Thursday, January 28, 2010

Missions, Visions, and Competitive Strategy

As described by Kotler, a mission statement is a statement of the organization’s purpose, it is essentially what it wants to accomplish in the larger environment. Similar to a mission statement is a vision statement. Vision statements weren't discussed in class or in the book, but I feel that they can be an important item that can be implemented among a firm for a competitive edge. defines vision statements as an aspirational description of what an organization would like to achieve or accomplish in the mid-term or long-term future. It is intended to serves as a clear guide for choosing current and future courses of action.

Almost every organization, if not all, has implemented some sort of mission or vision statement in order to aspire and achieve their goals. A limited number of firms put both statements into action.
The Coca-Cola Company, is one of the few organizations that use both a mission and vision statement. Their mission statement is as follows:

  • To refresh the world...
  • To inspire moments of optimism and happiness...
  • To create value and make a difference.

Where as, their vision statement reads:

  • People: Be a great place to work where people are inspired to be the best they can be.
  • Portfolio: Bring to the world a portfolio of quality beverage brands that anticipate and satisfy people's desires and needs.
  • Partners: Nurture a winning network of customers and suppliers, together we create mutual, enduring value.
  • Planet: Be a responsible citizen that makes a difference by helping build and support sustainable communities.
  • Profit: Maximize long-term return to shareowners while being mindful of our overall responsibilities.
  • Productivity: Be a highly effective, lean and fast-moving organization.

Clearly, these are two different statements, but when they are applied in a uniform strategy they can be incredibly tough to compete with. Now, this brings up the discussion on Competitive Strategy among firms.

I feel that in order to be a competitive firm you must not only be the best provider of a specific good, but you must also have a strong customer base, and even better customer service in order to keep your customers happy. Incorporating a vision statement allows a firm to look at long term future goals as well as what they would like to accomplish within an environment. For example, if we look at Coca-Cola, we can see that their mission statements describes what they would like to achieve among the environment to which they are targeting, but if we examine their vision statement we are able to go into more depth about the company’s overall goals. In their vision statement they have explained what they would like to achieve in regards to people, portfolio, partners, planet, profit, and productivity. Coca-Cola’s vision statement goes far beyond what the mission statement says in regards to both the internal and external environment.

The point I’m trying to make with mission and vision statement is that a company can become a highly competitive firm if they were to use both types of statements. As I mentioned earlier, in order to be competitive there are a number of things a company must do. If a company were to implement a mission and vision statement then they would also be able to set goals for the external and internal environments. Companies who have a strong emphasis on the customer relationship tend to be more successful; a vision statement can set goals for these types of things. Overall, to gain an edge in today’s competitive society I believe a company should use both a mission and vision statement.

The Coca-Cola Company: Mission & Vision Statement

-Jon Honari, Section E

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