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What’s the Difference Between a Company’s Vision and Mission?

Can you imagine setting out on a journey without a destination in mind?  Regardless of the motion being made, you’re likely to end up in the middle of nowhere, with life’s ups and downs as your navigation system. The same can be said of a corporate organisation without a clear vision and/or mission in place. Both concepts are vital for strategic long-term planning, and this is why you will never find a Fortune 500 company without vision and mission statements to inspire action from employees and other stakeholders.

Despite their undeniable significance, many individuals – including some business owners – are unable to accurately define the terms, Vision and Mission, leading to a misuse in their application. Let’s find out what they truly mean and how their statements can be formulated to secure corporate success:


A company’s vision is simply the state of existence a company sees for itself in a future point. It is the mental image towards which the company is moving, or the dream world or setting it strives hard to create, perhaps in the society or industry, or for its customers.


1. Disney: To make people happy.

2. Coca Cola:

Profit: Maximizing return to share owners while being mindful of our overall responsibilities.

People: Being a great place to work where people are inspired to be the best they can be.

Portfolio: Bringing to the world a portfolio of beverage brands that anticipate and satisfy peoples’ desires and needs.

Partners: Nurturing a winning network of partners and building mutual loyalty.

Planet: Being a responsible global citizen that makes a difference.



A company’s mission, on the other hand, can be defined as the reason behind its establishment, that is, its purpose. It outlines what it has been made to do, who it aims to impact and how exactly such an impact would be made in reality.


1. Walt Disney: To be one of the world’s leading producers and providers of entertainment and information, using its portfolio of brands to differentiate its content, services and consumer products. The company’s primary financial goals are to maximise earnings and cash flow, and to allocate capital toward growth initiatives that will drive long-term shareholder value.

2. Coca Cola:

  • To refresh the world…
  • To inspire moments of optimism and happiness…
  • To create value and make a difference.


VISION vs. MISSION: While the vision is more future-oriented, the mission deals with activities in the present state of time. Additionally, the vision inspires team members in a company to see the organisation decades from now. The mission, however, helps to inform stakeholders of the role it intends to play in the short term.

A final difference to add would be the use of values when writing vision statements, and actions when writing mission statements. Examples of values include the following: excellence, superiority, ingenuity, dynamism, strength, power, etc. Actions, on the other hand, refer to words like: produce, provide, support, develop, conceive, promote, etc. This, however, is not a standard rule.


Adapted from

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Ify Halim is a Writer and media enthusiast based in Lagos. She enjoys writing self-help/inspirational articles with published work in UYD Magazine, Edufrica, Our Stories Inc. and The Keele Concourse. She currently works at, Nigeria’s Information Portal. Follow her on Twitter @MissHalim or visit her online space at

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