Why are Mission and Vision Statements Important for my Brand?
Defining your Why, What and HowThere’s a reason you started your business, and somewhere down the line, a goal you want your business to achieve. While these ideas may be swimming around in your head, it’s important to get them down on paper. Why? Well, because these are your mission and vision statements and essential parts of building a strong foundation for your brand. Mission and vision statements are more than a plaque on the wall. They help to define the overall direction of your company, your purpose and what you want to achieve. It is where you inspire your employees and align internal teams on a common purpose and goal, and where you define to the market what you stand for and what makes you different from other brands.
What’s Your Vision?Your vision is the end state: what you ultimately want your organization or business to become and the impact it will have on your customers and the world. Think five, 10, 20 years down the line. What has your business achieved? Where does it stand in the market? What has it done? How is it regarded by consumers? Employees? Competitors? How do you want your business to be remembered? How has it changed the world? Defining these ideals in a vision statement helps keep your internal team focused on the long-term. When making strategic business decisions, your team should be asking: Will this get us closer to our vision? If the answer is yes, then continue on. If not, reconsider.
Vision Inspiration“The ultimate ice cream experience” – Cold Stone Creamery “To make people happy” – Disney “To fulfill dreams through the experience of motorcycling.” -Harley-Davidson Motor Company “Capture and share the world’s moments.” – Instagram “Spreading the power of optimism.” Life is Good “To be the most trusted provider of systems and technologies that ensure the security and freedom of our nation and its allies.” – Northrop Grumman
What’s Your Mission?Your mission is what drives your day-to-day. It’s the reason your service is in existence and defines the “why” behind the thing you’re doing and “how” you plan to do it. This is where the brand’s heart can be found. It’s the passion of your purpose, why you started the business, and what difference it will make in the world. It’s who you are helping and how you plan to help them. An easy recipe for writing a mission statement is defining: what your business does, who benefits from it, and how you do it. Mission statements shouldn’t be shelved. You’ll want to make sure everyone who works in your business is familiar with it and that it is communicated externally to your clients—have it on display at your office, promote it on the website, include it on marketing materials, if appropriate. When done correctly, a mission statement will inspire your employees, distinguish you from your competition, and lead your brand and business strategy.
Mission Inspriation“To offer travelers a reliable, innovative and fun airline to travel in Central America.” – Nature Air “Build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis.” – Patagonia “We’re a presentation resource, on a mission to reinvent how people share knowledge, tell stories and inspire their audiences to act.” –Prezi “To offer designer eyewear at a revolutionary price, while leading the way for socially conscious businesses.” – Warby Parker “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.” –Southwest Airlines “…To accelerate the advent of sustainable transport by bringing compelling mass market electric cars to market as soon as possible.” – Tesla
Go forth and define.The best brands use their mission and vision as a metric for success. If you are staying true to your mission and making business decisions that will get you closer to your vision, you’re on the right track. But don’t think that mission and vision statements are written in stone. Go back often and check in. Do they still resonate, or has your outlook shifted? Make sure to keep these statements updated so that they truly communicate who your brand is and what you aim to do. In that way you know that you’re fulfilling your brand promise. Having a mission and vision statement are just two parts of a larger verbal identity. Defining and incorporating your brand values, what makes you unique, where you want to position yourself in the market, and your brand voice follow. Don’t panic. We’ll get to those in an upcoming blog. In the meantime, your mission and vision statements are a great starting point in building a solid brand foundation.