What is the difference between vision and mission?

Mission vs. vision? We get that question all the time.

The simple answer to mission statement vs vision statement is this:

A Mission statement =

Action. Present condition of the organization. A mission statement should answer three key questions:

  • what we do
  • who we do it for
  • how we do it

Those three (3) areas encompass the essence of your organization.

A mission statement defines in a paragraph or so any entity’s reason for existence. It embodies its philosophies, goals, ambitions and mores. Any entity that attempts to operate without a mission statement runs the risk of wandering through the world without having the ability to verify that it is on its intended course.

A Vision Statement =

Think values and desired future state. What do you hope the organization will achieve? What is the “north star” for this endeavor that will not change even if leadership does change?

Your vision statement must be succinct and inspirational to employees and customers/clients.

A vision statement definition can be described as the sentence or two that elaborates on the mission statement by expressing values, visions or goals as they relate both internally and externally to the mission.

PepsiCo’s Vision

“PepsiCo’s responsibility is to continually improve all aspects of the world in which we operate”- environment, social, economic”- creating a better tomorrow than today. Our vision is put into action through programs and a focus on environmental stewardship, activities to benefit society, and a commitment to build shareholder value by making PepsiCo a truly sustainable company.”

When thinking about the difference between mission statement and vision statement, these succinct definitions might help.

Mission statement: your core activities and tangible objectives today.

Vision statement: your concept of your organization and its impact on your community in the future.

Values statement: the ideas that you think are important as you guide your organization forward.

Statement of purpose: why you do the specific things that you do.

Principles: an all-purpose combination of your mission and your values.

There’s not a lot of difference between mission and vision for some, but you should draft them separately to clarify your thinking process.

Many people use a mission statement for outward-facing purposes and vision for internal purposes. Terminology changes within vision versus mission. We see words like responsible, responsibility, believe, achieve, treat, etc. in vision statements. This helps employees and customers understand what to expect.

For example, International Paper’s vision statement addresses a belief in “diversity of thought.” This is a value statement. They also mention that “everyone…is responsible for meeting customer and business promises.” This is a directive or action statement for employees. We often see a commingling of vision and mission statements because if you hold certain values (such as high ethical standards), then these values compel you to take certain actions, e.g. fulfill promises made to customers.

Johnson & Johnson Companies, which together produces a huge range of consumer and healthcare products including Tylenol, has a very specific mission and vision that details the company’s responsibilities. In 1943, just before Johnson & Johnson became a publicly traded company, Robert Wood Johnson, a member of the company’s founding family and former chairman from 1932 to 1963, crafted the company’s Credo himself. It has not changed since. Here is the first paragraph:

Missionstatements.com exists to help you write a good mission or vision statement for your business or organization.

Many examples of a good mission statement for businesses exist in our library. See the links below to find sample mission statements in a category similar to yours. Writing a mission statement for an organization can be tough because it requires a thoughtful analysis of what you do and why.

Mission Statements had a simple DIY Tool Kit Available as a $5 Download PDF. Check it out here. If you’d like help from a professional writer, contact us here. Low cost packages are available.

Johnson & Johnson Credo

We believe our first responsibility is to the doctors, nurses and patients, to mothers and fathers and all others who use our products and services.

In meeting their needs everything we do must be of high quality. We must constantly strive to reduce our costs in order to maintain reasonable prices.

Customers’ orders must be serviced promptly and accurately. Our suppliers and distributors must have an opportunity to make a fair profit.

Get Professional Help Writing a Great Mission Statement

We are here at missionstatements.com to help you write a great mission statement, vision statement, or anything else you need help crafting to tell the world in words and images about your business or organization. Contact us here today.

See our writing and branding services and packages here.

See Hundreds of Mission Statements in Our Library

Our mission: to inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time.

Starbucks Corp.

Our Values: Our company’s foundation is built on our values, which distinguish us and guide our actions. We conduct our business in a socially responsible and ethical manner. We respect the law, support universal human rights, protect the environment, and benefit the communities where we work.






-Protecting People and the Environment

-High Performance

Chevron Corp.


To sharpen our competitive advantage by drawing on the strengths of a diverse work force in order to enhance innovation, growth and customer satisfaction.


Panasonic recognizes that diversity is a business necessity and also an opportunity to achieve greater business success. Accordingly, we are committed to the development of a work force that re&ects the diversity of its customers, business partners and communities.

 Panasonic Corp. of North America


DIY Mission Statements Tool Kit $5 Download PDF Here