Mission Statement – Definition, Examples & How-To Guide
You probably must have seen mission statements everywhere — on walls of company lobbies, official websites, inside promotional brochures, etc. Whether you are starting a new business or re-evaluating your goals, mission statements can go a long way in helping your company project a vision for its future, as they help in defining your organization’s identity and purpose.
Creating a powerful mission statement will guide your business as well as your employees to refocus and build on your brand, assisting in making decisions as it acts as a constant reminder of your brand’s purpose and your ultimate goals.
Let us understand mission statements in-depth and learn some tips to create your own.
Mission Statement Definition
A mission statement is a brief description that compiles the organisation’s functions, ideals, business goals, values, and philosophy.
In simple terms, it is a brief description of the business’s fundamental purpose.
Your mission statement expresses your strategy, your core values, vision, identity and culture. It should be able to encapsulate everything your company stands for and strives to be, in a concisely simple statement that communicates your purpose and direction to your employees, customers, vendors and stakeholders stating why and how your company adds value to their lives and to the world.
A well-crafted mission statement sets the tone for your entire brand story. It helps connect your products and services with your target audience by explaining exactly why they should purchase from you. It also provides a certain sense of direction to your business that helps you to understand if you are heading in the right path, and in making better decisions that are efficient for future-oriented goals and objectives.
Mission Statement vs Vision Statement
Both the terms ‘mission statement’ and ‘vision statement’ are often confused with each other by a lot of companies. Let us understand both these terms clearly with the help of examples.
|Vision Statement||Mission Statement|
|A perspective on how you want the future of your company to be.||A description of your company's business, objectives, and your approach to reach those objectives.|
|Outlines WHERE you want to be, communicating the purpose and scheduled foresight of your business.||Narrates about HOW you will get to where you want to be, defining the purpose and primary objectives related to your team values and customer needs.|
|Talks about the future.||Talks about the present leading to its future.|
|Vision is the ‘why’.||Mission is the ‘what’ and ‘how’.|
Here are a few examples to explain the difference further –
Mission statement: Bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete* in the world.
*If you have a body, you are an athlete.”
The main components of Nike’s mission statement are: Inspiration, Innovation and Every athlete in the world. Even though this might sound a little bland at first, the statement further emphasized by Nike co-founder Bill Bowerman as “If you have a body, you are an athlete” instantly knocks off the stereotype of body-shaming and creates a hard-hitting impact on everyone who reads it giving them a strong sense of encouragement and motive to push forward.
Vision statement: “Create groundbreaking sports innovations, make our products sustainably, build a creative and diverse global team, and make a positive impact in communities where we live and work.”
Nike’s vision statement declares the underlying values and principles that the company advocates: Innovation, Sustainability, Diversity and Community. The statement is also future-oriented keeping the brand’s leading position as a strategic aim for future business development.
Mission statement: “To accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy.”
Elon Musk’s mission statement has three strong components: Accelerate, World’s transition and Sustainable energy. It clearly highlights their aspirations to create a dynamic change in the world’s automobile industry with technologically integrated products that rely on renewable (sustainable) energy, while tactfully addressing concerns for environmental conservation.
Vision statement: “To create the most compelling car company of the 21st century by driving the world’s transition to electric vehicles.”
This vision statement portrays their aim to become the most compelling car company of the 21st century by ultimately advancing the best clean transport and clean energy production, building the future that they want the world to experience. This statement is perfectly in sync with the company’s mission statement as well as its beliefs and philosophy towards their future goals.
Mission statement: “We strive to offer our customers the lowest possible prices, the best available selection, and the utmost convenience.”
Here, the three distinct characteristics are identified: lowest prices, best selection and utmost convenience. This corporate mission statement promises attractive e-commerce services to satisfy target customer’s needs, focusing on the variables of low prices, a wide array of products and convenience in accessing the products and the company’s services.
Vision statement: “To be Earth’s most customer-centric company, where customers can find and discover anything they might want to buy online.”
Here, the identifiable characteristics are: global reach (depicting ‘Earth’ as the market), customer-centric approach and widest selection of products. This vision statement highlights the organization’s main aspiration to become the best e-commerce company in the world.
20 Corporate Mission Statement Examples
Following are some examples of outstanding and inspiring mission statements of successful companies to help give you a clearer idea:
- Walt Disney: “To entertain, inform and inspire people around the globe through the power of unparalleled storytelling, reflecting the iconic brands, creative minds and innovative technologies that make ours the world’s premier entertainment company.”
- Tumblr: “Tumblr is where your interests connect you with your people.”
- Facebook: “To give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected”.
- Sony: “To be a company that provides customers with kando- to move them emotionally- and inspires and fulfills their curiosity”.
- Verizon Communications: The Verizon Promise- “We deliver the promise of the digital world to our customers. We make their innovative lifestyles possible. We do it all through the most reliable network and the latest technology.”
- Unilever: “To add vitality to life. We meet everyday needs for nutrition, hygiene and personal care with brands that help people feel good, look good and get more out of life.”
- Intel Corporation: “Utilize the power of Moore’s Law to bring smart, connected devices to every person on earth.”
- eBay Inc.: “To provide a global trading platform where practically anyone can trade practically anything.”
- Microsoft Corporation: “To empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.”
- Harley-Davidson: “We fulfill dreams through the experiences of motorcycling, by providing to motorcyclists and to the general public an expanding line of motorcycles and branded products and services in selected market segments.”
- Wendy: “To deliver superior quality products and services for our customers and communities through leadership, innovation and partnerships.”
- McDonald’s: “To be our customers’ favorite place and way to eat and drink.”
- Starbucks: “To inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time.”
- Google: “To organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.”
- Airbnb: “Belong anywhere.”
- Uber: “To bring transportation – for everyone, everywhere.”
- Samsung: “Inspire the world with our innovative technologies, products and design that enrich people’s lives and contribute to social prosperity by creating a new future.”
- Ikea: “Offer a wide range of well-designed, functional home furnishing products at prices so low that as many people as possible will be able to afford them.”
- TripAdvisor: “To give travellers a voice to share their experiences, promote consumer choice and encourage a level playing field for everyone in the industry– all within a free forum for sharing open and honest opinions.”
- Walmart: “To save people money so they can live better.”
How To Create A Mission Statement?
The firmness of your brand begins with a very specific, focused and purposeful mission statement. It is a promise you make to your market, and it defines who you are and what you have to offer. Here are a few tips to help you create an impactful mission statement:
- Start with a basic understanding of: What you do, How you do it, Who you do it for, How it helps them.
- Ask yourself a few questions: Why did you get started? What are you most excited to create? What do you want your brand to be known for? How will your work benefit your customers? What core values or beliefs inspire your organization?
- Your mission statement should be able to invoke the emotions that you want your audience to feel about your brand and your work.
- It should not be generic and vague. Make it unique and memorable. Add some witty, appealing or intriguing phrases that spark a thought in the reader’s mind.
- Don’t write a long essay. A single powerful statement that is concise and specific should be able to captivate the reader’s hearts.
- Make sure that the statement is in harmony with the culture, values and beliefs of your organization.
- Unless you’re a solopreneur, ask some of the key members of your team to answer the above-mentioned questions or to come up with their own mission statement. Align them with your own, discuss and create a single sentence that tallies with everyone.
- Your mission statement does not have to be catchy or too logical- just authentic, accurate and genuine.
- If you already have a mission statement, it is a good idea to revise it to make sure it reflects your company goals as the economic circumstances and businesses evolve.
A mission statement is a key tool that captures the essence of your business goals and the philosophies that your organization believes in, boiled down to just a few compact sentences, as it represents what your company is all about.
It will also give your company a common goal that everyone will strive to accomplish together, aligning all aspects including your human resources, products/services, quality control, customer relationship, priorities, competitors, growth potential, community, etc.
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