During our brand strategy sessions we notice from time to time that there is some haziness about the mission statement and vision. The exact difference is not always very clear, but both brand building blocks are essential for the internal perspective of the Brand Development Canvas. We explain the difference between the two of them, to make sure you work on your brand development with the right formulation of your mission statement and vision.

Mission Statement

The mission statement of your organization can be seen as the reason of your existence. It answers the question “why you are in business” and what drives you to service your clients. A mission can entail a goal, but is never something you strive to achieve. It is what you are!

To give you some examples, Virgin Atlantic Airways states that their mission is to embrace the human spirit and let it fly. Talking about spirit, Coca-Cola states that their mission is to refresh the world in mind, body and spirit by sharing optimism and happiness. Where off course the ultimate mission when it comes to sharing is Facebook’s, to give people the power to share and make the world more open & connected. 

Briefly summarized a mission statement:

  • Practically doesn’t change over time
  • Is allowed to be a bit wooly and inspirational
  • Should be summarized in one inspirational sentence

Company vision

Compared with the mission statement, your company’s vision is more practical and goal orientated. It gives direction to the existence and defines the ambition of your organization. During our brand strategy sessions we often describe the vision as “the dot on the horizion” and the ultimate goal you want to achieve (for example) the upcoming 5 years.

Nike’s vision is to be the number one athletic company in the world, McDonalds wants to be the best fast food restaurant experience in the world and BMW wants to be the most successful premium manufacturer in the industry. As you can see a vision strives to achieve or be something.

Briefly summarized a company vision:

  • Can change from time to time, once achieved
  • Should be ambitious and bold (think big applies)
  • Is goal orientated and brings focus

If you haven’t formulated your mission statement and company vision yet, we hope to have clarified the difference between the two of them now. Start working hands-on towards a strong brand strategy with our Brand Development Canvas and make sure you clearly differentiate between the two of them!