Tying Your Mission and Vision to Daily Goals

Company values

When was the last time you revisited your company's mission or vision statement?

Do you even have one?

Your brand strategy includes your mission and vision statements because those are the top of your brand messaging architecture. All your marketing, product and sales messages cascade consistently down from there so that you're telling one story to yourself and to the market.

Mission and vision statements are anything but fluff and jargon. They are the guiding beacons to your success.

What is the Difference between Vision and Mission?

Your vision statement is the future state you desire. What do you want to see in the world as a result of your work? It's your why. This can be phrased as "We believe..." or "We imagine a world where..." It is larger than the products or services you provide on a daily basis or even your existing customer base.

Your mission statement narrows down what your organization specifically does to bring that vision to life. It is often phrased in terms of what you do to work toward the future state. For example, "Our mission is to deliver, provide, defend, inspire, enable, support...." It starts to get much more practical to inform what your company actually does for your customers. It also further defines how your brand chooses to achieve the vision.

If you have to look up your mission or vision statement on your website (as some of my clients have had to do in brand workshops), neither is doing you any good, and you need to start over. They should be tenets everyone understands, takes to heart and leverages on a daily basis.

Use Your Vision and Mission as a Compass Every Day

Your vision is the overarching reason everyone comes to work every day, customers should support you and partners should embrace you. It is the purpose of your existence. What kind of world are you trying to create? I often boldly challenge clients to think about the vision that would actually make their business obsolete and no longer needed.

Your mission ensures everyone understands what they are being tasked to do in pursuit of that vision. Are you all rowing in the same direction?

Your mission guides daily decisions and actions. It's a reality check for deciding what to put into the product, what additional services to offer, whether this task is a good use of the company's time, if this company is the right partner. And when communicated clearly to recruits, you ensure you're bringing in the right people to represent the brand — people who know what they are getting into and are up to the task. That's how you build an engaged workforce.

If you want to add a new feature, customer experience or offering, does it further your mission and vision? Or does it distract from it?

One CEO client of mine said it best: "We need a mission statement that we can ask ourselves in every meeting to ensure we are making the right decision."

Used correctly, your vision and mission statements provide the framework for all your customer communications as well. If your value proposition or product messaging doesn't align with and support the mission and vision, you're on the wrong track.

If you truly want to scale across a distributed workforce, various locations, and expanding product or service lines, all your people need to understand what journey they are on. Where do you play? Why do you do what you do? This is just the beginning of establishing an influential and sticky brand, and it informs everything else you do as individuals toward the company's goals, both long and short term. But when it's relegated to a pretty poster on the wall or website copy that no one remembers, it is the most overlooked part of a successful brand strategy.

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