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What companies must know about Brand Vision?

Brand Purpose is not Brand Vision

Let’s break a myth at the outset. Most people, business owners included, confuse ‘Brand Purpose’ with ‘Brand Vision’. They understand ‘Brand Vision’ as the ‘reason for existence’, the ‘why’ of the brand or the company. Well, the ‘Why’ of a brand’s existence is the ‘Brand Purpose’, elaborated in one of our previous blogs. So if the Brand Purpose is the ‘Why’ of the company, what ‘one word’ does Brand Vision represent?

So what is the Brand Vision?

It’s the ‘Where’ of the company. Where does the brand want to go and what it aspires to be in the distant future, which could be 5, 10, 15 or 20 years from today. Here’s another set of posers to help you understand Brand Vision better. If every brand choice you make consistently goes your way, if you keep hitting the mark every time, then where would your brand reach in a few years? What would be the impact of your brand on your industry, how would it affect the society, and what new reality will it manifest? If the brand purpose is the constant motivation behind your actions, the brand vision is that distant, worthy destination and brand strategy is the roadmap for taking the brand there.

How should a vision statement be? It should be big, bold, inspiring and challenging. Achieving the vision should feel daunting and intimidating, and yet it should be possible. Only then the team believes you and buys your vision to feel inspired enough to get up every day and work towards that cause.

Vision keeps you aware of your north

Having this clarity about where you want to take the brand is like the captain of the ship having the mariner’s compass by his side. It doesn’t help you take micro decisions but it stays in the back of the head and keeps you aware of where your north is. So you can reject any decision or action that steers you away from the general direction in which your ship needs to float. Having this clarity helps you think more strategically and take more impactful decisions for your brand.

Contrary to this, the impact of not having a vision about where you want to take your brand was conveyed beautifully by the Cheshire cat in Lewis Carroll’s classic ‘Alice in Wonderland’. Its paraphrased essence goes like this: ‘If you don’t know where you are going, any road will take you there.’

Getting the right inspiration for brand vision

The vision statement is such a critical part of the brand strategy that it helps to take inspiration from the amazing vision statement of some of the most successful and globally renowned companies.

Tesla

To create the most compelling car company
of the 21st century by driving the world’s
transition to electric vehicles.

McDonald’s

To be the world’s best quick service
restaurant experience.

Nike

To bring inspiration and innovation to
every athlete in the world.

LinkedIn

Create economic opportunity for every
member of the global workforce.

Disney

To be one of the world’s leading producers
and providers of entertainment
and information.

Fortune

To be a leading agri business company committed to sustainably deliver safe, nutritious and quality agricultural commodity and food through innovation, highest standards of environmental, social and governance practices, and the creation of livelihoods in communities in which we operate to deliver long term value to all our stakeholders.

How to arrive at the vision statement for your brand?

When you see Sachin Tendulkar bat, you always feel that batting is very easy. Likewise, reading the vision statements of famous brands may make you feel that writing a vision statement is a piece of cake. Trust us, it’s more deceptive than that. It requires deep introspection and many rounds of trial and error before you hit the sweet spot. Having said that, it’s not rocket science either.

Below, we try to demystify the process and simplify it for you, which will help you take the first steps and go deeper. A typical vision statement goes as follows: To be <aspiration> of <category>.

Write down the answers to:

 What does your business aspire to be?

 Where do you want to take your brand?

 What category your business is in?

 Is there a way to broaden the category you are in so the vision does not restrict you?

You may have to go through a few iterations before you get it right.

Do famous vision statements follow this structure?

Let’s put some famous brand vision statements to this test.

Starbucks

To be <the premier purveyor> of
<the finest coffee in the world>.

Netflix

To become <the world’s leading>
<streaming entertainment service>.

 

While we are at it, how about the vision statement of HCF?
To become <Gujarat’s preferred and leading> <full-service advertising agency>.

Hope you found the information useful. How about revisiting your vision statement based on the insight you received here? How about going through the exercise if you don’t have a vision statement yet? How about sharing your vision statement in the comments? Or how about meeting us for a cup of hot coffee while we discuss and draft your brand vision?

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