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Mission and Vision: Keys to a Focused Brand

When was the last time you looked at your mission statement? Your vision? Do you even have one?

The words Vision, Mission, and Values get thrown around all the time, yet many business owners don’t even know what the hell they are, much less why they matter. 

The Importance of Vision and Mission

Your vision is your end goal. Your mission is your plan to achieve it. 

You’d never go on a long trip without a map – especially if your very livelihood depended on it. A clear sense of direction is critical to your business’s success, providing a sense of consistency for your consumers and maximizing efficiency for your team. 

Target the right audience.

Attract the right talent.

Set the right expectations.

Send the right message.

Make the right decision.

By uniting your organization under a common purpose, mission and vision are every brand’s first step to charting a focused path forward.

Mission and Vision in Practice

To give you an idea of what we’re working with, let’s start by taking a look at the vision and mission statements of some of the world’s top brands.

VisionMission
BrandThe GoalThe Plan
starbucks_mission_statementTo be the premier purveyor of the finest coffee in the world.To inspire and nurture the human spirit — one person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time.
google-logo-designTo provide access to the world’s information in one click.To organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.
To be Earth’s most customer-centric company, where customers can find and discover anything they might want to buy online.To offer our customers the lowest possible prices, the best available selection, and the utmost convenience.

Notice how each company’s vision builds off of its mission, speaking to the legacy that each brand hopes to achieve. If you covered them up, you could still easily guess the company behind each of these statements, a testament to their authenticity and memorability. Want more examples? Click here.

Try it For Yourself

Now that you know what makes great vision and mission statements, take a stab at creating your own.

Disclaimer: As many jaded corporate employees and skeptical consumers can attest, mission and vision statements only work if they’re authentic from the inside out. These aren’t just statements in your employee handbook – they’re the guiding light for your business’s future. Shake off the external pressures, and focus in on who your brand is at its core.

Values: The Root of Your Mission & Vision

Before you tackle the big picture goals in your mission and vision, you’ll need to understand the beliefs these goals are rooted in. Enter brand values.

Today’s world throws a lot at us, with social, political, and cultural dynamics evolving at lightspeed. Your values are your anchor in turbulent waters. Much like your personal values, they’re the 4-5 beliefs that articulate what’s most important to your brand, giving you a distinct point of view and setting clear standards for what it means to do business with you. 

Your brand values create a set of parameters for your brand’s big-picture goals and set the stage for everything that comes next. 

Vision: Start from the End

Now that you have your priorities straight, let’s get to goal-setting.

Every brand starts with an intention to improve the way something is done. Your vision is that goal in a statement – a concrete, memorable, and succinct explanation of your reason for existing.

A good vision statement is establishes a clear vetting point for every decision you make. Will this bring me closer to X, or further away? It’s an indispensable leadership tool, a framework to make even the heaviest of decisions with clarity and efficiency.

Your vision should be ambitious and aspirational, rooted in who you want to be tomorrow but relevant to who you are today. 

Start Here

Ask yourself these questions:

  • Where is the X on your road map, your goal destination? 
  • It’s 10 years in the future. What does that place look like? How about at 50 years? 
  • What has come into being as a result of your efforts?

Vision: Dos & Dont’s

DO – Make your vision statement as short and easy to remember as possible. A good vision is 2 sentences or less. If you can make it shorter and still get the big picture across, do it. Less words means you’re only using the best words.

🚫 DON’T – Incorporate all the different facets of your business into your vision. You shouldn’t have to overexplain it. Focus on painting a big picture and save the details for a business plan.

DO – Write your vision as if no one outside the company will see it. Whether you share it with the world is up to you, but be authentic to yourself first.

🚫 DON’T – Write your vision to market it to the public. By trying to appease the masses you lose sight of what’s important to you and your organization. Doing this leads to an inauthentic statement that nobody in your company will actually give a damn about.

Mission: Fuel Your Journey

Now that you know what you’re tracking toward, think about how you’ll get there. What are the steps you need to take every day to reach your final destination? This is your mission. 

Your mission makes your vision actionable, turning a seemingly abstract goal into something more tangible. When the going gets tough, your mission keeps you going – a culture-building tool to keep your team focused and driven for the journey ahead. 

Start Here

Ask yourself these questions:

  • Why do you show up to work every day?
  • Why do you exist beyond making money?

Mission: Do’s and Don’ts

DO – Think big picture. While your vision is your pot of gold, your mission should still lead you over the rainbow.

🚫 DON’T – Get caught up in tactical details. Your mission is not intended to be a checklist of all of the things you need to complete from 9-5. Think higher level – why do you clock in?

DO – Consider what makes you different. Reference your values to evoke your brand’s unique point of view and create a statement that speaks to your team, and your why.

🚫 DON’T – Be pompous or long-winded. Remember, this is meant to inspire you first and foremost. Avoid the marketing mumbo jumbo!

Want more tips on writing a powerful mission statement? We’ve got you covered.

Pay Attention to Command Attention

Concentration is critical when it comes to your brand. But sometimes, you have to zoom out in order to see clearly. If you’re in need of a little perspective, hiring an outside expert can equip you with the necessary insight to keep your brand and team focused. 

By Lauren Carr-Gasso May 26, 2022
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