Do you have a brand vision statement? Learn what brand vision really is, why brands need it, and how to define your own in this blog post!
Every week, my son’s grade school class gets assigned a personal writing prompt from the teacher.
It helps develop their confidence and self-awareness.
One of my favorite prompts was:
“What are you REALLY good at?”
This made me smile because I can’t recall the last time an adult decided they’re really good at this particular thing.
And you might think imagining is just for kids.
But as a business owner building a brand, you need to be able to imagine.
Especially for the future.
Imagination is essential for successful growth, expansion, and innovation.
Whether you realize it or not, you’re imagining every day as you are problem-solving to develop solutions.
You imagine when you create content to entertain or inform your audience.
You’re imagining when you are developing your brand strategy.
Behind every extraordinary, world-class brand is a strong vision that is born from what could be imagined.
If you’re thinking:
“We want to be extraordinary – we need a vision!”
Then you’re in the right place – in this post, I’m covering it all:
- What is a brand vision?
- What happens without a brand vision?
- Vision statement vs. mission statement
- 9 inspiring brand vision examples
- How to write a vision statement (5 steps)
Let’s dive in!
What is brand vision?
Brand vision is the aspirational future your business aims to achieve in the world.
This is where you imagine something as if it were to be true at some undefined point in time.
(Need more context? Think five to ten years out.)
A brand vision sends inspirational signals to your audience, attracts their attention, and allows them to connect with your company to develop deep loyalty.
A big added benefit:
It also energizes and inspires employees.
Your vision should differentiate your business from others.
Ultimately, you want someone to hear your brand vision statement and think “wow, I need this brand in my life!”
As a business owner, you have to be able to dream bigger and envision what is possible if you keep working towards it with a concerted effort.
The “Father of Modern Branding,” David Aaker, says:
“When the brand vision clicks, it reflects and supports the business strategy, differentiates from competitors, resonates with customers, energizes and inspires employees and partners, and precipitates a gush of ideas for marketing programs.
When absent or superficial, the brand will drift aimlessly and marketing programs are likely to be inconsistent and ineffective.”
(By the way, why isn’t there a Mother of Branding? Hmm…)
The brand vision is not about what you sell. It’s more about the impact that you can make in the long term.
What happens without a brand vision?
To reiterate Aaker’s thought above:
Without a vision, your brand will drift aimlessly and your marketing programs are likely to be inconsistent and ineffective.
Our recent client had been in business for over ten years and going through the motions without fully understanding why he was doing it – this kept his growth stifled and stagnant.
He was drifting aimlessly.
It frustrated the heck out of him because he was such an expert in his field and had the skills to prove it.
But there was no destination for him to get to – he was just “doing things” instead of being purposeful about where he wanted to go.
After going through the framework in our brand coaching program, the difference was dramatic.
His mind had shifted, and his efforts became future-focused. In fact, after the process he exclaimed:
“It feels really good to have found the path again, and have goals to track along the way for the future growth I can now achieve. I’m making my business what it should have been when I started it.”
Are there businesses and organizations running without a clear vision statement, or even a brand vision developed?
Are they possibly behind the eight ball when it comes to understanding exponential brand growth for the long term?
You see – without vision:
❌ You’re staying stuck or doing the same things that aren’t producing results.
❌ You don’t advance your ability to produce and deliver to new levels.
❌ People won’t stick around – they might buy once, but not over and over.
❌ Your team can’t help shape your brand in a way that is meaningful for them.
❌ New talent isn’t excited to join a company with short-term thinking.
Did you think “ugh” in your mind while reading all those? (Even I did, as I wrote them.)
You might have avoided the thought process or creation of your brand vision up to this point.
You’re not alone.
About 90% of the business owners who come to my branding agency for help are fuzzy on this or simply haven’t had the time to work on it.
The other 10% still need a reset or some tweaking because they’ve exclaimed their vision as “to be the best [insert industry] company in the world” — just NO, okay?
The thing is:
Your brand vision is a critical component of developing the substance and meaning behind your brand strategy.
You need to take the time to do your business justice and think about it if you plan to be around for more than 5 – 10 years.
(Short-term plans anyone? This isn’t for you.)
Vision is one of the key ideas developed to pave way for clarity, confidence, and consistency needed to build a long-term, future-proof brand.
Mark Lipton, Author and Graduate Professor of Management at The New School and Parsons School of Design (my alma mater!) explains what many visions lack:
“Typically, visions are not far-reaching enough, not big enough. Often, a vision is so generic that people cannot latch onto it, they can’t feel it in their heart and gut.
And even when there’s a good vision, it’s guaranteed to fail miserably if senior management doesn’t walk the talk.”
Vision Statement vs Mission Statement
People often confuse vision statement vs mission statement, but they both have their place as you are developing your brand.
Vision = long-term impact
Mission = objectives and approach
Below are the differences between the related core brand statements that you can develop to explain who your brand is to the world, and WHY it exists.
Purpose – Why you exist beyond making money
Vision – What future you want to help create
Mission – How you create that future you envision
Values – What you believe in and stand for
If your brand purpose guides you, your brand vision is a destination at a point in the near or distant future.
Vision defines an end goal and sets the expectation of what happens when you arrive there. It keeps you on the path to fulfill your purpose.
When you think vision vs. mission – your brand mission is the path that will get you to accomplish your vision. Think of it as a roadmap for your destination.
And your brand values are beliefs that are prompting you to do the right thing along the journey.
9 Inspiring Brand Vision Examples
You didn’t think I’d leave you hanging without any vision statement examples from established brands, did you?
Below, take a look at the vision statements from some of the biggest brands in the world.
For fun, I’m including the brand vision examples and what they actually sell – so that you can see the relationship between the two!
Google Vision Statement:
To provide access to the world’s information in one click.
What they sell:
A search engine, advertising, software, hardware, and cloud computing
Nike Vision Statement:
Bring inspiration to every athlete* in the world.
(*If you have a body, you are an athlete.)
What they sell:
Athletic footwear, apparel, accessories, and equipment
Tesla Vision Statement:
To accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy.
What they sell:
Electric vehicles, energy generation and storage systems
Microsoft Vision Statement:
Empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.
What they sell:
Personal computers and devices, servers, cloud computing, software
LinkedIn Vision Statement:
Create economic opportunity for every member of the global workforce.
What they sell:
Free and premium subscriptions of their professional networking platform, sales solutions, advertising (also owned by Microsoft!)
Harley Davidson Vision Statement:
To fulfill dreams through the experience of motorcycling.
What they sell:
Do you see any similarities across the above vision statement examples?
Here’s what I see:
- Clear but descriptive
- Future tense
- Ambitious and bold
- Not about themselves
Check yourself against the criteria above when you go ahead to write your brand vision statement.
Caring Cross Vision Statement:
Empowering each other to create a just world without disease.
What they sell:
This is a non-profit dedicated to creating cures for serious diseases.
Sowilo Yoga Towel Vision Statement:
To make mind-body practices a familiar lifestyle choice that impacts future generations.
What they sell:
Yoga towels and accessories.
Rent-A-Towel Vision Statement:
Evolve the hospitality experience through innovation and responsible partnerships.
What they sell:
Linen rental services for hotels
How to Write a Vision Statement (5 Steps)
You learned the importance of brand vision and how it can give your business an edge for the long term—so that you can capture more market share, inspire employees, and foster customer loyalty.
So what are you waiting for?
Here’s a vision statement exercise for you to understand how to write a vision statement for your business –
First, put your Visionary hat on (naturally).
Close your eyes and clear your mind.
And then imagine the possibility that your brand brings to the future.
If you’re standing on the ground and looking straight down, visualize a long line drawn from your feet out into the horizon…there’s something in the distance, but years away.
You can barely see it, but you are determined to get to that place.
Think about your business brand many, many years from now.
➡️ What does it look like if you were able to serve an extraordinary amount of people?
(…more than you ever thought possible…)
➡️ What would result if every single person in your ideal audience could benefit from your product or service?
Get aspirational, and think big.
Bigger than your immediate surroundings, bigger than your current mindset.
➡️ What can you do for the world?
Follow these five steps for a mini brand vision workshop:
1. Start imagining into the future to formulate ideas for the vision statement behind your brand; think 5 – 10 years out.
2. Document the brand vision ideas on your own, or with your leadership team. Brainstorm ideas on the wall or window – get those Post-it Notes out!
3. Begin your statement with a powerful action verb, and include a powerful outcome that is bold and future-thinking. This should be a short phrase.
4. Come back to your ideas after stepping away – this may not be something that can be done in one sitting or one meeting.
5. Discuss, refine, and commit to the idea.
You’re on your way to writing your brand vision statement.
Conclusion: Brand Vision Drives Growth
An inspiring vision statement is a short phrase describing a future, someday, aspirational state that you work towards achieving.
(This is not to be confused with a mission statement – a now, everyday, commitment to achieving your vision.)
Vision is a core component of your business brand strategy.
As visionary leaders, we need to keep consciously dreaming to advance our business, influence our industry, and impact more people in the world.
Let’s make ‘imagining’ something we’re really good at, just like we were as a kid.
I’ll leave you with the words of one of my favorite mentors, Simon Sinek:
“We have to dream. How else will we make a future that does not yet exist?”
Need guidance with developing your strategic brand vision statement? We cover this and a whole lot more in the Stand Out Brand program. Apply for an invite today!
What is your biggest takeaway from this article on brand vision?
Share in the comments below!
FreshSparks is a branding agency specializing in brand strategy and brand identity. We can help you excel with your positioning, point of view, and presentation to make an impact on the right people from awareness to conversion to retention. It’s the perfect mix of creating a lasting, profitable brand with purpose.
Contact us to learn more.
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