Useful statements?

Vision, Mission, and Value statements have been around for a while and have their advocates and critics, creating the need for something that almost embodies all three, a Onliness Statement.

So what are the different uses for each of them, and how do they work together?

Hard Questions and Honest Answers

Before you can define any statement, you need to have an agreed set of facts that should inform your work.

Whether you do this internally or ask an external branding agency or consultant to come in and facilitate a discovery session or workshop, the priorities should be to establish a rock-solid foundation of known truths about your company, its products/services and where you sit in your chosen industry or sector.

Other key information can include, but is not limited to:

  • A fully defined SWOT analysis
  • What is your USP?
  • How and why was the company started?
  • What Market(s) do you operate in?
  • Who are your competitors?
  • How do your customers perceive you?
  • What Brands or Companies do you admire?

The more information you get from the investigation, the greater the chances of insight.

How to write a Onliness or VMV statement

Vision Statement

A Vision Statement’s primary purpose is to outline the company’s fundamental purpose clearly. What is your primary reason for running?

This is very customer-centric.

A common structure is:

[What] to [customer] in [Market]so they [goal]

Mission Statement

A Mission statement’s primary purpose is to communicate what your business plans to achieve above and beyond its primary purpose.

A common structure is:

Our Mission is to [Achievement] to [by whom]  [so] that they [achieve their goals]

Values Statement

So how do you and your employees live these statements and make them real? The answer is defining and sharing your values so everyone can play their part in achieving both short and long-term goals.

These values may not necessarily be communicated verbatim to customers and other stakeholders. Instead, let them be reflected in the actions and intentions of your business.

 Onliness Statement

Marty Neumeier originally developed the ‘Onliness Statement’ in his brand strategy book, Zag.

Since then, the Onliness statement has been adopted widely by the branding community in support of vision, mission and value statements.

The need arose as a desire for an honest and straightforward statement that everyone in the business could recognise and get behind.

The Onliness statement, due to its directness, is not designed to be shared externally with customers or other stakeholders but acts as a pragmatic mantra for employees only.

To create an Onliness statement, a useful structure or guide is:

  • [BUSINESS] IS THE ONLY (MARKET/SECTOR)
  • THAT (USP)
  • FOR (CUSTOMER)
  • IN (GEOGRAPHY)
  • WHO (CUSTOMER REQUIREMENT)
  • DURING (CURRENT BUSINESS CHALLENGE)

The key thing to keep in mind when creating your Onliness statement is to challenge it and be honest. If written well, it should be a concise ‘pitch’ of what your business does, for who and why.


Need help creating your Vision, Mission and Values?

Whether you want to create your Onliness & VMV statements from scratch, challenge them or completely refresh them, we can help.

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