Whoever we are, whatever we want to be – we all need long-term goals. Whether it’s shedding a few pounds, winning that promotion at work, or securing a date with our dream person, we all need those “North Stars” propelling us in the right direction.
And, as it turns out, so do the world’s biggest brands. Only for them, those long-term goals take tangible, concrete shape in the form of “vision statements”.
Vision statements are those compasses, those constellations, those signposts. They’re written, formalized expressions of a company’s aspirations and ambitions – designed to inspire staff, stakeholders, and customers alike. These days, they’re crucial for building brands online – and if your business doesn’t have one, you’re missing a trick.
Fret not, though – we’ve assembled our top 10 vision statement examples to inspire you. From Tesla and Uber to Oxfam and Nike, the 10 visions below serve as remarkable, rousing examples of how a single statement can fill the hearts of a customer with passion – and even engender lifetime loyalty.
But first – what is a vision statement, exactly?
A vision statement is a short summary of a company’s overarching goal or aspirations. Typically, they’re ambitious: with a broader, less concrete scope than other types of goals. (Like the more measurable Key Performance Indicators, or SMART objectives.)
“Increase our revenue by 20% by the end of 2025”, for instance, would make a great success metric for a business – just not such a good vision statement.
Vision statements need to inspire; to compel. They need to be things a company can work towards each day, rather than an attainable target. In this sense, they’re more like guiding philosophies for a brand – something to strive for, rather than tick off a to-do list.
There aren’t many hard and fast rules for vision statements – nor anything that has to be included at all costs.
But a good place to start is to remember your motivations for going into business. (Beyond profits, that is!) Was there something specific you wanted to achieve? A particular group of people you wanted to serve? And if so, for what reason?
With this in mind, divide your vision statement up into three key sections:
- The what: what does your business do? Think beyond “selling toilet paper”, and focus on the benefits to your customers; your brand’s point of difference.
- The how: how does your product (let’s stick with toilet paper) add value to your customers’ lives on a daily basis? How is it any different from other, similar products out there?
- The why: why do you even do it? Trace your brand back to its earliest days, when it was just an idea floating around in your brain. Why did you choose this idea to develop into a business? And what drives you to keep at it?
Started to think about your own vision statement, and what it should include?
Good. Now, it’s time for some learnings from the biggest, most prominent brands in the world. So read on – we’re unpacking our 10 best vision statement examples, below.
“To create a better everyday life for the many people.”
Anyone that’s ever spent hours assembling a piece of IKEA furniture may disagree, but IKEA’s vision is, in fact, to create a better everyday life for its customers.
Jokes aside, IKEA does do just that – and its brand has become not only a household name (geddit?) but one essentially synonymous with home essentials and basic, affordable furniture.
And it’s this reputation that the philosophy of IKEA’s vision statement taps into. Creating nicer homes, improved feng shui – and better lives.
To bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world.”
The best vision statements aren’t simply motivating – they speak directly to their target audience. In this case, for Nike, it specifies its audience: every athlete in the world.
Yet the best vision statements are also alliterative, and Nike – inspiring, innovation – has that down pat too. (We could also add “intense”, “immediate”, and “invigorating” to that list – you get the idea!).
Balancing the simple with the sublime, Nike sports a short, sleek vision statement that lives long in the memory – fuelling a brand that continues to define whole generations of athletes.
“To help people and businesses throughout the world realize their full potential.”
Some vision statements are very literal, while others are purposefully vague, or deliberately metaphorical in nature. Microsoft’s vision statement is of the latter variety, with its (highly open-to-interpretation) goal of empowering people to “realize their full potential.”
The beauty of this vision statement? That no one can claim that Microsoft isn’t doing exactly that for its customers! In that sense, this vision statement is cheeky – but it’s also a brilliant piece of marketing that continues to deliver for one of the world’s most powerful brands. (Look no further than Microsoft’s record takings from 2022 for proof of that!)
“To create the most compelling car company of the 21st century by driving the world’s transition to electric vehicles.”
Before Tesla came to be defined by its wacky CEO and his social-media-platform-takeover antics, it was actually doing some interesting stuff with electric vehicles – and has the vision statement to back it up.
Easily the most ambitious, aspirational vision statement on this list (perhaps ever), Tesla isn’t content to settle with helping an individual person, or set of customers, reach their goals. It’s got its eyes on redefining a whole century’s worth of the automotive industry – and driving the world’s green transition in the process.
It’s the right mix of ingredients: a lot of confidence, a little arrogance, and a sprinkling of sustainability peppered in. Vision statements don’t come much better than this!
“To create a world without poverty through advocacy, development, and humanitarian work.”
When there are so many vision statements that feel vague, “wishy-washy”, or non-committal, one as direct and straight-talking as Oxfam’s is a refreshing change.
Oxfam’s vision is simple and humbling – to create a world without poverty. In a world with too much poverty (and too many companies overpromising with grandiose or misleading vision statements) such a pledge is a welcome tonic.
“To entertain, inform, and inspire people around the globe through the power of unparalleled storytelling, reflecting the iconic brands, creative minds, and innovative technologies that make ours the world’s premier entertainment company.”
For starters, let’s address the Dumbo in the room – at 32 words, Disney’s vision statement is long. Normally, we prefer the shorter kind. Vision statements are, after all, supposed to be memorable – and few people (no matter how Disney-obsessed) are likely to remember one so verbose, and filled with words such as “unparalleled”.
That said, we’re giving Disney a pass – simply because of how outrageously inspiring this thing is.
Iconic brands? Creative minds? Innovative technologies?
Where do we sign up?
“Save our home planet.”
Often, the shortest, simplest vision statements pack the most punch – and here, Patagonia’s takes the cake.
But it wasn’t always that way. Patagonia’s vision statement used to be a bit more of a mouthful. It was “build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, and use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis.”
Patagonia’s old vision statement – before it was changed in 2022, in response to the climate emergency – was just fine. But it was also a little wordy. And the new-and-improved version says just about the same thing, in four words – making it easier to remember, while offering up an even more compelling encapsulation of Patagonia’s central brief and belief.
“To craft the brands and choice of drinks that people love, to refresh them in body and spirit.”
Brands all have their own unique personalities. Harley Davidson is rugged, Nike is athletic, Apple is uber-cool. Coca-Cola is fun – and its vision statement reflects that sense of vibrancy and joy with perfect efficiency.
While some brands’ visions lean heavily into highly aspirational, “blue sky” statements, Coca-Cola keeps its own refreshingly simple. It’s not out to change the world, or reinvent how a generation uses technology. It just wants to keep its customers happy – in mind and soul – by doing what it does best…
…serving up delicious drinks!
“To nourish people and the planet.”
In six words, Whole Foods does what many of the long, rambling, jargon-heavy vision statements in the world fail to do.
It’s interesting. It’s engaging. And it’s easy to read and understand.
What’s more, Whole Foods’ vision statement still manages to say more than most other vision statements out there. It affirms its commitment to the environment, as well as the health of its customers – simultaneously aligning the brand with both the sustainability of the world and the well-being of its inhabitants.
(Plus, there’s some lovely alliteration going on there, too!)
“We ignite opportunity by setting the world in motion.”
Last – but certainly not least – is a barnstorming vision statement from the world’s foremost ride-sharing app.
Apt, adventurous, and aspirational to a fault, Uber’s vision statement succeeds through the clever double meaning of the “setting the world in motion” part. The turn of phrase refers to both Uber’s key offering – rides – while also tapping into the idea of movement as progress. Suggesting that Uber, through every ride it offers, or meal it delivers, is inching the world forward to something better; a more desirable state.
In other words, it does everything a good vision statement should!
Ready to put your vision statement together? Dip into our top tips for writing a vision statement before you do.
- Keep it simple and short: as we saw with Disney, a long vision statement isn’t easy to remember. And as we saw with Patagonia, a short one – that’s both simple and easy to understand – is.
- Keep it aspirational: a good vision statement should be ambitious. Don’t play it safe – stretch your limitations, and reach for the moon. (And if you miss, well…you know where you’ll be!)
- Keep it future-focused: don’t dwell on what you’re doing now, or what you’ve done in the past. A vision statement’s eyes should be firmly planted in one direction – forward.
- Keep it inclusive: be sure to involve your key stakeholders, as well as members from all levels of your team, in the vision statement creation process. You’ll need buy-in from your entire organization. So including as many people from that organization represents your best chance of success.
- Keep it dynamic: a vision statement isn’t made to be written, only to then stagnate, gathering dust, in a drawer somewhere. It needs to be constantly tested, tweaked, and refined, to ensure it remains relevant as your business evolves.
Whether your business wants to set the world in motion like Uber, inspire and innovate like Nike, or help people fulfill the limits of their full potential like Microsoft, you need to be shouting about it – and to this end, a good vision statement is vital.
It’s how you’ll unite your team, resonate with – and relate to – your audience, and chart a course for an exciting future.
So thanks for reading, and we hope these vision statement examples have helped light the blue touchpaper of your imagination. Is there one vision statement here you particularly love, or one we haven’t featured in this list? Or, even better – your own vision statement you’re proud of, and that you’d like to share?
Let us know in the comments!
If your brand doesn’t have an “About us” page, we can help. Learn how to write an “About us” page, and – if you’re still lacking inspiration – explore our guide to the best “About us” page examples on the internet.
Whereas a vision, as we’ve seen, is a more abstract, unattainable philosophy guiding a company’s actions and ambitions, a mission is more of a metric. It’s those concrete business goals – a measurable, specific set of strategies a company will adopt to fulfill the promises its vision statement lays out.