difference between vision and mission

What is the difference between vision and mission?

Some of the most iconic brands are both defined by and inspired by mission and vision statements. However, vision or mission statements often go unnoticed by both customers and staff members. It’s not only important to define your mission and vision statements, but it’s important to live by them too.

What are vision and mission statements?

Vision statements and mission statements are clear, concise and inspiring statements that convey company aims, values and direction. Vision and mission statements are a vital part of a company’s infrastructure. They can have a significant impact on everyday life at your organisation.

While some people use mission and vision statements interchangeably, they serve very different purposes. A company’s vision statement focuses on the future and the company’s mission statement focuses on today.

A vision statement describes the ‘why,’ or the meaning behind a company’s actions. A mission statement describes exactly how the organisation hopes to achieve the vision and how it serves its goals.

Why are vision and mission statements important?

Well-thought-out mission and vision statements can bring a lot of benefits. They can help consumers and staff fully understand your brand. They can also help communicate your company values, communicate company direction and build customer loyalty.

Some of the largest brands in the world build their brand around mission and vision statements. This helps them set themselves apart from the competition. Here are some of the advantages of strong vision and mission statements for your company:

  1. Ensures everyone is working towards a purpose
  2. Provides a building block for your strategic planning
  3. Helps to increase efficiency and productivity
  4. Guides the thinking and action of employees
  5. Helps to determine performance standards
  6. Provides a backbone for vital PR activities

Company mission vs company vision

Mission and vision statements are closely linked, they’re both designed around a company’s core values and objectives. They also both answer important questions about your business. These can be questions such as what you do, as well as how and why you do it. Writing your own mission statement and vision statement will help you better define and understand your company’s essence.

How to write a strong mission statement

The three standard mission statement components are purpose, values and goals. It’s essentially a short statement designed to declare why your company exists and why you serve your customers. It serves to communicate direction and purpose to your employees, customers and other stakeholders. Here are our top tips on writing a good mission statement for your business:

1. Don’t write too much

Being as concise as possible is key when writing a good mission statement. This is why, when describing what your company does, you should try to be as simple as possible. There’s no need to add any fillers, just get down to the bare basics in as few words as possible.

2. Describe what your company does

The first step to writing an effective mission statement is thinking about exactly what your company does. For example, if you own a car company, your mission statement may talk about providing safe and affordable cars. Thinking about what your company does is a great way to convey the most important information to your customers.

3. Describe how your company does what it does

It’s not always easy to boil complex ideas and ambitions into a short, simple declaration. This is why it’s a good idea to think of your mission statement as an explanation of your organisation’s functions.

4. Add why your company does what it does

This part of your mission statement should be inspired by your core values and competencies. It may help to think about why you started your business in the first place. What drove you to start your organisation, and why were you so passionate at the time?

5. Bringing it all together

What, how and why, are the key questions you need to answer to build your mission statement. A good mission statement is accurate and unique, only including things that actually relate to your business without any jargon.

Having a mission-driven company is becoming more and more important. It’s important not only to define your mission but to also live by it too. Create the right mission statement for your brand, and bring it all together in your execution.

Mission and vision statement examples

Your vision and mission statement defines why your company exists, as well as your hopes for the future. Here are some inspiring vision and mission statement examples from some of the world’s leading brands.

Tesla

Mission: To create the most compelling car company of the 21st century by driving the world’s transition to electric vehicles.

Vision: To accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy

Disney

Mission: To entertain, inform and inspire people around the globe through the power of unparalleled storytelling.

Vision: To be one of the world’s leading producers and providers of entertainment and information.

IKEA

Mission: to offer a wide range of well-designed, functional home furnishing products at prices so low that as many people as possible will be able to afford them.

Vision: To create a better everyday life for the many people impacted by our business.

How to write a vision statement

A vision statement is a short summary of the goals and ambitions you have for your organization. It should reflect your values, beliefs, and outline your long-term goals and serve as a guide for your business. Your employees should look at your vision statement for direction and inspiration.

Similarly to your mission statement, your vision statement should be concise, short and to the point. Here’s how to write one:

1. Write a brief outline

To begin your vision statement you should outline the basic plan for your company’s future. What are your goals and dreams for your organisation? Why do your goals matter? Answer these questions and try to think about how your strategy reflects your own vision for the future.

2. Ask your employees

Your vision statement will be used to unify and motivate your team. This is why it’s a good idea to get their opinion. Employee buy-in is paramount. Therefore, brainstorming your ideas with them should give you a good understanding of what motivates your workforce.

3. Keep it short

Any good vision statement should be memorable. It’s more likely to be remembered if it’s short and concise, without the use of buzz words or jargon. Keeping it within one sentence is a good rule of thumb or two at the most.

4. Be bold

It goes without saying that your goals should be unique and ambitious. If your workforce are going to be motivated by your vision, then it needs to be a strong one. It should be one that is bold, exciting and ambitious. Infuse your vision statement with passion, and align it with your business’s values.

Vision, mission and strategy

A mission statement outlines your company’s purpose for existing. Often they’re longer than vision statements and include a summary of your organisation’s values and beliefs. Your mission statement drives everyday activity and lays out your purpose for existing. Your vision statement describes what you hope to become, based on that purpose.

The purpose of your marketing and PR strategy is to align your mission with your vision. The mission is the starting point for your plan. The vision is the end goal that will drive your plan forward. Your strategic plan serves as a roadmap to help you navigate from one to the other.

Mission and vision statements are an important part of your brand’s identity. They can provide you and your team with inspiration and a clear guide for decision-making.

Are you thinking about creating a strong vision and mission statement for your brand? Contact us today to find out how we can help you craft the perfect message.