If you Google “how to write a mission statement”, “how to write a vision statement” or “what is a manifesto” you will find lots of different definitions, and how-tos. It can be downright confusing! When Mercury works on a comprehensive rebrand project with a client, we include an exercise to review their mission, vision, and manifesto. Throughout the years, we’ve noticed some common mistakes.
1. They sound like a sales pitch instead of a strategy.
The purpose of your mission and vision statements is to guide your internal team. Sometimes organizations intend to share their mission and vision statements with external audiences, so they use writing that speaks to clients rather than team members. Language that is used in sales and marketing materials often makes your mission and vision statements sound less strategic.
Your manifesto is bigger than both of these statements. It will likely never change. The purpose of your manifesto is to define what you believe as an organization even if a prospective client or member isn’t choosing to use your product or service.
2. Vision and mission are written in reverse order.
At Mercury, we describe your vision statement as your long-term objective or goal. It’s what you’re trying to achieve in 5 years, 10 years or more. Your vision aims toward a strategic point in the future.
Your mission statement, in contrast, describes the behaviors your team performs each day to help reach that goal. This statement has action words.
3. They are not specific enough to be attainable.
We notice that vision and mission statements often include phrases like:
- “to be the best”
- “to be the most trusted”
- “to help achieve peace of mind”
These statements are hard to qualify and almost impossible to quantify.
Mercury Creative Group can help.
Our comprehensive rebrand process includes writing clear vision, mission, and manifesto statements for your organization that align with your essential value and brand character. This alignment makes it easier for your team members to talk about the strengths of your organization. Our Mercury Method starts with discovering your value; then, we help you communicate it from the inside out.
Here’s a two-minute video to help you learn more about crafting your Mission, Vision, and Manifesto statements:
Justin: Hey! We’re from Mercury Creative Group, and we’re here to talk about our Mercury Method.
Cheri: These Mercury Messages are a little bit about what we do, how we do it, and who we do it for.
Justin: So we’re going to talk a little bit about mission, vision, and also manifesto. And these words also can be highly confusing. But manifesto is important to us because it’s the umbrella. It’s the reason you get up. It’s the reason you do what you’re doing.
Explain a little bit of how the mission and vision can lead up to the manifesto, but how we’ve evolved, taking the core values can really drive that manifesto.
Cheri: Your mission and vision are oftentimes part of your strategic plan for an organization. Mission and vision are even sometimes confused by marketers. They think of them in different ways. And that’s okay.
Justin: We should talk about strategy and objectives and goals, and those are going to really get confusing as well. But we’re not going to do that right now!
Cheri: With your mission and vision, we put our stake in the ground, this is how Mercury talks about it. Your vision statement is your long-term objective or goal. It’s that long-term thing that you’re trying to achieve. That may be a ten-year goal. It may be a five-year goal. The long term is a little bit subjective.
Cheri: Your mission statement alludes to: what are the things we do every day to reach that long-term goal? So mission first, this is what we do every day.
Cheri: Your manifesto is what you believe. It’s your brand character. And that’s why mission and vision exist in your strategic plan. And your manifesto, that overarching umbrella, the “what you believe”, exists in your brand strategy because it’s part of your brand character.
Justin: And the manifesto doesn’t change much. That sticks with that organization forever.
Cheri: Yes, exactly. Whereas your mission and vision can change if your objectives change.
Justin: Exactly. We just shared a lot about our process, The Mercury Method. And we want to get to know you, your organization, and how we can bring your brand to life.
Cheri: You’re the most important part of our process, and we’d love to collaborate!