Money is a by-product of value.
So, to thrive in the long run, businesses must remain focused on producing value.
However, it’s easy to lose sight of value creation and get sidetracked by other things like profit margins, expanding your product catalogs, or competitors.
To become a runaway success, businesses must have a purpose that unites and inspires people – “make more money” won’t do the trick. As the author Simon Sinek said, “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.”
This is why organizations create mission and vision statements.
These statements unify the organization and keep everyone focused on what really matters – because if you get these things right, the profits will follow.
Now, let’s dive in.
What is a Mission Statement?
A mission statement is a short summary of an organization’s core purpose, focus, and aims. This usually includes a brief description of what the organization does and its key objectives.
What is a Vision Statement?
A vision statement is a short description of an organization’s aspirations and the wider impact it aims to create. It should be a guiding beacon to everyone within the organization and something which underpins internal decision-making and determines the intended direction of the organization.
What’s the Difference Between a Mission Statement and a Vision Statement?
In short: The mission is the “what” and the “how,” and the vision is the “why.”
The mission statement defines what an organization does and includes tangible goals which the organization strives to accomplish. The vision statement, meanwhile, should clarify the aspirations of the organization and define the direction it’s heading in.
Many organizations combine the two statements to form one clearly defined reason for existing that unites the efforts of everyone involved.
Does Your Business Need Mission and Vision Statements?
Mission and vision statements are signposts.
Effective mission and vision statements will unify the focus of an organization – for the organization and their target audience.
Okay, but what if you’re only just starting a business?
Well, whether you’re a massive corporation or a solopreneur, you can use mission and vision statements to gain clarity and ensure that you consistently make decisions in line with your ultimate goals.
These statements also help you develop a stronger brand that differentiates you from the competition.
Now, let’s look at some examples.
Mission and Vision Statement Examples
For quick reference, here are 15 examples of mission and vision statements from highly successful businesses:
- Tesla: To accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy.
- Nike: Bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete* in the world. *If you have a body, you are an athlete.
- MVMT: Style shouldn’t break the bank.
- Warby Parker: To offer designer eyewear at a revolutionary price, while leading the way for socially conscious businesses.
- Shopify: Make commerce better for everyone, so businesses can focus on what they do best: building and selling their products.
- Patagonia: Build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis.
- IKEA: To create a better everyday life for the many people.
- TED: Spread ideas.
- Amazon: To be Earth’s most customer-centric company, where customers can find and discover anything they might want to buy online.
- Southwest Airlines: To become the world’s most loved, most flown, and most profitable airline.
- Google: To organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.
- Asos: Become the world’s number-one destination for fashion-loving 20-somethings.
- Loreal: To provide the best in cosmetics innovation to women and men around the world with respect for their diversity.
- Bulletproof: Help people perform better, think faster, and live better.
- Honest Tea: Create and promote great-tasting, healthy, organic beverages.
15 Inspiring Mission and Vision Statements Explained
Now you know what they are and how they serve organizations, let’s take a closer look at these mission and vision statement examples and draw out the key components.
Mission statement: To create the most compelling car company of the 21st century by driving the world’s transition to electric vehicles.
Vision statement: To accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy.
Tesla’s mission and vision statements are a class act.
Their mission statement clearly defines their core goal: “To create the most compelling car company of the 21st century.” Then it tells you how they intend to accomplish that goal: “By driving the world’s transition to electric vehicles.”
It’s simple and it works.
However, it’s Tesla’s vision statement that stands out.
The car company’s clever use of the world “accelerate” helps to enliven their lofty aspiration. This vision statement also showcases their drive (pun intended) for sustainable energy and how it steers (pun intended) the business.
It also allows them room to explore and develop their other set of energy solutions, Powerwall, Powerpack and Solar Roof.
All in all, Tesla’s vision for sustainable energy is one that resonates with countless people around the world.
Mission statement: Create groundbreaking sports innovations, make our products sustainably, build a creative and diverse global team, and make a positive impact in communities where we live and work.
Vision statement: Bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete* in the world.
*If you have a body, you are an athlete.
Nike’s mission statement might sound run-of-the-mill, but it effectively sums up what they aim to do and how they aim to do it.
Take note of the words that declare Nike’s underlying company values: Innovation, sustainability, diversity, and community.
However, it’s Nike’s vision statement that has captured the hearts of millions.
“To bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world” sounds a little vague at first. It’s Nike co-founder Bill Bowerman’s addition that hits you right in the feels: “If you have a body, you are an athlete.”
Bowerman’s statement staunchly stands up against body-shaming and is a powerful call for inclusion. And it’s not hard to see this shape Nike’s philosophy and marketing:
As a result, Nike’s vision statement is transformed into a moving sentiment that impacts every person who reads it.
Mission and vision statement: We were founded on the belief that style shouldn’t break the bank. Our goal is to change the way you think about fashion by delivering premium designs at radically fair prices.
MVMT have combined their mission and vision statement and addressed it directly to customers.
It begins with the vision: “Style shouldn’t break the bank.”
This vision statement cuts straight to the point and perfectly sums up MVMT’s key selling proposition of high-quality fashion watches at low prices.
The statement then goes on to explain the mission.
First, they tell you what they aim to achieve: “Change the way you think about fashion.” Then, they tell you how they intend to do it: “By delivering premium designs at radically fair prices.”
It’s short, punchy, and music to customers’ ears.
4. Warby Parker
Mission statement: Warby Parker was founded with a rebellious spirit and a lofty objective: To offer designer eyewear at a revolutionary price, while leading the way for socially conscious businesses.
Vision statement: We believe that buying glasses should be easy and fun. It should leave you happy and good-looking, with money in your pocket. We also believe that everyone has the right to see.
Warby Parker’s mission statement reminds us of why it was founded and then reveals its aims for a better future.
Note their core business aim: “Offer designer eyewear at a revolutionary price.”
In the vision statement, they address the core problems consumers face when purchasing glasses: It can be annoying, boring, costly, and still leave you anxious about whether or not they look good.
Instead, they aim to solve these problems and make buying glasses easy, fun, pleasing, and inexpensive.
Both statements also mention Warby Parkers dedication to providing glasses to people in need around the world.
Vision statement: Make commerce better for everyone, so businesses can focus on what they do best: building and selling their products.
Shopify’s vision statement begins with their overarching vision: to make commerce better for everyone.
Then they promote the reason why they’re driven to remove the hassle and complications of managing an ecommerce website: so businesses can focus on what’s most important to them.
Shopify’s mission and vision are clear: empower businesses.
Mission and vision statement: Build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis.
Then they explain their environmental stance in three points which explain their aim to make their business as environmentally friendly as possible and actively combat the environmental crisis.
Patagonia goes on to say, “a love of wild and beautiful places demands participation in the fight to save them.”
And the business isn’t afraid to put their money where their mouth is. The company donates at least 1% of its sales to hundreds of grassroots environmental groups around the world.
This mission and vision statement clearly articulates the company’s values and goals.
Mission statement: 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 statement: To create a better everyday life for the many people.
IKEA’s mission statement is clear and to the point.
Note the use of the words, “wide range,” “well-designed,” “functional,” and “prices so low.” If you’ve ever been to IKEA you’ll know how well they’ve managed to embody these attributes.
IKEA’s vision statement focuses their mission statement into one singular purpose: “To create a better everyday life for the many people.”
Both statements use inclusive phrasing that solidifies IKEA’s commitment to being accessible to “as many people as possible.”
Mission statement: Spread ideas.
Vision statement: We believe passionately in the power of ideas to change attitudes, lives and, ultimately, the world.
With such a simple, highly focused mission, it’s easy to see how the TED brand has become a global phenomenon in recent years.
It’s a truly great mission statement that focuses all of their efforts.
“Everything we do – from our Conferences to our TED Talks to the projects sparked by The Audacious Project, from the global TEDx community to the TED-Ed lesson series – is driven by this goal: How can we best spread great ideas?”
In what could be considered their vision statement, TED goes on to explain that they “believe passionately in the power of ideas to change attitudes, lives and, ultimately, the world.”
Mission statement: We strive to offer our customers the lowest possible prices, the best available selection, and the utmost convenience.
Vision statement: To be Earth’s most customer-centric company, where customers can find and discover anything they might want to buy online.
Amazon’s mission statement sums up the three things that have made them loved by millions: low prices, a huge selection, and incredible convenience.
Like all great mission statements, it shines a light on the values that bring success.
Amazon’s vision statement brings these elements together into one unified goal: “To be Earth’s most customer-centric company.”
10. Southwest Airlines
Mission statement: The mission of Southwest Airlines is dedication to the highest quality of customer service delivered with a sense of warmth, friendliness, individual pride, and company spirit.
Vision statement: To become the world’s most loved, most flown, and most profitable airline.
Their mission statement summarizes this dedication to customers and highlights the importance of one-to-one interactions between staff and customers.
So it’s no surprise that Southwest’s vision statement is “to become the world’s most loved, most flown airline.”
However, although they heavily emphasize customer service, they don’t forget to mention the thing which allows the company to exist in the first place: profit.
Mission statement: To organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.
Google’s mission statement perfectly summarizes what they aim to do.
Take note of the last word: “useful.”
Google understands that it doesn’t matter how well organized or accessible information is if it can’t be readily applied in life.
Their mission statement is brilliant.
But unfortunately, Google doesn’t seem to have a vision statement that clarifies the reasons why they want to organize the world’s information for everyone to use.
Mission statement: Become the world’s number-one destination for fashion-loving 20-somethings.
Asos’ mission statement solidifies their purpose by voicing exactly what they want to achieve.
In what could be considered their vision statement, they go on to say, “We focus on fashion as a force for good, inspiring young people to express their best selves and achieve amazing things. We believe fashion thrives on individuality and should be fun for everyone.”
The addition gets a little vague in places, such as wanting young people to “achieve amazing things” – I mean, don’t we all?
However, it successfully showcases their brand voice and their passion for individuality and expression.
Mission statement: To provide the best in cosmetics innovation to women and men around the world with respect for their diversity.
Loreal’s mission statement comprises two key parts.
The first lays out their dedication to providing the best in cosmetics innovation. The second is all about inclusivity.
This is key.
They aim to include people from all over the world, “with respect for their diversity.”
And despite most companies marketing cosmetics solely to women, Loreal is looking to the future as gender stereotypes break down.
This type of sensitivity and awareness will position Loreal for long-term success.
Mission and vision statement: “Help people perform better, think faster, and live better using a proven blend of ancient knowledge and brand new technologies, tempered by research, science, and measured results from our customers, top athletes, and medical professionals.”
Bulletproof has combined their vision and mission in one short paragraph.
It starts with their purpose: “Help people perform better, think faster, and live better.” Then it goes on to explain exactly how they plan to do it: Using ancient knowledge, brand new technologies, and science.
Sure, it’s a little wordy.
But it gets to the heart of why Bulletproof exists and how they plan to make an impact on the world as a business.
As a result, Bulletproof’s mission and vision statement is well-suited to unify everyone in the company and guide their decisions.
15. Honest Tea
Mission statement: Honest Tea seeks to create and promote great-tasting, healthy, organic beverages. We strive to grow our business with the same honesty and integrity we use to craft our recipes, with sustainability and great taste for all.
Honest Tea’s mission statement aims to live up to their brand name.
It starts by explaining what it is they do, and by doing so, they also tell you what they don’t do: chemical-laden, artificially produced beverages.
They’re talking directly to their target market and conferring their key selling proposition: beverages that are great-tasting and healthy.
They go on to showcase their values by using words like honesty, integrity, and sustainability.
And this brand doesn’t just talk the talk – they walk the walk.
Each year, the company publishes a Mission Report in an effort to be transparent about their business practices.
Done right, mission and vision statements are powerful things.
They can unify an entire organization’s efforts and be the signpost that continually focuses everyone’s efforts on the things that truly matter.
The key to great mission and vision statements is clarity.
Remember, a mission statement is the “what” and the “how,” and the vision statement is the “why.”
Plus, it doesn’t matter how large or small your business is, every business can benefit from strong mission and vision statements.
If you’re considering writing a mission or vision statement for your business, start with your core values. Then, consider the wider impact you hope to have on the world through your customers.
What’s your business’s mission or vision statement? Let us know in the comments below!