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Vision Versus Mission

Understanding How Brand Works

The cornerstones of most organizations are their Vision and Mission statements. Not everyone agrees, however, on what the difference is between them. Which is more foundational? Is it necessary to have both rather than just one? How do they relate to each other? What constitutes “good” vision and mission statements? Understanding their role and how they work together is important in creating a true and effective vision and mission framework.

Vision defines the destination. Vision is foundational to the brand. A Vision should seek to define:

  • what the organization can ideally be at some future state;
  • what impact it seeks to make; and
  • why the organization exists.

Mission sets the path. The Mission is what the organization must do and HOW it will accomplish its Vision. It is the internal roadmap that serves to guide what the company does. A Mission should consider:

  • what the organization does, produces and provides;
  • who the organization seeks to serve; and
  • what overarching benefit does it provide.

The Vision and Mission work hand-in-hand to provide the necessary clarity to make critical business and branding decisions that guide what the organization does day-to-day to reach its long-term goals.

A simple formula can help in building a relational model between Vision and Mission. It is the “TO-BY” model that is simply: “We exist TO be something that will result in some long-term impact (Vision) BY doing these things that will help us reach the impact we seek to make (Mission).

Applying this model to the Disney Vision and Mission would go like this:

Disney Vision: To Make People Happy

Disney Mission: To be one of the world’s producers and providers of entertainment and information.

Disney Vision Mission Statement
Our Vision is TO make people happy BY being one of the world’s producers and providers of entertainment and information

The goal of How Brand Works is to share our experience, perspectives and philosophy on the different facets of branding intended to enable an effective brand management strategy.

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