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FAQ: What’s the difference between purpose, vision, mission and values?

Do you have a mission statement? What’s your vision for the company? What’s your brand purpose? If you’re not sure what all of those even mean, you’re not alone. Ask 100 strategists and you’ll get 100 different answers. Here’s my take on the difference between purpose, vision, mission and values.

Purpose

Your purpose is why you do what you do. It is your unique contribution to the world.

For example: 

To inspire and empower others

Vision

Vision describes the desired impact you hope to have on the world as you fulfill your purpose. It describes the future state you hope to achieve.

For example: 

To reach their full potential

Mission

Your mission describes your actual business. There are a million ways to pursue a given purpose, but you chose this one. Your mission states what do you uniquely do and for whom.

For example:

Through brand strategy that helps people and their businesses grow

Values 

Your values capture how you work and do business. They are the ideals you refuse to compromise as you execute your mission in pursuit of your vision.

For example:

  • Dream big.
  • Seek relentless growth.
  • Feel the fear and do it anyway.
  • Ban should, must and always have.
  • Strategize success.
  • Every obstacle is an opportunity.
  • Positivity is a choice.
  • Cherish your time, energy and clients.
  • Include everyone.

Hopefully you now understand the difference between your purpose, vision, mission and values. Many businesses only have a few pieces of the puzzle but they each have a meaningful role in your overall brand strategy.