A company vision, or vision statement, is a written statement succinctly expressing a company’s purpose by defining its primary long-term goals.
A company vision statement should be inspirational and aspirational. It motivates employees to work towards a shared vision while explaining the future direction of the company to other stakeholders.
When writing a company vision statement, it needs to align with your organization’s mission statement, strategic plan, culture, and values.
What’s The Difference Between A Vision Statement And A Mission Statement?
While a company’s vision and mission statements should complement each other, there are some critical differences between the two.
A mission statement describes a company’s “who” and “what.” It identifies the organization’s business objectives and how it will achieve them by focussing on what the company is doing now.
A vision statement, on the other hand, is forward-looking, setting aspirational, long-term goals. It explains the company’s “why.”
Let’s look at an example of this difference.
Dating app Bumble’s mission statement is:
Bumble is a platform and community that creates empowering connections in love, life, and work. We promote accountability, equality, and kindness to end misogyny and re-write archaic gender roles. On Bumble, women always make the first move.
Its vision statement is:
We’re envisioning a world free of misogyny, where all relationships are equal.
Bumble’s mission statement focuses on its business objective—“creating empowering connections”—and how it will achieve that—via a platform and community that promotes “accountability, equality, and kindness.” Its vision statement then expresses a broader, more aspirational goal of ending misogyny.
Why Is A Company Vision Important?
A company vision is an optional part of your strategic plan. You don’t have to have one, but doing so has several benefits.
A company vision statement:
- Guides the organization and its employees. It identifies a common goal everyone is working towards, which can be referenced in decision-making.
- Contributes to building a brand. It succinctly explains to stakeholders why you do what you do, helping them to connect with your brand.
- Helps increase employee engagement. Employees who find their organization’s vision meaningful have higher levels of engagement. A well-written vision statement motivates and inspires employees to support an organization’s strategic goals.
How To Write A Meaningful Company Vision Statement
- Align it with your company’s mission and values. A vision statement should complement your mission statement and company values, providing an aspirational objective for employees and other stakeholders to share.
- Incorporate it with your brand and company identity. Review existing organizational materials to ensure your company vision complements, rather than contradicts, your brand and company identity. You can adapt the language you use to suit your branding.
- Research your competitors’ vision statements. You want to make sure yours is different and stands out from the rest. Reviewing the competition may also highlight for you what does and doesn’t work, especially in terms of impact and clarity.
- Make it impactful. Some of the most effective company vision statements are brief—one to two sentences—and to the point. Keep the language simple and jargon-free.
- Be bold. A vision statement is aspirational, so don’t hold back when brainstorming. List your company’s biggest goals, thinking about the potential impact of your brand, not just locally but globally. Make it challenging and ambitious to motivate employees.
- Be specific. Your vision statement needs to describe an outcome that only your organization can provide—the “thing” that sets you apart from other companies in the same space. If your company vision is too vague or generic, it can make it difficult for stakeholders to support it.
- Collect input and feedback from employees. Your company vision statement is, in part, designed to speak directly to employees, so it’s useful to get their input. You can use collaboration tools for this or hold a workshop to collect ideas.
Once you’ve developed your company vision, you can integrate it into the company’s culture and strategic planning.
Examples Of Effective Company Vision Statements
Here are some examples of well-known company vision statements.
- Apple: “To make the best products on earth and to leave the world better than we found it.”
- Spotify: “We envision a cultural platform where professional creators can break free of their medium’s constraints and where everyone can enjoy an immersive artistic experience that enables us to empathize with each other and to feel part of a greater whole.”
- IKEA: “To create a better everyday life for the many people.”
- Virgin: “Virgin’s purpose is to change business for good and it is the very reason we exist.”
- Sennheiser: “Shaping today the audio world of tomorrow.”
- Deloitte: “We aspire to be the Standard of Excellence, the first choice of the most sought-after clients and talent.”
- Coca-Cola: “To craft the brands and choice of drinks that people love.”
- CVS: “We will help people live longer, healthier, happier lives.”
- Habitat for Humanity: “A world where everyone has a decent place to live.”
- Netflix: “Becoming the best global entertainment distribution service.”
A company vision, usually expressed in a company vision statement, describes an organization’s aspirational long-term goal. Clearly defining your company vision helps guide decision-making, build your brand, and increase employee engagement.
When writing a company vision statement, it’s important to align it with your organization’s mission and values, as well as its brand and company identity. An effective company vision should be bold, impactful, and specific to the quality that sets your organization apart.
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