When it comes to brand strategy, a vision statement is often seen as the holy grail, part of the winning trifecta of vision, mission, and values.
Your vision is the north star of your brand that guides everything that you do and is there to help you take your business forward. But how do you write one, and what makes it effective?
Along with your brand values, a mission and vision are the basics of brand strategy 101, and knowing how to write a company mission and vision statement is a great way to start your strategy off strong.
The difference between a vision and mission statement is quite simple, but they get mixed up all the time.
While your vision shows where you’re going to be, your mission explains exactly what you will do to achieve that vision.
You can learn how to write a powerful mission statement here.
Your vision is all about the future state of your business, clients and customers, industry, or the world.
Your vision can focus on one of these four things based on what’s important to you and the why behind your business.
Here are some examples:
A brand whose vision is focused on their business is McDonalds:
A brand whose vision is focused on their customer is IKEA:
A brand whose vision is focused on their industry is Creative Commons:
A brand whose vision is focused on the world is Oxfam:
Those are some examples of the different kinds of vision statements that you could be using.
As you will hopefully notice about all of them, they’re pretty short. Your vision doesn’t have to be long either. The shortest vision statement is 3 words and the longest is about 32. Your vision statement could sit anywhere between there, but the shorter and more concise, the better.
You can have a longer description that goes with your vision statement to explain why that’s your vision, what it means to you, and how you’re going to do it, but the vision itself can just be a short statement.
One sentence is all that you should need to talk about your vision.
Writing an epic vision statement isn’t just listing what you see for the future of your business. Your vision statement needs to be a clear sentence that captures people’s attention, sticks in their mind, and inspires them to support your business. It also needs to be something that you can think, say, and work towards every single day.
Some key things to remember when you are writing your vision statement is that it needs to be:
Stick to one sentence, and not too many words. This allows your vision to be clear and memorable.
Make your vision statement easy to read and remember so that you, your team, and your audience can all get on board with the same vision and easily share it with others.
It’s important that your vision is clear so that it’s obvious what it is that you want to achieve and everyone understands what the vision is and what it’s about.
Your vision needs to give you something to work towards that gives your mission a purpose.
The vision should be challenging enough that it inspires, motivates, and pushes you, but also feels achievable. You don’t want a vision that is so unrealistic that it’s never going to happen.
Your vision needs to inspire you, your team, and your audience to work together every day towards the common goal. It needs to give you purpose and inspire everything that you do.
Your business should have a different vision to the next business because it’s all about what’s important to you and the why behind your business.
In order to actually write your vision statement, there are four questions that you can answer to brainstorm where you want your business, customers, industry, or the world to be.
Here are the four questions and some prompts that you can use to unearth your vision.
Where do I imagine my business being in 5–10 years or at it’s peak?
What results do I imagine for my clients?
What transformations do I want to see for my industry?
What changes do I want to make in the world?
Whether you think you know where your vision will be focused, it’s important to answer all four of these questions. You never know what will come up.
Once you’ve brainstormed the future state of your business, customers, industry, and the world, it’s time to start narrowing your vision down. Now you can identify the things you wrote down that feel the most important, and the most aligned with what you want to go, where you want to go, and what you value.
I’m sure at this stage you have a lot of notes and bullet points, so choose the most important parts, and write a paragraph describing your ideal future.
Lastly, write a one-sentence summary of the paragraph that you just wrote, remembering the key attributes of a vision that I mentioned earlier. Use the examples I shared to inspire you, and focus on creating something catchy, memorable, and powerful.
To help you out, here is a list of 60+ vision statement examples to inspire your own
A vision statement is more than just a sentence. It’s a purpose, a conviction, a direction. It’s the north star that, if done right, will guide you in everything that you do as a business owner.
It's time for you to write yours, and I can’t wait to see how it helps you build a powerful, purposeful brand that you’re proud of.
April 14, 2021