Mission and vision statements: make your brand stand out

Updated: 6 days ago

Any self-respecting #MarketingPlan must have solid business mission and vision statements. These two elements are critical in determining the difference between a business and a brand.


Keep reading and discover why.



Table of contents

  1. What mission and vision mean (classic definition);

  2. What mission and vision have become nowadays (Golden Circle Model);

  3. Examples of top brands’ mission and vision statements;

  4. The outcome in having a mission and vision statements.







WHAT MISSION STATEMENT MEANS




The mission is a powerful statement that in a few words explains the reason of existence for a business. It is focused on the present and states what the company does, its core business and how to achieve it.


An organization exists to accomplish something, right?



The classic definition of “Mission Statement”

According to Marketing and management of Kotler and Keller, successful mission statements have few common traits:


  1. They focus on a limited number of goals;

  2. They highlight the business’s major policies and values;

  3. They define the major competitive spheres within which the company will operate. They can be: the target industry, products and applications supplied, range of competence mastered and leveraged, market segment served, number of steps from raw material to final product and distribution, and target geographical areas;

  4. They take a long-term view. Management should change the mission only when it ceases to be relevant;

  5. They are as short, memorable and meaningful as possible.


To use the words of Peter Drucker (a management consultant, educator and author whose publications have contributed to define the modern business corporation), the mission statement should answer a few questions:


What is our business? Who is the customer? What is of value to the customer? What will our business be? What should our business be? These simple-sounding questions are among the most difficult a company will ever have to answer. Successful companies continuously raise and answer them.


Examples of bad mission statements

  • To build total brand value by innovating to deliver customer value and customer leadership faster, better, and more completely than our competition;

  • We build brands and make the world a little happier by bringing our best to you.



Example of Google’s mission statement

  • To organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.





WHAT VISION STATEMENT MEANS




While the mission drives a company in the present, the vision statement gives it the right direction. A business envisions itself in the future and provides aspirational purpose.


What problem are we seeking to solve? Where are we headed? If we’ll achieve all strategic goals, what would we look like in 10 years from now?


In two words, the vision statement is a road map.



Example of Google’s vision statement

  • To provide access to the world’s information in one click.





WHAT MISSION AND VISION HAVE BECOME NOWADAYS: THE GOLDEN CIRCLE MODEL




Simon Sinek at TED 2014: Why good leaders make you feel safe
Simon Sinek at TED 2014 - Vancouver Convention Center, Canada. The Next Chapter, Session 11 - Unstressed. Photographer: James Duncan Davidson.

No one usually likes and fully understands classic concepts written by old economists for a different historical time. They seem so far away from us that it is almost unbelievable they are still true.


But mission and vision statements are evergreen concepts in marketing and Simon Sinek (author, speaker and marketing consultant) revised them in 2009 with his book Start with Why: how great leaders inspire everyone to take action.



The difference between any business and a brand

Thanks to Sinek’s work, the modern meaning of being a brand has emerged. He showed how to find and leverage inspiration in the everyday work with his Golden Circle Model.


He reworked vision and mission into Why, How, What: the three golden circles.


There are only two ways to influence human behavior: you can manipulate it or you can inspire it. Very few people or companies can clearly articulate why they do what they do. By “why” l mean your purpose, cause or belief-why does your company exist? Why do you get out of bed every morning? And why should anyone care? People don't buy what you do, they buy why you do it.

Great leaders found their business by first addressing why they exist:

  • Why: this is the core belief of the business. It's why the business exists;

  • How: this is how the business fulfills that core belief;

  • What: this is what the company does to fulfill that core belief.


The marketing communication should go from Why to How and What; similarly, the vision should represent the starting point to lead the customer to the mission. When you see the value in what you're doing or offering, it becomes easier for your customers to buy-in to that mission.


Mastering the Golden Circle Model is the key to make a business become into a brand.






EXAMPLES OF TOP BRANDS’

MISSION AND VISION STATEMENTS




Amazon


Mission:

We strive to offer our customers the lowest possible prices, the best available selection, and the utmost convenience.


Vision:

To be Earth’s most customer-centric company, where customers can find and discover anything they might want to buy online.



Ikea


Mission:

Offer a wide range of well-designed, functional home furnishing products at prices so low that as many people as possible will be able to afford them.


Vision:

To create a better everyday life for the many people.



TED


Mission:

Spread ideas.


Vision:

We believe passionately in the power of ideas to change attitudes, lives and, ultimately, the world.



Intel


Mission:

Utilize the power of Moore’s Law to bring smart, connected devices to every person on earth.


Vision:

If it is smart and connected, it is best with Intel.



Wikimedia


Mission:

To empower and engage people around the world to collect and develop educational content under a free license or in the public domain, and to disseminate it effectively and globally.


Vision:

Imagine a world in which every single human being can freely share in the sum of all knowledge. That’s our commitment.



Facebook


Mission:

To give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together.


Vision:

People use Facebook to stay connected with friends and family, to discover what’s going on in the world, and to share and express what matters to them.





THE OUTCOME IN HAVING

A MISSION AND VISION STATEMENT




You don’t really need a mission and vision statement to start a business. There are many companies out there without them that are working fine. So, how can a mission and vision make a difference in a business?



They represent the crossing line between any business and a brand

A company can be much more than just a logo and a product/service. Do you remember the