Creating mission and vision statements for a startup isn’t a task that can be accomplished in 15 minutes or less. These statements must be able to clearly convey the purpose and values of your organization, as well as what the organization does to benefit its stakeholders. It’s also important not to mix up the definitions of mission and vision statements, as each has a very different meaning.
- Mission statements: This statement is present in this moment. It knows what will happen today. A mission statement also has an inclusive, intentional, and inspirational narrative.
- Vision statements: This statement looks to the future, particularly tomorrow. It seeks what it will eventually become, and should make you, and the business, feel good when you read it.
Feeling stuck on drafting the mission and vision statements for your startup? From airlines to footwear, review these thoughtful missions and visions from some of the world’s biggest businesses as inspiration for your own statements.
Vision statement: To become the world’s most loved, most flown, and most profitable airline.
The sky may be the limit for Southwest Airlines’ vision statement, but their mission statement keeps the airline down to earth. In order to become the greatest airline, the Southwest mission is, “dedication to the highest quality of Customer Service delivered with a sense of warmth, friendliness, individual pride, and Company Spirit.”
Note the capitals used on “Customer Service” and “Company Spirit.” Emphasis on great customer service and a strong company spirit is part of the reason why individuals choose to fly Southwest, and remain frequent fliers with the airline.
Mission statement: To inspire healthier communities by connecting people to real food.
If you’re not familiar with sweetgreen, this eatery provides simple, seasonal, and healthy food. Menu items range from salads to warm bowls with every ingredient sourced from trusted, regional farmers and partners. This kind of transparency is key in allowing consumers to understand what’s in their food and where it came from. Connecting people to real food is an act sweetgreen commits to doing each and every day. Once consumers know what they’re eating, that awareness changes their lives and the lives of others within their communities.
Vision statement: To create a better everyday life for the many people.
IKEA, with its affordable furnishings for every type of person and household, doesn’t just have their eye on tomorrow. Their vision statement reaches into the next week, month, year, and decade. Aa human being grows up, so does IKEA. Creating a better everyday life is an ongoing process at every stage, and IKEA is more than ready to be present throughout the life cycle.
Mission statement: To live and deliver WOW.
Remember when Zappos only sold shoes? Now, they sell a wide variety of products online ranging from apparel to accessories “and more.” As “more” products are sold by Zappos, the more commitment they invest in the “wow” factor. Whatever it takes to wow the customer — from outstanding customer service to a satisfying customer experience — Zappos is ready to live by it and deliver it.
The Walt Disney Company
Mission statement: 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.
I’m not sure I could create a listicle about inspiring mission and vision statements without a Disney inclusion. The Walt Disney Company’s mission statement may be a bit longer than others featured here. However, this mission statement is faithful to its purpose and values and considers every aspect of its narrative from “Once upon a time” to “Happily every after.”