Having purpose and meaning is fundamental for any business. Customers and employees are loyal to brands that share their values—and a company’s values are most visible in their mission and vision.
Together, mission and vision give a brand direction and substance. They let people know what a company does and why they do it. A brand’s mission is the journey a business takes to reach its vision.
A brand’s mission and vision also play a central role in shaping its culture. Everyone in an organization needs to understand them for a culture to be successful: they provide a common ground and keep everyone focused on what’s important. A strong workplace culture motivates employees. For instance, Starbucks calls employees “partners” and prides itself on a culture of inclusion. Starbucks shares its mission with potential partners from the beginning: “to inspire and nurture the human spirit—one person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time.”
Brand vision focusses on the future and what the brand wants to become: it summarizes long-term plans. Your vision explains why you do this work, and the ultimate good you hope to accomplish. Brand vision should inspire and share its direction with employees. A company with a strong vision helps employees focus on what matters for their company’s success. And it can stir innovation.
A brand’s vision statement answers: What are our ambitions? What issues are we resolving? And, what are we inspiring and changing?
When creating brand vision:
- Use clear and concise language
- Align your vision with your company values and mission
- Convey your company’s hopes for the future
- Make it inspiring and focus on success
- Share it with your employees and ensure they understand it
Ikea’s vision is “to create a better everyday life for the many people.” It explains why they do what they do. Ikea aspires to change people’s everyday lives and make them better. It’s simple, clear, and focused on success.
Ikea is also doing a great job targeting their target market of millennials. Recently, they have utilized UK grime rapper, D Double E, in a campaign that has blown up across the pond. While staying true to their message, Ikea has shown how to creatively use current trends without seeming contrived or contrary to vision.
If your vision is your ultimate goal, your mission is how you’ll fulfill it. Brand mission statements focus on the present and what the brand does: it’s the core of a business. It should describe the purpose of your work and how you aim to influence the world around you.
A Brand’s mission statement answers: What do you do? Who do you serve? And, what value, benefits, or greater good do you promise?
When crafting brand mission:
- Define your purpose
- Keep language clear, concise, and in the present tense
- Describe who you help
- Highlight the benefits and positive outcomes of your product
- Make sure your mission aligns with your vision
Google’s mission “is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.” It sharply describes Google’s purpose. It also underlines that Google’s product benefits everybody (it’s “universally accessible”) by offering useful information.
Spotify’s goal is also well-defined in its mission “to unlock the potential of human creativity—by giving a million creative artists the opportunity to live off their art and billions of fans the opportunity to enjoy and be inspired by it.” It’s clear what they do, and who they’ll help (creative artists and their billions of fans). Spotify’s mission also highlights its higher purpose to “unlock the potential of human creativity.”
Branding starts with two central statements: vision and mission. Companies that remain true to their core values create brands that employees and customers are proud to associate with. Your mission and vision reflect your brand’s purpose and aspirations—and when well-crafted, inspire.