A brand's mission and vision are one of three parts in your brand's core that are required to give your brand a purpose. This is not for you and what you do, but for your brand and what it can turn into.
THE BRAND CORE
Firstly, to explain. The brand core is finding out what your brand is on the deepest levels. This is your foundation and the strongest part of your brand that is least likely to change over time. This does not, however, mean that it can’t change or evolve. As every person evolves, so does their brand. The brand core is the reasoning behind what you’re doing, and you use this when you begin to grow and expand. Take into consideration everything you’ve thought about so far when you decided to start this journey and apply it to creating a strong brand core that will be the basis of everything you do.
The brand core consists of your purpose, values, vision, and mission. Having these as the foundation of your brand will make it easier to build upon.
Defining the reason why your brand exists and how it connects to your audience
Discover the core values that are important to your brand and you, as the founder
Revealing your dreams and the goals that you want to take in order to reach them
In this article, I'm going to focus on your vision and mission - which is the last of the points above.
REVEAL YOUR VISION AND MISSION
I like to use the word "reveal" when talking about the vision and mission because these are not things you research, find or copy from someone else. These are things that you already know, even if only in your subconscious, and one of the reasons behind creating your brand. You wanted it to do something and get somewhere. That is what the mission and vision are.
Personally, I like to split the two up with the following definitions:
Your brand’s vision is the big goal, the big idea, and what you want your brand to accomplish at its highest possible point.
Your brand’s mission is the steps you will take to get to that final goal and how you can achieve your brand's dreams.
A simpler definition that has grown from this is: your vision is for tomorrow and your mission is for today.
So, where is your brand heading and how?
Your vision is used to set a direction for your brand and strengthen your purpose. You will be using your values (so make sure you know those first) to help you support and create a vision statement so that you can connect with your audience while achieving your goals. Once you have a solid vision statement in place, you want to figure out the steps your brand should take in order to achieve that vision.
These steps are your mission and what your brand is doing at the moment that will help it achieve its vision.
Before you get started on your brand's mission, I want you to dream big and then go small. That means vision first then mission.
Firstly, you want to figure out your brand’s vision. This is the long-term goal you want your brand to accomplish and it both reflects and builds upon your brand strategy, taking everything into consideration that you have in it including your positioning, your audience, your purpose, and so on. These are the materials to help you build your foundation.
Quick note: the vision for your brand does not necessarily have to be based on your industry. For example, I do branding through design and strategy. Even if I changed my services, my brand's vision would remain the same: focus on perfection. In fact, I could become a chef (if I could cook that well) or a seamstress, an athlete, or anything else, and my brand's vision would still remain the same because that is what is important to my brand.
Having a brand vision is extremely important. Without one, you are only thinking of the now and letting the world around you control your brand. You end up following trends, losing sight of what you stand for, and any future evolution will be sporadic, inconsistent, and can lead to some very ineffective marketing.
In addition, a vision can help you outline how your brand and business will grow (remember that your brand has a huge impact on your business).
And last thing quick about your brand vision. Unlike your mission, this does not really change unless you’re doing a rebrand. Think of the destination, not the journey. The journey may change, but where you end will be the same.
Your mission is what drives your brand in the here and now. This is what you do in business and can be defined into individual steps and objectives, and it is how you will achieve these objectives and reach your vision. Once you know your vision, you want to figure out the individual steps you want to take in order to achieve it. These steps can be broken down as far as you want into more general outlooks where you know what to do in order to reach them or more specific quarterly goals.
Personally, I prefer the specifics because I love the idea of having a specific step to be on in order to get to a final result, but I don’t go so far as to plan daily or be too specific with goals that are further away because everything changes.
Whenever you’re making any plans, I want you to focus on creating flexible goals, which is one of the reasons why we’re calling them missions. The last thing you want to do is re-do your following individual steps every time you either exceed or don’t meet your goals from the previous step.
In addition, because your mission is an in-the-moment thing, that means it can and will change regularly. As long as your mission works towards reaching your vision, you can change it as much as you want and however you want. However, the point of a mission is to have an objective and the strategies and tactics to get there, so don’t change it because you changed your mind or it isn’t working right away.
Like with everything in your brand, it takes time to see real results.
READY TO GET STARTED?
If you're not sure how to define your brand’s long-term goals and your big vision, or the steps you will take in order to reach your goals, the first thing I will tell you to do is to find your purpose. With this, focus on you, not on your brand, and figure out why you're doing this. Keep asking yourself why, why, why, why until you get sick of it. And then ask a few more times to ensure you got an answer that connects with you.
If, even then, you're having issues with this, reach out to me and ask. I have both a course with one entire module focused on helping you find this and I'm always available to answer your questions!