How to Write an Impactful Mission Statement
Have you been endlessly searching for the definition of a mission statement? When we consider mission vs vision, it can leave many of us feeling bewildered not knowing the real difference between the two.
So, this poses the question: what is a mission statement, and how do businesses even create mission statements?
If you want to get the low-down on exactly how to craft a compelling mission statement for your company this year, continue reading to learn more:
Mission statements are foundational to any strategic business plan. Simply put, they are foundational because they answer the question: ‘why do we exist?’. While there are a number of factors that contribute to a world-class mission statement, some of the key elements to consider are:
- Is it original?
- Is it memorable to others?
- Can your company connect to the mission?
- Is it universally accessible and useful for customers?
- Can you print your mission statement on a t-shirt? Would your staff wear it?
In short, a successful mission statement clearly articulates what your company is about and explains why you are here today. Your statement should be short, concise and to the point – no explanation, no fancy language – just one simple sentence or small paragraph that gets the message across. Easy, right?
So – when the time comes to create mission statements, it’s probably a smart idea to take a look at how other companies have crafted their own as a point of reference (and inspiration, of course). Take a look at some of the infamous mission statements below:
- Tesla: ‘To accelerate the world’s transition into sustainable energy’
- LinkedIn: ‘To connect the world’s professionals to make them more productive and successful’
- Paypal: ‘To build the web’s most convenient, secure, cost-effective payment solution’
- Nike: ‘To bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world’
- JP Morgan: ‘To be the best financial services company in the world’
Notice how all of the aforementioned statements start with ‘to’ – which clearly highlights the idea of taking action – something that is actually being done in the world to benefit the lives of others.
A successful mission statement defines the ‘who’, ‘what’, and the ‘why’ behind your business, and functions as guidelines by which your organization operates on any level.
Not only does a mission statement define your culture, value, ethics, core goals, and agendas, but it also helps your customers engage with you on a personal level, leaving a long-lasting impression on your brand, helping them decide why they should choose you over another vendor. This is your chance to let your creativity and business personality shine through, motivating both employees and consumers alike – so make sure to have fun with it!
Chris Bart, the professor of strategy and governance at McMaster University once said that a commercial mission statement usually consists of the following three components:
- Key market: the target audience
- Contribution: the product or service
- Distinction: what makes the product unique or why should the audience buy it over another
Not only is it vital to consider if the target audience will even resonate with your mission statement, but it’s also imperative for your company to dig deep and pinpoint what it is that you are contributing to the world. Last but not least, consider how you differ from your competitors and what you do differently. This is your opportunity to showcase everything you stand for – so be bold, be specific and your customers are bound to connect with your mission statement.
Let’s not get confused between the two – mission and vision statements are two entirely separate entities. The mission describes the present and remains unchanged for as long as it exists, and the vision refers to the journey in achieving the mission. As your business evolves over time you might find that your vision, or your journey, needs to change in order to fulfill your unchanging mission.
While no mission statement is the same, they each follow the same overarching formula to birth them. In the mission statement template below, you’ll be able to play around with a number of variations and see which resonates best with your product or service offering.
The most important factors to consider when crafting your own are the who, what, how, and value of your product/service. To achieve this, you can edit the following template:
For [describe your target audience] who [identify their problem or need], [your company or product name] is a [describe what your company does] that [describe what benefits you deliver].
Still feeling overwhelmed by the process? ZeBrand is a brand-building platform built to help emerging businesses brand their way to growth by utilizing AI technology to generate a solid brand identity for a fraction of the cost.
The best part? The platform is completely free to use, however for just $38 USD per month, you can get assigned a brand coach who can sit down with you to help craft your mission statement together.
Remember to keep yours short and sweet, strive to inspire your customers, and ingrain purpose within everything you do, and you’re on the path to crafting a killer mission statement!