In today’s fast-paced and ever-changing business world, having a solid strategy and effectively communicating your company’s purpose is more important than ever. But with so many buzzwords and concepts floating around, it can be tough to understand the real meaning behind those terms, right?
Fear not! In this blog post, we’ll break down the essentials: Vision, Mission, BHAG (big hairy audacious goals), Goals, Values, Value Proposition, and Positioning Statement. We’ll explain what they mean and provide some real-life examples so you can better understand how they impact your organization’s success.
So, grab your favourite beverage, sit back, and let’s dive in!
First up, let’s talk about Vision. A company’s Vision is like its North Star – a guiding light that sets the direction for its future growth and development. It’s a long-term, aspirational statement that reflects what the organisation ultimately wants to achieve and the impact it aims to have on the world.
One thing to note is that it does not have to be achievable. This is the realm of idealism. No specifics are included of how it will be achieved.
Example: Take Tesla, for example. Their vision is “to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy”. Sounds pretty inspiring, doesn’t it?
Now that we’ve covered Vision, let’s move on to Mission. A Mission statement is all about defining an organisation’s core purpose and objectives. It’s the nuts and bolts of how the company plans to achieve its vision and create value for its stakeholders.
Example: If we take Tesla again, their mission is linked to their vision mentioned in the last section: “In pursuit of this goal, we build products that replace some of the planet’s biggest polluters—while trying to do the right thing along the way. “. Quite a practical and ambitious goal
BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal)
All right, onto one of our favourite terms: BHAG. It stands for Big Hairy Audacious Goal, and it’s precisely what it sounds like – a long-term, ambitious goal that challenges an organization to think big and push beyond its comfort zone. BHAGs are usually set for a 10-25 year timeframe and require some serious effort and innovation to achieve.
Example: Amazon’s BHAG was “to be Earth’s most customer-centric company, where customers can find and discover anything they might want to buy online”. Talk about aiming high!
Now, let’s discuss Goals. These are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) objectives that an organization sets to reach its mission, vision, and BHAG. Goals provide a clear roadmap for success and help keep everyone on track.
Example: Suppose you’re a software company. Your goal might be “to increase annual revenue by 20% in the next two years”. Sounds like a reasonable and attainable target.
Next up, Values. These guiding principles shape an organisation’s culture, decision-making process, and overall behaviour. Values represent the core beliefs that drive the company’s actions and provide a framework for employees to follow.
Example: Southwest Airlines, for example, has three core values: “Warrior Spirit, Servant’s Heart, and Fun-LUVing Attitude”. These values create a unique and employee-friendly atmosphere.
Onto the Value Proposition. This is a clear statement that describes the unique benefits and advantages a company offers to its customers. It highlights the reasons why customers should choose a particular product or service over competitors.
Example: Dollar Shave Club’s value proposition is “Shave time. Shave money. Premium grooming products delivered to your door at a fair price”. This clever statement emphasizes convenience and affordability.
Last but not least, let’s talk about your Positioning Statement. This concise message communicates how you want your target audience to perceive your brand. It helps establish your place in the market, setting you apart from the competition.
Example: Volvo’s positioning statement is “For upscale American families, Volvo is the family automobile that offers maximum safety, because only Volvo does everything necessary to protect the driver and passengers”. This is perfect positioning, as safety is one of the highest reasons people buy a certain car.
Many of the examples I’ve given in the sections above are quite short, but they don’t have to be so – most companies have a few sentences or a paragraph for each. It’s easier for big businesses to keep theirs short, as they are already known to the audience, but for smaller businesses, you may have to expand on the details a bit.
Visualising It All Together
We’ve put together a chart to show you how this all works together, as we visualise your business strategy as a wonderful journey to a magical land…
It’s Important To Get It Right
You can probably see where the confusion comes with all of these concepts, that there is a lot of crossover. But understanding and incorporating these key strategic elements is critical for every business, to ensure everyone moves in the right direction together.
By defining and communicating these components, companies can effectively align their teams, create meaningful connections with customers, and drive sustainable growth.