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The world of work is constantly evolving. 

Take the rise of work from home (WFH) models, shifting company cultures, the uptick in burnout rates among young workers and the increasingly fast-paced nature of enterprise. These all present challenges to organizations. 

Deloitte found that 78% of business leaders are trying to create a future workplace where employees can prosper but feel culture is their biggest obstacle. 

And according to a 2023 PwC study, almost 40% of CEOs don’t think their companies will be economically viable in 10 years if they don’t transform themselves.

As leaders and employees consistently face new challenges and adapt to dynamic trends, you need to optimize your organizational culture and future goals. 

Creating compelling mission and vision statements is the first step to forming a forward-thinking company culture optimized for success. 

You might be wondering about the difference between mission vs. vision statements. Or you’re unsure how to write, integrate and use them to communicate with your target audience.

That’s why we created this guide for you.

Mission vs. vision statements: Definitions, examples and differences

While mission and vision statements have many similarities and can be combined into a single phrase, they each serve a unique purpose.

Before discussing their key differences, let’s look at definitions and examples of each.

Mission statement defined

Mission Statement defined: the heart of your organization

A mission statement expresses your organization’s purpose, core values and foundational aims. It encapsulates your business’s heart and concisely communicates its primary focus, brand identity and approach. It serves as a general guide for your company.

Mission statement examples

  • Starbucks: “To inspire and nurture the human spirit — one person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time.”

Starbucks’ mission statement is passion-driven and appeals to emotion while focusing on the brand’s core purpose — serving coffee globally. It’s short, sweet and easy to understand.

  • Tesla: “To accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy.”

This auto company’s mission statement concisely communicates its reason for existing and foundational aims. The use of “accelerate” is forward-thinking and fast-paced, which aligns well with its brand identity.

  • IKEA: “To offer 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.”

IKEA presents its company mission with an accessible statement. It highlights what the brand does — providing practical home furnishings almost anyone can afford. It also points to its unique offering — huge product variety and well-designed items.

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

Nike’s mission statement expresses its fundamental values, inspiration and innovation in athletics. It’s intentionally inclusive, reminding us that “athlete” doesn’t just refer to the Michael Jordans of the world but to each of us. This makes it relatable and memorable.

  • Google: “To organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.”

Google’s mission statement communicates the range of complex activities it works on in simple terms. It highlights the company’s primary focus on cataloging and offering information to the world while laying out its core values — accessibility and practicality.

Vision statement defined

Vision statement definition

A vision statement expresses your organization’s aspirations, strategic goals and plans for the future. It communicates where your business is going next and serves as an actionable map toward success.

Vision statement examples

  • Starbucks “To establish Starbucks as the premier purveyor of the finest coffee in the world while maintaining our uncompromising principles while we grow.”

Starbucks’ effective vision statement shows the public the brand plans to expand and is focused on sticking to its core values as it does so. 

It also tells us it wants to be the best coffee provider in the world. This points to the brand’s high ambitions and commitment to its craft.

  • Tesla: “To create the most compelling car company of the 21st century by driving the world’s transition to electric vehicles.”

Tesla’s vision statement expresses its desire to become the most compelling auto corporation while pushing the entire world toward a more sustainable, better future. 

The innovative aspirations align with its core identity and futuristic brand name. The company’s statement provides a transitional goal that inspires employees.

  • IKEA: “To create a better everyday life for the many people.”

IKEA’s vision statement appeals directly to corporate social responsibility and communicates the brand’s philanthropic aims. It corresponds with the company’s mission to provide super-affordable and accessible products.

  • Nike: “To remain the most authentic, connected, and distinctive brand.”

Nike’s vision statement shows it plans to continue along its current path as we move into the future. The company’s statement suggests it already represents the most authentic, connected and distinctive brand. This reaffirms Nike’s authority in its field.

  • Google: “To provide access to the world’s information in one click.”

Google’s vision statement fixates on global accessibility. It expresses the company’s forward-thinking goal of optimizing convenience, speed and ease of use. The single-click aim serves as motivation.

Mission statement vs. vision statement

Mission statements describe what you do and who you are in the present. They summarize your company’s purpose and primary focus. Vision statements describe what you want to do and who you want to be. They outline your organization’s future hopes.

Mission statements express your business’s core values. They’re a foundation or compass for company culture. Vision statements integrate those core values but are a game plan or action-oriented roadmap for reaching business goals.

Despite these differences, they work together to form a framework for your company.

Mission statement vs. vision statement working together

The importance of mission and vision statements

A 2022 study from Leadership HQ found that employees are 115% more engaged when their organization has a well-defined set of company values. This illustrates the importance of a mission statement for keeping workers committed and on track. 

Without one, it’s tough for people outside your organization to know what you stand for.

Vision statements also serve critical purposes internally and externally. They guide your business strategy, provide benchmarks to work toward and show the public where you’re headed.

Benefits of mission statements

  • Attract and retain customers, employees, leaders, partners or stakeholders whose values align with yours.
  • Continuously cultivate a positive internal culture. This is key for reducing employee turnover. A 2022 study from SHRM found that 90% of workers who rate their work culture as poor have thought about quitting.
  • Provide a foundation guiding all business practices.
  • Highlight your unique value proposition and set your brand apart from the competition.

Benefits of vision statements

  • Optimize company culture, motivate your team and enhance employee well-being.
  • Assist with strategic planning, goal-setting and decision-making.
  • Guide leadership through shifting contexts, ensuring your company stays on track and adheres to the business plan throughout any changes. 
  • Remind your customers, employees and partners why they should believe in your business.

How to create and use effective mission and vision statements

Here’s how to create your own mission and vision statements for your company:

Guidelines for creating great mission and vision statements

Be bold, not boring

Create concise, clear and compelling statements. Avoid complex language and write in present tense. Make statements specific but not too specific.

Inject your statements with passion and make them bold, not boring. Keep your organization’s unique offer at the center while making your statements memorable and distinct.

Ask yourself how your mission and vision will have a positive impact on your leaders and customers or clients. Make sure global contexts inform your statements.

A 6 step process for writing mission and vision statements

How to write mission and vision statements
  1. With your leadership or advisory team, ask yourselves some key questions, such as:
  • Mission statement:
    • What do we do?
    • Who do we do it for?
    • Why do we do it?
    • What are we truly passionate about?
  • Vision statement:
    • How do we envision the future?
    • Where are we now?
    • Where do we want to be in one year? Five years? 10 years?
    • How might we get there?
    • What are our long-term goals?
  1. Use your answers to brainstorm and figure out your organization’s:
  • Mission statement: Core values and unique purpose.
  • Vision statement: Central aims, strategic goals and aspirations.
  1. Express your organization’s overarching vision/mission with a paragraph.
  1. Workshop that paragraph until it’s a single passion-oriented statement that clearly communicates your company’s vision/mission.
  1. Check your statements to ensure they fit the guidelines mentioned above and align with each other.
  1. Go back to your statements occasionally to review and update them according to external and internal changes.

Strategies for using mission and vision statements

Once you’ve written your mission and vision statements, it’s time to implement them.

You shouldn’t just use them when forming your business. You should work consistently to inject them into the veins of your business, both within your organization and in the public sphere. 

Leadership HQ found that companies that discuss their values daily have 37% higher employee engagement than those that discuss them yearly. That means you should continually communicate your mission to employees at all levels. 

Incorporate your mission statement as the backbone of everything your team does. Provide specifics on how to follow it and consistently reference it as an ethical framework. 

Leverage it when you cultivate your brand persona, promote your website and communicate with your customer base. Present it not only on your “About” page, but also in innovative regular content through social media platforms.

Use your vision statement as a tool to guide your organization as it evolves and to keep you moving toward your common goals. Refer to it regularly when you start new marketing campaigns, adapt to industry changes and search for forward-thinking business partners.

FAQs about mission vs. vision statements

Here are some frequently asked questions (FAQs) about mission vs. vision statements:

What are the similarities between mission and vision statements?

Both types of statements shape company culture, form important frameworks for your organization and serve as foundational guides for strategic planning. 

Both are important for motivating and inspiring employees at all levels and communicating key aspects of your brand to the public.

What makes a good mission and vision statement?

A good mission statement encapsulates your company’s heart, essence, values and purpose while communicating your brand identity.

 A good vision statement encapsulates your company’s aspirations and goals while communicating your long-term plans.

Which statement comes first — mission or vision?

The mission statement comes first.

Final thoughts: Mission vs. vision statements — A guide with 5 examples

As the world of work continues to evolve, pinpointing your organization’s mission is to help your company stand out and foster a positive internal culture.

Determining your vision is just as crucial if you want to keep leaders and employees on track to achieve higher, let the world know your long-term goals and move successfully toward the future.

Strategically writing great mission and vision statements, then referencing them regularly, is an important step toward building your brand identity.  

Understanding the difference between mission vs. vision statements is important for creating good ones. Follow the guidelines above when crafting your own.

Let everyone know what your brand stands for with Bluehost’s professional marketing services. Our full-service team is here to help your organization reach its full potential by guiding your team toward success. Request a consultation today

  • Devin Sears

    Devin is a Senior Event Marketing Manager for the Bluehost brand. He is our brand steward for all things Bluehost and WordPress. You'll always see him supporting Bluehost at WordCamps around the world!

    Brigham Young University
    Previous Experience
    Social Media, Customer Experience, Field Marketing, Sponsorships, Event Coordinator
  • Tiffani Anderson

    Tiffani is a Content and SEO Manager for the Bluehost brand. With over 10 years experience across all facets of content and brand marketing, she strives to combine concepts from brand marketing with engaging content through the lens of SEO.

    University of North Texas
    Previous Experience
    Content Marketing, SEO, Social Media
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1 Comment

  1. Zeek Martinez Reply

    Great article that has really great applicable steps that can help organizations get started with the heart beat of their company. I love the examples and simple language to help make it understandable.

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