Does your brand have clearly communicated mission and vision statements? To someone outside of the marketing and branding realms, these might seem like nothing more than fluffed-up claims, but both the mission and vision statement are vital to directing a company’s goals. From developing new products to marketing assets to direct communication with your audience, the mission and vision statement inform everything your company does.
But the mission and vision statements often get conflated, and when decision makers and employees of a company have different ideas of what these statements are, things can get messy. So, how are mission and vision statements different?
The simple answer is that the mission statement focuses on today and what the organization does, while the vision statement focuses on tomorrow and what the organization wants to become.
Mission statements drive the company forward, like an engine of a car. It’s the core of the business, the motivator advances a team towards a common goal. A weak or confusing mission statement can result in miscommunication and a lack of motivation.
Mission statement questions look like:
What do we do?
Whom do we serve?
How do we serve them?
Vision statements give the company direction. These are the aspirational road maps that guide the future of the brand. A strong vision statement encourages innovation and growth.
Vision statement questions look like:
What are our hopes and dreams?
What problem are we solving for the greater good?
Who and what are we inspiring to change?
Let’s say someone is getting to know your brand. They saw one of your company’s Instagram posts that inspired them to visit your website. Without ever visiting the “About” page, people should be able to develop a clear idea of what your brand does, stands for, and why. For instance. One doesn’t need to spend much time interacting with Harley Davidson’s digital presence to get a strong idea of the brand’s mission and vision. The motorcycle company’s assets, from copy to visuals to experiences, all signal the brand’s mission: “we stand for the timeless pursuit of adventure.” Harley Davidson’s vision? “Building our legend and leading our industry through innovation, evolution and emotion.
The strength of the brand’s communications is a direct result of meaningful and well-established vision and mission statements.
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