What’s the difference?
Each part of a brand strategy can fit neatly in the context of a point A ——> Point B scenario.
In the case of defining vision vs mission, vision can be defined as the place you want your company to be (B) while mission is what you’re doing today to get there (A).
Let’s look at a basic example:
Mike is entering his senior year of high school. He schedules a meeting with the school career counselor to help him define what he wants to do for a career.
After a few deep dives about Mike’s love of animals and dreams of living and working in the city as a big attorney, they refine his vision to animal rights attorney.
The counselor then checks Mike’s schedule to see what classes he is taking, and they begin setting financial goals, exploring undergrad and law school curriculums, and mapping out a plan that fits with Mike’s goals.
Of course this is just a basic example, but it demonstrates a simple vision and mission exploration. The career counselor is effectively acting as a strategist for the student. First they defined the student’s vision (live in the city as an animal rights attorney) then outlined a mission or set of measurable objectives that serve the vision.
So what is a Mission Statement in business?
A company mission statement defines its core function, specific objectives, and how the company is meeting those objectives. At it’s core, a mission statement should work to serve the company’s vision.
Things such as what we do, whom do we serve, and how do we serve are all things included in a mission statement.
What is a Vision Statement?
A vision statement is more aspirational and defines how the company is going to serve a greater purpose.
What are the company’s hopes and dreams? What problem or problems is the business looking to solve in the world? What are the company’s core values? These are all things that should be included in a vision statement.
Hopefully this article sheds some light on the difference between a mission and a vision statement.
Most importantly though, reach out to clients, employees, stakeholders, and anyone else your company serves and ask questions about how they view the company. Their feedback should always be the cornerstone of both the vision and the mission of your organization.