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Mission or Purpose: What's the Core of your Brand Strategy

Profile photo of Martyn McDermott.

By Martyn McDermott

4 min read

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Untangling the Brand Buzzwords

Brand strategy language is a minefield. There are countless labels and buzzwords used to define an organisation's direction. They are often tossed around by agencies like confetti, making it overwhelming. Don’t half of them just mean the same thing? How many are actually important?

One common pairing questioned is Mission and Purpose. What is the difference between a company's mission and its purpose?


Think of your mission as the “what” and “how”—the nuts and bolts of your business operations. It's your daily to-do list.


The driving force behind your mission, your purpose, is the “why”—the heartbeat of your business that keeps everyone motivated and moving in the same direction. It’s why you get out of bed in the morning, excited to tackle the mission.

They actually come from different schools of brand theory.

Mission stems from an old-school corporate strategy approach (think Peter Drucker), involving Mission and Vision. Purpose, however, evolved from modern brand strategy (influenced by leaders like Paul Polman of Unilever). Both approaches are still widely used and often mixed.

The Lifelong Purpose

If you had to pick one, I'd say go with purpose. Your purpose is evergreen, it is probably why you started your business and should last throughout the entire lifecycle of your business. Unlike a goal, it can’t be ticked off a list. It’s there to inspire and drive change, remaining a constant even as your mission evolves.

Missions may shift as markets change, but purpose is your anchor. It keeps everyone aligned and focused, turning customers into lifelong fans and employees into brand ambassadors. Purpose isn’t just about making money; it’s about making an impact.

Harmonising Mission and Purpose

But there's value in defining both. Your mission provides direction, but your purpose fuels passion. Defined well and used together, they become an unstoppable force for your company culture more than anything. If you want your teams to understand your brand direction these two components of brand strategy will get them there. Every employee should know them by heart and be very clear on how your purpose fuels your mission. So, if you challenged a colleague in the lift, could they recite your brand's purpose and mission like a yoga mantra? I suspect not.

Let's get that sorted. It's essential to avoid a jumble of jargon, keep your mission and purpose definitions very simple, simple is memorable, and make sure they are aligned and don't contradict each other.

When crafting a purpose statement, think about how you'll inspire your team to do great work. Show them how your organisation impacts the lives of those you serve. Make them feel it.

MAJOR’s Purpose:

"Simplifying digital brand innovation, and inspiring success through our creativity."

Then when crafting your mission statement, ensure it's clear, concise, and achievable, all while reflecting your deeper purpose.

MAJOR’s Mission:

"Delivering brand excellence through simplicity and expert guidance."

Find Fun Ways to Make them Stick

  1. Storytime: Use stories to communicate your mission and purpose. People remember stories way better than dry facts.

  2. Cultural Integration: Weave your purpose into the day-to-day culture. Celebrate wins that align with your values.

  3. Check-ins: Regularly review how well your mission reflects your purpose. Tweak as necessary to keep everything aligned.

Cultural Integration at MAJOR: We ensure that our purpose and mission are part of our daily operations. For example we integrate “purpose moments” into team meetings, where someone shares how they applied our purpose and mission in their work. Whether it's a success story with a client or an innovative idea that simplifies a process, these moments keep our team aligned and inspired.

Check-ins at MAJOR: Regular strategic check-ins are crucial for maintaining alignment between our mission and purpose. We hold quarterly reviews to assess our brand strategy and make adjustments as needed. This proactive approach ensures that we stay true to our core values while adapting to the evolving digital landscape.


At MAJOR, we understand that defining and integrating your mission and purpose can be challenging, but it's essential for creating a cohesive and compelling brand.

Mission and Purpose are both important, but there are many other key elements to consider as part of a robust brand strategy. This is just a small part of our comprehensive approach to brand strategy.

We’d love the opportunity to show you more and help you navigate this journey with clarity and confidence.

Are you ready to elevate your brand's mission and purpose?

Let us simplify digital brand innovation for you. Contact MAJOR today to start transforming your brand.

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