Okay, so I’m not a fan of THE MISSION STATEMENT.
But I’m a big fan of having a mission. Or rather, being ON A MISSION. What’s the difference? Authenticity. One’s the creation of the marketing department (let’s be honest), and the other is the reason you get up in the morning and go in to battle with a smile on your face.
As human beings, we respond to the focused drive and ideals that a person on a mission possesses. It’s powerful. It’s inspiring to be involved with an organisation on a mission. And if it’s a mission you can relate to, that you respect, that you share, then you might just join the tribe.
You may have come across Simon Sinek’s TED video on the Golden Circle — the concept that people don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.
I’m a member of the Apple tribe, and it’s not just because I own a macbook, an iPad and an iPhone.
Anyone out there own a Samsung? Losers. “No,” you say, “you’re the loser. It’s a better phone, and its cheaper!”
You’re right. Don’t care. I’m not in the Samsung tribe. To me, Samsung just makes a phone.
Hang on — isn’t that the point? Isn’t this about having a better phone? Isn’t the whole reason I’m in the Apple tribe because I think they make the best phone?
No it’s not. It’s because I relate to the brand. At about eighteen years of age, I bought into what they stood for — the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, changing the world. That’s me, I cried! I’m not a PC guy!
I met Steve Wozniak couple of years ago, the other founder of Apple. Couldn’t speak. It was like meeting fucking Mick Jagger. Not because they’re both celebrities, but because they’ve been a part of my life, through their music, their products…
I’m emotionally connected to these brands, and the people behind them. That’s powerful stuff.
With Vinomofo, there wasn’t a lot we could do better than our competitors, like Dan Murphy’s, but we stood for something. Here we were, jeans and T-shirts and occasional bad language, but we loved good wine.
But wine was intimidating. It was elitist. You had these old guys in bowties using a whole different language, talking about linear backbones and finely integrated tannins, and people were made to feel stupid when they looked at a winelist or walked into a wine store.
We felt that was bullshit. And so we stood for “no bowties and bullshit”.
And we found that thousands and thousands of Gen X and Gen Y wine lovers felt the same way as us, and they became our Vinomofo tribe. And that tribe built our brand.
But it started as a mission.
We wanted to unite a tribe with our love of wine, and food, and this adventure called life.
So we took away the bowties and the bullshit, and we created this world that we loved.
We made wine accessible, kind of democratised it, but it was our purpose, our mission that was the foundation of Vinomofo’s success. Yes our product was good, we chose good wines and disrupted the pricing model, but that was all because we searched for a way that everyone could experience good wine.
The real connection with our brand — that came from our culture. It came from what we stood for. The no bowties and bullshit.
But that wasn’t the end of our mission.
We wanted to be proud of what we did, and our impact on the world.
We wanted to build a human company, one that lived by a credo of values, and did not compromise on its ideals. We wanted to stand for something, and use our voice to help make the world a better place, to quote HBO’s Silicon Valley.
And we wanted to have fun. After all, what’s the point.
So there was our mission:
“Unite a tribe with our love of wine, and food, and this adventure called life; be proud of what we do, and our impact on the world; and have fun.”
Let’s dive into that a bit more, and see how it has shaped everything we do at Vinomofo:
We’re not just a wine store. Vinomofo is a philosophy. A movement.
We are bringing people together, around a table, to share their stories and eat and drink and laugh and love.
We are uniting the makers with the drinkers.
This is why we started this company. We wanted to change the wine world.
Wine was a conservative, elitist domain — intimidating, exclusive. Yet there we were, t-shirts and sneakers and occasional bad language, and we LOVED wine.
Wine is epic.
Like good food, good music, good company, it adds colour and flavour to life, a layer of richness that just makes it all a little bit more fun.
Good wine is more than just flavour and texture. It’s friends and family and laughter and memories. Wine is history and culture, it’s science and poetry, and something else almost entirely magical.
Good wine is about stories… all the stories that went into the making of the wine, and all the stories that come out of the sharing. Your stories.
But it’s also just a drink — a delicious drink, that can bring food alive and make you smile. Good wine should never be intimidating, or the domain of a chosen few self-proclaimed “connoisseurs” — that’s all just bowties and bullshit, and those days are gone.
On to PART II of our mission…
This means not only being proud of what we achieve, but the way we go about it.
A few years into Vinomofo, we were faced with a decision:
Do we sell this cool little fast growth wine company? Or do we go all in, devote our lives to it, and build it into something truly awesome, something for generations to come?
Could we do that? Dedicate our lives to just wine? Wouldn’t we rather devote our lives to something more meaningful, more worthy, like renewable energy?
The answer was YES, wine, but only if we could build a HUMAN company that changed the way people thought about business, and people.
YES, if we could build a company that STOOD for something, that did the RIGHT thing.
YES If we could build a company that used its power and its reach to support those who were dedicating their lives to directly helping the world.
YES if are creating a culture that brings out the best in us all, a culture that inspires people to be human, step up, care more, do some good and have fun.
YES if we’re building a global organisation that will forever be remembered for its positive impact on the planet and its people.
YES if we help producers sustain and grow their businesses, so they can keep making good wine, and we help get those wines in the hands of the drinkers who love them.
This mission is a benchmark — we must constantly align decisions and actions with our purpose: “Are you proud of that, and the impact it’s having?”
A little while ago, I wrote down MY PERSONAL MISSION:
I want the world to be more human, connected, thinking collectively, learning from our differences, not fearing them; not pitting our beliefs against each other, but just fucking loving each other.
If I was going to dedicate my life to building a fucking WINE COMPANY, as opposed to building electric cars or colonising Mars, for instance, then we were sure as hell going to be remembered for our positive impact on the planet and its people.
And finally PART III:
I believe you can make yourself happy. You have to choose to have fun. So we made it our purpose.
Having fun is part of our WHY.
It is wine, after all, and if we’re not having fun, we’re not doin’ it right.
So tell me, what’s your mission? Why are you doing what you’re doing? What do you stand for?