32 Mission and Vision Statement Examples That Will Inspire Your Buyers
Published: May 11, 2023
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Think about the brands you purchase from over and over. Why do you choose to buy products and or services from them even when cheaper options exist?
Well, there's a good reason for it — because of their values which are expressed in their mission statement. As consumers, we like to patronize businesses that have values we believe in.
Still, Loyalty doesn’t happen overnight. Building brand loyalty , like creating mission and vision statements, takes time. If you’re in a bit of a time crunch, use this table of contents to find precisely what you’re looking for to inspire the development of your company’s mission:
What is a mission statement?
Mission vs Vision Statements
Best Mission Statement Examples
Best Vision Statements Examples
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A mission statement is a simple statement about the goals, values, and objectives of an organization. It helps a company respond to change and make decisions that align with its vision.
This brief description helps customers, employees, and leadership understand the organization's top priorities.
As a company grows, it may reach its early goals, and they'll change. So, it's important to revise mission statements as needed to reflect the business's new culture as it achieves its goals and develops new targets.
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What makes a good mission statement?
The best brands combine physical, emotional, and logical elements into one exceptional customer (and employee) experience that you value as much as they do. A good mission statement will not only explain your brand’s purpose, but will also foster a connection with customers.
When your brand creates a genuine connection with customers and employees, they'll stay loyal to your company, thereby increasing your overall profitability.
Mission statements also help you stand out in the marketplace, differentiating your brand from the competition.
What are the 3 parts of a mission statement?
Your mission statement should clearly express what your brand does, how it does it, and why the brand does it. You can quickly sum this up in your mission statement by providing the following:
- Brand Purpose: What does your product or service do, or aim to offer and for whom?
- Brand Values: What does your company stand for? For example, are you environmentally conscious and provide a more sustainable solution to solve a problem? Values are what make your company unique.
- Brand Goals: What does your company accomplish for customers? Why should they purchase from you instead of other competitors?
With these three components, you can create a mission that is unique to your brand and resonates with potential customers. Next, we’ll guide you step by step on how to write a proper mission statement to build on as your company evolves.
How to Write a Mission Statement
- Explain your company’s product or service offering.
- Identify the company’s core values.
- Connect how your company's offering aligns with your values.
- Condense these statements into one.
- Make sure it’s clear, concise, and free of fluff.
1. Explain your company’s product or service offering.
You want prospects to understand what your company does in a literal sense. This means explaining your offering in basic, clear terms. Your explanation should answer the most basic questions like:
- Are you selling a product or service?
- Why would customers buy it?
- How does your offering solve for the customer?
Record your answers and focus on how your product or service brings value to your buyer personas , otherwise known as your target audience.
2. Identify the company’s core values.
Now, this is where you can start thinking bigger. You didn’t just make a product or service at random. Instead, you’re most likely motivated by a set of core values .
Core values are deeply ingrained principles that guide a company’s actions. Take HubSpot’s culture code, HEART , for example:
These are principles that not only company employees respect, but are principles that our customers appreciate as well. By identifying core values that hold meaning on personal and organizational levels, you’ll have an appealing set to add to your mission statement.
3. Connect how your company's offering aligns with your values.
So how can your company offering serve your core values? You need to draw a connection between the two in a way that makes sense to the public.
For example, if one of your core values centers on innovation, you want to frame your product or service as pushing boundaries and explaining how it helps customers innovate their lives or business practices. Essentially, you’re taking the literal benefit of the offering and expanding it to serve a higher purpose.
4. Condense these statements into one.
A mission statement can be as short as a single sentence, or as long as a paragraph, but it’s meant to be a short summary of your company’s purpose. You need to state the what, who, and why of your company:
- What: The company offering
- Who: Who you’re selling to
- Why: The core values you do it for
Once you have successfully conveyed your message, it’s time to refine and perfect your statement.
5. Make sure it’s clear, concise, and free of fluff.
Above all, your mission statement is a marketing asset that is meant to be clear, concise, and free of fluff. It should clearly outline the purpose of your company offering and show the common goals the company is working to achieve. You should also have other team members or advisors read the mission statement and make adjustments if needed according to their recommendations.
A vision statement is aspirational and expresses your brand’s plan or “vision” for the future and potential impact on the world. They often serve as a guide for a brand’s future goals and explain why customers and employees should stick around for the long haul.
What makes a good vision statement?
A good vision statement should be bold and ambitious. They’re meant to be inspirational, big-picture declarations of what your company strives to be in the future. They give customers a peek into your company’s trajectory and build customer loyalty by allowing them to align their support with your vision because they believe in the future of your brand as well.
What are the 3 parts of a vision statement?
Your company vision is meant to be inspirational while also aligning with the company’s mission. A vision statement should have the following characteristics:
- Aspirational and Ambitious: Have a lofty outlook for what you want your business to accomplish? Here’s the place to put it. Your vision statement should be aspirational and showcase how your business will grow in the future.
- Practical and Achievable: While your statement should be ambitious, it shouldn’t be impossible. Set a goal that is both challenging and practical.
- General: Your vision should be broad enough to encompass all of your brand’s overall goals. Think of it as umbrella for your mission statement and company objectives to nest under.
Both mission and vision statements are often combined into one comprehensive "mission statement" to define the organization's reason for existing and its outlook for internal and external audiences — like employees, partners, board members, consumers, and shareholders.
The difference between mission and vision statements lies in the purpose they serve.
Mission Statement vs. Vision Statement
A mission statement clarifies what the company wants to achieve, who they want to support, and why they want to support them. On the other hand, a vision statement describes where the company wants a community, or the world, to be as a result of the company's services. Thus, a mission statement is a roadmap for the company's vision statement.
A mission statement is a literal quote stating what a brand or company is setting out to do. This lets the public know the product and service it offers, who it makes it for, and why it’s doing it. A vision statement is a brand looking toward the future and saying what it hopes to achieve through its mission statement. This is more conceptual, as it’s a glimpse into what the brand can become in the eyes of the consumer and the value it will bring in longevity.
In summary, the main differences between a mission statement and a vision statement are:
- Mission statements describe the current purpose a company serves. The company's function, target audience, and key offerings are elements that are often mentioned in a mission statement.
- Vision statements are a look into a company’s future or what its overarching vision is. The same elements from the mission statement can be included in a vision statement, but they'll be described in the future tense.
Now that we know what they are, let’s dive into some useful examples of each across different industries.
Mission and Vision Statement Template
Free Guide: 100 Mission Statement Templates & Examples
Need more examples to build your mission statement? Download our free overview of mission statements – complete with 100 templates and examples to help you develop a stand-out mission statement.
Create a mission statement with these useful templates , like this example below:
- Life Is Good: To spread the power of optimism.
- sweetgreen: Building healthier communities by connecting people to real food.
- Patagonia: Build the best product, Cause no unnecessary harm, Use business to protect nature, Not bound by convention.
- American Express: Become essential to our customers by providing differentiated products and services to help them achieve their aspirations.
- Warby Parker: To inspire and impact the world with vision, purpose, and style.
- InvisionApp: Transform the way people work together by helping them collaborate better. Faster. On everything. From anywhere.
- Honest Tea: To create and promote great-tasting, healthy, organic beverages.
- IKEA: To offer a wide range of well-designed, functional home furnishing products at prices so low that as many people as possible will be able to afford them
- Nordstrom: Offering customers the very best service, selection, quality, and value.
- Cradles to Crayons: Provides children from birth through age 12, living in homeless or low-income situations, with the essential items they need to thrive – at home, at school, and at play.
- Universal Health Services, Inc.: To provide superior quality healthcare services that: PATIENTS recommend to family and friends, PHYSICIANS prefer for their patients, PURCHASERS select for their clients, EMPLOYEES are proud of, and INVESTORS seek for long-term returns.
- JetBlue: To inspire humanity – both in the air and on the ground.
- Workday: Our core values guide everything we do — Employees, Customer Service, Innovation, Integrity, Fun, Profitability.
- Lowe's: Together, deliver the right home improvement products, with the best service and value, across every channel and community we serve.
- Tesla: Accelerating the world's transition to sustainable energy.
- Invisible Children: Partners with local peacebuilders across central Africa to end violent conflict through locally-led solutions.
- TED: Spread ideas, foster community and create impact.
- Microsoft: To empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.
- Disney: To entertain, inform and inspire people around the globe through the power of unparalleled storytelling.
- Meta: Giving people the power to build community and bring the world closer together.
- Vista Equity Partners: By providing technology expertise, operational guidance and capital for sustainable growth, we empower organizations across all industries to stay ahead in the digital economy.
- Dunkin': Everything we do is about you. We strive to keep you at your best, and we remain loyal to you, your tastes and your time. That’s what America runs on.
1. Life Is Good : To spread the power of optimism.
The Life is Good brand is about more than spreading optimism — although, with uplifting T-shirt slogans like "Seas The Day" and "Forecast: Mostly Sunny," it's hard not to crack a smile.
There are tons of T-shirt companies in the world, but Life is Good's mission sets itself apart with a mission statement that goes beyond fun clothing: to spread the power of optimism.
This mission is perhaps a little unexpected if you're not familiar with the company's public charity: How will a T-shirt company help spread optimism? Life is Good answers that question below the fold, where the mission is explained in more detail using a video and with links to the company’s community and the Life is Good Playmaker Project page . We really like how lofty yet specific this mission statement is — it's a hard-to-balance combination.
2. sweetgreen : Building healthier communities by connecting people to real food.
Notice that sweetgreen's mission is positioned to align with your values — not just written as something the brand believes. We love the inclusive language used in its statement.
The language lets us know the company is all about connecting its growing network of farmers growing healthy, local ingredients with us — the customer — because we're the ones who want more locally grown, healthy food options.
The mission to connect people is what makes this statement so strong. And, that promise has gone beyond sweetgreen's website and walls of its food shops: The team has made strides in the communities where it's opened stores as well. Primarily, it offers education to young kids on healthy eating, fitness, sustainability, and where food comes from.
3. Patagonia : Build the best product, Cause no unnecessary harm, Use business to protect nature, Not bound by convention.
Patagonia's mission statement spotlights the company’s commitment to help the environment and save the earth. The people behind the brand believe that among the most direct ways to limit ecological impacts is with goods that last for generations or can be recycled so the materials in them stay in use.
In the name of this cause, the company donates time, services, and at least 1% of its sales to hundreds of environmental groups worldwide.
If your company has a similar focus on growing your business and giving back, think about talking about both the benefit you bring to customers and the value you want to bring to a greater cause in your mission statement.
4. American Express : Become essential to our customers by providing differentiated products and services to help them achieve their aspirations.
Customers will never love a company until the employees love it first.
— Simon Sinek (@simonsinek)
The tweet above is from Simon Sinek , and it's one that we repeat here at HubSpot all the time. American Express sets itself apart from other credit card companies in its list of values, with an ode to excellent customer service, which is something it’s famous for.
We especially love the emphasis on teamwork and supporting employees so that the people inside the organization can be in the best position to support their customers.
5. Warby Parker : To inspire and impact the world with vision, purpose, and style.
In one sentence, the brand takes us to the root of why it was founded while also revealing its vision for a better future.
The longer-form version of the mission reads: "We're constantly asking ourselves how we can do more and make a greater impact—and that starts by reimagining everything that a company and industry can be. We want to demonstrate that a business can scale, be profitable, and do good in the world—without charging a premium for it. And we've learned that it takes creativity, empathy, and innovation to achieve that goal." This further shows how Warby Parker doesn't hold back on letting its unique personality shine through. Here, the mission statement's success all comes down to spot-on word choice.
6. InvisionApp : Transform the way people work together by helping them collaborate better. Faster. On everything. From anywhere.
We love the way this statement is emphasized by bringing it back to InVision’s customers — top brands like Google, Zillow, and Slack — and linking to those stories. This mission statement is brief, authentic, and business babble-free — which makes the folks at InvisionApp seem trustworthy and genuine.
7. Honest Tea : To create and promote great-tasting, healthy, organic beverages.
Honest Tea's mission statement begins with a simple punch line connoting its tea is real, pure, and therefore not full of artificial chemicals. The brand is speaking to an audience that's tired of finding ingredients in its tea that can't be pronounced and has been searching for a tea that's exactly what it says it is.
Not only does Honest Tea have a punny name, but it also centers its mission around the name. For some time, the company even published a Mission Report each year in an effort to be "transparent about our business practices and live up to our mission to seek to create and promote great-tasting, healthier, organic beverages."
8. IKEA : To offer a wide range of well-designed, functional home furnishing products at prices so low that as many people as possible will be able to afford them
The folks at IKEA dream big. The vision-based mission statement could have been one of beautiful, affordable furniture, but instead, it's to make everyday life better for its customers. It's a partnership: IKEA finds deals all over the world and buys in bulk, then we choose the furniture and pick it up at a self-service warehouse.
"Our business idea supports this vision ... so [that] as many people as possible will be able to afford them," the brand states .
Using words like "as many people as possible" makes a huge company like IKEA much more accessible and appealing to customers.
9. Nordstrom : Offering customers the very best service, selection, quality, and value.
When it comes to customer commitment, few companies are as hyper-focused as Nordstrom is. Although clothing selection, quality, and value all have a place in the company's mission statement, it’s clear that it’s all about the customer: "Nordstrom works relentlessly to give customers the most compelling shopping experience possible."
If you've ever shopped at a Nordstrom, you'll know the brand will uphold the high standard for customer service mentioned in its mission statement, as associates are always roaming the sales floors, asking customers whether they've been helped, and doing everything they can to make the shopping experience a memorable one.
10. Cradles to Crayons : Provides children from birth through age 12, living in homeless or low-income situations, with the essential items they need to thrive – at home, at school, and at play.
Cradles to Crayons divided its mission and model into three sections that read like a game plan: The Need, The Mission, and The Model. The "rule of three" is a powerful rhetorical device called a tricolon that's usually used in speechwriting to help make an idea more memorable. A tricolon is a series of three parallel elements of roughly the same length — think "I came; I saw; I conquered."
11. Universal Health Services, Inc. : To provide superior quality healthcare services that: PATIENTS recommend to family and friends, PHYSICIANS prefer for their patients, PURCHASERS select for their clients, EMPLOYEES are proud of, and INVESTORS seek for long-term returns.
A company thrives when it pleases its customers, its employees, its partners, and its investors — and Universal Health Services endeavors to do just that, according to its mission statement. As a healthcare service, it specifically strives to please its patients, physicians, purchasers, employees, and investors. We love the emphasis on each facet of the organization by capitalizing the font and making it red for easy skimming.
12. JetBlue : To inspire humanity – both in the air and on the ground.
JetBlue's committed to its founding mission through lovable marketing, charitable partnerships, and influential programs — and we love the approachable language used to describe these endeavors. For example, the brand writes how it "set out in 2000 to bring humanity back to the skies."
For those of us who want to learn more about any of its specific efforts, JetBlue offers details on the Soar With Reading program, its partnership with KaBOOM!, the JetBlue Foundation, environmental and social reporting, and so on. It breaks down all these initiatives really well with big headers, bullet points, pictures, and links to other web pages visitors can click to learn more. JetBlue also encourages visitors to volunteer or donate their TrueBlue points.
13. Workday : Our core values guide everything we do — Employees, Customer Service, Innovation, Integrity, Fun, Profitability.
Workday, a human resources (HR) task automation service, doesn't use its mission statement to highlight the features of its product or how it intends to help HR professionals improve in such-and-such a way.
Instead, the business takes a stance on values. There's a lot of great tech out there. But at Workday, it revolves around the people. We love how confident yet kind this mission statement is. It observes the state of its industry — which Workday believes lacks a human touch — and builds company values around it.
14. Lowe's : Together, deliver the right home improvement products, with the best service and value, across every channel and community we serve.
Sometimes the best way to communicate is direct. Lowe's mission statement hones in on the who, how, what, and why behind this powerful home improvement brand.
It's also a great lesson in how the words and phrases you choose show your audience the force behind your mission. This mission statement begins with the word "together." So, no matter what location, products, or channel, the top priority of its mission is that it happens as a team.
That focus on togetherness also creates a foundation for the volunteer, scholarship, and charitable work that this organization does.
15. Tesla : Accelerating the world's transition to sustainable energy.
A car company's punny use of the word "accelerating" is just one reason this mission statement sticks out. But Tesla makes this list because of how its mission statement describes the industry.
It may be a car company, but Tesla's primary interest isn't just automobiles — it's promoting sustainable energy. And, sustainable energy still has a "long road" ahead of it (pun intended) — hence the world's "transition" into this market.
Ultimately, a mission statement that can admit to the industry's immaturity is exactly what gets customers to root for it — and Tesla does that nicely.
16. Invisible Children : Partners with local peacebuilders across central Africa to end violent conflict through locally-led solutions.
Invisible Children is a non-profit that raises awareness around the violence affecting communities across Central Africa, and the company takes quite a confident tone in its mission.
The most valuable quality of this mission statement is that it has an end goal. Many companies' visions and missions are intentionally left open-ended so that the business might always be needed by the community. But Invisible Children wants to "end" violent conflict facing African families with local solutions. It's an admirable mission that all businesses — not just nonprofits — can learn from when motivating customers.
17. TED : Spread ideas, foster community and create impact.
We've all seen TED Talks online before. Well, the company happens to have one of the most concise mission statements out there.
TED, which stands for "Technology Education and Design," has a succinct mission statement that shines through in every Talk you've seen the company publish on the internet. That mission statement starts with "Spread ideas." Sometimes, the best way to get an audience to remember you is to zoom out as far as your business's vision can go. What do you really care about? TED has recorded some of the most famous presentations globally. Then, it hones in on what great ideas can do — foster community and create impact.
18. Microsoft : To empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.
Microsoft is one of the most well-known technology companies in the world. It makes gadgets for work, play, and creative purposes on a worldwide scale, and its mission statement reflects that. Through its product offering and pricing, it can empower every person and organization.
19. Disney : To entertain, inform and inspire people around the globe through the power of unparalleled storytelling.
Disney’s mission statement goes beyond providing ordinary entertainment. It intends to tell stories and drive creativity that inspires future generations through its work. This is an exceptional mission statement because it goes beyond giving consumers programs to watch, but ones that excite and change the way people see them and the world around them.
20. Meta : Giving people the power to build community and bring the world closer together.
Meta, formerly known as Facebook, is a major social media platform with a concise vision statement. It provides a platform to stay in touch with loved ones and potentially connect to people around the world.
21. Vista Equity Partners : By providing technology expertise, operational guidance and capital for sustainable growth, we empower organizations across all industries to stay ahead in the digital economy.
Some businesses sell a clear and easy-to-understand product or service. But many companies need to combine branding with product education. This means that some mission statements need to not only communicate how a brand does business but also make it easy to see what it's selling.
Vista Equity Partners is a leading technology brand that supports a wide range of people, technologies, and products. In its mission statement, it clarifies what its company offers and why. It does this using the terms its audience uses most often to describe how it can help.
22. Dunkin' : Everything we do is about you. We strive to keep you at your best, and we remain loyal to you, your tastes and your time. That’s what America runs on.
Dunkin’s mission goes beyond remaining a large coffee chain. Rather, the brand wants to be the consummate leader in the coffee and donut industry. It wants to become a place known for fun, food, and recreation.
Now that we’ve gone over successful mission statements, what does a good vision statement look like? Check out some of the following company vision statements — and get inspired to write one for your brand.
Vision Statement Example
“Our vision is to improve sustainable farming practices across the globe.” This vision statement is ambitious and broad enough to be an umbrella statement in line with a brand's mission.
1. Alzheimer's Association : A world without Alzheimer's and all other dementia.
The Alzheimer’s Association conducts global research and gives quality care and support to people with dementia. This vision statement looks into the future where people won’t have to battle this now incurable disease. With the work that it's doing in the present, both employees and consumers can see how the organization achieves its vision by helping those in need.
2. Teach for America : One day, all children in this nation will have the opportunity to attain an excellent education.
Teach for America creates a network of leaders to provide equal education opportunities to children in need. This organization’s day-to-day work includes helping marginalized students receive the proper education they otherwise wouldn’t have access to. Its vision statement is what it hopes to see through its efforts — a nation where no child is left behind.
3. Creative Commons : Help others realize the full potential of the internet.
This nonprofit’s vision statement is broad. It helps overcome legal obstacles to share knowledge and creativity around the world. By working closely with major institutions, its vision is an innovative internet that isn’t barred by paywalls.
4. Chipotle : We believe that food has the power to change the world.
Delicious tacos, burritos, and bowls aren't the only things that Chipotle is passionate about. Many fast food brands differentiate with products. But Chipotle offers a belief instead. This idea fuels practices like using local and organic produce, using responsibly raised meat, and cutting greenhouse emissions. Chipotle’s vision statement makes it clear what inspires and drives the actions of this international brand.
5. Australia Department of Health : Better health and wellbeing for all Australians, now and for future generations.
This government department has a clear vision for its country. Through health policies, programs, and regulations, it has the means to improve the healthcare of Australian citizens.
6. LinkedIn : Create economic opportunity for every member of the global workforce.
LinkedIn is a professional networking service that gives people the opportunity to seek employment. Its vision statement intends to give employees of every level a chance to get the job they need.
7. Purely Elizabeth : We believe that food can heal.
Purely Elizabeth is a food brand selling granola, oatmeal, and cereal products. Its extended vision statement reads: "When you eat better, you feel better. It’s that simple. That's why we use superfoods with vibrant flavors and rich textures to create delicious foods to help you thrive on your wellness journey."
Food brands have a lot of competition, and this brand's broad and inspiring vision offers a chance to connect more deeply with customers. Its podcast, blog, and recipe resources offer useful tools and tips for anyone looking to heal their bodies with their food choices.
8. AllHere : Connecting All Families with the Right Support at the Right Time
Attendance is a big challenge for schools and families, especially with students in middle and high school. AllHere offers AI services like mobile messaging to overcome administrative and communication challenges. This helps students, parents, and teachers get the support they need for student success.
This vision statement emphasizes that this challenge is bigger than individual habits. It's an empowering vision of an educational system that works for everyone.
9. Southwest : To be the world's most loved, most efficient, and most profitable airline.
Southwest Airlines is an international airline that strives to serve its flyers with a smile. Its vision statement is unique because it sees itself not just excelling in profit but outstanding customer service, too. Its vision is possible through its strategy and can lead its employees to be at the level they work toward.
10. Supergoop! : Change the way the world thinks about sunscreen.
For a vision statement to excite, but not overwhelm, it should be both broad and specific. Company mission statement examples like the one above from Supergoop! show that it may be tricky, but it's also possible to balance those two extremes.
This vision says that sunscreen is important AND that sunscreen is more than sunscreen. This simple statement helps the audience think more about what its products are and what they should expect from those products. It's about education, awareness, and quality. And this vision statement keeps the tone positive, bright, and direct.
Inspire Through Brand Values
Brand values play a much more significant role in customer loyalty than you think. Showing that your business understands its audience — and can appeal to them on an emotional level — could be the decision point for a customer’s next purchase. We hope you found some insight in this post that can help you brainstorm your inspiring vision and mission statements for your business.
Editor's note: This post was originally published in August 2014 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.
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100 examples and templates of mission statements to help you build your own.
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Mission vs. vision statements: definitions & examples
The lowdown on mission and vision statements (with definitions and examples)
What are mission and vision statements? A mission statement defines the organization’s business, its objectives, and how it will reach these objectives. A vision statement details where the organization aspires to go. Why does your company exist? What do you hope to accomplish in the next several years?
On the surface, those questions seem pretty straightforward. But if you’ve ever had to respond with something concise and powerful, you know that it’s way more challenging than it seems.
This is where your mission and vision statements come in. To craft them, you need to put in the work to understand what your company is all about, as well as where you’re headed in the future.
And once you’ve invested the elbow grease to do so, you’ll be prepared to respond to questions about your reason for being with something impressive – rather than silence and a deadpan expression.
So, let’s dig into everything you need to know about mission and vision statements, shall we?
Mission statements vs. vision statements
Sometimes the terms “mission statement” and “vision statement” are used interchangeably or even combined into a single statement.
But they mean two very different things. Your mission statement is what your company is doing right now, while your vision statement is what you hope to achieve in the future – where you are in this moment versus where you’re going.
Let’s bring this home: if someone asks you, “So, what do you do?” you might say, “I’m a software developer at a mid-size software company” or “I’m a circus clown.”
But, what if they asked you, “What do you want to be doing five or 10 years from now?” Your answer might be a bit different, right?
Maybe you’d say, “My goal is to move into a management position where I oversee all of the company’s developers” or “Ultimately, I’d like to be a world-famous clown and the choice entertainer at birthday parties for celebrities’ kids.”
Mission statement examples
We’ve put together a mini list of inspiration to help you get started. Below are some winning mission statements from a few well-known companies. We know it’s tempting, but no, you cannot copy them.
sweetgreen : “Our mission is to inspire healthier communities by connecting people to real food.”
Nike : “Bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete* in the world. *If you have a body, you are an athlete.”
Etsy : “Our mission is to Keep Commerce Human.”
LinkedIn : “Connect the world’s professionals to make them more productive and successful.”
How to write a mission statement
Alright, now the real work begins: rolling up your sleeves and pulling together your own mission statement.
Let’s mention one more thing about what a mission is not – a slogan. A slogan (think “Just do it” or “Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there”) is a catchy marketing line that customers can immediately associate with a brand. Your mission statement is more than that. It captures the heart of your organization and explains why you do what you do and why you exist in the first place.
A solid mission statement calls for you to dig deep, beyond just “Do a good job” or “Delight our customers”, which can make writing your mission statement tough. Fortunately, we’ve broken it down into three (kind of) easy steps.
1. Start with the basics
Mission statements run the gamut from one sentence to several paragraphs, and there’s a lot that they can include. Some mission statements even go into detail about how a company not only serves their customers, but also their employees and communities.
But, let’s just keep this simple for now. In its most basic form, your mission statement should capture:
- What your company offers your customers (why do you exist?)
- Who your company serves (who are your target customers?)
- Why your company stands out (what makes you different from your competitors?)
Grab your favorite pen (we know you have one!) and a notepad and write a short (just a single sentence fragment will work) response to each of those prompts.
For example, imagine that you work for a software company that developed an app that uses highly tailored personality tests to match candidates with dream jobs. You might come up with something like this:
- What your company offers your customers An easy solution to finding a dream job
- Who your company serves Young professionals who feel lost about their next career steps
- Why your company stands out Your personality assessments are patented and highly rated
Got your own answers scribbled down? Great! Let’s move to the next step.
2. Piece it together
You have the nuts and bolts of your mission statement figured out, but, let’s be honest, it’s still a hot mess. It’s time to tape them together into a more readable statement.
Begin rearranging the pieces, swapping in different words, and making other changes to come up with a few potential statements.
Don’t feel like you’re married to the very first version you come up with. It’s all about trial and error here. Plus, the more options you come up with, the more flexibility you have to land on something that sings.
Sticking with our personality test company example, you might develop these potential mission statements:
- Helping young professionals find careers where they can thrive with patented and effective personality assessments.
- Growing tomorrow’s leaders through targeted personality assessments that match young professionals with careers.
- Forging career pathways for today’s professionals through effective personality assessments.
- Using patented and customized personality assessments to help young professionals find their perfect careers.
They’re all pretty solid choices, right? Don’t worry. The next step will help us narrow these down.
3. Collect feedback and refine
Your mission statement captures your company as a whole, which means you can’t write it in a vacuum. Make sure it really does your organization justice by welcoming other viewpoints in the process.
Collect feedback from your teammates, leaders, board of directors, and loyal customers. You can gather their thoughts through a formal survey, focus groups, or just casual one-on-one chats.
Pull together all of the mission statements that you came up with (that you think are good options, of course), and ask questions like:
- Which of these statements do you like the most? Why?
- Which of these statements do you like the least? Why?
- Is there anything that you think these statements are missing?
- Do you have any other ideas for mission statements?
The trick here is that you can’t just collect that feedback – you should actually think about and work with it.
Imagine that in response to the personality test mission statement options, most people agreed that they wanted to see something shorter and snappier. You take that in and end up with a final mission statement like this:
Building better careers through customized personality assessments.
Bam! You have your mission statement. It seems easy peasy laid out like this, right? But don’t fret if it’s not done in a snap for you.
It might take some time and many rounds of revisions to nail it. That’s totally normal. Take it as a sign that you’re giving your mission statement the effort and consideration it deserves.
Vision statement examples
Forecasting the future of your company – and with such bravado – makes creating a vision statement a strange (and somewhat braggy and therefore slightly uncomfortable) task. But, seriously, that’s what a vision is all about. See below for examples of companies who have taken this task and owned it.
Habitat for Humanity : “A world where everyone has a decent place to live.”
Ford : “To become the world’s most trusted company.”
Ben & Jerry’s : “We make the best possible ice cream in the best possible way.”
Dow : “We want to become the most innovative, customer-centric, inclusive, and sustainable materials science company in the world. Our goal is to deliver value growth and best-in-class performance.”
You’ll notice that nonprofits tend to describe an ideal world while for-profit companies describe their place in an ideal world.
How to write a vision statement
You probably don’t have a crystal ball that will help you foresee the future of your company (although, if you do, are you willing to share?).
So, coming up with your vision statement can be a challenge for someone without psychic abilities, since it makes you think super big. Zoom out and ask yourself, “What’s the ultimate purpose I’m serving?”
Have no fear, we’ve boiled this vital project into three approachable steps.
1. Define your end game
Start by understanding why your product or service matters. What does it help people do? How does it better their lives?
Think about our career personality test example for a moment. What’s the end result there? Nope, it’s not the app itself. The ultimate result (and value!) is a match with a career that seems like a perfect fit.
Think of it this way: Your company is the road on which your customers are running a race. Once they cross the finish line, what do they get? This can help you see how what you’re doing makes a difference for your customers, your community, or even the world.
2. Pinpoint when you know you’ve made it
When you look five or 10 years down the road (let’s stop there for now), what fills out your win column? Jot down everything that comes to mind.
Turning back to our personality test scenario, do you want to become the world’s most trusted resource for career exploration? Do you want to create a world where nobody hates their jobs? Do you want every person to have confidence in their next career step?
Remember, this is your chance to be ambitious and be bold, so don’t be timid. Find your swagger and go big!
3. Pull together your vision
Ok, you’re almost there. You have two elements locked down:
- What you ultimately produce and why it matters
- How you’ll know when you’re successful
Now, similarly to what you did with your mission statement, it’s time to start piecing them together using different combinations and wording to see what you come up with.
Sticking with our running career test example, your vision statement could be any one of the following (among many other gazillion options you come up with, of course).
- Position ourselves as the most trusted partner in career exploration.
- Build a world where absolutely nobody dreads heading to work.
- Create a career landscape where Monday is just as great as Friday.
Again, this is a game of trial and error until you’re happy with a near-final product that you can run by other people for feedback.
At the end of that, you’ll have a vision statement that sums up your goals for the future of your organization.
Purpose of vision and mission statements
We won’t be offended if you’re wondering, “What’s the point of all this?”
Trust us: creating these statements is worth the sweat. They’re far more than formalities and really can be useful for your organization.
Your mission statement highlights your company’s core values and helps everybody – from your customers to your employees – immediately understand what your business is about and how you’re different from your competitors.
Your vision statement serves as a roadmap of sorts. It’s an inspiring reminder of what you’re working toward, which is easy to lose sight of when you’re bombarded with the day to day.
But here’s the thing: you can’t stop at just creating them. In order for them to do their job, you need to actively promote and live them.
That doesn’t just mean slapping them up on your website or printing them on a poster that hangs in your break room. You need to integrate them as core parts of your culture by always acting and making decisions with those statements in mind.
Plus, you need to educate your employees about what your mission and vision are, and what they really mean. One survey found that a whopping 61% of employees didn’t know their company’s mission statement. You can’t really expect your team to help you achieve your mission and vision if they don’t know what they are.
So, give new employees the message on day one. Make your company mission and vision part of the onboarding process for new hires, and return to these statements whenever you’re launching new projects, problem-solving, brainstorming, or making big decisions.
Do that, and your mission and vision statements won’t be a formality. They’ll be fundamental to the way you do business.
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17 Seriously Inspiring Mission and Vision Statement Examples
Money is a by-product of value .
So, to thrive in the long run, businesses must remain focused on producing value.
However, it’s easy to lose sight of value creation and get sidetracked by other things like profit margins, expanding your product catalogs , or competitors.
To become a runaway success, businesses must have a purpose that unites and inspires people – “make more money” won’t do the trick. As the author Simon Sinek said , “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.”
This is why organizations create mission and vision statements.
These statements unify the organization and keep everyone focused on what really matters – because if you get these things right, the profits will follow.
This post will give you an introduction to the two statements. Plus, we’ll share some great mission and vision statement examples to help inspire your own.
Now, let’s dive in.
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What is a Mission Statement?
A mission statement is a short summary of an organization’s core purpose, focus, and aims. This usually includes a brief description of what the organization does and its key objectives.
What is a Vision Statement?
A vision statement is a short description of an organization’s aspirations and the wider impact it aims to create. It should be a guiding beacon to everyone within the organization and something which underpins internal decision-making and determines the intended direction of the organization.
Mission Statement vs Vision Statement: What’s The Difference?
In short: The mission is the “ what ” and the “ how ,” and the vision is the “ why .”
The mission statement defines what an organization does and includes tangible goals which the organization strives to accomplish. The vision statement, meanwhile, should clarify the aspirations of the organization and define the direction it’s heading in.
Many organizations combine the two statements to form one clearly defined reason for existing that unites the efforts of everyone involved.
Does Your Business Need Mission and Vision Statements?
Mission and vision statements are signposts.
Effective mission and vision statements will unify the focus of an organization – for the organization and their target audience .
Okay, but what if you’re only just starting a business ?
Well, whether you’re a massive corporation or a solopreneur , you can use mission and vision statements to gain clarity and ensure that you consistently make decisions in line with your ultimate goals.
These statements also help you develop a stronger brand that differentiates you from the competition.
Now, let’s look at some examples.
Mission and Vision Statement Examples
For quick reference, here are 17 examples of mission and vision statements from highly successful businesses:
- Tesla : To accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy.
- Nike : Bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete* in the world. *If you have a body, you are an athlete.
- MVMT : Style shouldn’t break the bank.
- Warby Parker : To offer designer eyewear at a revolutionary price, while leading the way for socially conscious businesses.
- Shopify : Make commerce better for everyone, so businesses can focus on what they do best: building and selling their products.
- Patagonia : Build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis.
- IKEA : To create a better everyday life for the many people.
- TED : Spread ideas.
- Amazon : To be Earth’s most customer-centric company, where customers can find and discover anything they might want to buy online.
- Southwest Airlines : To become the world’s most loved, most flown, and most profitable airline.
- Google : To organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.
- Asos : Become the world’s number-one destination for fashion-loving 20-somethings.
- Loreal : To provide the best in cosmetics innovation to women and men around the world with respect for their diversity.
- Bulletproof : Help people perform better, think faster, and live better.
- Honest Tea : Create and promote great-tasting, healthy, organic beverages.
- Starbucks: To inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time.
- Passionfruit: Create inclusive clothing and accessories that enable you to show your pride all year round while giving back to our community.
17 Inspiring Mission and Vision Statements Explained
Now you know what they are and how they serve organizations, let’s take a closer look at these mission and vision statement examples and draw out the key components.
Mission statement: To create the most compelling car company of the 21st century by driving the world’s transition to electric vehicles.
Vision statement: To accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy.
Tesla’s mission and vision statements are a class act.
Their mission statement clearly defines their core goal: “To create the most compelling car company of the 21st century.” Then it tells you how they intend to accomplish that goal: “By driving the world’s transition to electric vehicles.”
It’s simple and it works.
However, it’s Tesla’s vision statement that stands out.
The car company’s clever use of the world “accelerate” helps to enliven their lofty aspiration. This vision statement also showcases their drive (pun intended) for sustainable energy and how it steers (pun intended) the business.
It also allows them room to explore and develop their other set of energy solutions, Powerwall, Powerpack and Solar Roof.
All in all, Tesla’s vision for sustainable energy is one that resonates with countless people around the world.
Mission statement: Create groundbreaking sports innovations, make our products sustainably, build a creative and diverse global team, and make a positive impact in communities where we live and work.
Vision statement: Bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete* in the world.
*If you have a body, you are an athlete.
Nike’s mission statement might sound run-of-the-mill, but it effectively sums up what they aim to do and how they aim to do it.
Take note of the words that declare Nike’s underlying company values: Innovation, sustainability, diversity, and community.
However, it’s Nike’s vision statement that has captured the hearts of millions.
“To bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world” sounds a little vague at first. It’s Nike co-founder Bill Bowerman’s addition that hits you right in the feels: “If you have a body, you are an athlete.”
Bowerman’s statement staunchly stands up against body-shaming and is a powerful call for inclusion. And it’s not hard to see this shape Nike’s philosophy and marketing:
As a result, Nike’s vision statement is transformed into a moving sentiment that impacts every person who reads it. It’s also one of the best vision statement examples for business owners to use for inspiration.
Mission and vision statement: We were founded on the belief that style shouldn’t break the bank. Our goal is to change the way you think about fashion by delivering premium designs at radically fair prices.
MVMT have combined their company mission statement and vision statement and addressed it directly to customers.
It begins with the vision: “Style shouldn’t break the bank.”
This business vision statement cuts straight to the point and perfectly sums up MVMT’s key selling proposition of high-quality fashion watches at low prices.
The statement then goes on to explain the mission.
First, they tell you what they aim to achieve: “Change the way you think about fashion.” Then, they tell you how they intend to do it: “By delivering premium designs at radically fair prices.”
It’s short, punchy, and music to customers’ ears.
4. Warby Parker
Mission statement: Warby Parker was founded with a rebellious spirit and a lofty objective: To offer designer eyewear at a revolutionary price, while leading the way for socially conscious businesses.
Vision statement: We believe that buying glasses should be easy and fun. It should leave you happy and good-looking, with money in your pocket. We also believe that everyone has the right to see.
Warby Parker’s mission statement reminds us of why it was founded and then reveals its aims for a better future.
Note their core business aim: “Offer designer eyewear at a revolutionary price.”
In the vision statement, they address the core problems consumers face when purchasing glasses: It can be annoying, boring, costly, and still leave you anxious about whether or not they look good.
Instead, they aim to solve these problems and make buying glasses easy, fun, pleasing, and inexpensive.
Both statements also mention Warby Parker's dedication to providing glasses to people in need around the world.
Vision statement: Make commerce better for everyone, so businesses can focus on what they do best: building and selling their products.
Shopify’s vision statement begins with their overarching vision: to make commerce better for everyone.
Then they promote the reason why they’re driven to remove the hassle and complications of managing an ecommerce website: so businesses can focus on what’s most important to them.
Shopify’s business mission statement and vision are clear: empower businesses.
Mission and vision statement: Build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis.
Patagonia starts with the basis of their success in business: high-quality products .
Then they explain their environmental stance in three points which explain their aim to make their business as environmentally friendly as possible and actively combat the environmental crisis.
Patagonia goes on to say, “a love of wild and beautiful places demands participation in the fight to save them.”
And the business isn’t afraid to put their money where their mouth is. The company donates at least 1% of its sales to hundreds of grassroots environmental groups around the world.
If you’re looking for vision and statement examples that clearly articulate a company’s values and goals, this is one right here.
Mission statement: Offer a wide range of well-designed, functional home furnishing products at prices so low that as many people as possible will be able to afford them.
Vision statement: To create a better everyday life for the many people.
IKEA’s mission statement is clear and to the point.
Note the use of the words, “wide range,” “well-designed,” “functional,” and “prices so low.” If you’ve ever been to IKEA you’ll know how well they’ve managed to embody these attributes.
IKEA’s vision statement focuses their mission statement into one singular purpose: “To create a better everyday life for the many people.”
Both statements use inclusive phrasing that solidifies IKEA’s commitment to being accessible to “as many people as possible.”
Mission statement: Spread ideas.
Vision statement: We believe passionately in the power of ideas to change attitudes, lives and, ultimately, the world.
TED , which stands for “technology, education, and design,” managed to boil down their entire mission into two simple, yet powerful words: “Spread ideas.”
With such a simple, highly focused mission, it’s easy to see how the TED brand has become a global phenomenon in recent years.
It’s a truly great mission statement that focuses all of their efforts.
“Everything we do – from our Conferences to our TED Talks to the projects sparked by The Audacious Project, from the global TEDx community to the TED-Ed lesson series – is driven by this goal: How can we best spread great ideas?”
In what could be considered their vision statement, TED goes on to explain that they “believe passionately in the power of ideas to change attitudes, lives and, ultimately, the world.”
Mission statement: We strive to offer our customers the lowest possible prices, the best available selection, and the utmost convenience.
Vision statement: To be Earth’s most customer-centric company, where customers can find and discover anything they might want to buy online.
Amazon ’s mission statement sums up the three things that have made them loved by millions: low prices, a huge selection, and incredible convenience.
Like all great mission statements, it shines a light on the values that bring success.
Amazon’s vision statement brings these elements together into one unified goal: “To be Earth’s most customer-centric company.”
10. Southwest Airlines
Mission statement: The mission of Southwest Airlines is dedication to the highest quality of customer service delivered with a sense of warmth, friendliness, individual pride, and company spirit.
Vision statement: To become the world’s most loved, most flown, and most profitable airline.
Southwest Airlines is all about customer service .
Their mission statement summarizes this dedication to customers and highlights the importance of one-to-one interactions between staff and customers.
So it’s no surprise that Southwest’s vision statement is “to become the world’s most loved, most flown airline.”
However, although they heavily emphasize customer service , they don’t forget to mention the thing which allows the company to exist in the first place: profit.
Google’s mission statement perfectly summarizes what they aim to do.
Take note of the last word: “useful.”
Google understands that it doesn’t matter how well organized or accessible information is if it can’t be readily applied in life.
Their mission statement is brilliant.
But unfortunately, Google doesn’t seem to have a vision statement that clarifies the reasons why they want to organize the world’s information for everyone to use.
Mission statement: Become the world’s number-one destination for fashion-loving 20-somethings.
Asos’ mission statement solidifies their purpose by voicing exactly what they want to achieve.
In what could be considered their vision statement, they go on to say, “We focus on fashion as a force for good, inspiring young people to express their best selves and achieve amazing things. We believe fashion thrives on individuality and should be fun for everyone.”
The addition gets a little vague in places, such as wanting young people to “achieve amazing things” – I mean, don’t we all?
However, it successfully showcases their brand image and their passion for individuality and expression .
Mission statement: To provide the best in cosmetics innovation to women and men around the world with respect for their diversity.
Loreal’s mission statement comprises two key parts.
The first lays out their dedication to providing the best in cosmetics innovation. The second is all about inclusivity.
This is key.
They aim to include people from all over the world, “with respect for their diversity.”
And despite most companies marketing cosmetics solely to women, Loreal is looking to the future as gender stereotypes break down.
This type of sensitivity and awareness will position Loreal for long-term success.
Mission and vision statement: “Help people perform better, think faster, and live better using a proven blend of ancient knowledge and brand new technologies, tempered by research, science, and measured results from our customers, top athletes, and medical professionals.”
Bulletproof has combined their vision and mission in one short paragraph.
It starts with their purpose: “Help people perform better, think faster, and live better.” Then it goes on to explain exactly how they plan to do it: Using ancient knowledge, brand new technologies, and science.
Sure, it’s a little wordy.
But it gets to the heart of why Bulletproof exists and how they plan to make an impact on the world as a business.
As a result, Bulletproof’s mission and vision statement is well-suited to unify everyone in the company and guide their decisions.
15. Honest Tea
Mission statement: Honest Tea seeks to create and promote great-tasting, healthy, organic beverages. We strive to grow our business with the same honesty and integrity we use to craft our recipes, with sustainability and great taste for all.
Honest Tea’s mission statement aims to live up to their brand name.
It starts by explaining what it is they do, and by doing so, they also tell you what they don’t do: chemical-laden, artificially produced beverages.
They’re talking directly to their target market and conferring their key selling proposition: beverages that are great-tasting and healthy.
They go on to showcase their values by using words like honesty, integrity, and sustainability.
And this brand doesn’t just talk the talk – they walk the walk.
Each year, the company publishes a Mission Report in an effort to be transparent about their business practices.
Mission statement: To inspire and nurture the human spirit—one person, one cup, and one neighborhood at a time.
Another short and sweet mission statement that tells a lot about the company.
Starbucks doesn’t use big sentences or fancy words to communicate its goals. It uses clear, simple, and direct language to express what the company wants to be and for whom.
They aspire to be known for more than just coffee by creating a culture of warmth and exclusivity.
In other words, Starbucks wants to ensure that anyone who comes through its doors feels welcomed and at home.
Mission statement : We strive to create inclusive clothing and accessories that enable you to show your pride all year round while giving back to our community.
The folks at Passionfruit strive to promote the idea that pride is not just a one-day event.
Rather than making their mission statement about trendy clothes for the LBGTQ+ community, they promote the idea that pride is an everyday expression of oneself.
And by doing so, they remind people that the brand is aligned with LBGTQ+ values and supports the community by giving back.
All in all, it’s clear that Passionfruit wants everyone to recognize the truth for the queer community and spread inspiration – we’ll take it.
Done right, mission and vision statements are powerful things.
They can unify an entire organization’s efforts and be the signpost that continually focuses everyone’s efforts on the things that truly matter.
The key to great mission and vision statements is clarity.
Remember, a mission statement is the “ what ” and the “ how ,” and the vision statement is the “ why .”
Plus, it doesn’t matter how large or small your business is, every business can benefit from strong mission and vision statements.
If you’re considering writing a mission or vision statement for your business, start with your core values. Then, consider the wider impact you hope to have on the world through your customers.
What’s your business’s mission or vision statement? Let us know in the comments below!
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How to Write a Mission Statement + 10 Great Examples
16 min. read
Updated June 23, 2023
Why is an effective mission statement so valuable? It’s worth taking a minute to ask what it is about certain brands that keep us coming back. What is it about them that makes us spend more time, money, or effort over other options? Is it the price? Maybe the convenience? Or is it something more?
The brands and businesses that we really connect with do more than just supply a product or service . They showcase a purpose, a mission that we can get behind. This can be displayed in how they interact with customers, the organizations and communities they support, and even the way they develop their products.
And there’s no better way for a business owner to showcase this purpose, than through a well-written mission statement.
On this page
What is a mission statement?
Mission statement or vision statement?
Why write a mission statement?
How to write a great mission statement.
- 10 Examples of Great Mission Statements
A mission statement is a simple action-oriented statement that explains your company’s purpose. It summarizes what your company does for customers, employees, and owners, and typically includes general descriptions of your organization, its core function, and its goals. In short, you’re explaining what you do and why you do it within a mission statement.
Depending on the focus of your business, your mission statement may be even broader. Explaining not just how you serve your customers and employees, but your community and the world at large. Some businesses even opt to separate this larger aspiration into what’s known as a vision statement.
A vision statement is exactly what it sounds like. It’s a vision for the direction of your company and what it aspires to be.
These two statements aren’t really interchangeable. They both reflect the purpose and goals of your business, but serve completely different purposes. Your mission statement is the roadmap to achieve your vision. Your vision statement is a much broader picture of the aspirations for your business.
These can be completely separate written statements for your business, or they can be combined into a more comprehensive mission statement. Having all three does allow you to utilize them for different business purposes, so it may be worth developing variations over time.
Speaking of variations, it’s important to note that your mission statement will likely evolve over time as your business grows and changes. So, don’t be afraid to make adjustments when it seems necessary, and avoid looking for the perfect version of your mission statement.
I’ve had a 30-year love-hate relationship with mission statements. I’ve read thousands. I love it when a mission statement defines a business so well that it feels like strategy—which does happen—and I hate it when a mission statement is generic, stale, and completely useless.
Just because a traditional business plan often includes a mission statement isn’t a reason to do one. If it’s not going to be useful for you and help guide your business, don’t bother. The vast majority of the mission statements are just meaningless hype that could be used to describe any business.
Don’t fall into the trap of writing a mission statement just because some checklist or expert said you had to. There are actually sites that poke fun at how most mission statements use vague, high-sounding phrases to say nothing. You should write a mission statement if you want to add clarity to your business goals and you want to get your employees, investors, and customers to understand what your organization is all about.
Developing your company’s first mission statement, or writing a new or revised one, is your opportunity to define the company’s goals, ethics, culture, and norms for decision-making. The daily routine of business gets in the way sometimes, and a quick refresh with the mission statement helps you take a step back and remember what’s most important: the organization has a purpose.
So how do you make a useful mission statement? Over the decades I’ve spent reading, writing, and evaluating business plans , I’ve come up with a process for developing a useful mission statement, and it boils down to these five steps.
1. Start with a market-defining story
A really good market-defining story explains the need, or the want, or—if you like jargon—the so-called “why to buy.” It defines the target customer or “buyer persona .” And it defines how your business is different from most others, or even unique. It simplifies thinking about what a business isn’t, what it doesn’t do.
Imagine a real person making the actual decision to buy what you sell. Why do they want it? How did they find your business? What does it do for them? The more concrete the story, the better. And keep that in mind for the actual mission statement wording: “The more concrete, the better.”
This isn’t literally part of the mission statement. Rather, it’s an important thing to have in your head while you write the mission statement. It’s in the background, between the words. If you’re having trouble getting started, make a quick list of what your company does and doesn’t do.
2. Define what your business does for its customers
Start your mission statement with the good you do. Use your market-defining story to suss out whatever it is that makes your business special for your target customer .
Don’t undervalue your business: You don’t have to cure cancer or stop global climate change to be doing good. Offering trustworthy auto repair, for example, narrowed down to your specialty in your neighborhood with your unique policies, is doing something good. So is offering excellent slow food in your neighborhood, with emphasis on organic and local, at a price premium.
This is a part of your mission statement, and a pretty crucial part at that—write it down.
If your business is good for the world, incorporate that here too. But claims about being good for the world need to be meaningful, and distinguishable from all the other businesses. Add the words “clean” or “green” if that’s really true and you keep to it rigorously. Don’t just say it, especially if it isn’t important or always true.
For example, Apple Computer’s 2020 mission statement is:
“Apple revolutionized personal technology with the introduction of the Macintosh in 1984. Today, Apple leads the world in innovation with iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple Watch, and Apple TV. Apple’s four software platforms—iOS, macOS, watchOS, and tvOS—provide seamless experiences across all Apple devices and empower people with breakthrough services including the App Store, Apple Music, Apple Pay, and iCloud. Apple’s more than 100,000 employees are dedicated to making the best products on earth, and to leaving the world better than we found it..”
That one obviously passes the test of defining the company with flying colors. Nobody could mistake that mission for generic hype. And it’s an interesting change from the early mission as defined by founder Steve Jobs:
“To make a contribution to the world by making tools for the mind that advance humankind.”
Ikea, on the other hand, starts its mission statement with something that could be any company anywhere. “Our vision is to create a better everyday life for the [sic] many people.” To its credit, it goes on to define a “rest of the mission” that could only be IKEA:
“We make this possible by offering a wide range of well-designed, functional home furnishing products at prices so low that as many people as possible will be able to afford them.”
And note, in this mission statement, how Sweetgreen incorporates a world vision into a product-oriented mission statement:
“Founded in 2007, Sweetgreen is a destination for delicious food that’s both healthy for you and aligned with your values. We source local and organic ingredients from farmers we know and partners we trust, supporting our communities, and creating meaningful relationships with those around us. We exist to create experiences where passion and purpose come together.”
3. Define what your business does for its employees
Good businesses are good for their employees too or they don’t last. Keeping employees is better for the bottom line than turnover. Company culture matters. Rewarding and motivating people matters. A mission statement can define what your business offers its employees.
My recommendation is that you don’t simply assert how the business is good for employees—you define it here and then forever after make it true.
Qualities like fairness, diversity, respect for ideas and creativity, training, tools, empowerment, and the like, actually really matter. However, since every business in existence at least says that it prioritizes those things, strive for a differentiator and a way to make the general goals feel more concrete and specific.
Don’t worry about being fully unique
With this part of the mission statement, there’s a built-in dilemma. On the one hand, it’s good for everybody involved to use the mission statement to establish what you want for employees in your business. On the other hand, it’s hard to do that without falling into the trap of saying what every other business says.
Stating that you value fair compensation, room to grow, training, a healthy, creative work environment, and respect for diversity is probably a good idea, even if that part of your mission statement isn’t unique. That’s because the mission statement can serve as a reminder—for owners, supervisors, and workers—and as a lever for self-enforcement.
If you have a special view on your relationship with employees, write it into the mission statement. If your business is friendly to families, or to remote virtual workplaces, put that into your mission.
You may not need to focus on employees
And this is rare in mission statements. The vast majority are focused on messaging for customers. My recommendation here is not the norm. I include it because it’s good practice, even though not common.
While I consulted for Apple Computer, for example, that business differentiated its goals of training and empowering employees by making a point of bringing in very high-quality educators and presenters to help employees’ business expertise grow. That was part of the culture and, to my mind, part of the mission; but it wasn’t part of the mission statement. It could have been.
American Express, however, includes the team in its mission:
“We have a mission to be the world’s most respected service brand. To do this, we have established a culture that supports our team members, so they can provide exceptional service to our customers.”
4. Add what the business does for its owners
In business school, they taught us that the mission of management is to enhance the value of the stock. And shares of stock are ownership. Some would say that it goes without saying that a business exists to enhance the financial position of its owners, and maybe it does. However, only a small subset of all businesses are about the business buzzwords of “share value” and “return on investment.”
In the early years of my business, I wanted peace of mind about cash flow more than I wanted growth, and I wanted growth more than I wanted profits. So I wrote that into my mission statement. And at one point I realized I was also building a business that was a place where I was happy to be working, with people I wanted to work with; so I wrote that into my mission statement, too.
However, this element too, as with the suggestion about including employees, is unusual. Few mission statements do it. That’s understandable, since most mission statements are outward-facing only, aimed at customers and nobody else.
Still, some of the best mission statements incorporate a much broader sense of mission that includes, or at least implies, the mission of ownership.
Warby Parker, an eyewear company, does a great job at voicing a higher mission that includes customers, employees, and owners.
“Warby Parker was founded with a rebellious spirit and a lofty objective: to offer designer eyewear at a revolutionary price while leading the way for socially-conscious business.”
5. Discuss, digest, cut, polish, review, and revise
Good mission statements serve multiple functions, define objectives, and live for a long time. So, edit. This step is worth it.
Start by considering developing a full mission statement for internal use and using a customer-facing subset for general publication. That’s common. Many companies have segmented mission statements, with sections set aside and categorized by type or goal. Use bullet points or sections if that works for you. Part of the reason people confuse mission with mantra and vision is that many businesses use them together, and many others also redefine them to fit their context. So what a company does for customers is often called vision, despite the formal definition.
Remember, form follows function, in mission statements, as in all business writing. Make it work for your business. Or don’t do it at all. If you want to call it a vision, and that works for employees and customers, then do that.
Cut out general terms
As you edit, keep a sharp eye out for the buzzwords and hype that everybody claims. Cut as much as you can that doesn’t apply specifically to your business, except for the occasional special elements that—unique or not—can serve as long-term rules and reminders. Unique itself, the word, means literally, the only one in the world. Use it sparingly. Phrases such as “being the best possible,” “world-class,” and “great customer service” mean little because everybody uses them. Having great customer service is way harder than writing that into a mission statement.
Read other companies’ mission statements, but write a statement that is about you and not some other company. Make sure you actually believe in what you’re writing—your customers and your employees will soon spot a lie.
Then, listen. Show drafts to others, ask their opinions and really listen. Don’t argue, don’t convince them, just listen. And then edit again.
And, for the rest of your business’s life, review and revise it as needed. As with everything in a business plan, your mission statement should never get written in stone, and, much less, stashed in a drawer. Use it or lose it. Review and revise as necessary, because change is constant.
Great Mission Statements: 10 Examples
If you’re looking for some inspiration to get you started on your own mission statement, here are a few of my favorites.
1. Southwest Airlines
“The mission of Southwest Airlines is dedication to the highest quality of customer service delivered with a sense of warmth, friendliness, individual pride, and company spirit.”
What’s most interesting about Southwest’s mission statement is that they don’t mention anything about getting from point A to point B. Their mission is all about how they differentiate what, these days, can be seen as a commodity experience. They also focus on their own employees and the “spirit of the company”, not just the customer experience.
2. Urban Outfitters
“A lifestyle retailer dedicated to inspiring customers through a unique combination of product, creativity and cultural understanding. Founded in 1970 in a small space across the street from the University of Pennsylvania, Urban Outfitters now operates over 200 stores in the United States, Canada, and Europe, offering experiential retail environments and a well-curated mix of women’s, men’s, accessories and home product assortments.”
Urban Outfitters focuses on the experience that they deliver and the focus on what they do. Their mission drives what their stores look like and what their goal is: to inspire. They also nod to their heritage of starting small and growing.
“At Recreational Equipment, Inc. (REI) we believe a life outdoors is a life well-lived. We believe that it’s in the wild, untamed and natural places that we find our best selves, so our purpose is to awaken a lifelong love of the outdoors, for all.”
REI’s mission focuses mostly on what it wants to do for its customers, but hidden in the mission statement is a mission to preserve the environment as well. Their focus on “getting outside” is what creates a connection between them and their customers.
“To inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup, and one neighborhood at a time.”
Starbucks expands on its mission statement by stating its core values. This is really an extension of the mission statement and explains how they focus on their customers, how they grow their company, and how they work with employees. You can read their values here .
“Walgreens’ mission is to be America’s most-loved pharmacy-led health, well-being, and beauty retailer. Its purpose is to champion everyone’s right to be happy and healthy.”
Walgreen’s mission really defines their goals: what they want to achieve and in what product categories they want to achieve it in. They also bring in their broader purpose when they talk about “everyone’s right to be happy and healthy.”
“Make work-life simpler, more pleasant, and more productive.”
While Slack’s mission statement is short, it implies a lot. “Work” doesn’t just mean their customer’s work, it means their own work at their company. Their mission statement serves them both internally and externally.
7. The Coca Cola Company
“Refresh the world. Make a difference.”
Coca Cola takes a slightly different approach with a statement of purpose and then a vision statement. Their purpose is essentially their mission statement and says a lot for being so short. They want to refresh people in both body and spirit while making a positive impact on the world. Their vision also implies their goal of serving the entire world’s population which hits on their corporate and shareholder goals.
“We’re in business to save our home planet.”
Another short mission statement that says so much more than you would think at first glance. First and foremost, Patagonia doesn’t say that they are a non-profit – they state that they’re a business. And, this implies that they need to be a strong, healthy business to meet their goal of saving the planet. Their mission applies to their employees, their customers, their products, and their activism.
9. charity: water
“charity: water is a nonprofit organization bringing clean and safe drinking water to people in developing countries.”
charity: water’s mission statement is clear and to the point – it simply describes what it does and who it does it for. For most non-profit mission statements, this is enough.
“Asana’s mission is to help humanity thrive by enabling the world’s teams to work together effortlessly.”
Similar to other mission statements, Asana blends a message about what they do with a higher goal of enhancing the world outside of their company. Yet, they still hint at their target market and goals of being a world-wide company, thus improving the lives of their employees and shareholders.
Tim Berry is the founder and chairman of Palo Alto Software , a co-founder of Borland International, and a recognized expert in business planning. He has an MBA from Stanford and degrees with honors from the University of Oregon and the University of Notre Dame. Today, Tim dedicates most of his time to blogging, teaching and evangelizing for business planning.
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How to Write Mission, Vision, and Values Statements - 100 Examples to Help Guide You Through the Process
Mission, vision and values statements serve as the foundation for an organization’s strategic plan. They convey the purpose, direction and underlying values of the organization. When developed and implemented in a thoughtful and deliberate manner, these statements can serve as powerful tools that provide organizations with meaningful guidance, especially under times of rapid change. Consequently, taking the time to craft relevant mission, vision and value statements should be carefully considered.
To get started, please review our tips in the article below on how to write good mission, vision and values statements. To go deeper, download our full compiled list of 100 sample mission, vision and values statements by providing your contact information in the form below. Be sure to check out our how-to video where we walk through the creation process step-by-step!
The mission statement defines an organization’s purpose or reason for being. It guides the day-to-day operations of the organization, communicates to external stakeholders the core solutions the organization provides in society and motivates employees toward a common near-to-medium term goal. In short, the mission statement paints a picture of who the company is and what the company does.
A good mission statement should only focus on what is most important to the organization. It should be brief, clear, informative, simple and direct. It should avoid elaborate language, clichés, and generalizations and it should emphasize outcomes and the people the organization is serving.
When writing a mission statement, consider the following questions:
- What do we do today?
- Who do we serve?
- What are we trying to accomplish?
- What impact do we want to achieve?
- LinkedIn : To connect the world’s professionals to make them more productive and successful.
- Starbucks : To inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time.
- Twitter : To give everyone the power to create and share ideas and information, instantly, without barriers.
- TripAdvisor : To help people around the world plan and have the perfect trip.
- Tesla : To accelerate the world's transition to sustainable energy.
- Sweetgreen : To inspire healthier communities by connecting people to real food.
Best Practices Video Bâton Global's shares our secrets learned from helping organizations worldwide write winning Purpose, Mission, Vision and Value statements.
Download 100 Examples
Interested in viewing examples from other organizations? Download our collection of of 100 mission, vision, and value statements below:
The vision statement describes the future of the organization. It reveals what the company aspires to be or hopes to achieve in the long-term. The vision statement is inspirational and motivational but also provides direction, mapping out where the organization is headed. In this regard, it serves as a guide for choosing current and future courses of action.
An effective vision statement should be concise, unambiguous, futuristic, realistic, aspirational and inspirational. It shouldn’t be generic but rather focus on outcomes specific to the organization.
When writing a vision statement, consider these questions:
- Where are we going moving forward?
- What do we want to achieve in the future?
- What kind of future society do we envision?
- LinkedIn : To create economic opportunity for every member of the global workforce.
- GoDaddy : To radically shift the global economy toward independent entrepreneurial ventures.
- Wikimedia Foundation : Imagine a world in which every single human being can freely share in the sum of all knowledge. That’s our commitment.
- Habitat for Humanity : A world where everyone has a decent place to live.
- SouthwestAirlines : To be the world’s most loved, most efficient, and most profitable airline.
The values statement highlights an organization’s core principles and philosophical ideals. It is used to both inform and guide the decisions and behaviors of the people inside the organization and signal to external stakeholders what’s important to the company. An organization’s core values shape daily culture and establish standards of conduct against which actions and decisions can be assessed.
A values statement should be memorable, actionable and timeless. The format of the values statement depends on the organizations; some organizations use one, two or three words to describe their core values while others provide a short phrase.
When drafting a values statement, some questions to consider include:
- What do we stand for?
- What behaviors do we value over all else?
- How will we conduct our activities to achieve our mission and vision?
- How do we treat members of our own organization and community?
- Ownership mentality.
- Don’t optimize for the short term.
- We are all builders.
- Go the extra mile.
- Do what’s right.
- Be transparent.
- We commit to our craft.
- We minimize waste.
- We embrace differences.
- We dig deeper.
- We lead with optimism.
The mission, vision, and values statements are the guiding forces behind an organization. The mission statement communicates the purpose of the organization. The vision statement provides insight into what the company hopes to achieve or become in the future. The values statement reflects the organization’s core principles and ethics. Together, these statements provide strategic direction for an organization, informing current and future business strategies.
Learn how Bâton Global supports organizations in building lasting and impactful core commitments here .
Download 100 Examples
Other helpful resources.
365 Careers, January 26, 2018, The mission, vision and values statements [video file].
Bain & Company, April 2, 2018, Mission and vision statements .
Diffen LLC, n.d., Mission statement vs. vision statement .
Paula Fernandes, May 4, 2018, What is a vision statement?
Linda Le Phan, April 12, 2018, How to define your company’s core values (37 experts share their advice) [blog].
William A. Nelson & Paul B. Gardent, March/April 2011, " Organizational values statements ," Healthcare Executive, 56-59 .
Edward L. Powers, 2012, " Organizational mission statement guidelines revisited ," International Journal of Management & Information Systems , 16(4), 281-290.
Britt Skrabanek, August 19, 2018, Difference between vision and mission statements: 25 examples .
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Create a business vision
A business vision is your goal for what your business will be in the future. It will align with your business goals and aspirations.
Your business vision is the formal way of communicating your business goals and commitments to others. The business vision statement should capture the key elements of what business success looks like to you.
Defining the business vision will guide you while you are planning to start a business and provide a sense of purpose and direction for your staff.
Business vision statements
The purpose of a business vision statement is to:
- define what the business does and why it is important
- inspire and create a sense of optimism about the business for the future.
Consider the following when creating your business vision statement:
- The business why —what is the purpose of the business? Why is the business important? Who thinks the business is important?
- The business what —what products or services does the business provide? What do you want the business to achieve? What do you want the business to look like in the future?
The business vision should be the starting point for business planning . The vision outlines the goals and aspirations for your business.
Examples of business vision statements
Large companies often have grand vision statements linked to large-scale global goals. But businesses of all sizes can benefit from a business vision statement.
Some examples of vision statements from global companies and small businesses with local goals are:
- 'Create economic opportunity for every member of the global workforce.' (LinkedIn)
- 'To accelerate the world's transition to sustainable energy' (Tesla)
- 'There will be a personal computer on every desk running Microsoft software.' (Microsoft's original vision statement)
- 'To create a better everyday life for the many people.' (Ikea)
- 'To build a community of coffee lovers in Rockhampton, by serving the best coffee at the best possible prices.' (Local café)
- 'Our salon will change the way you think about a haircut, and leave you glowing both inside and out.' (Local hairdresser)
Writing a business vision statement
The following steps can help you write a business vision statement for your business.
- Develop your vision (with co-owners or partners), or invite staff, business advisers and mentors to a business vision workshop.
- Start by considering the 'why' of the business. Clearly define why the business matters to staff and customers.
- Consider the 'what' of the business. Clearly define what the business does (e.g. what are the business products and services?).
- Try using our business model canvas to capture all the key points that can help you identify what to include in your vision statement.
- Summarise the why and what into a single statement (1 to 2 sentences).
- Ensure that the statement is clear and concise, written in plain English and easy for someone outside of the business to interpret.
- displaying the vision statement in staff common areas
- including it in your code of conduct and other key policy documents
- using it as a tool in staff performance review
- displaying it publicly (e.g. in marketing material and on your website).
- Review and update your vision statement as needed. It can help to test the vision statement with business contacts, friends or at business networks. Respond to feedback and review and adjust the statement as required.
Tips for business vision statement writing
These tips can help you develop a high-impact business vision statement.
- Align it with the broader goals, values and mission of your business.
- Avoid too many inclusions—don't obscure the message or clutter the statement with too much detail.
- Keep the statement short—it should say a lot in few words.
- Ensure that it covers the key purpose of your business.
- Make it passionate, powerful and memorable.
- Ensure that the vision is realistic in terms of resources, capabilities and growth potential. Be aspirational but not unrealistic.
- Use language that is clear, concise and free of jargon.
- Aim to make it inspiring and motivating—it should capture the audience's attention and prompt them to action.
A vision statement should be used across various areas of your business, including any brand development and marketing strategies , as well as part of your staff induction and with customers and suppliers.
Template for business vision statement
Use the following template to help you create a business vision statement.
- Learn about establishing business values .
- Read about writing a business plan .
- Explore business processes, procedures and standards .
- Last reviewed: 8 Dec 2022
- Last updated: 20 Dec 2022
What Is a Vision Statement?
Table of contents.
- Vision statements describe your company’s “why,” while mission statements describe the “who” and “what” of your business.
- Vision statements are essential because they reveal a common goal and direction for your employees.
- You can craft a compelling vision statement by infusing it with passion, making it inspiring, and aligning it with your business’s values and goals.
- This article is for business owners who want to create a vision statement that defines their values and shines a light on their corporate identity.
Writing a vision statement for your business can be challenging because it must define your company, values and future goals. While many established companies focus on their mission statement , a vision statement is a valuable tool for inspiring your team and forging a corporate identity.
We’ll explore vision statements and their importance, as well as offer tools and best practices for crafting an inspiring vision statement that powers your growth strategy.
What is a vision statement?
A vision statement is a written declaration clarifying your business’s meaning and purpose for stakeholders, especially employees. It describes the desired long-term results of your company’s efforts. For example, an early Microsoft vision statement was “a computer on every desk and in every home.”
“A company vision statement reveals, at the highest levels, what an organization most hopes to be and achieve in the long term,” said Katie Trauth Taylor, owner and CEO of Untold Content, a writing consultancy. “It serves a somewhat lofty purpose – to harness all the company’s foresight into one impactful statement.”
A vision statement matters because it outlines the common goal of everyone in the company. Businesses that are working toward a higher aspiration are more appealing to current and future employees.
A vision statement can affect a company’s long-term success, so take the time to craft one that synthesizes your ambition and mobilizes your staff.
A vision statement can increase employee engagement while making it easier to hire new employees for a cultural fit .
What’s the difference between a vision statement and a mission statement?
Mission statements are based in the present and convey to stakeholders and community members why a business exists and where it currently stands. Vision statements are future-based, and they are meant to inspire and give direction to employees.
“The vision is about your goals for the future and how you will get there, whereas the mission is about where you are now and why you exist,” said Paige Arnof-Fenn, founder and CEO of Mavens & Moguls, a global strategic marketing consulting firm. “The vision should motivate the team to make a difference and be part of something bigger than themselves.”
Mission statements and vision statements are both crucial for building a brand . “While a mission statement focuses on the purpose of the brand, the vision statement looks to the fulfillment of that purpose,” said Jessica Honard, co-CEO of North Star Messaging + Strategy, a copywriting and messaging firm that serves entrepreneurs.
Although mission and vision statements should be core elements of your organization, a vision statement should serve as your company’s guiding light.
“A vision is aspiration; a mission is actionable,” said Jamie Falkowski, chief creative officer at marketing and communications company Day One Agency.
Creating the perfect vision statement may seem overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. Follow these suggestions and best practices when crafting your vision statement.
Determine who will shape your vision.
The first step in writing a vision statement is determining who will craft it. In a small business, you may be able to ask everyone for their insight. In a larger operation, you may need to be more selective while still capturing a range of employee voices.
Evaluate your company’s published materials.
Your company likely already has published goals and established values in its employee handbook , marketing materials and other publications. Use this information to guide your work, suggested Alison Brehme, an author and content, marketing and media strategist.
“A company’s mission, purpose, goals and values are all involved in the creation of a company vision,” Brehme said. “Weave these concepts and beliefs into your vision statement.”
Hold workshops to brainstorm your vision.
Brandon Shockley, former vice president of market research at branding and marketing firm 160over90 and now head of investor research and insights at Vanguard, recommended hosting workshops with key stakeholders representing a cross-section of your organization. Then, he said, assemble teams and use collaboration tools to create alternate versions of the statement, and gather employee feedback about how each version resonates.
Get individual input.
Falkowski also suggested conducting interviews with individual stakeholders to encourage honest feedback. Employees can identify common themes, describe the organization’s future in words or use visual branding tools as a basis for the vision statement.
Check out competitors’ vision statements.
Look at your competitors’ vision statements to determine how you can differentiate your business from theirs. [Related article: How to Do a Competitive Analysis ]
Keep it short but meaningful.
A vision statement should be concise – no longer than a sentence or two. You want your entire organization to be able to repeat it quickly and, more importantly, understand it. However, a vision statement must be more than a catchy tagline.
“[It] can be smart and memorable, but this is for your team and culture, not for selling a specific product,” Falkowski said.
Create a longer version for leadership’s eyes only.
Don’t fret if you feel that a short vision statement doesn’t fully express the intricacies of your vision. You can create a longer version, but it should not be the one you broadcast to the world.
“Let’s be honest – most business leaders, not to mention boards of directors, won’t be able to sum up their vision in a pithy sentence or two. That’s OK,” said Shannon DeJong, owner of brand agency House of Who. “Have a full-length version of your vision for the leadership’s eyes only. Think of the long version as your reference guide to why you’re in business in the first place.”
Map out your business’s biggest goals.
When you’re crafting your vision statement, start by mapping out your business’s most audacious goals, Taylor suggested. “Reviewing your long-term goals in a collaborative setting will help you then zoom out on what your organization and the world will look like if you achieve them. That zoomed-out view of your success is really the heart of your vision statement.”
Consider your company’s potential global impact.
Ask questions that reflect your business’s eventual scale and impact, Honard advised. “Once you’ve answered these questions, you’ve created a roadmap between your present and your future.”
These are a few of the questions Honard uses in guiding clients to identify their vision statement:
- What ultimate impact do I want my brand to have on my community, my industry or the world?
- In what way will my brand ultimately interact with customers and clients?
- What will the culture of my business look like, and how will that play out in employees’ lives?
Don’t be afraid to dream big once you gather all the information and get down to writing. Don’t worry about practicality for now; what initially looks impossible may be achieved down the road with the right team and technologies. Work on shaping a vision statement that reflects the specific nature of your business and its aspirations.
Be daring, not generic.
Shockley said there’s nothing wrong with a vision statement that is daring, distinct or even disagreeable. “If a vision statement sets out a generic goal that anyone can agree with, it is likely to produce mediocre results. A goal like ‘delivering an exceptional experience’ applies equally to a hospital, bank or fitness club.”
Consider creating a brand vision board.
If you’re interested in taking your vision one step further, create a brand vision board, Taylor suggested. A vision board includes your company’s tagline, a “who we are” statement, a “what we do” section, a business vision statement, an overview of your ideal clients, client pain points, your content mission statement, advertising, products and SEO keywords.
“A vision board serves as a one-page business plan that anyone in a company can reference quickly to remember the key concepts that drive the work,” Taylor said.
Quick tips for your vision statement
Here’s a quick breakdown of what to do when formalizing your vision statement:
- Project five to 10 years into the future.
- Dream big, and focus on success.
- Use the present tense.
- Use clear, concise, jargon-free language.
- Infuse it with passion, and make it inspiring.
- Align it with your business values and goals.
- Create a plan to communicate your vision statement to your employees.
- Prepare to commit time and resources to the vision you establish.
Your completed vision statement should offer a clear idea of your company’s path forward. Honard said many of her clients have used their vision statements to direct their overall plans for the future. For example, they’ve adopted new marketing initiatives to move them closer to their vision, pivoted their focus to clearly reflect their desired outcome, or doubled down on one particular aspect of their brand that is working to serve their vision.
When you’re setting business goals and taking actionable steps to achieve them, take time to visualize what your goal achievement will look like.
What to avoid when writing a vision statement
- Don’t mix up your mission statement and vision statement. Mission statements are generally easier to write because they reflect what you’re doing now. Remember, a mission statement is what you are working to accomplish today, while a vision statement is what you want to accomplish in the future.
- Don’t overthink your wording. One of the hardest parts of creating a vision statement is coming up with the right wording. You may find yourself endlessly rewriting and fretting about getting it right. Does this sentence or two define your values and shine a light on your corporate identity without sounding too vague? Don’t get lost in the pressure of perfect wording; a specific and unique vision statement is a good place to begin distinguishing your business from the rest of the industry.
How to use your vision statement
Determine where your vision statement will appear and what role it will serve in your organization. This will make the process more than an intellectual exercise, Shockley said. It’s pointless to hang a vision statement in the lobby or promote it via your business’s social media channels if you never genuinely integrate it into your company culture .
“The vision business statement should be thought of as part of your strategic plan,” Shockley said. “It is an internal communications tool that helps align and inspire your team to reach the company’s goals.”
As such, you should view a vision statement as a living document that will be revisited and revised. Most importantly, it must speak directly to your employees.
“If your employees don’t buy into the vision, you’ll never be able to carry it out,” said Keri Lindenmuth, director of marketing with the Kyle David Group, a web and tech solutions provider. “The vision statement should be something your employees believe in. Only then will they make decisions and take actions that reflect your business’s vision.”
Help employees take ownership of the vision by asking them to identify ways they could incorporate the vision statement into their daily jobs. Reward employees with cool job perks when you catch them exemplifying the vision.
Vision statement templates and resources
If you need a little more guidance and direction, consult a broad array of downloadable worksheets and templates that offer a framework for developing a vision statement.
These five resources can help you refine your vision statement:
- Smartsheet vision statement worksheet
- Diggles Creative brand vision worksheet
- Whole Whale nonprofit vision and mission statement worksheet
- Lone Star College System worksheets for developing mission and vision statements
- Khorus mission, vision and values worksheets
These free resources offer step-by-step instructions to help you identify your company’s key values, priorities and goals, thereby bringing you closer to articulating your unique vision. Use them yourself or collectively with your staff.
20 examples of inspiring vision statements
Some memorable and distinct vision statements may be all the inspiration you need to write your own. Here are some of the best examples of inspiring vision statements:
- Amazon: “Our vision is to be earth’s most customer-centric company; to build a place where people can come to find and discover anything they might want to buy online.”
- Ben & Jerry’s: “Making the best ice cream in the nicest possible way.”
- Caterpillar: “Our vision is a world in which all people’s basic needs – such as shelter, clean water, sanitation, food, and reliable power – are fulfilled in an environmentally sustainable way, and a company that improves the quality of the environment and the communities where we live and work.”
- Cradles to Crayons: “Provides children from birth through age 12, living in homeless or low-income situations, with the essential items they need to thrive – at home, at school, and at play.”
- Google: “To provide access to the world’s information in one click.”
- Habitat for Humanity: “A world where everyone has a decent place to live.”
- Hilton Hotels & Resorts: “To fill the earth with the light and warmth of hospitality by delivering exceptional experiences – every hotel, every guest, every time.”
- IKEA: “To create a better everyday life for the many people.”
- Intel: “If it’s smart and connected, it’s best with Intel.”
- LinkedIn: “Create economic opportunity for every member of the global workforce.”
- Oxfam: “To be a self-organized people actively creating a just democratic and sustainable world where power and resources are shared, everyone lives in dignity, and poverty and inequality are no more.”
- Patagonia: “Build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis.”
- Prezi: “To reinvent how people share knowledge, tell stories, and inspire their audiences to act.”
- Samsung: “Shape the future with innovation and intelligence.”
- Southwest Airlines: “To become the world’s most loved, most flown and most profitable airline.”
- Sweetgreen: “To inspire healthier communities by connecting people to real food.”
- TED: “We believe passionately in the power of ideas to change attitudes, lives, and, ultimately, the world.”
- Walgreens: “To be America’s most-loved pharmacy-led health, well-being and beauty company.”
- Warby Parker: “We believe that buying glasses should be easy and fun.”
- Wyeth: “Our vision is to lead the way to a healthier world.”
Often, the hardest part of creating a vision statement is coming up with wording that truly defines your values and shines a light on your corporate identity without sounding too vague.
Can vision statements change?
Many companies benefit from having a vision statement from their inception, but it’s perfectly acceptable not to commit to one specific vision immediately.
“Getting too tied into one master statement can really mess with the learning and creation process in the early stages,” said Sonia Elyss, president of marketing and communications collective Round Twelve. She encourages her clients to write a vision statement monthly, save the previous drafts, and see what sticks and what doesn’t over time.
“After the first year, you can look back and see how much you have evolved,” Elyss said. “What parts or words within the statement stuck around, and what was dropped? Those key words tend to end up being major brand pillars you can always come back to and eventually become part of the brand ethos.”
Tying yourself to a particular vision statement in the early days of your business may limit your opportunities for growth or blind you to the need for change.
“At the end of the day, trust your gut; test and check; look at the analytics; invest in the feedback your customer is giving you,” Elyss said. “If you aren’t willing to step outside of your initial vision for your business, you might miss a huge opportunity!”
Regardless of how many years you have been in business or how long you have had your vision statement, you’re not stuck with it. Don’t be afraid to change it – even if you spent time and money developing it – if it stops feeling right.
The vision for your vision statement
A vision statement is a tool that can help your business grow and achieve brand success. Along the journey of growing your business, you’ll face good months, rough months, and every detour and roadblock imaginable.
Above all, your vision statement should constantly remind you and your team of the end goal. This message is important to hold on to, especially on the most challenging days.
Bassam Kaado and Paula Fernandes contributed to the writing and reporting in this article. Source interviews were conducted for a previous version of this article.
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