The House of Chanel redefined fashion and beauty. Its mission? “To be the Ultimate House of Luxury, defining style and creating desire, now and forever.”
Chanel’s mission statement speaks to its past as well as its present and future. It completely represents the brand and what it stands for.
Nike’s vision is “To bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world.” This statement represents Nike’s future aspirations. It speaks to where the brand is headed and the ultimate goal behind its offerings.
There’s a key difference between vision and mission statements of an organization. Where the former is about the destination, the latter concerns the journey and the reason for being. Together, a mission and vision statement answer ‘why’, ‘what’ and ‘how’.
Why Do Organizations Need A Mission And Vision Statement?
Before we delve into the difference between vision and mission, let’s understand the reasons you need both.
Say you start a business you’re passionate about. You want to make eco-friendly, affordable and sustainable women’s hygiene products. You have your idea in place, you know how you’re going to manufacture the items and you already have a team who’s equally passionate about this idea.
How do you communicate your brand, objectives and purpose to other stakeholders? You have to consider how your offerings affect the environment and local communities. What about outreach? If you’re raising funding, you have to convince the investors your idea is worth investing in. This is where a mission and vision statement come into the picture.
Informing people of your idea isn’t enough. You have to differentiate yourself from the competition, make a robust business plan and convey your purpose to build an emotional connection. Your mission and vision statement should convey all this and much more. This doesn’t mean you write page after page explaining your idea. One-liners are far more effective.
Consider this statement from Cora, a personal hygiene brand spreading awareness about period care in developing countries:
“To nurture the inherent power of girls worldwide by providing period pads and health education to those who need them; use organic ingredients whenever possible; design products that are naturally good for our bodies and also good at what they do; spread knowledge that helps us understand our bodies better; champion issues that affect women worldwide; to support a girl stepping boldly into the promise of her future with every Cora purchase.”
They’ve combined both their mission and vision statement in a six-part strategy to convey their ‘what’, ‘why’ and ‘how’. A quick look at their website and you can easily identify what they stand for, their desired impact and goals.
Making a lasting impression with your mission and vision is critical to business success. If you’re thinking long-term for your business, you need to come up with something that’s unique to you but also speaks to your customers.
Difference Between Vision And Mission
It may not be easy to decode, but there’s a critical difference between vision and mission. For an organization, it’s a matter of what they want to achieve as opposed to where they want to go.
Here’s a rundown of mission vs vision statement:
A mission statement states your objectives, method and plans, highlighting your journey as an individual and a brand. A vision statement explains your destination—what you hope to accomplish at the end of your journey.
Another difference between mission and vision statement is the purpose they serve. Your mission statement explains your values and your vision statement gives those values a direction.
A mission statement clarifies your reason for being while your vision statement is meant to motivate, inspire and encourage. Your vision will remain constant throughout. You can tweak your mission, but your overarching aspirations or vision are what drive you every day.
Let’s look at fashion brand Zara’s example to understand the difference between mission and vision statement:
“To give customers what they want, and get it to them faster than anyone else.”
“To contribute to the sustainable development of society and that of the environment with which we interact.”
Writing impactful, concise and unique mission and vision statements will help your company get back on track if it ever wavers. Employees are motivated by their organization’s mission and vision. It’s important to make note of the difference between vision and mission if you want to write compelling statements for stakeholders.
Start Thinking About Your Purpose
The mission statement vs vision statement debate will become clearer when you write your own. Even if you’re an individual contributor or a freelancer, you can write your purpose. You need something to guide and uplift you when you’re feeling lost. Harappa’s Discovering Purpose course will teach you why purpose matters. Discover how to arrive at your purpose and live your purpose from our expert faculty. Understand the importance of your mission and vision with key frameworks like the Elements of Purpose and the Concept of Ikigai. You’ll find fulfillment in everything you do and make an effort for even the smallest tasks once you’ve identified your purpose!