Mission versus Vision Statement - what's the difference and why does your company need each?

Best Examples of Company Vision and Mission Statements

Whatever industry your business is in, staying true to your core will guide you to reach your summit. Get inspiration from some of the world’s best examples of vision and mission statements.

Why Company Mission and Vision Statements Matter

What is your mountaintop?

Maybe you want to…

Grow revenue or profit
Increase ROI on your current resources and tactics
Improve organizational alignment and culture
Improve your message and differentiation
Leave your legacy
Stay relevant
Attract top talent
Lead with purpose
Live a more meaningful work life

Your mission and vision statements can act as your compass and map to fulfilling your company’s potential.

What’s the difference between a Vision Statement and a Mission Statement? And why should they matter when it comes to building your business, brand, and bottom line?

After all, they’re just framed words collecting dust in the break room, right?

Hardly.

They’re the key to living a fulfilled existence at work and building a powerful and lasting connection with both your team and your customers. If crafted with the right intention, vision and mission statements can help align your company’s efforts and focus its strengths on goal achievement.

After all, WORDS HAVE POWER.

These statements do not simply restate what you do and how big you want to be, but answer the deeper questions of “why do we care?” and “why do we bother?

Choosing the  right words will send a positive ripple through your organization on every level. Your mission and vision are at the core of your values and the foundation of your company culture. What does that mean for the health of your organization?

Here are a few real-life examples from industry leaders to get you thinking:

From a leadership standpoint:

According to Dharmesh Shah, HubSpot cofounder, “Culture helps make a large body of small decisions quicker—and a small body of large decisions easier.”

From a financial and growth standpoint:

In the words of Dina Dwyer-Owens, author of Values Inc., “The bottom line (and a profitable one too) is that a company that lives and leads with values will always outperform, outshine, outdo and outlive competitors who leave ethics at the back door. … The Dwyer Group Code of Values brought real value to our company and our culture as we became a $1 billion annual business systemwide.”

From a sales standpoint:

Adam Harless, head of sales operations at Prezi, notes: “Our mission and product really resonate with those sales teams that are trying to find new ways to reach potential clients and leave a lasting impression on them.”

From a marketing standpoint:

According to our own Blender CEO Dacia Coffey, “We’ve seen time after time how B2B companies that get this right make better budgeting decisions, keep their messaging on point and resonant with their audience, attract better talent, and open up lines of internal communication leading to increased revenue.”

From a team standpoint:

Perhaps most important, employees who are fully on board with your organization’s mission and vision go above and beyond to make your company a success.

Jack Welch, former CEO of General Electric, is well-known for stating: “It goes without saying that no company, small or large, can win over the long run without energized employees who believe in the mission and understand how to achieve it.”

The numbers back this up.

Quick stats:

• At Best Buy, a 0.1 percent increase in employee engagement drove $100,000 in operating income to the bottom line of each store per year. (Harvard Business Review, 2010)

• 72% of companies found a link between team dynamics with improved productivity, and 68% of companies found that had a positive effect on engagement. (Brandon Hall Group, 2014)

With so much riding on your vision and mission, you’re probably wondering how these two statements are actually defined. Here’s our take on how to discover the goal of each statement.

Vision Statement Definition:

Vision - part 1 of the puzzleThis is the DREAMING piece – if everything goes right, how will your organization change the world.

Mission Statement Definition:

Mission - part 2 of the puzzleThis is the DOING piece – how you intend to act as a servant leader. Your mission statement proclaims who you serve, what you serve and how you do it every day.

Your vision should be BIG, EXCITING and COMPELLING.

Your vision statement should be an audacious dream of a future reality based on the work you do. It should be bursting-at-the-seams with possibility. It’s where “begin with the end in mind” lives. It’s the heart and DNA construct of your organization. Your vision should be so big, it feels nearly impossible. Your vision should require people to dream.

The WHO, WHAT, and HOW of Mission.

A well-crafted mission statement answers WHAT you do, WHO benefits from this and HOW you do it. Depending on the particular organizational structure, the mission statement of a company can be broken down into its different divisions. All in all, the purpose is to help you stay focused on the activities of today that further your dreams of tomorrow.

Your mission should help to define the transformation you provide for your customers. And it should never be “all about the money.”

Peter Drucker states: “The mission statement has to express the contribution the enterprise plans to make to society, to economy, to the customer.” Furthermore, “Mission statements that express the purpose of the enterprise in financial terms fail inevitably to create the cohesion, the dedication, the vision of the people who have to do the work so as to realize the enterprise’s goal.”

In short:

Vision = Someday

Mission = Every Day

Not every company employs both vision and mission statements, nor does everyone follow these exact definitions. However, after years of consulting and workshops to help clients maximize their effectiveness and their growth, these definitions are the formula we have found to be most impactful.

How do these fit together in the real-world?

Consider Zappos.
Connecting purpose with action for your business. An example from Zappos.

The vision of Zappos.com, is “delivering happiness to customers, employees, and vendors.”

Whereas their mission statement, also referred to by Zappos employees as their “WOW Philosophy,” is to “provide the best customer service possible. Deliver WOW through service.”

And here’s our own version.
The Marketing Blender

BLENDER’S VISION:
A business world full of connection, prosperity and meaning for all individuals.

BLENDER’S MISSION:
To catalyze and transform the growth of mid-market B2B companies by being masters of message, brand and sales psychology. Through passion, fun and integrity, we seek to change the business world by daring to ignite the mind, inspire the spirit and penetrate the heart during business hours, every single day.

Vision Statement Examples (from A to Z)

Whatever industry your business may serve, staying true to your core will guide you to reach your summit. Get inspiration from some of the best examples below:

Alzheimers Association logo
ALZHEIMER’S ASSOCIATION: Our Vision is a world without Alzheimer’s disease.

Amazon logo
AMAZON: Our vision is to be earth’s most customer-centric company; to build a place where people can come to find and discover anything they might want to buy online.

Avon logo
AVON: 
To be the company that best understands and satisfies the product, service and self-fulfillment needs of women – globally.

Caterpillar Logo
CATERPILLAR: Our vision is a world in which all people’s basic needs — such as shelter, clean water, sanitation, food and reliable power — are fulfilled in an environmentally sustainable way and a company that improves the quality of the environment and the communities where we live and work.

CHARLES SCHWAB logo
CHARLES SCHWAB: 
Helping investors help themselves.

Cold Stone Creamery logo
COLD STONE CREAMERY: 
The ultimate ice cream experience.

Disney logo
DISNEY: 
To make people happy.

 

Facebook: To give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected.

 

Ford: People working together as a lean, global enterprise to make people’s lives better through automotive and mobility leadership

 

Giro Sport Design: To make sure that riding is the best part of a great life.

Google logo
GOOGLE:
 To organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.

Harley-Davidson logo
HARLEY-DAVIDSON:
 To fulfill dreams through the experiences of motorcycling.

 

HubSpot: To make the world Inbound. We want to transform how organizations attract, engage and delight their customers.
IKEA logo
IKEA: Our vision is to create a better everyday life for many people.

Instagram logo
INSTAGRAM:
 Capture and Share the World’s Moments.

Intuit logo
INTUIT:
 To revolutionize the way people do financial work.

Life is Good logo
LIFE IS GOOD:
 Spreading the power of optimism.

Microsoft logo
MICROSOFT:
 Empower people through great software anytime, anyplace, and on any device.

Nike logo
NIKE:
 To bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete* in the world. *If you have a body, you are an athlete.

Northfolk Southern logo
NORFOLK SOUTHERN:
 Be the safest, most customer-focused and successful transportation company in the world.

NORTHROP GRUMMAN: To be the most trusted provider of systems and technologies that ensure the security and freedom of our nation and its allies.

RESTON ASSOCIATION: Leading the model community where all can live, work and play.

 

SONY: To be a company that inspires and fulfills your curiosity.

 

TESLA: To accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy.

Zappos logo

ZAPPOS: Our vision is delivering happiness to customers, employees and vendors.

Mission Statement Examples (from A to Z)

Your mission is the everyday extension of your vision. What can you and what will you do today and every day to make your vision a reality?

Check out the following great examples as inspiration:

Advance Auto Parts logo
ADVANCE AUTO PARTS: It is the Mission of Advance Auto Parts to provide personal vehicle owners and enthusiasts with the vehicle-related products and knowledge that fulfill their wants and needs at the right price. Our friendly, knowledgeable and professional staff will help inspire, educate and problem-solve for our customers.

 

CAMPAIGN MONITOR: We deliver technology that solves complex problems in a beautifully uncomplicated way.

CATERPILLAR: Our mission is to enable economic growth through infrastructure and energy development, and to provide solutions that support communities and protect the planet.

CVS logo
CVS: We will be the easiest pharmacy retailer for customers to use.

 

DATADOG: The DataDog team is on a mission to bring sanity to IT Management.

Devon Energy logo
DEVON ENERGY: Devon Energy is a result oriented oil and gas company that builds value for its shareholder through its employees by creating an atmosphere of optimism, teamwork, creativity, resourcefulness and by dealing with everyone in an open and ethical manner.

Erie Insurance logo
ERIE INSURANCE: To provide our policyholders with as near perfect protection, as near perfect service as is humanly possible and to do so at the lowest possible cost.

 

GITLAB: Change all creative work from read-only to read-write so that everyone can contribute.

IKEA logo
IKEA: To create a better everyday life for many people. Our business idea supports this vision by offering a wide range of well-designed, functional home furnishing products at prices so low that as many people as possible will be able to afford them.

INVISION: We help companies of all sizes unlock the power of design-driven product development. InVision gives teams the freedom to design, review and user-test products — all without a single line of code.

Microsoft logo
MICROSOFT: To help people around the world realize their full potential.

 

MYMOID: We provide the most innovative digital payments solutions that increase your customers’ loyalty and connect them with your brand. We are not a company. We are an experience.

NatureAir logo
NATUREAIR: To offer travelers a reliable, innovative and fun airline to travel in Central America.

ORACLE: We help you simplify your IT environment so that you can free up money, time and resources to invest in innovation. We do this by providing a comprehensive and fully integrated stack of cloud applications, platform services and engineered systems.

Patagonia logo
PATAGONIA: Build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis.

PREZI: We’re a presentation resource, on a mission to reinvent how people share knowledge, tell stories and inspire their audiences to act.

SHOPKEEP: To rescue independent business owners from the nightmare of archaic POS, and replace it with something beautiful, simple and affordable.

Starbucks logo
STARBUCKS: To inspire and nurture the human spirit — one person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time.

Target logo
TARGET: Our mission is to make Target your preferred shopping destination in all channels by delivering outstanding value, continuous innovation and exceptional guest experiences by consistently fulfilling our Expect More. Pay Less. Brand Promise.

 

UBER: Make transportation as reliable as running water, everywhere, for everyone.

 

WEWORK: Create a world where people work to make a life, not just a living.

Zappos logo
ZAPPOS:
 To provide the best customer service possible. Deliver “WOW” through service.

 

ZENEFITS: To make entrepreneurship easier and more accessible to everyone, and to make it as easy as humanly possible for businesses to manage and care for their employees.

Clarifying Your Company’s Focus

You MUST be clear with your company vision and mission because this is where the rubber meets the road. The vision statement paints the vision of a successful future for all to see; the mission statement is the path you will follow to get there. One is the dreaming, the other the doing. Both are critical.

Your company vision should narrow your range of possibilities into a specific and powerful point of clarity.

The more clearly you can articulate your primary purpose, the less time and resources you’ll waste later trying to fix poor communication, alignment, employee engagement and unwanted cultural behaviors. Your employees and your customers will know what they are a part of and why you care.

Your mission statement helps your entire team know what it looks like to give your best each day and aspire to a shared vision. It focuses on the people you serve and reminds everyone that influence and success happen every day, not just in the rosy, someday of the future. It should also help individuals tap into the intrinsic motivation that gives real meaning to their work. With a living and vibrant company mission, your goals and plans will be aligned.

From a practical standpoint, you should be able to bounce your opportunities and ideas against these statements to determine if your decisions will take you in the right direction.

Developing these statements is especially important for any business in the seed phase. When made highly visible within your organization, they will not only guide every action and decision but also accelerate your growth. Creating these statements is not rocket science, so dream big and stay focused on your goals!

Finally, we encourage you to write and live by these statements, because unleashing your potential through your work is imperative. There is power in the words you use to shape your days, your life and your company. They will help you rise above the day-to-day “busy-ness” of RFPs, reports, scopes of work, competitive frenzy, marketplace trends, competing “opportunities” and all of the other nine-to-five details.

Your work—your business—gives you the opportunity to apply your strengths and gifts to bless the world in a unique and powerful way.

Don’t back away from the challenge.

What Do Your Vision and Mission Have to Do with Your Brand

Only everything. Your brand is your truth, and your vision and mission ensure that your truth has teeth. In the B2B sector, with its long sales cycles and multiple decision-makers, the human connection has never been more important.

What is your identity? Your purpose? Your reputation? A brand that is founded on a powerful vision and lived every day through an authentic mission has the invaluable advantage of being consistent. And consistency AMPLIFIES your brand and earns TRUST. Every touch. Every time.

Watch this video as Dacia Coffey explains why this is so critical to your company’s growth and success.point of clarity.

Your Vision Is too Important to Put Off until Tomorrow. Your Mission Can’t Wait.

Run Your Business as If Your Life Depends on It.

Leadership ought to entail having the power and responsibility to forge the life of your dreams. But all too often, this doesn’t happen.

In fact, leadership can take a toll. 77% of C-level executives and entrepreneurs say they have not achieved their dreams for their companies and their lives. 60% also say they are generally unhappy with how their business is going.

If this is going on at the top, you’re right to assume it’s trickling down to the team as well. According to a 2015 Gallup poll, only 32% of employees are engaged with their jobs. Half are not engaged, and 17% are “actively disengaged.” This is showing up as billions in lost revenue due to employee turnover.

On the other hand, 54% of employees who are proud of their company’s contribution to society are engaged. And according to the Dale Carnegie Institute, companies with engaged employees outperform those without by 202%!

Can you imagine running an organization that is filled with engaged, empowered, high-performing employees? Would that help you achieve your dreams and bring you daily joy to see how your business is thriving? If so, it’s time to get serious about defining your vision and mission.

Your Guide to Crafting Powerful Mission and Vision Statements

So how do you start?

Download this workbook that shows you step-by-step how to create a unique and powerful mission and vision statement for your organization.


The exercise of developing your mission and vision will take you into work that clarifies your core values and defines your current culture. This can be challenging work, because we often cannot see our own organizational nuances or blind spots, because we are a part of them. We don’t have a clear way to compare and identify how we are unique compared to others.

Bringing in a consultant to act as a guide in the process can be a huge benefit in building statements that will not just be framed words on a wall, but will be a call to arms that will help you take effective action every day to bring your dreams into reality. To learn more about how Blender has helped build mission and vision statements and what results our clients have seen, schedule a Discovery Call with one of our strategists.

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