The viral potential of a creative and thought-provoking manifesto has been proven by brands like lululemon and Holstee who have grabbed the attention of millions of viewers, both online and off. These manifestos contain words of intention and inspiration, and are designed to embody what is important to them and what they stand for.
After Inc. featured an article on the explosive success of the Holstee manifesto a few weeks ago, manifestos from other businesses and organizations — like Project Living Well and Tiny Devotions — have started popping up. After all, Holstee sold 11,000 print copies of their manifesto in 2011. That’s impressive and inspiring. Even more mind-blowing is that the manifesto — which is just a few simple phrases in black font on a white background — has been viewed over 60 million times online since it was designed in 2009. And those stats came from before Pinterest was popular, or Inc. wrote their feature.
Now, that doesn’t necessarily mean that everyone who has viewed the Holstee manifesto knows what Holstee is, or what Holstee does. What it does mean is that Holstee’s young founders (brothers Mike and Dave Radparvar and their buddy Fabian Pfortmüller), were able to pull together phrases and ideas that resonated with millions.
As they said themselves, “We wrote a manifesto but we never wrote a business plan.”
Translated into 12 languages, the Holstee team has created something people around the world want to keep around them and pass on to others — whether via Pinterest or Facebook, or in the physical world through $25 posters and greeting cards printed on “50% elephant poo and 50% recycled paper.”
(For those curious, Holstee is a social enterprise fashion brand that creates unique items such as wallets made from recycled plastic bags collected from the streets of India, offering employment to local artisans.)
As often happens when a success story hits the media, other entrepreneurs were jolted with inspiration and keen to create something that might touch their customers and fans in a similar way.
Whether it’s a total coincidence, or the Holstee story sparked ideas, the following manifestos have hit the web over the past week:
Tiny Devotions: The Boho Manifesto
Tiny Devotions is a yoga and meditation-inspired jewelry line, which sells mala beads (also known as prayer beads) and healing stones. As they describe themselves, “We’re Boho gypsies, yogi fashionistas who spread awareness about mala beads that inspire their wearers to live more peaceful intention based lives.”
The Project: Living Well Manifesto
Project: Living Well is a social enterprise that not only sells products that help fund social good projects around the world, but that also asks its customers to pledge to do something to give back within their own communities — like buy lunch for someone homeless, or help an elderly person cross the street.
“Finding that there were lifestyle brands for athletes to artists, optimists to extreme sports (and even brands for cat lovers), they set out to create the first brand designed specifically for the everyday world changer,” their website explains. “For those who serve, give, coach, teach, build and listen.”
And of course, no blog post on manifestos would be complete with lululemon‘s manifesto, which any fan of the yoga and fitness apparel brand will recognize from the inside of their reusable shopping bags and water bottles. The lululemon manifesto goes back to the idea of being a lifestyle brand, and their manifesto embodies the principles and beliefs that align with their core beliefs.
Writing your own manifesto
Earlier this week, Art of Manliness posted their own guide on How and Why to Write Your Own Manifesto. Following an intro on what the word ‘manifesto’ actually means and the benefits of having one, they offer steps on creating one yourself.
And as designer Keri Smith illustrates with The Rebel Manifesto, it can truly say, look like or reflect anything you like. After all, that’s the whole point.