A mission statement serves as a brief, crystal-clear proclamation of what an organization aims to achieve. It’s like a beacon, showing the way and ensuring the organization stays on track. A finely crafted mission statement not only aids in making decisions but also establishes clear expectations.
Keep reading to discover the elements of a powerful mission statement, learn how to create one, and find real-world mission statement examples for inspiration as you craft your own.
What Is a Mission Statement?
A mission statement is like a concise summary that explains why a company exists, what it wants to achieve, what it sells (products or services), who its main customers are, and where it operates. It’s like a mini roadmap for the company’s direction and purpose and is often part of a business plan.
When you look at a mission statement, you can figure out what the company is all about. It tells you what they’re trying to do, what they’re offering to people, who they’re trying to help or sell to, and where they’re doing it.
For instance, imagine a company that makes eco-friendly cleaning products. Their mission statement might say something like, “We exist to create effective cleaning products that are good for the planet, families, and a healthier future. Our focus is on making natural, non-toxic cleaners for environmentally-conscious consumers in the United States.” This tells you their purpose (eco-friendly products), their target audience (people who care about the environment), and where they’re operating (the U.S.).
What’s the Difference Between a Mission Statement and a Vision Statement?
A mission statement and a vision statement are two distinct but interconnected components that play crucial roles in shaping an organization’s identity and direction.
Mission Statement: This statement outlines the fundamental purpose and goals of an organization. It’s like the company’s present-day “raison d’être,” explaining why it exists and what it aims to accomplish. It provides a clear picture of the organization’s core values, primary activities, target audience, and the products or services it offers. The mission statement is focused on the here and now, describing the company’s identity and primary business activities.
Vision Statement: While the mission statement deals with the present, the vision statement looks to the future. It describes the desired future state or aspirations that the organization is striving to achieve. The vision statement paints a vivid picture of what the organization hopes to become or accomplish in the long term. It serves as a source of inspiration and a guiding light for the organization’s growth and development, giving employees and stakeholders a shared sense of purpose.
Why Is Having a Mission Statement Important?
Having a mission statement is important for several reasons:
- Direction and Focus: A mission statement provides clarity about the organization’s purpose and goals. It helps everyone within the organization understand what they’re working towards, fostering a sense of unity and shared objectives.
- Goal Setting: The mission statement serves as a foundation for setting specific, measurable goals. It helps organizations align their actions with their overarching purpose, ensuring that all efforts contribute to the larger mission.
- Expectations: A well-crafted mission statement sets expectations for the organization’s behavior and activities. It helps stakeholders, including employees, customers, and investors, understand the organization’s values and what it stands for.
- Decision-Making: When faced with important decisions, an organization can refer to its mission statement to ensure that choices align with its core purpose and values. This prevents drifting off course or making choices that don’t fit the organization’s identity.
How Long Should a Mission Statement Be?
A mission statement for your business should be brief, around 100 words or one to three sentences. Avoid lengthy essays about your company’s origin or vision—save that for the “about us” page. Instead, focus on direct, purposeful content that works like a subheading for your company.
View your mission statement as a powerful branding tool. Condense the core purpose of your company into a few memorable sentences or even less.
How to Write Mission Statement for Your Business?
Writing a mission statement requires careful thought and consideration. Follow these steps to craft an effective mission statement for your business:
- Understand Your Purpose: Clearly define the primary purpose of your organization. What does your business aim to achieve? What problems do you solve or needs do you fulfill for your customers?
- Identify Your Core Values: Think about the fundamental principles that guide your business. What values are essential to your company’s identity and operations?
- Consider Your Audience: Who are your primary customers or stakeholders? Tailor the mission statement to resonate with your target audience.
- Be Clear and Concise: Keep your mission statement brief and easy to understand. Avoid jargon or overly complex language. Use simple and direct wording.
- Focus on Impact: Describe the positive impact you want to make. How will your products or services benefit your customers or society as a whole?
- Make it Inspiring: While the mission statement is grounded in reality, it should also inspire and motivate. Express a sense of purpose that energizes both your team and your customers.
- Draft and Refine: Start by writing a draft of your mission statement. Review and refine it to ensure that every word contributes to its clarity and impact.
- Solicit Feedback: Share the draft with key stakeholders, including employees, partners, or trusted advisors. Gather feedback to make sure the statement resonates with others and accurately represents your business.
- Revise and Finalize: Based on the feedback received, make any necessary revisions to create a final version that encapsulates your organization’s core purpose, values, and impact.
- Use It: Once you have a final mission statement, use it as a guiding light for your business. Make sure it’s prominently displayed on your website, in your marketing materials, and shared with your team. Use it to make strategic decisions that align with your mission.
20 Best Business Mission Statement Examples
Mission Statement: Cultivating brand loyalty through emotional connections and a winning mission statement, making customers and employees proud, respected, and trusted.
Explanation: Clarks understands that creating a strong brand loyalty involves more than just quality products. They emphasize forging emotional connections with customers and employees alike. This connection is reinforced by a compelling mission statement, reflecting shared values, and creating a sense of pride, respect, and trust for everyone associated with Clarks Companies N.A.
Mission Statement: Attracting and retaining top talent through high-quality products, exceeding customer desires, inspiring colleagues with innovation, and expanding market leadership.
Explanation: Swarovski recognizes that strong mission statement not only attracts customers but also the best talent. By focusing on delivering high-quality products that surpass customer expectations, they build a reputation that attracts and retains top-tier employees. Their mission also includes fostering a culture of innovation and continually striving to expand their leadership in the market.
Mission Statement: Standing out from competitors by building the best products, causing no unnecessary harm, and using business to inspire solutions to the environmental crisis.
Explanation: Patagonia’s mission statement highlights their commitment to environmental responsibility while producing exceptional products. They aim to differentiate themselves by crafting the best products while minimizing their ecological footprint. They also view business as a platform to inspire positive solutions for the environmental challenges we face.
4. Full Cast Audio
Mission Statement: Competing with big brands by creating great recordings of wonderful books with a full cast of actors, pioneering a new way to experience authors’ intent.
Explanation: Full Cast Audio’s mission is to disrupt the traditional audiobook market dominated by single narrators. They use the power of a full cast of actors to bring books to life in an innovative way, providing listeners with an immersive experience. By doing so, they position themselves to compete effectively with larger players in the industry.
Mission Statement: Shaping the future of the Internet by creating unprecedented value and opportunities for customers, employees, investors, and ecosystem partners.
Explanation: Cisco’s mission extends beyond providing network solutions; they aim to have a transformative impact on the future of the Internet. They emphasize creating value and opportunities not only for their customers but also for their employees, investors, and the broader ecosystem of partners, demonstrating their commitment to driving positive change in the digital landscape.
Mission Statement: Saving people money so they can live better.
Explanation: Walmart’s mission is straightforward and customer-centric. By focusing on saving people money, they aim to improve the quality of life for their customers. This approach aligns with their commitment to providing affordable products, contributing to the well-being of their customers and their communities.
Mission Statement: Helping people achieve independence in starting, running, and growing businesses, making commerce better for everyone.
Explanation: Shopify’s mission revolves around empowerment. They provide tools and support to enable individuals to pursue their entrepreneurial dreams and achieve independence in the business world. Additionally, they aspire to elevate the entire commerce landscape, ensuring a positive impact on a broader scale.
Mission Statement: Bringing inspiration and innovation to every athlete* in the world (*If you have a body, you are an athlete).
Explanation: Nike’s mission goes beyond sportswear; it’s about inspiring everyone to tap into their inner athlete. They believe that athleticism isn’t limited to professional athletes but exists in everyone. This inclusive perspective drives them to continuously innovate and create products that inspire people to push their boundaries.
9. Virgin America
Mission Statement: Making flying good again with new planes, attractive fares, top-notch service, and innovative amenities, reinventing domestic air travel.
Explanation: Virgin America’s mission is all about enhancing the flying experience. They aim to reinvent domestic air travel by offering modern aircraft, appealing fares, exceptional service, and innovative amenities. Their goal is to rekindle the joy of flying, making it an enjoyable and memorable experience for passengers.
10. Whole Foods
Mission Statement: Supporting the health, well-being, and healing of both people—customers, team members, and business organizations in general—and the planet.
Explanation: Whole Foods emphasizes a holistic mission. They not only focus on supporting the health and well-being of their customers but also extend this commitment to their team members and the broader business community. Additionally, they highlight their dedication to the planet, demonstrating their belief in sustainable practices and positive environmental impact.
11. WordStream by LOCALiQ
Mission Statement: Being the go-to resource for digital marketers and local business owners, providing the tools, strategies, data, and creative ideas they need to learn, grow, and succeed.
Explanation: WordStream by LOCALiQ’s mission is to empower digital marketers and local business owners with essential resources. They aim to be the trusted go-to source, offering a comprehensive suite of tools, strategies, data, and innovative ideas. Their goal is to facilitate learning, growth, and success in the dynamic world of digital marketing.
Mission Statement: Belong anywhere.
Explanation: Airbnb’s mission statement encapsulates the essence of their platform. They aim to provide a sense of belonging to travelers by offering unique accommodations and experiences around the world. This simple phrase captures the inclusive spirit of Airbnb, where individuals can connect and feel at home no matter where they are.
Mission Statement: Creating a world where people work to make a life, not just a living.
Explanation: WeWork’s mission goes beyond providing office space; it’s about fostering a culture where work is more than just a job. They aim to create an environment where people are empowered to pursue a fulfilling life while also building their careers. This mission aligns with the changing dynamics of work and the desire for meaningful experiences.
Mission Statement: Making commerce easy.
Explanation: Square’s mission centers on simplicity. They strive to streamline the commerce experience, making it easy for businesses and individuals to engage in transactions. This user-friendly approach helps remove barriers, making commerce more accessible and efficient.
15. Toys R Us
Mission Statement: Being the world’s greatest kid’s brand.
Explanation: Toys R Us emphasizes their commitment to being the ultimate destination for children’s products and experiences. They aspire to create a brand that resonates with kids and parents alike, delivering an exceptional and memorable experience.
Mission Statement: Spreading ideas.
Explanation: TED’s mission is succinct and powerful. They are dedicated to spreading ideas that have the potential to create positive changes in the world. Through their conferences and talks, they aim to inspire, inform, and spark conversations on a wide range of topics.
17. Burt’s Bees
Mission Statement: Making people’s lives better every day—naturally.
Explanation: Burt’s Bees focuses on natural products that enhance the daily lives of their customers. They emphasize a commitment to improving well-being while embracing natural solutions, aligning with their belief in the positive impact of natural ingredients.
18. TOMS Shoes
Mission Statement: Improving lives. One for one.
Explanation: TOMS Shoes has a distinctive mission tied to social impact. For every product sold, they give back to those in need, providing a powerful example of business-driven philanthropy. Their mission revolves around improving lives, reflecting their commitment to creating a positive difference.
Mission Statement: Providing the best customer service possible.
Explanation: Zappos’ mission is centered on exceptional customer service. They prioritize providing the best experience for their customers, ensuring satisfaction, and building long-lasting relationships. This approach has been a cornerstone of their success.
Mission Statement: Helping customers improve and maintain their biggest asset – their home.
Explanation: Lowe’s mission is focused on the home, which is a significant part of people’s lives. They aim to support customers in enhancing and maintaining their homes, recognizing the importance of this asset and the role it plays in their overall well-being.
From Words to Power
By applying these principles, you can create a mission statement that truly defines your brand, guiding your team and connecting with your audience. It’s more than a tagline; it’s the heart of your business. Infuse creativity, use the tips we’ve discussed, and craft a statement that stands out, reflects your identity, and drives loyalty.
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Are mission statements only for big organizations?
No, mission statements are not exclusive to big organizations. They’re valuable for businesses of all sizes. A mission statement clarifies purpose, direction, and values, guiding decisions and fostering a strong identity. It’s particularly crucial for smaller businesses to establish a clear mission to differentiate themselves in the market.
Can a mission statement change over time?
Yes, mission statements can evolve as organizations grow, adapt, or change focus. They should reflect the current purpose and goals. Revisiting and updating a mission statement periodically ensures it remains relevant, aligning with the organization’s trajectory and aspirations.
Can a mission statement be used in marketing?
Absolutely! A well-crafted mission statement can be a powerful marketing tool. It communicates the essence of your brand, building trust and resonating with customers. It sets the stage for your marketing messages, showcasing your values and purpose, and helping customers connect with your business.
How can you evaluate the effectiveness of a mission statement?
You can evaluate the effectiveness of a mission statement by assessing its alignment with current business activities, its ability to inspire employees and resonate with customers, and its clarity in communicating the company’s unique identity and values.
Are mission statements legally binding?
Generally, mission statements are not legally binding contracts. They express a company’s values and goals, and while they hold significant importance, they are not legally enforceable like contracts or agreements.
However, a mission statement can be a factor in legal matters if it directly contradicts an action that was expected based on the statement (e.g., claims about product quality that are not met). It’s essential to align your actions with the values expressed in your mission statement to maintain trust and credibility.