Where does customer loyalty come from?
Think about those brands that you purchase from over and over, even when there are cheaper options out there. Do you usually fly on a particular airline? Do you buy your coffee from the same place every morning? Do you recommend a specific restaurant whenever out-of-towners ask for suggestions?
Often, the reason we stay loyal to brands is because of their set of values. The best brands strive to combine physical, emotional, and logical elements into one exceptional customer -- and employee -- experience.
When you successfully create a connection with your customers and employees, many of them might stay loyal for life -- and you'll have the chance to increase your overall profitability while building a solid foundation of brand promoters. But achieving that connection is no easy task. The companies that succeed are ones that stay true to their core values over the years and create a company that employees and customers are proud to associate with.
That's where company vision and mission statements come in. A mission statement is intended to clarify the 'what' and 'who' of a company, while a vision statement adds the 'why' and 'how' as well. As a company grows, its objectives and goals may change. Therefore, vision statements should be revised as needed to reflect the changing business culture as goals are met.
Check out some of the following company vision and mission statements for yourself -- and get inspired to write one for your brand.
12 of the Best Vision & Mission Statement Examples From Real Companies
1) Life is Good
The Life is Good brand is about more than spreading optimism -- although, with uplifting T-shirt slogans like "Seas The Day" and "Forecast: Mostly Sunny," it's hard not to crack a smile.
There are a ton of T-shirt companies in the world, but Life is Good's mission sets itself apart with a mission statement goes beyond fun clothing: to spread the power of optimism. This mission is perhaps a little unexpected if you're not familiar with the company's public charity: How will a T-shirt company help spread optimism? They answer that question below the fold, where they explain what their mission means in more detail and link to programs they've implemented to support it: their #GrowTheGood initiative and the Life is Good Kids Foundation page. We really like how lofty yet specific this mission statement is -- it's a hard-to-balance combination.
Notice that sweetgreen's mission is positioned to align with your values -- not just written as something they believe. We love the inclusive language they use in their statement, letting us know that they're all about connecting their growing network of farmers growing healthy, local ingredients with us -- the customer -- because we're the ones who want more locally grown, healthy food options.
Their mission to connect people is what makes this statement so strong. And that promise has gone beyond their website and walls of their food stops: The sweetgreen team has made strides in the communities where they've opened stores as well. Primarily, they provide education to young kids on healthy eating, fitness, sustainability, and where food comes from. Their sweetlife music festival attracts 20,000 like-minded people every year who come together to listen to music, eat healthy food, and give back to a cause -- their sweetgreen in schools charity partner, FoodCorps.
Patagonia's mission statement combines both the values that bring them market success (building safe, high quality products) and the values that contribute to a better world (philanthropic efforts to help the environment). For them, "a love of wild and beautiful places demands participation in the fight to save them." In the name of this cause, the company donates time, services, and at least 1% of their sales to hundreds of grassroots environmental groups around the world.
If your company has a similar focus on growing your business and giving back, think about talking about both the benefit you bring to customers and the value you want to bring to a greater cause in your mission statement.
4) American Express
"Customers will never love a company until the employees love it first." That's a quote from Simon Sinek that we repeat here at HubSpot all the time. American Express sets itself apart from other credit card companies in its mission and values with an ode to great customer service, which is something they're famous for. We love that they emphasize the need to support their employees so their employees can support their customers.
5) Warby Parker
Speaking of quirky, this mission statement from Warby Parker uses words that reflect a young and daring personality: "rebellious," "revolutionary," "socially-conscious." In one sentence, they take us back to the root of why they were founded while also revealing their vision for a better future.
In the longer-form version of their mission, they write: "We believe that buying glasses should be easy and fun. It should leave you happy and good-looking, with money in your pocket," which further shows how Warby Parker doesn't hold back on letting their unique personality shine through. Here, the missions statement's success all comes down to spot-on word choice.
"Question Assumptions. Think Deeply. Iterate as a Lifestyle. Details, Details. Design is Everywhere. Integrity."
These days, it can seem like every B2B company page looks the same -- but InvisionApp has one of the cooler company pages I've seen. If you go to their company page, scroll down to "Our Core Values," and hover your mouse over any of the icons, and you'll find a short-but-sweet part of their overall company mission under each icon. We love the way they laid out the statements under each icon. Each description is brief, authentic, and business babble-free -- which makes the folks at InvisionApp seem like trustworthy, B.S.-free types.
7) Honest Tea
Honest Tea's mission statement begins with a simple punch line connoting their tea is real, pure, and therefore not full of artificial chemicals. They're speaking to an audience that's tired of finding ingredients in their tea they can't pronounce, who have been searching for a tea that's exactly what it says it is.
Not only does Honest Tea have a punny name, but they also center their mission around their clever company name. They even publish a Mission Report every year in an effort to be "transparent about our business practices and live up to our mission to seek to create and promote great-tasting, healthier, organic beverages."
The folks at IKEA dream big. Their mission statement could have been a promise for beautiful, affordable furniture, but instead, they decided their mission is to make everyday life better for their customers. It's a partnership: IKEA finds deals all over the world and buys in bulk, then we choose the furniture and pick it up at a self-service warehouse.
"So together, we save money for a better everyday life," they say.
Using words like "together" and "we" makes a huge company like IKEA much more accessible and appealing to customers.
When it comes to customer commitment, not many companies are as hyper-focused as Nordstrom is. Although clothing selection, quality, and value all have a place in the company's mission statement, they make it crystal clear they're all about the customer: "Nordstrom works relentlessly to give customers the most compelling shopping experience possible." If you've ever shopped at a Nordstrom, you'll know they uphold the high standard for customer service mentioned in their mission statement, as associates are always roaming the sales floors, asking customers whether they've been helped, and doing everything they can to make the shopping experience a memorable one.
10) Cradles to Crayons
Cradles to Crayons divided its mission statement into three sections that read like a game plan: The Need, The Mission, and The Model. The "rule of three" is a powerful rhetorical device called a tricolon that's usually used in speechwriting to help make an idea more memorable. A tricolon is a series of three parallel elements of roughly the same length -- think "I came; I saw; I conquered."
We also love the graphic they use to show what their model looks like in a nutshell. Graphics like this one make it easier for people scanning the post to get more out of it.
11) Universal Health Services, Inc.
A company thrives when it pleases its customers, its employees, its partners, and its investors -- and Universal Health Services endeavors to do just that, according to its mission statement. As a health care service, it specifically strives to please its patients, physicians, purchasers, employees, and investors. We love how they emphasize each facet of the organization by capitalizing the font and making it red for easy skimming.
JetBlue's committed to their founding mission through lovable marketing, charitable partnerships, and influential programs -- and we love the approachable language they use to describe these endeavors. For example, they write how they "set out in 2000 to bring humanity back to the skies."
For those of us who want to learn more about any of their specific efforts, JetBlue's provided details on their Soar With Reading program, their partnership with KaBOOM!, the JetBlue Foundation, their environmental and social reporting, and so on. They break down all these initiatives really well with big headers, bullet points, pictures, and links to other webpages visitors can click to learn more. Finally, they end with a call-to-action encouraging website visitors volunteer or donate their TrueBlue points.
Which company mission statements have inspired YOU the most? Share with us in the comments below!
Editor's Note: This post was originally published in August 2014 and has been updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.