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Mission and vision statements: make your brand stand out

Updated: Oct 15, 2021

Any self-respecting #MarketingPlan must have solid business mission and vision statements. These two elements are critical in determining the difference between a business and a brand.

Keep reading and discover why.

Table of contents

  1. What mission and vision mean (classic definition);

  2. What mission and vision have become nowadays (Golden Circle Model);

  3. Examples of top brands’ mission and vision statements;

  4. The outcome in having a mission and vision statements.


The mission is a powerful statement that in a few words explains the reason of existence for a business. It is focused on the present and states what the company does, its core business and how to achieve it.

An organization exists to accomplish something, right?

The classic definition of “Mission Statement”

According to Marketing and management of Kotler and Keller, successful mission statements have few common traits:

  1. They focus on a limited number of goals;

  2. They highlight the business’s major policies and values;

  3. They define the major competitive spheres within which the company will operate. They can be: the target industry, products and applications supplied, range of competence mastered and leveraged, market segment served, number of steps from raw material to final product and distribution, and target geographical areas;

  4. They take a long-term view. Management should change the mission only when it ceases to be relevant;

  5. They are as short, memorable and meaningful as possible.

To use the words of Peter Drucker (a management consultant, educator and author whose publications have contributed to define the modern business corporation), the mission statement should answer a few questions:

What is our business? Who is the customer? What is of value to the customer? What will our business be? What should our business be? These simple-sounding questions are among the most difficult a company will ever have to answer. Successful companies continuously raise and answer them.

Examples of bad mission statements

  • To build total brand value by innovating to deliver customer value and customer leadership faster, better, and more completely than our competition;

  • We build brands and make the world a little happier by bringing our best to you.

Example of Google’s mission statement

  • To organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.


While the mission drives a company in the present, the vision statement gives it the right direction. A business envisions itself in the future and provides aspirational purpose.

What problem are we seeking to solve? Where are we headed? If we’ll achieve all strategic goals, what would we look like in 10 years from now?

In two words, the vision statement is a road map.

Example of Google’s vision statement

  • To provide access to the world’s information in one click.


Simon Sinek at TED 2014: Why good leaders make you feel safe
Simon Sinek at TED 2014 - Vancouver Convention Center, Canada. The Next Chapter, Session 11 - Unstressed. Photographer: James Duncan Davidson.

No one usually likes and fully understands classic concepts written by old economists for a different historical time. They seem so far away from us that it is almost unbelievable they are still true.

But mission and vision statements are evergreen concepts in marketing and Simon Sinek (author, speaker and marketing consultant) revised them in 2009 with his book Start with Why: how great leaders inspire everyone to take action.

The difference between any business and a brand

Thanks to Sinek’s work, the modern meaning of being a brand has emerged. He showed how to find and leverage inspiration in the everyday work with his Golden Circle Model.

He reworked vision and mission into Why, How, What: the three golden circles.

There are only two ways to influence human behavior: you can manipulate it or you can inspire it. Very few people or companies can clearly articulate why they do what they do. By “why” l mean your purpose, cause or belief-why does your company exist? Why do you get out of bed every morning? And why should anyone care? People don't buy what you do, they buy why you do it.

Great leaders found their business by first addressing why they exist:

  • Why: this is the core belief of the business. It's why the business exists;

  • How: this is how the business fulfills that core belief;