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How to write a vision statement: Steps and examples

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The vision statement is designed to inspire employees, compel investors, and engage the imaginations of your customers. It paints a picture of your company's future and the impact you want your business to have on the world.

It takes work and creativity to write an inspiring vision statement. Here, we'll break down the elements of a great vision statement, guide you through the process, and walk through a few examples of excellent vision statements and explain what makes them great.

What is a vision statement?

A vision statement is your company’s guiding beacon. It zooms out to give perspective on the overarching reasons for your company's mission. Rather than articulating the specifics of your business operations, the vision statement describes how your company seeks to impact and improve the world around it.

Vision statement vs. mission statement

While both statements help define your company's character and personality, there are some key differences between a vision statement and a mission statement.

The mission statement describes what your company does in the present. It's comprised of three parts: what you do, how you do it, and why you do it. 

A vision statement outlines the company's long-term goals and aspirations for the future in terms of its long-term growth and impact on the world. Your mission defines what your organization does and what you stand for, while your vision statement speaks to your goals and ideals for the future. 

[inline illustration] Vision vs. mission statement (infographic)

Characteristics of a great vision statement

Vision statements are like snowflakes—each one is unique to its company in length, form, structure, and scope. Your vision statement should reflect your company's personality. However, there are a few traits that all great vision statements share. No matter how unique a statement is in terms of size, shape, or structure, a good vision statement should be:

The purpose of a vision statement is to inspire employees, investors, and customers to believe in your company's mission. Great vision statements are aspirational and ambitious. They convey a sense of passion for the ideal future toward which the company is working.

Though your vision needs to be ambitious in order to be inspiring, it shouldn't be so far out of reach that it feels impossible. You want to choose something that your company will have to strive for, but a completely unattainable goal isn't a vision—it's a fantasy.

A vision statement connects your company mission to your goals, but it isn’t a goal in and of itself. If your vision statement feels too finite or specifically achievable, try to zoom out and broaden the scope of your vision.

Don’t try to cram every detail of your vision into your vision statement—be strategic in selecting the ideas that feel the most relevant and compelling to your stakeholders . You might dream of someday having offices in every major city in the world, but your vision statement should focus on aspirations that speak to your company's mission and purpose.

[inline illustration] Characteristics of a great vision statement (infographic)

Vision statement writing tips

Here are a few best practices to keep in mind as you start writing your vision statement:

Collaborate. The vision statement should reflect the character of your entire company, and there's no better way to accomplish this than to write the statement alongside key members of your team. Gather leaders from across the organization to participate in vision statement brainstorms, and run drafts by these same people to get buy-in on your final vision statement.

Write first, edit later. Don't try to write a succinct, well-crafted vision statement right out of the gate. Put everything you think of down on paper, no matter how small. You may not see the value in a particular idea when it crosses your mind, but if you write it down anyway, it may spark better ideas later on.

Keep your own vision statement separate. Many people have personal vision statements that reflect their individual goals, and if you're a business owner, our own vision statement may overlap strongly with the vision of your company. It's important to keep your personal aspirations and your company's vision separate, so that your company's vision statement is something that your entire company can relate to and feel represented by. 

Avoid buzzwords and jargon. Using "industry-speak" makes a brand feel aloof and inaccessible, even to people within the industry. Plain language is always more powerful than jargon, so if you find yourself falling back on buzzwords, isolate the phrase in question and picture a friend or family member asking, "What does this actually mean?" Write or record the explanation you would give to that person and use that language to replace the buzzwords in your vision statement.

Avoid ambiguity. Vision statements don't have to be concrete the way a mission statement should be, but you want to avoid using words that could potentially be interpreted in a way that changes the entire vision statement's meaning. You won't be there to clarify or offer context to everyone who reads your statement, so it needs to be able to stand on its own.

7 steps to write your company's vision statement

There's a lot more to crafting a great vision statement than just writing a few sentences. In order to create a statement that's truly aspirational and inspiring, you're going to need to do a little bit of work. Here's our seven-step process to write a great vision statement:

1. Identify important stakeholders

Your vision statement speaks on behalf of your entire company, so make a list of co-founders, fellow executives, and high-level employees who can help you craft and refine your statement so that it represents your organization as a whole. Getting buy-in from company leaders is also a smart strategic move—the more they believe in the vision statement, the better they'll model it in their daily work and communicate it to their own departments and teams.

Make a second list of stakeholders that represent your vision statement's audience. This list may consist of personas rather than actual people, and should include:

Board members

Partner organizations

Different customer personas

Shareholders

Depending on your industry, this list may be longer or shorter; the main point is to write down a basic overview of the group of people you're writing for. If you're only thinking about your customers, your vision statement may not feel as relatable to employees or might not inspire potential funders to invest. Check your drafts against this list to make sure it feels applicable to all of your key stakeholders.

2. Start with a list of keywords

Ultimately, you're aiming to craft a few concise sentences—and the process of crafting those sentences will be a lot easier if you have a "word bank" of sorts to draw from as you write. Hold an open brainstorming session with your internal stakeholders to come up with a keyword list. 

Make sure your keyword list is comprehensive by subdividing it into smaller categories and making sure you have a good list of keywords for each. At a minimum, you should collect keywords related to:

Your product or service

Your mission and values

Your company's goals and initiatives

Your company's long-term strategic plan

Adjectives that describe your company, product, teams, community, and ideal future (e.g. expert, innovative, affordable, inspiring)

Adverbs that describe the way in which your company operates (e.g. flexibly, sustainably, cooperatively, fearlessly)

Just like your list of stakeholders, the number and type of keyword lists you should generate will vary depending on your industry and company. The important thing is to create a document filled with keywords that you can draw from as your writing, if you get stuck trying to communicate an idea, or if you need to replace some jargon-y text.

3. Answer foundational company questions

In addition to your keywords document, take time during your brainstorm to answer the following questions:

What is our organization’s main purpose?

What are our company’s main strengths?

What are our company values?

Why does what we’re building matter?

How do we want to make a difference as a company?

What is our vision for our company culture ?

What are our most ambitious goals?

What impact do we want our company to have on the world?

What are our company wants? What about company needs?

If our company succeeded in everything it set out to do, how would the world be different?

4. Sort your answers by importance

By the time you're finished brainstorming, you should have a lot of stuff written down.Put all of this content aside for a few days, so that your mind is clear when you return for the next step: deciding what goes in your vision statement and what gets left on the cutting room floor.

Sit down with your vision statement tiger team and a highlighter and review everything you have written down. Highlight ideas and phrases that your group feels are the most important to your company, and cross out items that you're ready to eliminate from consideration (however, don't throw this content out entirely—everything you brainstormed can be helpful in creating other important documents, like your core values, roadmap, or business plan). 

5. Write your company's vision out longform

At the end of step four, you'll have a smaller "word bank" of your most important phrases, ideas, keywords, and answers to foundational company questions. Your next step will be to organize these ideas into sentences that flow logically and are ordered according to your company's priorities.

Right now, don't worry about length—focus instead on communicating your vision in a way that makes sense, touches all of the key points you want to include, and feels relatable to your stakeholders and your audience. It's much easier to edit a long but comprehensive statement than it is to bulk up a statement that's missing pieces.

6. Step back and evaluate

Before you go through the work of editing your vision down to size, take a step back and look at your vision paragraph from afar. This is another point where you may benefit from setting it aside for a few days and returning with fresh eyes.

As you review your vision paragraph, check for the following things:

Is it ambitious enough? Your paragraph should feel aspirational, not like a finite goal to be accomplished.

Is it too ambitious? Make sure you strike a balance between idealistic and unrealistic.

Does it accurately reflect your organization? Run your paragraph by internal stakeholders who weren’t involved in creating it, and as for their feedback on what may be missing, what parts may be unnecessary, or how certain ideas may be phrased more effectively.

Does it make sense? Have friends and family members read your paragraph to confirm that it makes sense to the average reader.

7. Write your final vision statement

Once you've adjusted your vision paragraph and made the changes you wanted to make, it's time to edit your vision paragraph down to a vision statement. In many cases, your paragraph may naturally shrink as you solicit and implement feedback from others, and you may even want to specifically ask for opinions on how your paragraph could be more concise.

Here are a few ways to shorten your vision paragraph:

Eliminate what's unnecessary. Now that you've stepped away from your paragraph a few times and gotten a few rounds of feedback, are there any phrases or ideas that don't feel as necessary as they did when you wrote it? Cut any parts that feel lackluster or less impactful than the rest of the paragraph.

Look for synonyms. Are there any areas where you used several words to say something that there's already a word for? For example, you might replace the phrase "give people the ability to," with "provide access."

Edit each concept individually. Chop your paragraph into sentences and chop your sentences into phrases. Pick up each small segment on its own and see if you can come up with a shorter way to phrase it. It helps if you evaluate the smaller segments out of order—hopping around or going backwards piece by piece will help you notice things that your brain smooths over when you're reading a full sentence.

When your vision statement is finished, bring it back around to your stakeholders to get final feedback and make any finishing tweaks. 

Vision statement examples

There's no way around it—writing a vision statement is hard, especially if it's your first time doing so. Before you get started, or if you get stuck and need to spark some new ideas, take a look at some of these example vision statements for inspiration. 

Note that not all companies have both a mission and a vision statement. Some companies combine the two into a single small paragraph that touches on tangible objectives (mission) as well as more long-reaching aspirations (vision). In some cases, companies won't label either statement, encasing them in a broader page dedicated to "purpose," "who we are," or another similar title.

Here, we've gathered mission and vision statements for a few companies that have publicly set both. 

Mission: To act in the public interest, BBC serves all audiences through the provision of impartial, high-quality and distinctive output and services which inform, educate and entertain.

Vision: To be the most creative company in the world.

Mission: IKEA offers a wide range of well-designed, functional home furnishing products at low and accessible prices.

Vision: To create a better everyday life for the many people.

Southwest Airlines

Mission: Southwest connects people to what’s important in their lives through friendly, reliable, and low-cost air travel.

Vision: To become the world’s most loved, most flown, and most profitable airline.

Mission: Hasbro creates the world's best play and entertainment experiences.

Vision: To make the world a better place for all children, fans and families.

Mission: To make things universally accessible and useful, Google organizes the world's information.

Vision: To significantly improve the lives of as many people as possible.

Mission: To harness the next wave of innovation and solve customers’ toughest challenges, VMware uses disruptive technologies like edge computing, AI, blockchain, machine learning, Kubernetes, and more.

Vision: To build a sustainable, equitable and more secure future for all.

Use your vision statement to help you grow

A company's vision statement is a living document—it should adapt and change as your company achieves its business goals and sets new ones, grows in size, expands its offerings, and updates its mission. Revisit your vision statement once every year or so to make sure it still accurately reflects your company's ideal future; if not, adjust it! 

But for now, enjoy the fact that your vision statement is written. Share it with your team, announce it to your customers, and use it to proudly guide your company forward.

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What Is a Vision Statement?

Table of contents.

how to write a business plan vision statement

Writing a vision statement for your business can be challenging because it must define your company, values and future goals. While many established companies focus on their mission statement , a vision statement is a valuable tool for inspiring your team and forging a corporate identity. 

We’ll explore vision statements and their importance, as well as offer tools and best practices for crafting an inspiring vision statement that powers your growth strategy. 

What is a vision statement?

A vision statement is a written declaration clarifying your business’s meaning and purpose for stakeholders, especially employees. It describes the desired long-term results of your company’s efforts. For example, an early Microsoft vision statement was “a computer on every desk and in every home.” 

“A company vision statement reveals, at the highest levels, what an organization most hopes to be and achieve in the long term,” said Katie Trauth Taylor, owner and CEO of Untold Content, a writing consultancy. “It serves a somewhat lofty purpose – to harness all the company’s foresight into one impactful statement.” 

A vision statement matters because it outlines the common goal of everyone in the company. Businesses that are working toward a higher aspiration are more appealing to current and future employees. 

A vision statement can affect a company’s long-term success, so take the time to craft one that synthesizes your ambition and mobilizes your staff.

A vision statement can increase employee engagement while making it easier to hire new employees for a cultural fit .

What’s the difference between a vision statement and a mission statement?

Mission statements are based in the present and convey to stakeholders and community members why a business exists and where it currently stands. Vision statements are future-based, and they are meant to inspire and give direction to employees. 

“The vision is about your goals for the future and how you will get there, whereas the mission is about where you are now and why you exist,” said Paige Arnof-Fenn, founder and CEO of Mavens & Moguls, a global strategic marketing consulting firm. “The vision should motivate the team to make a difference and be part of something bigger than themselves.” 

Mission statements and vision statements are both crucial for building a brand . “While a mission statement focuses on the purpose of the brand, the vision statement looks to the fulfillment of that purpose,” said Jessica Honard, co-CEO of North Star Messaging + Strategy, a copywriting and messaging firm that serves entrepreneurs. 

Although mission and vision statements should be core elements of your organization, a vision statement should serve as your company’s guiding light. 

“A vision is aspiration; a mission is actionable,” said Jamie Falkowski, chief creative officer at marketing and communications company Day One Agency.

Creating the perfect vision statement may seem overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. Follow these suggestions and best practices when crafting your vision statement. 

Determine who will shape your vision. 

The first step in writing a vision statement is determining who will craft it. In a small business, you may be able to ask everyone for their insight. In a larger operation, you may need to be more selective while still capturing a range of employee voices.

Evaluate your company’s published materials. 

Your company likely already has published goals and established values in its employee handbook , marketing materials and other publications. Use this information to guide your work, suggested Alison Brehme, an author and content, marketing and media strategist.

“A company’s mission, purpose, goals and values are all involved in the creation of a company vision,” Brehme said. “Weave these concepts and beliefs into your vision statement.”

Hold workshops to brainstorm your vision. 

Brandon Shockley, former vice president of market research at branding and marketing firm 160over90 and now head of investor research and insights at Vanguard, recommended hosting workshops with key stakeholders representing a cross-section of your organization. Then, he said, assemble teams and use collaboration tools to create alternate versions of the statement, and gather employee feedback about how each version resonates. 

Get individual input. 

Falkowski also suggested conducting interviews with individual stakeholders to encourage honest feedback. Employees can identify common themes, describe the organization’s future in words or use visual branding tools as a basis for the vision statement. 

Check out competitors’ vision statements. 

Look at your competitors’ vision statements to determine how you can differentiate your business from theirs. [Related article: How to Do a Competitive Analysis ]

Keep it short but meaningful. 

A vision statement should be concise – no longer than a sentence or two. You want your entire organization to be able to repeat it quickly and, more importantly, understand it. However, a vision statement must be more than a catchy tagline.

“[It] can be smart and memorable, but this is for your team and culture, not for selling a specific product,” Falkowski said. 

Create a longer version for leadership’s eyes only. 

Don’t fret if you feel that a short vision statement doesn’t fully express the intricacies of your vision. You can create a longer version, but it should not be the one you broadcast to the world.

“Let’s be honest – most business leaders, not to mention boards of directors, won’t be able to sum up their vision in a pithy sentence or two. That’s OK,” said Shannon DeJong, owner of brand agency House of Who. “Have a full-length version of your vision for the leadership’s eyes only. Think of the long version as your reference guide to why you’re in business in the first place.” 

Map out your business’s biggest goals. 

When you’re crafting your vision statement, start by mapping out your business’s most audacious goals, Taylor suggested. “Reviewing your long-term goals in a collaborative setting will help you then zoom out on what your organization and the world will look like if you achieve them. That zoomed-out view of your success is really the heart of your vision statement.”

Consider your company’s potential global impact. 

Ask questions that reflect your business’s eventual scale and impact, Honard advised. “Once you’ve answered these questions, you’ve created a roadmap between your present and your future.”

These are a few of the questions Honard uses in guiding clients to identify their vision statement:

  • What ultimate impact do I want my brand to have on my community, my industry or the world?
  • In what way will my brand ultimately interact with customers and clients?
  • What will the culture of my business look like, and how will that play out in employees’ lives? 

Dream big. 

Don’t be afraid to dream big once you gather all the information and get down to writing. Don’t worry about practicality for now; what initially looks impossible may be achieved down the road with the right team and technologies. Work on shaping a vision statement that reflects the specific nature of your business and its aspirations. 

Be daring, not generic. 

Shockley said there’s nothing wrong with a vision statement that is daring, distinct or even disagreeable. “If a vision statement sets out a generic goal that anyone can agree with, it is likely to produce mediocre results. A goal like ‘delivering an exceptional experience’ applies equally to a hospital, bank or fitness club.” 

Consider creating a brand vision board. 

If you’re interested in taking your vision one step further, create a brand vision board, Taylor suggested. A vision board includes your company’s tagline, a “who we are” statement, a “what we do” section, a business vision statement, an overview of your ideal clients, client pain points, your content mission statement, advertising, products and SEO keywords.

“A vision board serves as a one-page business plan that anyone in a company can reference quickly to remember the key concepts that drive the work,” Taylor said.

Quick tips for your vision statement

Here’s a quick breakdown of what to do when formalizing your vision statement:

  • Project five to 10 years into the future.
  • Dream big, and focus on success.
  • Use the present tense.
  • Use clear, concise, jargon-free language.
  • Infuse it with passion, and make it inspiring.
  • Align it with your business values and goals.
  • Create a plan to communicate your vision statement to your employees.
  • Prepare to commit time and resources to the vision you establish. 

Your completed vision statement should offer a clear idea of your company’s path forward. Honard said many of her clients have used their vision statements to direct their overall plans for the future. For example, they’ve adopted new marketing initiatives to move them closer to their vision, pivoted their focus to clearly reflect their desired outcome, or doubled down on one particular aspect of their brand that is working to serve their vision.

When you’re setting business goals and taking actionable steps to achieve them, take time to visualize what your goal achievement will look like.

What to avoid when writing a vision statement

  • Don’t mix up your mission statement and vision statement. Mission statements are generally easier to write because they reflect what you’re doing now. Remember, a mission statement is what you are working to accomplish today, while a vision statement is what you want to accomplish in the future.
  • Don’t overthink your wording. One of the hardest parts of creating a vision statement is coming up with the right wording. You may find yourself endlessly rewriting and fretting about getting it right. Does this sentence or two define your values and shine a light on your corporate identity without sounding too vague? Don’t get lost in the pressure of perfect wording; a specific and unique vision statement is a good place to begin distinguishing your business from the rest of the industry. 

How to use your vision statement

Determine where your vision statement will appear and what role it will serve in your organization. This will make the process more than an intellectual exercise, Shockley said. It’s pointless to hang a vision statement in the lobby or promote it via your business’s social media channels if you never genuinely integrate it into your company culture . 

“The vision business statement should be thought of as part of your strategic plan,” Shockley said. “It is an internal communications tool that helps align and inspire your team to reach the company’s goals.” 

As such, you should view a vision statement as a living document that will be revisited and revised. Most importantly, it must speak directly to your employees. 

“If your employees don’t buy into the vision, you’ll never be able to carry it out,” said Keri Lindenmuth, director of marketing with the Kyle David Group, a web and tech solutions provider. “The vision statement should be something your employees believe in. Only then will they make decisions and take actions that reflect your business’s vision.”

Help employees take ownership of the vision by asking them to identify ways they could incorporate the vision statement into their daily jobs. Reward employees with cool job perks when you catch them exemplifying the vision.

20 examples of inspiring vision statements

Some memorable and distinct vision statements may be all the inspiration you need to write your own. Here are some of the best examples of inspiring vision statements: 

  • Amazon: “Our vision is to be earth’s most customer-centric company; to build a place where people can come to find and discover anything they might want to buy online.”
  • Ben & Jerry’s: “Making the best ice cream in the nicest possible way.”
  • Caterpillar: “Our vision is a world in which all people’s basic needs – such as shelter, clean water, sanitation, food, and reliable power – are fulfilled in an environmentally sustainable way, and a company that improves the quality of the environment and the communities where we live and work.”
  • Cradles to Crayons: “Provides children from birth through age 12, living in homeless or low-income situations, with the essential items they need to thrive – at home, at school, and at play.”
  • Google: “To provide access to the world’s information in one click.”
  • Habitat for Humanity: “A world where everyone has a decent place to live.”
  • Hilton Hotels & Resorts: “To fill the earth with the light and warmth of hospitality by delivering exceptional experiences – every hotel, every guest, every time.”
  • IKEA: “To create a better everyday life for the many people.”
  • Intel: “If it’s smart and connected, it’s best with Intel.”
  • LinkedIn: “Create economic opportunity for every member of the global workforce.”
  • Oxfam: “To be a self-organized people actively creating a just democratic and sustainable world where power and resources are shared, everyone lives in dignity, and poverty and inequality are no more.”
  • Patagonia: “Build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis.”
  • Prezi: “To reinvent how people share knowledge, tell stories, and inspire their audiences to act.”
  • Samsung: “Shape the future with innovation and intelligence.”
  • Southwest Airlines: “To become the world’s most loved, most flown and most profitable airline.”
  • Sweetgreen: “To inspire healthier communities by connecting people to real food.”
  • TED: “We believe passionately in the power of ideas to change attitudes, lives, and, ultimately, the world.”
  • Walgreens: “To be America’s most-loved pharmacy-led health, well-being and beauty company.”
  • Warby Parker: “We believe that buying glasses should be easy and fun.”
  • Wyeth: “Our vision is to lead the way to a healthier world.”

Often, the hardest part of creating a vision statement is coming up with wording that truly defines your values and shines a light on your corporate identity without sounding too vague.

Can vision statements change?

Many companies benefit from having a vision statement from their inception, but it’s perfectly acceptable not to commit to one specific vision immediately. 

“Getting too tied into one master statement can really mess with the learning and creation process in the early stages,” said Sonia Elyss, president of marketing and communications collective Round Twelve. She encourages her clients to write a vision statement monthly, save the previous drafts, and see what sticks and what doesn’t over time. 

“After the first year, you can look back and see how much you have evolved,” Elyss said. “What parts or words within the statement stuck around, and what was dropped? Those key words tend to end up being major brand pillars you can always come back to and eventually become part of the brand ethos.” 

Tying yourself to a particular vision statement in the early days of your business may limit your opportunities for growth or blind you to the need for change. 

“At the end of the day, trust your gut; test and check; look at the analytics; invest in the feedback your customer is giving you,” Elyss said. “If you aren’t willing to step outside of your initial vision for your business, you might miss a huge opportunity!” 

Regardless of how many years you have been in business or how long you have had your vision statement, you’re not stuck with it. Don’t be afraid to change it – even if you spent time and money developing it – if it stops feeling right. 

The vision for your vision statement

A vision statement is a tool that can help your business grow and achieve brand success. Along the journey of growing your business, you’ll face good months, rough months, and every detour and roadblock imaginable. 

Above all, your vision statement should constantly remind you and your team of the end goal. This message is important to hold on to, especially on the most challenging days. 

Bassam Kaado and Paula Fernandes contributed to the writing and reporting in this article. Source interviews were conducted for a previous version of this article.

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22 vision statement examples to help you write your own.

When launching a startup, founders typically have an idea of what they want to achieve — a vision of what success will look like. During the strategic planning process, it’s important to put this vision into concrete terms. Not only does a vision statement clarify your thoughts, but it helps employees and stakeholders understand what the business has set out to accomplish. No matter what the business, a good mission and vision statement can inspire and motivate employees to make that vision a reality.

Whether it’s your first or fifth business, writing a compelling vision statement can be challenging. Below, we'll share how to write a vision statement — one that inspires your employees and positively impacts your business — and we'll look at a few vision statement examples to help you get started. 

What is a vision statement? 

A personal mission statement and personal vision statement can be used to guide our decision-making and help us stay focused to meet our long-term goals. Company statements are no different. A company vision statement is one of your most important business documents, along with your mission statement and core values. Although it’s easy to confuse the three, each one is unique and serves its own purpose. 

Core values are the organization’s long-term beliefs and principles that guide employee behavior. A mission statement deals with “why” an organization exists, while a vision statement outlines “what” that existence will eventually look like. A mission statement has to do with what the organization is doing in the present, while a vision statement focuses on the future. Mission statement examples include L’Oreal’s “Offering all women and men worldwide the best of cosmetics innovation in terms of quality, efficacy, and safety.” Conversely, Disney’s vision for itself is “to be one of the world’s leading producers and providers of entertainment and information.”

Primarily intended for internal employees and shareholders, a vision statement describes what an organization aspires to be. It helps to think of a vision statement as part roadmap, part inspiration. By outlining a long-term vision, rather than just short-term goals, a vision statement helps give the organization shape and purpose. 

Why it’s important to have a vision statement.

Despite the importance of a vision statement, many companies choose to operate without one. Some simply combine their mission and vision into one general document. Others do away with the idea altogether, thinking that corporate visions are vague statements that serve no actual purpose. 

Furthermore, studies show that highly aligned organizations grow revenue 58% faster, and are 72% more profitable than ones that are unaligned. If an organization doesn’t have a vision or a clear idea of what it wants, it will greatly limit its opportunities and have a difficult time inspiring employees to stay committed.  

How to write a vision statement.

Writing a vision statement may seem like a daunting task. It’s read by every employee and shareholder, and greatly impacts the success of the organization. And a vision statement takes time and thought. When done well, a vision statement can provide the encouragement your company needs to achieve its goals. To streamline the process, keep the following steps in mind while crafting your vision statement:

1. Determine who will help write your vision statement.

When starting out, it’s likely you and your partners will be responsible for writing your company’s vision statement. Once you start hiring, you can ask managers and employees to contribute additional insights. Interviewing a range of individuals will help create a vision statement that integrates and speaks directly to the entire organization. 

2. Project your goals for the future.

Imagine your company five or ten years down the line. The outcome you envision — your dream for the future, your success as a company — should be captured in the vision statement. Keep in mind that the statement should only include the vision, not an actual step-by-step plan for implementing solutions. 

The following questions can help you clarify your vision: 

  • Where do we want the organization to go? 
  • What can we realistically achieve?
  • What problem does the organization intend to solve?
  • What are the changes we believe the organization can make for individuals? For the industry? 
  • How will things be different if the vision is realized?
  • What phrases or keywords describe the type of organization and outcome we want?

3. Stick to the specifics.

A generic vision statement — one that sounds like it could apply to any company — will not be enough to motivate your team. Vision works best when it’s specific and describes an end goal only your organization can provide. Don’t be afraid to dream big. A lukewarm vision will only yield lukewarm results. So it’s important to be bold, and even risky, when writing your vision statement. 

4. Keep it short and simple.

While it should be specific, a vision statement shouldn’t be overly detailed. It should be concise. Start by jotting down all of your ideas, and then pare those down to the essentials. Keeping just one or two key points helps create a clear vision that’s easy for everyone to focus on and fulfill. Stay away from technical terms and jargon, and use the present tense. Rather than trying to write something catchy, aim for clarity. A great vision statement works best when it’s simple, memorable, and inspirational. 

Revisit your vision often as your company evolves.

A vision statement sets an organization’s sights on the future. However, once that future is reached, the vision needs to continue moving forward. Your vision statement is a living document, not a set of static sentences. It plays an important part in your overall strategic plan for a certain time frame. It should therefore be regularly updated to reflect your organization’s current purpose. 

Constantly communicate your vision.

Once you have a vision statement that articulates your end goal, make sure it’s clearly communicated. A vision is more effective when your entire organization takes it to heart. Commit the proper resources and time toward realizing the vision you’ve set. This can mean investing in seminars and training or launching a new product. It can also include offering the lowest possible prices, entering new markets, or exploring other areas of opportunity. A good way to help everyone align with a company's vision statement is by inviting them into the process. Ask for employees’ input, and suggest ways to incorporate the vision into their work. Then, make sure to recognize or reward individuals for their standout contributions.

Vision statement examples.

Sometimes, seeing what works for notable companies is just the inspiration you need to create your own vision statement. Below are some inspiring vision statements from today’s top companies:

Concept-based vision statements.

Some vision statements are based on concepts of what the company hopes to be or achieve in the future. This can be a general statement focused on customers, or a position the company wants to hold within the industry. Below are a few examples of concept-based vision statements:

  • BBC: “To be the most creative organization in the world”
  • Disney: “To make people happy.”
  • Google: “To provide access to the world’s information in one click”
  • IKEA: “To create a better everyday life for the many people”
  • Instagram: “Capture and share the world’s moments”
  • LinkedIn: "Create economic opportunity for every member of the global workforce”
  • Microsoft: “To help people throughout the world realize their full potential”
  • Nike: “To bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world”
  • Oxfam: “A just world without poverty”
  • Shopify: “To make commerce better for everyone”
  • Sony: "To be a company that inspires and fulfills your curiosity.”
  • TED: “Spread ideas”
  • Tesla: “To accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy”
  • Uber: “We ignite opportunity by setting the world in motion”
  • Whole Foods : “To nourish people and the planet.”

Quality-based vision statements.

Other common vision statements are focused on internal goals. These include the type of products and services the company hopes to provide as they grow. Quality-based vision statements can also relate to company culture and operations. The following are some examples from actual United States companies in different industries:

  • Amazon: “Our vision is to be earth’s most customer-centric company, where customers can find and discover anything they might want to buy online.”
  • Avon: “ To be the company that best understands and satisfies the product, service, and self-fulfillment needs of women—globally.”
  • Ben & Jerry’s: “Making the best ice cream in the nicest possible way”
  • Ford: “People working together as a lean, global enterprise to make people’s lives better through automotive and mobility leadership.” 
  • IBM: “To be the world’s most successful and important information technology company. Successful in helping our customers apply technology to solve their problems. Successful in introducing this extraordinary technology to new customers. Important because we will continue to be the basic resource of much of what is invested in this industry.”
  • McDonald’s: “To move with velocity to drive profitable growth and become an even better McDonald’s serving more customers delicious food each day around the world.”
  • Nordstrom: “To serve our customers better, to always be relevant in their lives, and to form lifelong relationships”
  • Starbucks: “To establish Starbucks as the premier purveyor of the finest coffee in the world while maintaining our uncompromising principles while we grow.” 
  • Warby Parker: “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.”
  • Zappos: “To provide the best customer service possible. Deliver 'WOW' through service”

Keep a clear vision.

Even if it’s just a few sentences, a vision statement provides a lot of value. Not only does it outline the company’s desired outcome, but it can communicate intentions and hopes for the future. The best part is that a vision statement changes with your organization. When a vision is reached or updated, it’s time to create a new vision statement. This encourages everyone toward greater goals, and opens your company to more possibilities.

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