What’s the Difference?
Vision is where an organization is trying to get to. It’s the end state that is often unattainable but both
aspirational and inspirational. “To be the bank that defines great customer experience”, is something
aspirational but never achieved, as experience is constantly evolving.
Mission is what an organization is trying to get done, to achieve. It takes the vision and makes it
actionable. In which activities an organization should invest, is defined by the mission, and include
geographical, technological and operational investments, as well as which customer segments to focus
upon and the needed capabilities, people & culture.
Strategy is how an organization will achieve it’s mission. While mission identifies in what to invest, the
strategy determines how. As organizations pursue more digital engagement with their customers,
mission may define whether to invest in cloud or bots or “launch- platforms” (eg. WeChat), where as
strategy would define what to develop internally versus 3rd parties, to ensure future scaling capabilities.
Purpose is inherently the question of why an organization does what it does. It links two fundamental
questions of “who are we”, identifying authentic and distinct strengths, and “what need do we fulfill in
society”, identifying why customers and employees would want to give us our their time and money?
Case Study: Patagonia
With strong roots in the climbing world, Patagonia and their leadership are committed to bring the
values and mantra of the climbing, and outdoor enthusiast to the world. It is reflected in their mission
statement. There purpose is about connecting with the outdoors, to better people’s lives.
Their mission is to “build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, use business to inspire and
implement solutions to the environmental crisis.”
In 2011, Patagonia launched the “Common Threads Initiative”. In a pursuit of their mission to “cause no
unnecessary harm”, the facilitate the free repairing of over 30,000 items over 18 months, so customers
would not be required to buy a new jacket. And they marketed the program heavily.
o Sales in 2012 increased by 30% or $540 million USD