Every business, nonprofit organization, and solopreneur needs a mission statement that guides their decisions and goals. It notifies consumers how much the company cares for their craft and vision. More importantly, it forces agencies to hone in on their goals. It will influence their hiring, budgeting, and growth decisions as the enterprise ages. So, how can anyone from small to large business craft a perfect vision statement?
What’s the Point of a Mission Statement?
Though every mission statement you read feels like an inspired statement from a vision, they usually follow a general template. The point of the mission statement is to bring clarity to the company and its resources to use for maximum good and growth. To do so, the message must contain these elements:
- Strong narrative purpose and voice
- Values-driven goals
- Appeal to the emotion
- Longevity enough to leave a mark
It is different from a vision statement because that explains how the world will look if a company succeeds as opposed to how the company will operate presently. Having all of these elements can lead to an impactful statement. It’s the ideal combo of logical thinking with an emotional charge.
What Work Should You Do Before Writing?
Now, it’s time to get writing. Knowing the pieces of the puzzle is vital, but knowing how to incorporate them is another job entirely. You can start by using these guidelines to perform thoughtwork, and over time, you can simplify the mission statement as customers become more familiar with your brand. Initially, it’s helpful to be more specific and thorough, yet still precise, so people know what you’re all about.
First, people need to know what you’re about. What is your product or service? If your company’s name doesn’t make it obvious, this is the time and place.
Then, that should be accented with the business’s top priority. Is it to make the world greener? Or, are you making a more accessible version of a luxury item? Is it to innovate technology? Making a note of this in the statement helps people know why you’re not just another company in your niche doing the same thing as everyone else. Combining the product or service with the priority is critical to creating cohesion in the mission statement. Once it’s perfectly condensed, you have the bones of a mission statement.
4 Tips for Writing the Perfect Missions Statement
There is finesse in revising the ideal mission statement that embraces what a company is all about while enticing customers to buy-in to their values.
1. Make it Short and Sweet
The mission statement should be easily translatable. Some companies have mission statements that are multiple statements, while others have managed to squeeze them into a few words. Try to zero in on the focus as much as possible so people absorb it more easily.
2. Consider the Future and Scalability
Plenty of companies evolve as they unravel the secrets of their sector. Ensure the statement has room to grow without needing revisions every several years. You want the information to remain as consistent as possible with the potential to grow — but not receive a massive overhaul.
3. Make it a Community Effort
Talk to employees and stakeholders to see their moods and perspectives about the company. What buzzwords come to mind? How do they feel management acts regarding their service? How do they think they are creating a fulfilling experience from within? These inputs are invaluable to writing a statement that isn’t biased from the administration’s point of view.
4. Stay Open-Minded
It’s essential to bond with the mission statement without becoming too sentimental. Although you may not want a company to change drastically, it could happen in an exhilarating way that requires you to reconsider your priorities as a company. Perhaps you started in innovative tech but realized it was more important to focus on repurposing antiquated tech to reduce e-waste. The shift still holds onto the essence of the original mission, but it never locked it into a box.
8 Examples That Show Off These Techniques
Here are some of the most prominent mission statements across several industries, so you can see how they’re implemented to create a reputation.
“Build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, use business to protect nature, not bound by convention.”
Patagonia solidified their scalability using the general phrase “product,” so they can always try new things. They also freshly incorporated their values with hard-hitting parallelism that grips people into paying attention to what they have to say.
“To awaken the potential of a well-rested world.”
The word “awaken” has multiple meanings here for the mattress seller. It implies their mission is to recharge the world through sleep in a way that has long-lasting effects after someone wakes up. It drives home the value behind what some would consider a mundane purchase and makes it extraordinary.
“To bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete* in the world. *If you have a body, you are an athlete.”
The inclusivity of Nike’s mission statement makes it one of the most influential in the world. The first part is gripping enough, but they also incorporated surprise and care to their customers with a simple asterisk. With this, they said in a few words how they feel about the industry and how they want to change its attitude.
“To help humanity thrive by enabling the world’s teams to work together effortlessly.”
The organizational app of the decade asserts how it will reduce frustration and drama in the workplace without using those words. It chose optimism and community, essential for making a statement that empowers customers.
“Spread ideas, foster community, and create impact.”
TED has a more clear-cut mission statement. It is irrefutable, which is another aspect companies will want to consider when they’re writing. Nobody can argue that TED Talks and its educational resources don’t provide these opportunities.
“Create a world where anyone can belong anywhere.”
People reading this can take it literally or metaphorically, which is why it is so powerful. Airbnb’s company allows travelers the freedom to have more choices. But, it also allows people to start a business or side hustle that was never possible before. It proves how an idea can provide endless opportunities for people to experience every location of the world without boundaries.
“Organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.”
Google has had countless endeavors, from Google Glasses to its iconic search engine. Even though these products differ, they still encourage the ideas behind Google’s fairly general yet meaningful mission statement. Everything they do is to provide greater access to information worldwide, and they can’t do that without thinking outside the internet.
8. The Walt Disney Company
“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.”
Disney’s mission is longer than most, but it’s an example of how a company will scale over time. Was Disney previously concerned with technology over storytelling, or was that an evolution of the brand? It helps put into perspective why it’s essential to see how other missions will expand the original idea but will keep the original intention.
Achieving With Your Business in a Mission Statement
A mission statement is the cornerstone of what drives businesses to success, and if it doesn’t it can impact the business forever. It informs customers what companies they want to become regular patrons of. They will understand what their purchases contribute to on a more impactful scale.
For corporate partners and individual consumers, people want to support missions that align with their values to create a better world. Therefore, a mission statement could stand between you and the competition with the proper determination and dedication.
About The Author
Eleanor Hecks is the Editor-in-Chief of Designerly Magazine, an online publication dedicated to providing in-depth content from the design and marketing industries. When she's not designing or writing code, you can find her re-reading the Harry Potter series, burning calories at a local Zumba class, or hanging out with her dogs, Bear and Lucy.