brand advocates
And those are just the benefits outside your organization. Internally, a brand anthem can unite employees behind a specific purpose while increasing enthusiasm and drive.
How to Create a Brand Anthem
Now that you know what a brand anthem is and why it’s important for every company to have one, you may be wondering how to create one. Just as Rome wasn’t built in a day, neither is a brand anthem.
Your first step is to really sit down and think about why your company exists in the first place. And no, making money is not going to fly as the basis behind an effective brand anthem.
You instead want to brainstorm about your brand identity.
- Who is your brand?
- What are you serious about?
- Why do you do what you do?
- What is the driving force behind your existence?
Feel free to write down everything that comes to mind, as companies can be complex entities. But once you have loads of notes and thoughts compiled, it’s essential to boil it all down to a singular, unified message.
Think: “Life insurance is love insurance.”
Is there a particular tagline, purpose or mission statement that sums up your company? Identify it. Smooth it out. Then create a video that supports it.
Key Elements of an Effective Brand Anthem Video
Brand anthem videos can vary wildly, from the highly sensational to the straightforward and down-to-earth. Regardless of the particular style or specific message, all the exceptional ones have a number of elements in common.
You want to create a video that makes viewers say, “Wow.” Leave existing customers with a strong sense of pride for being associated with your brand. Make potential customers eager to learn more about your business. Skip facts and figures for a focus on feelings.
Straightforward, Unified Message
You don’t have to say a lot to have a lot of impact. Keep your central message in mind and make sure every element in your video supports it. Don’t go off on tangents or overload your video with needless info. A clear and concise message is often the most captivating.
Focus on the Story, Not the Sale
Sure, your products and services come with immense benefits and features. But your brand anthem video is not the place to share them. You instead want to create a platform where a story unfolds, one that your purpose helps end happily ever after.
High-Quality, Compelling Visuals
Video gives you a chance to showcase captivating visuals. Take advantage of it. Whether you use dramatic footage of a natural landscape or adorable shots of a happy family, give viewers something enticing to watch. Hint: a talking head behind a desk is not all that enticing.
Your brand anthem video showcases what your brand is all about. That means you need just the right voice to properly convey your message. This applies to the style and tone of your written video script, as well as the voice over narration of your finished product. Don’t skimp on either one. Go with a pro that can get it right.
Voice Over for Brand Anthem Videos
While voice over narration is important in all types of videos, it becomes even more so when used to support a brand anthem. That’s because the voice over actor has to double duty. Their voice must:
- Match the tone and style of your message
- Elicit strong emotion in your audience
Think carefully about the type of voice that may be able to do both for your company, and ask for plenty of custom auditions along the way. Whether your anthem works best with a sultry or serious female voice or the voice of a grizzled old man, you’ll know it when you hear it. It will align perfectly with your visuals, music and message. When done right, your brand anthem video will send tingles down your spine. And do exactly the same for your audience.