A strong mission, vision and purpose can have a great impact on your business and drive your internal compass. It can help to define who you are, why you are here and what you are here to do.
Especially early stage, it may feel that there are lots of routes your business can take. Having a well-defined vision can help steer into the right direction. It's like your internal compass that helps you not to lose focus, and tells what to do or prioritize and especially what not to do.
Ideally defining all these building blocks is best done during a workshop with some members of your team. Here below some ideas on how to do so.
Define your purpose
Only a few organizations know exactly why they do what they do. WHY is not about making money - that's a result. Why is a purpose, cause of belief. It is the very reason why your organization exists. (Also made popular through Simon Sinek's TED talk, Start with Why).
📝 The big ideaL to define purpose
''The brands we most admire are built not just on big ideas, but on big ideaLs''
Ogilvy & Mather ( on of the biggest ad agencies out there ) have a cool way on how to define your company's or brand's purpose - mainly through identifying your 'big ideaL'.
The big ideaL is defined through an intersection of cultural tension and your brand's best self and can be described by completing the following sentence
''For (YOUR BRAND), the world will be a better place if _________''
After having defined your ideaL, you can rephrase it to make it your purpose
Your purpose is ___________________________
Define your vision
Your brand vision is your company's ultimate ambition, what you aim to achieve. If everything goes to plan this is what your company will have achieved over the next five to ten years.
''To create the most compelling car company of the 21st century by driving the world's transition to electric vehicles''
📝 The famous news headline to define your vision
A great way how you can think about your vision is with the following exercise: Imagine 10 years from now, your company is on the front page of achieving something truly outstanding. What does the headline say? Have you cured a problem? Grown to be the biggest? Changed the way people do something?
By brainstorming what this headline should look like, you can clearly define what success looks like for you!
After having gone wild thinking about your headline, you can refine it to make it your vision
Your vision is ___________________________
Define your mission
Your company or brand mission is how you are going to achieve your vision. If the vision is your destination, then your brand mission is the stepping-stone along the way.
📝 Responding to what, how, who to define your mission
To define your mission you can try and respond to the following questions
What do we do?
How do we do it?
Who do we do it for?
How it helps them?
After that, it is important to refine your answers by responding to narrower questions.
What do we need to do?
How do we need to do it?
Who do we need to do it for?
How it needs to help them?
And draw your final statement out of this
Your mission is ___________________________
Final comments & tips
Finding some competitor examples can help you to get inspired. However, not every company defines their mission, vision and purpose in the exact same way - and there is no clear rule on whether you should have all 3 or just one big ''ambition'' statement. Eventually the three statements will all overlap a little bit, which is great. In that case, shortening or merging them can be even better.
More to include
As part of the workshop you can also include elements like
Your main persona or high expectation customer ( who you serve )
Your positioning ( who are your competitors and what makes you different )
Your product and human truth
Your functional and emotional benefits
Your values and personality traits
as all of them will help you to make your story more coherent and ready for the long-term.
.. but better to go on a mini-corp trip as a brainstormy afternoon may not be sufficient ☀️
Any questions or ideas? Please email :)