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.
As a company grows, its objectives and goals may be reached, and in turn, they’ll change. Therefore, mission statements should be revised as needed to reflect the business’s new culture as previous goals are met.
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.
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:
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 how to write a proper mission statement to build off of as your company evolves.
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:
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.
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 is centered 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.
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:
Once you have successfully conveyed your message, it’s time to refine and perfect your statement.
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 demonstrate 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 recommendation.
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.
Your company vision is meant to be inspirational while also aligning with the company’s mission. A vision statement should have the following characteristics:
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.
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 provides, 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 and vision statement are:
Now that we know what they are, let’s dive into some useful examples of each across different industries.
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.
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.
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 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 provides education to young kids on healthy eating, fitness, sustainability, and where food comes from.
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 remain 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.
Customers will never love a company until the employees love it first.
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.
This “objective” statement from Warby Parker uses words that reflect a young and daring personality: “rebellious,” “revolutionary,” “socially-conscious.” In one sentence, the brand takes us back 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 believe that buying glasses should be easy and fun. It should leave you happy and good-looking, with money in your pocket,” which 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.
We love the way the statements are laid out under each icon. Each description is brief, authentic, and business babble-free — which makes the folks at InvisionApp seem trustworthy and genuine.
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.
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.
Using words like “as many people as possible” makes a huge company like IKEA much more accessible and appealing to customers.
When it comes to customer commitment, not many 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 crystal 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.
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.”
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 health care 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.
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’s provided 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.
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 the state of enterprise software in general: 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.
If you know Prezi, you know how engaging it can make your next business presentation look. According to its mission statement, the company’s clever slide animations and three-dimensional experience aren’t just superficial product features. With every decision Prezi makes, it’s all about the story you tell and the audience that story affects.
A car company’s punny use of the word “accelerate” is just one reason this mission statement sticks out. However, 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.
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. Invisible Children, on the other hand, wants to “end” the violence facing African families. It’s an admirable mission that all businesses — not just nonprofits — can learn from when motivating customers.
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 two-word mission statement that shines through in every Talk you’ve seen the company publish on the internet. That mission statement: “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, but in the grand scheme of things, all it wants is to spread ideas around to its viewers.
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.
The Alzheimer’s Association conducts global research and provides quality care and support to people with dementia. This vision statement looks into the future where people won’t have to battle this currently 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.
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.
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.
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 vision statement reflects that. Through its product offering and pricing, it can provide technology to anyone who needs it.
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.
LinkedIn is a professional networking service that gives people the opportunity to seek employment. Its vision statement intends to provide employees of every level a chance to get the job they need.
Disney’s vision 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 vision 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.
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.
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.
Notice the interesting use of the word “complementary” in this vision statement. No, the chain isn’t envisioning giving out freebies in the future. Its vision 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.
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.