Crafting a mission and vision statement for your ecommerce business is no simple task. To engineer a statement that not only resonates with readers, but generates real confidence among customers requires focus, brand self-awareness and engaging storytelling.
Step #1 – Identifying Differences Between Mission and Vision Statements
The primary difference between a mission and vision statement is topic focus. While both statements reinforce the validity of your business, they are not the same. Mission statements highlight the current state of your company. Topics include why you exist, what purpose you serve and what your business does to satisfy this purpose. In short, it outlines the mission of your brand.
Vision statements are just that, your vision for the future. Topics include outlining your immediate and long term goals and how you plan to achieve them. Content generally focuses on your value to the industry and customers. Both mission and vision statements support the ongoing efforts to secure confidence among customers and internal employees.
Step #2 – Explaining Value without Power Phrases
Everyone assumes their brand is innovative, spectacular and customer-focused. While it may be the truth, power phrases like these offer little insight into the realness of any business. The cornerstone of confidence is identifying and illuminating value in terms of what your customers find important. Clearly identify company beliefs, ethical standards and founding principles. After all, a valuable brand is one customers are confident about.
Step #3 – Describe Internal Company Positioning (Business Model)
Transparency is paramount in the digital marketplace. Customers are wary of all online businesses. Easing suspicion is a multilevel task, but transparency in how your company operates is most important. In a couple of sentences, highlight internal positioning regarding location, number of employees and ethical guidelines all workers follow. Use this as an opportunity to further demonstrate what sets you apart from competitors. This tactic mostly applies to mission statements.
Step #4 – Vision Statement by Category/Employee
Create a vision statement for each major business category, or department, instead of relying on a singular viewpoint. While not appropriate for every business, if you have multiple product/service offerings, a category-specific mission statement highlights commitment, determination and imagination. This provides not only a roadmap for the future, but outlines current and future relevance.
Authenticity directly influences brand perception, and ultimately, brand confidence. Employee-written vision statements offer a multidimensional viewpoint of a company. This transforms a business from a single entity into a collection of real people with real hopes. By engaging the entire team, you satisfy the three primary factors of brand personality: honesty, helpfulness and friendliness.
Step #5 – Avoid Standard “Statement” Language/Tone
Content structure determines far more than length and style. Every word is a brick. Every phrase an opportunity to build confidence among readers. Regardless of demographic, mission and vision statements written without honesty and transparency feel disingenuous. Avoid stereotypical phrasing and uninspired topics. Both statements offer a concise and controlled opportunity to solidify confidence, but only if written from the heart.
Step #6 – Be Realistic
Your company may have goals of industry domination, but who doesn’t? While a mission and vision statement are based upon current and future hopes, but within reason. Readers value honesty, which means plausible goals backed by realistic standards. You must achieve a balance between optimism and realism. Be too lofty, visitors feel you’re too idealistic, be too plausible, visitors feel you’re not committed. Balance is built upon real value, inspiration and honesty.
Step #7 – Discuss Specific Instead of Generalized Details
Instead of stating your business strives to provide the best product or service in the city, be more specific. Highlight exactly what you do, say or want. The more specific you are with your current plan and future goals, the more value you give to your brand. However, be sure to not limit yourself in the details. Too many details, such as location served, cast question into availability for non-locals. For the majority of ecommerce businesses, localization comes second to globalization.
Step #8 – Update Mission and Vision Statements as Needed
An outdated statement not only misrepresents your current brand, but cracks the veneer of uniformity customers demand. Brand consistency enhances confidence among potential buyers. If your mission or vision statement no longer reflects brand personality and direction, it casts doubt about your brand honesty. Essentially, if a brand is unable to maintain the mission and vision statement accuracy, what else is this brand capable of misrepresenting? Make sure to update statements as your business evolves.
Creating and sustaining confidence among buyers requires solid brand self-awareness and honesty. By empowering your mission and vision statements with brand personality and empathy, customers feel more confident in their current and future purchases. Remember, be yourself. After all, there’s only one of you, and it’s beautifully unique.