Mission Vision: image of pillars with the header Clearly Branded Step 2 Mission & Vision

Clearly Branded Step 2: Mission & Vision

You just started your Clearly Branded Journey with me, and we began by defining the basics: What does your company do? How do you do it? And—most importantly—why do you do it? We’ve built the brand foundation of your business structure. Now it’s time to build the pillars—strong ones. Pillars that will support your brand now and for a long time to come. I am talking about your Mission and Vision. 

process graph of the Clearly Branded journey, with Mission and Vision highlighted as part 2

Mission vs. Vision

There is a lot of confusion around the difference between Mission versus Vision. The Brand Vision and Brand Mission are two sides of the same coin. One is based on and supports the other.

The Brand Vision is that big (sometimes audacious) goal in the future, while the Brand Mission is what you are committed to every day to get you to that goal.

Inspired by Brand Expert Steven Houraghan’s definition, I like to compare the two like this:

Vision is in the future.
Mission is now.

Vision is someday.
Mission is every day.

Vision is ambition.
Mission is commitment.   

Vision is motivation.
Mission is action.

Vision is to become.
Mission is to be.

side by side comparison graphic of Vision and Vision visually supporting the previous paragraph

Vision: Where do you aspire to go?

For your Brand Vision ask yourself where do you aspire to go, what do you hope to be, and what kind of impact do you want to have? These can be lofty goals. Big, bold, daunting, and not easily achieved. As long as they feel authentic to your brand, are supported by the leadership, and are based on genuine and realistic ambitions, they will motivate the team, influence each strategic decision to get your brand closer to your vision, and inspire action.

Mission: What do you commit to every day?

Action is the Brand Mission. It is the tactical things that you commit to now and every day to achieve your vision in the future. The Mission should be clear and guiding, achievable, measurable, memorable, and present-based. It is in the consistency and quality of doing business every single day that will build trust, create fans, and earn recognition that gets you closer to realizing your vision.

Do you see how the Vision and Mission are connected?

Without the Mission, the Vision is no more than a dream (we need tangible action steps and commitment to get us there).

And without the Vision, the Mission is adrift (how do we commit to something without a goal in mind).

A few examples from brands we all know:

Amazon’s Vision (their ambition):
to be Earth’s most customer-centric company, where customers can find and discover anything they might want to buy online.
Amazon’s Mission (their daily commitment):
We strive to offer our customers the lowest possible prices, the best available selection, and the utmost convenience.

Tesla’s Vision (their ambition):
to create the most compelling car company of the 21st century
Tesla’s Mission (their daily commitment):
to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable transport

Apple’s Vision (their ambition):
to make the best products on earth, and to leave the world better than we found it.
Apple’s Mission (their daily commitment):
to bring the best personal computing products and support to students, educators, designers, scientists, engineers, businesspersons, and consumers in over 140 countries around the world.

Southwest’s Vision (their ambition):
to become the world’s most loved, most flown, and most profitable airline
Southwest’s Mission (their daily commitment):
dedication to the highest quality of Customer Service delivered with a sense of warmth, friendliness, individual pride, and Company Spirit.

How do I define my Mission and Vision?

I use a few exercises and meaningful questions that help my clients to define and distill their own Mission and Vision. We spend a lot of time exploring the impact they want to have on a certain group of people, on the environment, on their trade or market, etc. And then we brainstorm what actionable steps can be taken in order to get us there. This second step in my Clearly Branded journey often takes a while and we continue to work on it with the entire team until it feels right. Often I bring in a copywriter to skillfully craft and formalize the final statements.

Here are a few Mission and Vision Statements from my own clients:

Spring Theory Pilates
We aspire to help people to connect deeply within their bodies through breath and movement so that they may in turn connect more deeply with the world.
We are committed to our community of intelligent bodies in motion. Together we will listen, provide space, and grow as grounded and alive human beings.

We aspire to support our families, educators, and clinicians to live empowered and fulfilled lives.
We are committed to finding tailored solutions for children with speech and language adversities, and support and empower families, educators, and upcoming SLPs to be part of achieving this goal.

Zettist Marketing House
To create meaningful content that makes everybody feel heard.
We aspire to put the personality in customer-centric companies’ brand voices to create a welcoming internet for all.

Nautilus Construction
We aspire to set the standard for the home remodeling experience by providing conscientious management for construction services to exceed our client’s expectations.
Our Mission is general contracting dedicated to craft and built on relationships.

And my own Mission and Vision statement:

Lime & Co Vision:
We aspire to help our clients to have the most clarity, confidence, and purpose behind their brands.
Lime & Co Mission:
We dig deep to help companies cultivate brand clarity by aligning their purpose with their visuals and messaging. The result: a confident brand ready to grow and win the hearts of those who matter.

Lime & Co Vision Statement graphic
Lime & Co Mission Statement graphic

A few more important points:

  • If you have a Mission and Vision statement, great! It will help you to stay focused and motivated to achieve your objectives over a certain period.
  • If you don’t have a Mission and Vision yet, no worries. It’ll come eventually. Contact me if you would like help with that.
  • While the Brand Mission and Vision are primarily for internal use to align and motivate the team and outline objectives, I encourage you to post it on your website for everyone to see, be inspired, and connect with your brand.
  • The Mission and Vision once defined are not set in stone. You can adjust over time. However, the essence should remain the same and true to your brand.

Did this post help at all to clarify the terms? Do you have any follow-up questions, or would like to define or polish your own Mission and Vision statement?

Contact me and let me know.
Committed to you,

Pillars Photo by Chris Brignola on Unsplash