How to Write a Vision Statement (with examples) 

Introduction 

What is a vision statement? Why should your company have one? 

These are both important questions to consider when starting or rebranding a business. In short, a vision statement is the overarching perspective of your company’s mission. 

It is the guide for the direction your business is heading. You’ll often see them referred to as the company’s “north star.” 

Unlike mission statements, company values, and operational specifics, the vision statement details how your company wishes to impact and improve the surrounding environment – whatever that may be. 

The vision statement is the “what” to the mission statement’s “why” and “how.” 

Joseph Folkman, a behavioral statistician, performed a research study in 2014 about vision statements and how they affect a company’s success.

The study found that when employees think their organization’s vision is meaningful, there is a 52% bump in positive engagement over employees who did not find meaning in the vision. 

It is necessary to have a unique vision statement that encompasses the scope, structure, and personality of your company. 

The best vision statements will inspire your teams, connect with customers, help you have the discipline to make smarter business decisions, and attract talent. 

What is a Vision Statement?

 

Source: thepracticalleader.com

A vision statement will state the goals of the company. Generally, it will focus more on the long-term goals and ideals, especially as they relate to growth and impact. 

It describes the idealistic state of where you expect to be in the future. It should be ambitious but feasible; as well as broad, and strategic. 

Aspirational statements convey your company’s passion for the future you’re working towards. The goals do need to be attainable however, to still qualify as a vision rather than a delusion.

Vision statements are broad enough to convey the overall goals of your company, but strategic in that they do not include ever infinitesimal detail to get bogged down.

The goal of the vision statement is to guide the decisions the company makes. Ideally, a vision statement will hold up within a company for several years, possibly even a decade.   

Why it’s Important to Write a Vision Statement 

Your company’s vision statement is a straightforward, philosophical way to communicate the direction your company is indenting to move. 

It is one of the key elements to help company culture thrive. It also functions as a tagline for customers, stakeholders, and marketers.

This mini-manifesto is there to motivate and inspire people at every level of your company. It will move employees to action and encourage long-term engagement. 

Additionally, it will help convert customers, attract talent, and encourage people to participate with what your company is doing and producing. 

The vision statement will improve your company’s decision making processes by allowing you to rule out initiatives and opportunities that aren’t aligned with your long-term goals. 

It can then function as the overall outline for other directives in your company, such as team charters. 

Ultimately, your vision statement is a crucial part of your business strategy because it provides your unique contribution to the world. 

How to Write a Vision Statement

Source: leadershipgirl.com

Some best practices for writing a vision statement include: 

  • Collaborate: get together with key leaders and members of your organization and collectively brainstorm the most important pieces that should go into the vision statement.
  • Keep it separate from a personal vision statement: while you probably have your own vision statement that may overlap with your vision for the company, you’ll want to make sure that your company’s statement is still distinct and represents the company’s vision as a whole.
  • Write first, edit later: it’s impossible to write a well-crafted vision statement immediately. Write down all of your ideas and trim them down to the most important parts. 

Step #1: Identify Your Goals (What’s Your Company Mission?) 

Consider your company’s purpose and what it does in its market. Think about what makes your company stand out against its competitors. 

Refer to your business plan if you need to. All of this will help you zoom in on your goals for the future. 

Your vision statement should not be something that evolves alongside your company. Consider where you want to be in five or ten years and work from there. These are your long-term goals that you hope to achieve. 

Another thing to keep in mind is that the vision statement is not a business document that outlines all of your plans. It is a short, inspirational, statement that focuses on what you hope to succeed in. 

Take Southwest Airlines’ vision statement, for example. Their statement is “To be the world’s most loved, most efficient, and most profitable airline.” Their goal is to be loved, efficient, and profitable. 

They put themselves against other airlines by showing that they want to be well-loved by their customers because they will provide efficient service. 

They are not marketing themselves as exclusive or even particularly luxurious. Everyone will get the same treatment. 

This ties in well with their hearts and marketing campaigns featuring love and acceptance. Even their stock market designator is LUV. 

The goals are clearly outlined in this short and easy-to-remember statement. 

Customers, team members, and stakeholders can all see what Southwest aims to do over the coming years and what they are striving towards. 

Step #2: Keep it Short and Simple 

While your company’s vision statement should be specific and unique, you don’t want it to be bogged down with details. Your vision statement should not be more than two sentences. It should be easy to remember and repeat. 

When brainstorming, jot down all of your ideas that could be useful, then keep one or two essential points to guide the final clear vision to focus on. 

That final vision statement should be brief but strong, so it is easy to remember and full of impact. 

Additionally, use concrete language that is hard to misinterpret. While you want aspirational goals, don’t let them get too lofty and expand beyond what your company can actually deliver. 

According to Karolina Turowska, the Digital PR Specialist at PhotoAiD, “Words have incredible power. Just consider notable leaders whose speeches inspired thousands of people to take action. Your vision statement is a speech in a nutshell. To touch a lot of people at once, it needs to be clear and easy to understand.”

LinkedIn gives the perfect example of a one sentence vision statement. Their vision statement is to “Create economic opportunity for every member of the global workforce.” 

While the statement includes larger words, they’re not jargon. The statement is easy to reiterate and it is clear that LinkedIn strives to deliver exactly what it promises it will. 

LinkedIn’s entire purpose is to connect professionals easily to help them be more productive and successful. Their reach extends to more than 200 countries and territories worldwide, striving for that global aspect.

It is a very concept based vision statement of what the company is working towards in the future, marketed towards anyone in the global workforce. 

That said, it is also simple and provides the company with a direction to work towards. 

Step #3: Demonstrate Your Purpose 

At its core, a vision statement is the culmination of the company’s core values, goals, and purpose. 

This is the crux of what you want the world to look like as a result of your company’s influence, or how you want to affect a particular demographic as a result of your vision. 

Visualize the future you want to see and your part in achieving it. Once that goal is defined, you need to demonstrate what you’ll do to achieve it. 

IKEA does exactly this in their vision statement: “Our vision is to create a better everyday life for the many people”. 

The statement is not only easy to understand and repeat, but their purpose is very straightforward. IKEA will use their products to make life better for everyone and anyone they can, regardless of who they are. 

This shows IKEA’s focus to better the everyman’s life. Their products are environmentally friendly and sustainable. 

This means they deliver quality products to their customers, but also strive to better the world while they are at it. 

Step #4: Use Clear and Jargon-Free Language 

As your vision statement will be posted places beyond industry professionals, it is best to use plain language and explain yourself clearly.

Oftentimes, “industry-speak” will end up making your company brand come across as inaccessible and aloof. 

Use simple language that can be understood by everyone, especially people who may never have heard of your company and what it does. 

If you find yourself frequently attempting to use buzzwords, consider what the word or phrase in question truly means and why it’s applicable to your company. Then you can reword or rephrase it appropriately. 

In addition to avoiding jargon and industry speak, make sure you avoid all other unnecessary language. Don’t feel that you need to cut out every adjective and adverb, but be sure that each word serves a purpose.  

NASA’s vision statement reads: “Exploring the secrets of the universe for the benefits of all.” 

This is a simple statement that is straightforward, completely free of jargon and buzzwords. That statement can be read and understood by most everyone. 

This brief and strong statement is thus also clear about the impact NASA wishes to make on the world. The statement is also memorable and catchy. 

Step #5: Get Feedback 

Before you spend too much time paring your vision statement down and refining it, step back and get other viewpoints about how it comes across. Some questions you can ask include: 

  • Is the statement ambitious enough? 
  • Is it too unrealistic?
  • Does the statement accurately reflect your company? 
  • Does the vision statement make sense? 
  • Is it memorable?
  • What is missing from the statement? 
  • What parts are unnecessary? 
  • Are all the ideas phrased effectively? 
  • Can the purpose and mission of the company be extrapolated from the vision? 

It is completely expected for you to go through several drafts of your vision statement as you hone the phrasing and tone of the final product. 

Sony’s vision statement is: “Using our unlimited passion for technology, content and services to deliver groundbreaking new excitement and entertainment, as only Sony can.” This statement does all of the above. 

It is ambitious without being too unrealistic. It accurately reflects what Sony aims to do as a company. The statement is clear and makes sense, with nothing contained within it feeling unnecessary. 

Everything is also phrased highly effectively, including Sony’s name within the statement so there is no question as to who’s vision it is. 

Step #6: Provide a Specific Vision (Make it specific to your business) 

The best vision statements clearly outline the end goal and how your business is going to work towards it. 

When crafting the final vision statement, ensure that aligns with the core values of your company. If it doesn’t, you’ll need to go back and rethink. 

You also want your vision to stand out against the visions of other companies. If you take your name out of the vision statement and find it could apply to other organizations, you will want to rethink. 

It’s best if your final vision statement describes your goal in such a way that it is clear that only your company can provide it. 

Here, Coca-Cola’s vision defines its goals and how it aims to reach them. 

The vision statement reads: “Our vision is to craft the brands of choice of drinks that people love, to refresh them in body and spirit. And done in ways that create a more sustainable business and better shared future that makes a difference in people’s lives, communities and our planet.” 

The statement is a longer one, comprised of two sentences, however it is still punchy and to the point. The first sentence alone is straightforward and clear as to what Coca-Cola’s goals are. 

When vision statements are long like this, it is crucial that they can still be abbreviated to where the core message stands out. 

The statement is appealing to the masses, and it has become clear over the years that Coca-Cola meant every word. They have become perhaps the world’s leading soft drink brand. 

Plus, they own other brands for further reach, such as Vitaminwater, Honest Tea, and Fanta. 

A great example of some of the steps mentioned above is VPSBG:

VPSBG is a cloud hosting provider that primarily focuses its statement on privacy and security.

This is their purpose, and they keep it in mind for any stage of their work: using high-performance hardware, Windows cloud servers (a benefit of the Windows OS is the fact that it is run by Microsoft, which consequently brings authority and added security), accepting Bitcoin and Litecoin payments for all of their services and other privacy and security-focused options.

What to Avoid When Writing a Vision Statement 

It is important to avoid ambiguity. While vision statements do not need to be as concrete as a mission statement, you’ll want to avoid words that can be misinterpreted and change the meaning of the statement altogether. 

You won’t always be present to clarify what you meant. 

Unfortunately, if you are vague, it will be harder to work towards your company’s eventual goals. A lack of direction is a huge business mistake overall and can greatly hurt your company. 

It is better to be specific, even if that means rebranding after a few years when the goals of your company shift. 

Start Writing Your Vision Statement Today 

Now that you’re aware of the importance of writing a vision statement as well as the do’s and don’ts of writing one, it’s time to get started.

If you’re struggling with that, you can always check our blog for valuable tips on how to write great content.

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