How to Write a Mission Statement for Your Company | SB (2023)

When establishing your brand strategy, one of the most critical tasks on your list will be to create what is known as a company mission statement.

A summary of an organisation's purpose and identity, a mission statement is a one-sentence description of the firm's objective and function – it gives investors, consumers and partners a reason to justify putting resources into your business.

Nearly all of the world's most successful brands have powerful, visionary and succinct mission statements that have guided their business models; for example, Microsoft endeavour to "empower every person and organisation on the planet to achieve more", while IKEA aims to "create a better everyday life for the many people".

So, how do you go about creating one?

Writing a Mission Statement

Despite comprising of only a few words, these sentences contain immense concepts that are integral to the brand strategy of those organisations. Given how short they are, a mission statement might appear easy enough to create, too, but every verb, noun and adjective has to have impact and meaning.

To help you structure one, we've compiled a breakdown of what you need to include - and what you should avoid. Here are nine steps to follow:

1. Know What Your Company Does

Here is an important question: What does your business do?

(Video) How to Write a Mission Statement

Yes, it might be clear to you, the business owner, but it is essential for everyone else – employees, customers and investors – to know what precisely the company produces or provides. Whether it is designing web graphics or offering financial advice, you need to dictate clearly what the firm's purpose is.

Take this concise mission statement from biotech firm Genentech as an example: "To develop drugs to address significant unmet medical needs". It is abundantly clear to everyone that the primary goal of the entire company is to manufacture pharmaceutical products, and to apply them to medical issues that have previously been left unaddressed.

2. Explain Why Your Company Exists

Understanding why your company opened its doors is the first step in eliciting an emotional response to your business. Not only is it a prudent reminder to you as a leader, but also an opportunity for everyone else to understand your motivation.

Of course, every for-profit company aims to make money, but there also needs to be a bigger goal - goods that meet demand, or services that satisfy the market - to generate revenue.

PayPal, for example, realised the need for a secure online payment system, pledging to "build the internet's most convenient, secure, cost-effective payment solution"; now everyone knows why they are in business.

3. Understand How Your Business Achieves Its Mission

Most experts agree that this is the hardest part of creating a company mission statement. Typically, when you explain how your business achieves its overall targets, you need more than a few words or a couple of sentences. However, there is a way to circumvent this hurdle: identify your core values.

As you brainstorm and perfect your mission statement, you need to take a step back and consider the method in which you want to conduct your business. For instance, this might mean offering the best customer service in your industry, fostering innovation in your products, or adopting sustainable production means.

(Video) How To Write A Mission Statement In 6 Minutes

4. Outline Your Company's Characteristics

Every business has a brand - a myriad of unique traits that separates you from your competitors. These characteristics are also how consumers will identify your brand. While it might seem necessary to focus on your startup's style and culture, the best way to showcase your characteristics in a mission statement is through its tone.

Compare these two coffee giants, for instance. Starbucks, a brand that is heavily associated with social responsibility, endeavours to "inspire and nurture the human spirit - one person, one cup and one neighbourhood at a time". That's a pretty grandiose mission for a business that sells lattes and muffins, but it works, because it is in line with the company's progressive approach to social justice issues.

Meanwhile, Costa Coffee's mission statement - "to save the world from mediocre coffee" - suggests that they are more interested in the quality of their product (although "save the world" can be interpreted as a subtle nod to Costa's sustainability commitments).

Both organisations sell the same thing, yet their mission statements are different - a perfect example of how your tone can define what your company, rather than your product, is all about.

5. Mention Your Company's Goals

Your mission should include at least one of your priority business goals, or, rather, the most important thing you are trying to achieve. Think of your statement as pointing out the endgame of your goods or services.

Consider Google's mission statement, which is to "organise the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful", or Trip Advisor's pledge to "help people around the world plan and have the perfect trip."

Google's goal is to make it easier and useful to access to information. Trip Advisor aims to make travelling simpler to plan and execute. Simple, right? These are laudable and concrete objectives that form strong mission statements.

(Video) How to Write a Mission Statement That Doesn't Suck

6. Skip the Buzzwords

When it comes to mission statements, a common pitfall of startups and small businesses is to overuse buzzwords, fluff and industry jargon that turns off industry insiders and causes outsiders to become confused.

Take this example of a fictitious auto company: "To ensure that every driver is safe by synergistically customising torque steel parts and designing effective bedding in brake pads, which will make our company the best in the world."

Did you get any of that? Firstly, road safety is a high priority for every auto manufacturer, so this isn't unique. Secondly, aside from mechanics and car enthusiasts, nobody knows what "torque steel" and "bedding in brake pads" are. Thirdly, grandiose claims and impossible-to-achieve promises of being "the best in the world" will never get you anywhere. This type of language minimises your odds of being granted the funding you need to grow your business.

Instead, keep it broad and straightforward. Like Walmart ("We save people money so they can live better"), you should write what you know, communicate the truth, and use words that everyone can understand.

7. Collaborate with Employees

If you are having difficulty in establishing a mission statement, it can be a prudent move to collaborate with all your employees. One staff member might have a different vantage point of the business, while another worker may see a particular product or service in a different way to everybody else.

Whatever the case may be, two heads are better than one. Whether your employees have just joined the firm, or they have been with the organisation since day one, everyone can bring something to the table.

8. Visualise the Mission Statement

The only way to gauge how effective your mission statement is going to be is to test it out. From printing it in brochures to placing it on your website, you need to showcase it to an audience. It might be a work in progress, but the point of this experiment is to determine what type of reaction it elicits.

(Video) How To Write A Great Company Mission Statement In 3 Steps

Ultimately, you want the public to like, understand and be excited by it; a positive reaction suggests that people are asking intelligent questions. An adverse response is just as important, though; it means that people still want to know more about you, but that your mission statement requires tweaking.

9. Implement DISC

If all else fails, then use the DISC acronym to keep you on track:

  • Define: Explain your existence.
  • Inspire: Aspire to bring your vision to real life.
  • Specific: Use easily understood and relevant terminology.
  • Concise: Highlight your commitment to your goal in as few words as possible.

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For such a short sentence, mission statements require much work. It's not advised to jot one down on the back of a cocktail napkin at three in the morning when you're half asleep; you'll need to plot, brainstorm and experiment to arrive at the right one.

It's worth the effort, however. Too many companies fail to understand the importance of a good mission statement; they undersell their potential, repel investors, or overpromise on things that they can't possibly deliver. Instead, take the time to do it right, and don't try to revolutionise your entire industry in one sentence.

If you still need some inspiration, take a look at our breakdown of the best company mission statements.

How did you arrive at your company's mission statement? Let us know in the comments below!

(Video) How To Write A Mission Statement (Top Brand Examples)

FAQs

What should a good mission statement answer? ›

The definition of a mission statement is a concise description of your organization's core purpose, answering the question, “why do we exist?”. A mission needs to boldly state why you exist, and why you do what you do. The best mission statements express your core purpose and why you exist with clarity.

What is a good example of a mission statement? ›

Best Mission Statement Examples. Life is Good: To spread the power of optimism. Sweetgreen: To inspire healthier communities by connecting people to real food. Patagonia: We're in business to save our home planet.

How do you respond to a company's mission statement? ›

Make sure to verbalize the mission statement and to share with the interviewee what that statement says about the company. State word for word the mission statement. Explain how the mission statement is achieved through the company's major actions. Emphasize how the mission statement references the company's strengths.

What are the 3 key things a mission statement should have? ›

Typically, a mission statement includes a basic description of the company, its purpose, and its goals.

What are the 3 key points of the mission statement? ›

The three components of a mission statement include the purpose, values, and goals of the company.

What makes a strong mission statement? ›

A good mission statement embraces the expectations of a target audience for something they truly crave. For example, Zappos' mission statement is “To provide the best customer service possible.” That creates the expectation in Zappos' customers that they will deliver superior customer service each and every time.

What 5 Questions should a team mission statement answer? ›

10 Questions to Answer When Writing Your Mission Statement
  • Why are you in business? ...
  • Who are your customers? ...
  • What image of your business do you want to convey? ...
  • What is the nature of your products and services? ...
  • What level of service do you provide? ...
  • What roles do you and your employees play?
3 Feb 2015

How do you create a mission statement give an example? ›

How to write a great mission statement
  1. Start with a market-defining story. ...
  2. Define what your business does for its customers. ...
  3. Define what your business does for its employees. ...
  4. Add what the business does for its owners. ...
  5. Discuss, digest, cut, polish, review, revise.

How do you write a mission statement 2022? ›

Here are steps to write a company mission statement:
  1. Outline your company's products and services. Discuss the products and services that your company provides to customers. ...
  2. Note how your company operates. Review your company's core values to give a brief description of its core values. ...
  3. Highlight your company's purpose.

What is company mission example? ›

Mission Statements. “To empower creators to make their best work and get it in front of the audience they deserve.” “To connect the world's professionals to make them more productive and successful.” “To give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected.”

Should a mission statement be one sentence? ›

Everything you do should work towards your mission statement. A good business mission statement should be between one and three sentences and never exceeds 100 words.

How do you answer mission interview questions? ›

A good answer to a question about your mission statement could sound like this: My personal mission statement is to continue to learn and grow in my abilities, utilizing my skills, training and personal character to thrive in any position I hold, while striving to advance in the company and contribute to its success.

What can you contribute to the company? ›

Examples of the Best Answers
  • Example Answer #1. I can contribute my ability to streamline office processes. ...
  • Example Answer #2. I will bring my unique visioning ability to your company. ...
  • Example Answer #3. My previous work experience includes innovation in many areas, including strategies for more effective teamwork.
13 Jan 2022

What makes a good mission and vision statement? ›

Your vision statement should inspire people to dream; your mission statement should inspire them to action. The mission statement might refer to a problem, such as an inadequate housing, or a goal, such as providing universal access to health care.

How do you write a mission and vision of a company? ›

The two statements do distinctly different jobs:
  1. Purpose. ...
  2. Application. ...
  3. Examples. ...
  4. Step 1: Develop Your Winning Idea. ...
  5. Step 2: Clarify Your Goal. ...
  6. Step 1: Find the Human Value in Your Work. ...
  7. Step 2: Distill Into Values. ...
  8. Step 3: Combine Your Mission and Values.

What is Coca Cola's mission statement? ›

Coca-Cola's Purpose is to “refresh the world. make a difference.” Its vision and mission are to “craft the brands and choice of drinks that people love, to refresh them in body & spirit.

What are the 5 components that make a good mission statement? ›

Here are 5 essential elements of a good mission statement:
  • Element #1 Simplicity. Keep it simple. ...
  • Element #2 Captivating. Don't be boring. ...
  • Element #3 Measurable. You'll know if you're succeeding in your mission if you craft it in a way that allows you to measure the results. ...
  • Element #4 Relevancy. ...
  • Element #5 Longevity.
6 Oct 2021

What are the five 5 tips for writing a great mission statement? ›

5 steps to write a great mission statement:
  • Ask yourself why your company exists and what you value.
  • Choose your words carefully.
  • Be ambitious.
  • Revise your mission statement.
  • Live it.
18 Aug 2022

Which of the following is an example of a mission? ›

The answer is D) Develop and sell quality appliances world-wide. Mission statements are brief, broad explanations for why a company is currently in business.

How do you create a mission statement for a team? ›

How to develop a team mission statement
  1. Establish your team. Begin by establishing who will be on the team. ...
  2. Determine your purpose. Work together to establish the purpose of the team. ...
  3. Know your audience. ...
  4. Understand what to include. ...
  5. Highlight how you will achieve your purpose. ...
  6. Write a draft. ...
  7. Proofread and edit. ...
  8. Post and share.

How do you do the mission brainstorm? ›

Let's dive into the process for defining your company's mission, vision, and values.
  1. Step 1: Figure out who will be involved and how you'll gather feedback. ...
  2. Step 2: Assess your strategy. ...
  3. Step 3: Brainstorming. ...
  4. Step 4: Reflection, Discussion, and Refinement. ...
  5. Step 5: Conduct a Town Hall.
16 Mar 2021

How do you evaluate a mission statement? ›

The mission statement must reflect the values, beliefs, and philosophy of operations of the organization and reflect the organizational culture. The mission statement should reflect attainable goals. The mission statement should be worded so as to serve as an energy source and rallying point for the organization.

What is mission of a company? ›

A mission statement is a concise explanation of the organization's reason for existence. It describes the organization's purpose and its overall intention. The mission statement supports the vision and serves to communicate purpose and direction to employees, customers, vendors and other stakeholders.

What is Nike mission statement? ›

Nike Mission Statement

Our mission is to bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete* in the world. [*If you have a body, you are an athlete.] This mission drives us to do everything possible to expand human potential.

Which of the following is the best description of a mission statement? ›

Which of the following best describes a mission? An organization's statement of how it will achieve its purpose in the environment in which it conducts business.

What are the four elements in the mission statement? ›

Sure, mission statements can—and should—have that optimistic spin, but they ought to serve a real purpose. There are four key elements found in effective statements: Value, inspiration, plausibility, and specificity.

How long is a mission statement? ›

Most mission statements fall between two and four sentences and are not more than 100 words. Ultimately, your mission statement should be just the right length to get your point across, and it should be designed to be an internal document that tells how you inspire your team to achieve your company goals.

What is Mcdonald's mission statement? ›

Our mission is to make delicious feel-good moments easy for everyone. This is how we uniquely feed and foster communities.

Who has the best mission statement? ›

Top 5 Best Company Mission Statements
  1. Twitter. The mission: “To give everyone the power to create and share ideas and information, instantly, without barriers.” The technology company aims to remove communication barriers and help people connect with one another. ...
  2. Clarks. ...
  3. MGM Resorts International. ...
  4. Coca-Cola. ...
  5. REI.
22 Mar 2016

What comes first vision or mission? ›

The first is a statement of vision. It provides a destination for the organization. Next is a statement of mission. This is a guiding light of how to get to the destination.

What is the best time to develop a mission statement? ›

Ideally, the organization should develop a mission statement when it first forms. The mission statement should be reviewed during strategic planning sessions and updated every few years or as needed.

What is your vision for the company examples? ›

The following are some examples from actual United States companies in different industries: Amazon: “Our vision is to be earth's most customer-centric company, where customers can find and discover anything they might want to buy online.”

What do you like about our company sample answer? ›

Here is an example of a good answer to the question of what you like most about the company: Well, first and foremost, I would say the company's overall reputation drew me in. I've been in finance for ten years and XYZ Company has always been an industry leader in innovation and community-friendly standards.

Could you define your professional mission? ›

A personal mission statement is a 1-2 sentence motto that shows how you define yourself as a person or a team member. It identifies your personal or professional purpose and presents why it is important to you.

What value you bring to the company? ›

your enthusiasm for the profession and the employer and your desire to make your mark. your personal qualities, such as your drive and willingness to learn. the skills the employer seeks and how you have demonstrated them in the past – your answer should show why you would be competent in the job.

How you will add value to the company? ›

Here are eight ways you can add value to your company's products or services:
  1. Be a customer. ...
  2. Submit high-quality work. ...
  3. Make a unique product. ...
  4. Encourage faster production. ...
  5. Adjust your marketing strategy. ...
  6. Ask the right questions. ...
  7. Become an expert. ...
  8. Focus on what you can do.

Why should we hire you answer best? ›

Show that you have skills and experience to do the job and deliver great results. You never know what other candidates offer to the company. But you know you: emphasize your key skills, strengths, talents, work experience, and professional achievements that are fundamental to getting great things done on this position.

What is Coca Cola's mission statement? ›

Coca-Cola's Purpose is to “refresh the world. make a difference.” Its vision and mission are to “craft the brands and choice of drinks that people love, to refresh them in body & spirit.

How do you start a mission statement? ›

How to write a mission statement in 5 steps
  1. Free write about starting your company. ...
  2. Explain what your company does. ...
  3. Describe your ideal customer. ...
  4. Define your core values. ...
  5. Revise and condense your mission statement.
11 Sept 2020

What are the four elements in the mission statement? ›

Sure, mission statements can—and should—have that optimistic spin, but they ought to serve a real purpose. There are four key elements found in effective statements: Value, inspiration, plausibility, and specificity.

What is Mcdonald's mission statement? ›

Our mission is to make delicious feel-good moments easy for everyone. This is how we uniquely feed and foster communities.

What is Amazon mission statement? ›

Amazon is guided by four principles: customer obsession rather than competitor focus, passion for invention, commitment to operational excellence, and long-term thinking. Amazon strives to be Earth's most customer-centric company, Earth's best employer, and Earth's safest place to work.

What is Starbucks mission statement? ›

In everything we do, we are always dedicated to Our Mission: to inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup, and one neighborhood at a time.

What is Walmart mission statement? ›

Since the first Walmart opened in 1962 in Rogers, Arkansas, we've been dedicated to making a difference in the lives of our customers. Today, we're helping communities save money and live better all over the world. "Give me a W!

How many sentences are in a mission statement? ›

A good business mission statement should be between one and three sentences and never exceeds 100 words. This means they're a little longer than most company slogans, but they're still short, catchy, action-focused statements that encapsulate what your business does and what its values are.

What makes a bad mission statement? ›

Don't put together a mission statement that too narrowly focuses on one set of problems, motivators, a specific customer or even just a selection of your products/services. Remember: You never know who might find your products or services useful.

What are the five 5 tips for writing a great mission statement? ›

5 steps to write a great mission statement:
  • Ask yourself why your company exists and what you value.
  • Choose your words carefully.
  • Be ambitious.
  • Revise your mission statement.
  • Live it.
18 Aug 2022

What are the characteristics of a good mission statement? ›

General principles
  • Make it as succinct as possible. A mission statement should be as short and snappy as possible – preferably brief enough to be printed on the back of a business card. ...
  • Make it memorable. ...
  • Make it unique to you. ...
  • Make it realistic. ...
  • Make sure it's current.
19 Sept 2015

What is the main purpose of a mission statement? ›

A mission statement is a concise explanation of the organization's reason for existence. It describes the organization's purpose and its overall intention. The mission statement supports the vision and serves to communicate purpose and direction to employees, customers, vendors and other stakeholders.

What is Apple's mission statement? ›

Mission – Bringing the best user experience to its customers through innovative hardware, software and services. Apple's vision statement is clear, concise, and to the point. They are evidently determined to deliver quality products for their clients.

What is the mission of Netflix? ›

At Netflix, we want to entertain the world. Whatever your taste, and no matter where you live, we give you access to best-in-class TV series, documentaries, feature films and mobile games. Our members control what they want to watch, when they want it, with no ads, in one simple subscription.

What is Pepsi's mission statement? ›

Our mission: Create more smiles with every sip and every bite. By creating joyful moments through our delicious and nourishing products and unique brand experiences.

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