Now that we’ve defined the purpose behind your work — the “why” — we need to establish your final destination: the “where.”
How do you hope to embody your purpose over the long-term? What do you want your brand to become? While your purpose is meant to tap into universal aspirations, your vision should be much more concrete and personal. It is your own unique contribution to these larger ideals.
Whatever your vision is, it should be big and bold enough to both inspire and intimidate, while also remaining realistic.
Now that you understand what a vision statement is, how do you go about crafting one?
That’s the purpose of this next exercise.
Consider where your business is now. How many customers do you have? How much revenue? How many employees? Set a timer for five minutes and brainstorm as many relevant metrics as you can, adding each to the table below.
Now, start to sketch out some high-level goals. What do you hope to achieve in the next year? Obviously, you can’t predict what will actually happen. However, you probably have some idea of what you hope your brand will look like in that timeframe.
Continue this exercise for the 3- and 5- year time horizons, as well. At each stage, consider what new possibilities will be unlocked if you meet your goals in the preceding years. Will you be able to offer new products or services, expand to new locations?
As you work through this process, remember that the objective is not to predict the future. It’s about bringing intention and focus to your brand-building efforts. Inevitably, you’ll have to pivot as new opportunities and challenges emerge. However, having clear direction will allow you to recognize which opportunities are worth pursuing and how you should confront new challenges as they arise.
📝 Exercise 1
Aspirations and Ideals
Now that you’ve built your roadmap, it’s time to enlarge your perspective a bit and think about aspirations and ideals.
To hone in on your aspiration, answer the following question: “If everything went according to plan, how would we impact our category?” This is where you can start to talk in superlatives like “best” or “fastest.” For instance, Tesla’s aspiration might be to become “the world’s best electric car company.”
Set a timer for five minutes, and have your team enter their answers below.
Once you’ve done this, apply the same process to your ideal future state: What would the world look like if you were to realize your aspiration? How would your work change the world for the better? The idea is to be as simple and concrete, as possible. Returning to our previous example, Tesla’s ideal might be “a world without fossil fuels.”
📝 Exercise 2
Next, you should start drafting your vision statement. There is more than one way to approach this. You might combine your aspiration with your category. Alternatively, you might simply use your ideal as your vision statement.
Whatever direction you choose, your vision statement should be a clear, succinct expression of the unique mark you hope to make on the world. Don’t worry if it takes you a few tries to find wording that feels just right.
Set a timer for five minutes, and have your team brainstorm some possible vision statements below. Once you’ve settled on a favorite, add it to your brand profile.