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What Is a Vision Statement? Definition and Examples

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By David Tomas, on 8 June 2021

What is a vision statement? A vision statement helps a brand define its values and guides the way it does business. Customers are loyal to brands that have a strong vision or mission because it’s something they can relate to. Think about brands you’re loyal to. Do they align with your values? Do they represent your generation and your ethics? It’s likely that the brands you stick with share some of your beliefs and principles and show this in their marketing and in the way they create their products or services.

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Vision statement

While people also stay loyal to businesses that are affordable and consistently deliver on their promises, it’s these connections that create lasting customer/brand relationships. People want to be inspired and your brand needs to generate an emotional response. A vision statement is an extremely important (but often overlooked) step in creating any business. In this post, we’ll share some of the benefits and examples of vision statements.

Vision Statement Definition

A vision statement defines what a company wants to be and how they want to impact the world. Every business wants to make a profit of course, but a vision statement clarifies the difference a brand wants to make in society as a whole. Brands have many motives for doing business but a vision statement is something customers can get behind. Outdoor clothing brand Patagonia’s vision statement is a great encapsulation of what they stand for and their intention.

“Build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis.”

Vision statements and mission statements are often used interchangeably but there is a difference. A mission statement can be described as the actions or plans used to realize the vision. A mission statement describes what's happening now while a vision statement describes what will happen in the future as a result.

What Are the Benefits of a Vision Statement?

Vision statements have become even more important lately as more brands tackle social and environmental issues as part of their overall vision. Consumers are demanding and many expect businesses to take a stance on current issues. In general, a company’s vision aligns with a greater cause that also resonates with its customers.

Here are a few more benefits a vision statement gives brands.

Creating a Unified Direction

Employees need something to get behind. If people only work for a paycheck and nothing more, a business will eventually suffer low productivity and a lack of enthusiasm which will be passed down to the customer. A vision statement clarifies the greater goal and unites workers towards creating something better and bigger than themselves.

Building Community

One of the most powerful ways to build a strong customer base is through the community. We all love to connect and share with like-minded people and a clear vision statement is something that customers can get behind. A strong vision brings customers and employees together who share a common interest. This in turn creates a community, something we all desire to be a part of in some way.

Creating Differentiation

Vision statements are an excellent way for businesses to stand out. A unique and compelling vision statement can transmit your values, humor, goals and so much more. Ben and Jerry’s makes ice cream like dozens or even hundreds of other companies, but it’s their style and playfulness that customers love. They bring a friendly and relaxed vibe that is communicated through their simple yet powerful vision statement: "Making the best ice cream in the nicest possible way."

Examples of Vision Statements

Now that we’ve covered what a vision statement is, how it differs from a mission statement, and why it's important, let’s look at examples of well-known brands with clear and compelling vision statements. We hope you can gain some inspiration to create or improve your vision for your brand.

Amazon: "To be Earth's most customer-centric company where customers can 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 longstanding commitment to sustainability inspires us to improve the quality of the environment and the communities where we live and work and provide products and services that help our customers fulfill society’s basic needs—such as shelter, clean water, sanitation, food and reliable power—in a sustainable way."

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."

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

LinkedIn: "Create economic opportunity for every member of the global workforce."

Prezi: “To reinvent how people share knowledge, tell stories, and inspire their audiences to act.”

Samsung: "Inspire the world, create the future."

Smithsonian: "By 2022, the Smithsonian will build on its unique strengths to engage and to inspire more people, where they are, with greater impact, while catalyzing critical conversation on issues affecting our nation and the world."

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."

Walgreens: "To be America's most-loved pharmacy-led health, well-being and beauty company."

Warby Parker: "To offer designer eyewear at a revolutionary price, while leading the way for socially conscious businesses."

Wyeth: "To lead the way to a healthier world. By carrying out this vision at every level of our organization, we will be recognized by our employees, customers, and shareholders as the best pharmaceutical company in the world, resulting in value for all."

Vision statements are powerful vehicles for driving your brand in the right direction. They share your intentions and values in a way that unites customers and employees while building community. A vision statement reminds you why you’re in business in the first place and can give meaning to all that hard work even when times are tough.

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David Tomas

CEO y cofundador de Cyberclick. Cuenta con más de 20 años de experiencia en el mundo online. Es ingeniero y cursó un programa de Entrepreneurship en MIT, Massachusetts Institute of Technology. En 2012 fue nombrado uno de los 20 emprendedores más influyentes en España, menores de 40 años, según la Global Entrepreneurship Week 2012 e IESE. Autor de "La empresa más feliz del mundo" y "Diario de un Millennial".

CEO and co-founder of Cyberclick. David Tomas has more than 20 years of experience in the online world. He is an engineer and completed an Entrepreneurship program at MIT, Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In 2012 he was named one of the 20 most influential entrepreneurs in Spain, under the age of 40, according to Global Entrepreneurship Week 2012 and IESE. Author of "The Happiest Company in the World" and "Diary of a Millennial".