Businesses don’t exist solely to enrich the owners. Of course, you should be rewarded for all of your hard work but that’s not all. The companies that stand the test of time have compelling vision statements and mission statements.
These are the guiding light that makes it possible to survive for a hundred years and continue to innovate. It’s what allows you to have a strong UVP, create compelling experiential marketing campaigns, and grow year after year.
It’s what separates the company that thrives for 20 years and the one that struggles for 20 years.
In this guide, you’ll see the best vision and mission statement examples, get a deeper understanding of what they are, and learn to craft your own.
What is a mission statement?
According to the definition from the dictionary, a mission statement is:
A formal summary of the aims and values of a company or organization.
While technically correct, that definition doesn’t help you understand what separates a good mission statement from a bad mission statement.
To be a great company that doesn’t do evil could be a mission statement. The problem with it is that a fast-food franchise or a billion-dollar tech startup could use it.
It’s too bland.
It doesn’t set the organization apart.
There’s nothing to remember in that statement.
Instead of defining a mission statement and leaving it at that, I want to define what makes a good mission statement.
A good mission statement is a short declaration of your company’s goals, way of doing things, and who you’re doing it for. It conveys the conviction behind the company, is high level enough to guide you for years but concrete enough to use as a barometer for every day decisions.
A mission statement can help you determine your company culture, the products you make, the markets you enter, and the customers you serve.
It seems like you’re asking the mission statement to do a lot – you are. That’s why it’s not something you should take lightly or make in a rush. It’s aligned with your reason why but it’s not the same thing.
When you get it right, it has major benefits on your customer retention (and acquisition), employees, and bottom line. In fact, mission-driven employees have a 54% higher chance of staying for five years and 30% more likely to become high-performers than those who aren’t mission-driven.
10 Examples of great mission statements
- Apple: to bring the best personal computing products and support to students, educators, designers, scientists, engineers, businesspersons, and consumers in over 140 countries around the world.
- Pepsi: CREATE MORE SMILES WITH EVERY SIP AND EVERY BITE
FOR OUR CONSUMERS:
By creating joyful moments through our delicious and nourishing products and unique brand experiences.
FOR OUR CUSTOMERS:
By being the best possible partner, driving game-changing innovation, and delivering a level of growth unmatched in our industry.
FOR OUR SHAREHOLDERS:
By delivering sustainable top-tier TSR and embracing best-in-class corporate governance.
- Make-A-Wish: Together, we create life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses. to enrich the human experience with hope, strength, and joy.
- BMW: to become the world’s leading provider of premium products and premium services for individual mobility
- Amazon – We strive to offer our customers the lowest possible prices, the best available selection, and the utmost convenience.
- Nike – to bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world
- Blizzard – dedicated to creating the most epic entertainment experiences…ever.
- Peace Corps to promote world peace and friendship by fulfilling three goals: To help the people of interested countries in meeting their need for trained men and women, to help promote a better understanding of Americans on the part of the peoples served, and to help promote a better understanding of other peoples on the part of Americans.
- Patagonia – Build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis
- Stripe – Our mission is to increase. the GDP of the internet
What is a vision statement?
A vision statement is often confused with a mission statement but there’s a key difference – it’s aspirational. It’s where you want to be in a few years. A vision statement can be defined as:
A short statement that describes what a company wants to eventually become. It’s aspirational in nature and takes longer time frames, 10+ years, into consideration.
Put another way, it’s where you’ll be after a decade or more of long work moving towards your goal. The vision statement helps define a top-level strategy for longer time frames while the mission statement can help with short term planning.
The best vision statements are ambitious but also realistic. If you started a solar installation company yesterday, it may not be realistic to want to be the global provider of solar panels.
Instead, you may want to be the top provider in the country or a region of the country.
After that, you can look at the continent. Then, you can take on the world. There are a few important components a vision statement should have:
- It’s clear you’re not there yet
- Takes your company’s values into consideration
- Defines where you’re going and, to an extent, your reason for being
- It’s not tied to the specific details associated with arriving at the goal
Keep in mind that you can have a vision statement for your entire organization and separate ones for departments.
If you’re small then this is likely a non-issue. The larger you become, the more important it’ll be to specialize and use different incentives for separate business units.
Examples of the best vision statements
- Sony: Our vision is to use our passion for technology, content, and services to deliver kando, in ways that only Sony (KANDO means to move people emotionally)
- Disney: to be one of the world’s leading producers and providers of entertainment and information.
- Zara: to contribute to the sustainable development of society and that of the environment with which we interact.
- Nestle: To be a leading, competitive, Nutrition, Health and Wellness Company delivering improved shareholder value by being a preferred corporate citizen, preferred employer, preferred supplier selling preferred products
- eBay: to be the world’s favorite destination for discovering great value and unique selection
- Nintendo: Putting Smiles on the Faces of Everyone Nintendo Touches
- Lego: We want to pioneer new ways of playing, play materials, and the business models of play – leveraging globalization and digitalization
- HP: Our vision is to create technology that makes life better for everyone, everywhere — every person, every organization, and every community around the globe
- Beard Brand: wants to bring high-quality products for beardsmen and change the way society looks at bearded men
- General Electric: to become the world’s premier digital industrial company, transforming industry with software-defined machines and solutions that are connected, responsive, and predictive.
The key elements of great vision and mission statements
Let’s look a bit closer at how to craft a mission statement. Remember, it’s something that incorporates who you are, who you serve, and how you do things. It can be used to guide large and small decisions you’ll need to make daily.
The mission statement won’t have a customer story in it but the stories you create around your customers will clarify the mission statement.
Think about how your customer arrives at a purchase decision related to your product/service. What are they thinking about before buying, what problems are they experiencing, what outcomes do they hope to achieve when they buy?
Here, you strip away all the jargon and focus on what your products and service bring to the table for your average customer. Does it help them look better, feel better, make more money, achieve a business goal, get to a higher status, etc.?
When you define what you’re helping your customers do, you can align your entire company around it to achieve that outcome.
For example, BMW’s mission statement is to become the world’s leading provider of premium products and premium services for individual mobility.
It doesn’t limit itself to cars, or bikes, or SUVs, etc. The company focuses on all types of products and even services to help people get around. It also ensures that those products are premium. That’s why BMW has vehicles in almost every category.
Why do your customers come to you (or why will they come to you)?
You may want to segment your market and send out a few market research surveys so you’re dealing with real data and not assumptions.
A clear understanding of what you do for customers
This builds on the story you create of your customers. At this point, you want to focus on the outcomes you deliver and why you’re special.
For example, if you’re a specialty auto detailing shop then you can highlight that in your mission statement.
Great Auto creates premium custom car modifications that produce joy in our customers while ensuring their safety.
Great Auto modifies cars, is premium, makes sure their customers are happy, and takes safety seriously. That mission statement communicates a lot.
You can also touch on how you produce these outcomes for your customers. Do you use cutting-edge technology or are you old school? Is it handcrafted or laser etched? Each angle has its own draw but the important thing is that you own it.
What outcomes do you consistently produce for your customers?
Clarity on what you do for your employees and owners
While you don’t often see mission statements aimed at employees, they should still be taken into consideration. Your mission reflects your values so if the mission statement isn’t something employees can rally behind, they’ll check out mentally.
Disengaged workers are expensive for every industry.
Think about the kind of culture you want to cultivate, what a good employee looks like, and the kind of people you’d like to avoid. Make it clear that you care about their growth and overall well-being. This tells them that they can trust you with their loyalty and long-term commitment. Incorporate the kind of language that’ll attract the right team and repel the wrong one.
Define your position in the market
The last thing your mission statement should do is help define your position in the market. What kind of brand are you? Are you luxury, average, bargain, or a mix of all of those? Are you for the little guy or the huge corporation?
All of this can be communicated within your mission statement by using certain language like premium, exclusive, high-end, etc.
Doing so will give you, your customers, and the team clarity into what’s acceptable and what’s not. For example, if you’re a premium clothing brand and reflect that in your mission statement, everyone will know that they’ll pay more and get higher quality products.
If someone on the team isn’t sure about the materials to use, looking at the mission statement will let them know it should be top quality.
Both your vision statement and mission statement are important elements of your brand identity. More than that, they serve a practical purpose of helping all stakeholders know what you are and aren’t.
This guide has walked you through what each one is, shown you some exceptional examples, and even shared how to start creating your own mission statement.
All that’s left for you to do is make your mission and vision statement then live that goal every day at your organization. Let me know what your mission and vision statements are in the comments and don’t forget to share.