By definition, vision statements and mission statements are two completely separate things, but that doesn’t stop many organizations from using them interchangeably or combining them to express their current purpose, as well as their vision for the future.
Organizations of all sizes and types have invested the time to craft vision statements. Some are short and direct, like the following vision statement examples that get right to the point:
Harvard Business School – We educate leaders who make a difference in the world.
Pfizer Inc. – To be the premier, innovative biopharmaceutical company.
Literature & Latte – Literature & Latte is committed to making the best writing software possible.
Manchester United Ltd. – Our vision is to be the best football club in the world, both on and off the pitch.
In these vision statement examples, you don’t see grandiose verbiage or a detailed outline explaining the future direction of the company. The statement is simply, “Here’s what we do or what we’re going to do.”
Other organizations take a more tactical approach to crafting their vision statements. See the following vision statements examples:
VitalChurch Ministry – To revitalize churches in crisis or transition and see them reconciled and restored to unity, with gifted leadership in place, gospel values embedded, effective governance, and an exciting mission agreed on.
IKEA – At IKEA our vision is to create a better everyday life for the many people. Our business idea supports this vision by offering 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.
The Gorilla Glue Company – On a mission to make products that deliver impressive results, the company has since expanded its offerings to include Gorilla Tape®, Gorilla® Super Glue, Gorilla® Wood Glue, Gorilla® Epoxy and Gorilla® Construction Adhesive. At Gorilla, we believe in high-quality products and choose to only put the Gorilla logo on products that meet rigorous development standards.
Apimac – Apimac is an app company dedicated to create Mac and iOS only software. People at Apimac aim to put in your hands software which you can use in a way you do things every day.
The three vision statements above not only provide direction for stakeholders in the organization, but also give outsiders insight into what the organization is actually about and what they do.
Many organizational vision statements are written with the implied purpose of providing guidance to the organization—an internal-centric approach—with no regard to outside stakeholders or potential customers, like the following:
New Belgium Brewing Company – To manifest our love and talent by crafting our customers’ favorite brands and proving business can be a force for good.
Nippon Sigmax Co. – As a corporation, we are dedicated to contributing to better physical wellness and long-term health, Sigmax strives to earn the satisfaction and loyalty from our customers in the medical, sports and healthcare fields. We are committed to providing superior quality products and services, in order to achieve consistent growth and contribution to society.
Raymond James & Associates – Our business is people and their financial well-being. Therefore, in the pursuit of our goals, we will conduct ourselves in accordance with the following precepts: Our clients always come first.
InMotion Hosting – We understand business. We have stood by this statement since our inception in 2001. Because of this, we have been rewarded by a loyal customer base that includes over 300,000 domains and counting.
Other firms prefer to take a more external approach and develop vision statements that address the company’s external position or their vision in relation to the industry in which they operate.
Ebay – Our vision for commerce is one that is enabled by people, powered by technology, and open to everyone.
Moz – Power the shift from interruption to inbound marketing by giving every marketer affordable software to measure and improve their efforts.
Kaiser Permanente – We are trusted partners in total health, collaborating with people to help them thrive and creating communities that are among the healthiest in the nation.
Twitter, Inc. – To give everyone the power to create and share ideas and information instantly, without barriers.
Some companies offer insights into their business goals and plans for the future in their vision statements, crafting phrases with descriptives that express achievement, progress, and scope. They use words like: leading, highest, success, high-performance, highest quality, innovative, and worldwide or global.
Bass Pro Shop – To be the leading merchant of outdoor recreational products, inspiring people to love, enjoy, and conserve the great outdoors.
Honda – Maintaining a global viewpoint, we are dedicated to supplying products of the highest quality, yet at a reasonable price for worldwide customer satisfaction.
Elmer Products – To help people create, build and learn for life. From teachers to woodworkers, and DIY’ers to Crafters, Elmer’s has a product line specially designed to meet changing consumer needs and to help ensure successful results.
Rawlings Sporting Goods – Rawlings’ mission has always centered on enabling participation by developing and producing innovative, high-performance equipment and protective apparel for the professional, amateur and entry-level player.
The vision statement examples listed above illustrate clearly that there is more than one way to utilize a vision statement. There are high-quality vision statements that serve many different purposes and achieve different results based on the goal of the individual organization. What vision do you have for the future of your small business? Let that be your guide in creating the perfect vision statement for your organization.