A well-written brand vision should be the ultimate end-in-mind achievement, which answers, “Where could we be?” Think about significant accomplishments that would make you feel completely fulfilled. Put a stake in the ground to describe an ideal state for your future. Every smart brand plan must start with a brand vision statement. When I see brand teams who struggle, they usually lack a brand vision.
“If you don’t know where you are going, you might not get there.” Yogi Berra
Some organizations get so fixated on achieving short-term goals; they chase every tactic in front of them just to make their numbers. Your vision should steer your entire brand plan. Choose the language and phrases within your vision that will inspire, lead, and steer your team.
Examples of best-in-class brand vision statements
Use these statements to inspire you as you write your own vision statement. Maybe you will see something that feels familiar to what is in your mind or at least a structure for how you would write your own vision statement.
Your vision should scare you a little and excite you a lot. You should wonder if you can achieve it and then think of how it would feel if you did. While we do not always accomplish every vision, we rarely achieve more than we thought was possible.
Once you establish your vision, it sets up the key issues of your plan, including obstacles in the way of achieving your vision, which then sets up the strategies for how to reach the vision. As mentioned earlier, a brand plan has to flow like an orchestra, with each element directly related to the others.
Imagine the perfect picture
To be a visionary, you must be able to visualize your future. You should be able to imagine the perfect picture of your brand in the future, to helps answer, “Where could we be?” Imagine it is five or ten years from now. You wake up in the most fantastic mood. Think about where you are in your personal life and your business life. Start to imagine an ideal state of what you want. Visualize a perfect future of what has you in such a good mood and write down the most important things you want to achieve.
- What is your future revenue or market share?
- Describe the future culture of your company.
- What do you want people to say about your brand?
- What do your own to people find motivating about working on your brand?
- How do you want customers to describe their experience with your brand?
- Name some of the future accomplishments that would make you proud.
- What do you do better than anyone else on the planet?
- Name something out-of-the-box that would make people talk about your brand.
Checklist for what makes a vision great:
- Your vision should last 5-10 years.
- It should help you imagine the ideal picture of “where could we be.”
- Describe your dream, describing what you see, feel, hear, think, say, and wish for your brand.
- It should be emotional to motivate all employees and partners to rally behind it.
- It must be easy to understand, in plain words, which may already be a familiar phrase within the company.
- A great vision is a balance between aspiration (stretch) and reality (achievement).
- Consider adding a financial (sales or profit) or share leadership position (#1) number.
Cautions and caveats when writing your brand vision statements:
- A vision should not be a positioning statement.
- Make sure you have not already achieved it.
- Do not make strategic statements. It is not the “how.”
- Try to be single-minded. Keep tightening it. Do not include everything!
- Focus on how to build a purpose-driven beloved brand
Examples of best-in-class B2B brand vision statements
This type of thinking can be found in our Beloved Brands and B2B Brands playbooks
Learn to think, define, plan, execute and analyze your brand
- You will find strategic thinking models and examples for each of the four strategic thinking methods, looking at core strength, competitive, consumer, and situational strategies.
- To define the brand, I will provide a tool for writing a brand positioning statement as well as a consumer profile and a consumer benefits ladder. I have created lists of potential functional and emotional benefits to kickstart your thinking on brand positioning. We explore the step-by-step process to come up with your brand idea and bring it all together with a tool for writing the ideal brand concept.
- For brand plans, I provide formats for a long-range brand strategy roadmap and the annual brand plan with definitions for each planning element. From there, I show how to build a brand execution plan that includes the creative brief, innovation process, and sales plan. I provide tools for how to create a brand calendar, and specific project plans.
- To grow your brand, I show how to make smart decisions on marketing execution around creative advertising and media choices.
- When it comes time for the analytics, I provide all the analytical tools you need to write a deep-dive business review, looking at the marketplace, consumer, channels, competitors and the brand. Write everything so that it is easy to follow and implement for your brand.