There are many businesses that offer any one product, but you often find yourself preferring one brand over the others. Even when your brand of choice is more expensive or farther from your home than other stores, you still purchase their products or services. Have you ever wondered why this is so? Do you keep going back for convenience, prices, quality goods, or customer services?
Beyond what a business offers, nothing ingratiates it more into your life than its mission, especially if it is something you believe in. The reason a brand exists is crucial to consumers. There is no better way to define your purpose if you own a business than to learn how to write a mission statement.
What Is a Mission Statement?
A mission statement is a short message that describes the purpose of a business by telling consumers why the company exists and how it is different from other brands. Within the company, a mission statement unifies all the employees, supervisors, and departments through a common goal. It explains what a business does, why it does it, and why its products or services are essential.
While it might seem impossible to capture all the values of your business in one short statement, you’ll be surprised what a few lines can do for your brand. Consider Tesla’s mission statement:
“Tesla’s mission is to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy.”
By reading this short description, you already know whether you want to associate with Tesla or not. Notice that the statement is brief, but packed with value.
The Importance of a Mission Statement
A mission statement sends a message to both the consumers and the people within the business itself. For consumers, it helps them understand why this brand is different from (or better than) other brands and why they should choose it. Within the business, it gives the whole team one unifying goal to work toward. From the mission statement, employees and managers will build solutions for the company to be offered to consumers.
How to Write (Step-by-Step with Examples)
Step 1: Mention What You Do
The first step is to establish what product or services your company provides. You don’t need to get creative with this description; just a simple statement about your purpose will do. For example, you can say that your company:
- Makes photobooks
- Sells women’s clothes
- Offers green energy solutions
- Repairs roofs
Step 2: Explain How You Do What You Do
The consumer now knows what you do, but they don’t know how you do it. The next part of your mission statement should provide a description of how your business generally operates (not to be confused with physical operations). Simply put, you should incorporate some of your core values into the definition of what you do. For example, you can say your company:
- Makes high-quality photobooks
- Sells affordable and stylish women’s clothes
- Offers green energy solutions that are modern and environmental-friendly
- Repairs roofs using top-grade, recycled materials.
As you will notice, the “how” in this section is more general than descriptive. It tells the consumer that your photobooks are high-quality but does not explain that you make them by “taking pictures, adding them to a canvas….”
When choosing what core values to include in your mission statement, list all of them and pick at least one or two that best align with what you do.
Step 3: Define Your Passion
Next, describe the driving force behind your operations. Why do you do what you do? What problems did you establish your business to solve? When we add this description to our examples, you might get the following statements:
- Makes high-quality photobooks to help families and loved ones capture unforgettable memories.
- Sells affordable and stylish women’s clothes that give middle and low-income women the confidence to own spaces.
- Offers green energy solutions that are modern and environmental-friendly and power the community while protecting the environment.
- Repairs roofs using top-grade, recycled materials to keep your home safe from the elements and looking beautiful.
Step 4: Bring it Together.
There is always a better way to say something, and that applies to mission statements too. The next step is to review what you have written and determine whether you can phrase it differently while adding in your company’s name. For example:
Sells affordable and stylish women’s clothes that give middle and low-income women the confidence to own spaces.
Can read as:
At Bella Fashions and Designs, we make and sell affordable and stylish women’s clothes to give the middle and low-income woman the confidence she needs to own spaces.
Step 5: Put Your New Mission Statement to Work
Finally, you have a mission statement that captures what you do, how, and why you do it. But how do you use it? Your mission statement captures the spirit of your brand, and as such, should be among the first things consumers see when they interact with your business. You can ensure this by making it visible on your company website, marketing materials, and business locations. Some companies even incorporate their mission statement into their marketing strategies.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the 3 parts of a mission statement?
Chris Bart, a Strategy and Governance professor at McMaster University, asserts that a mission statement has three essential parts. They are:
- The contribution: the service or product
- The market: the target audience
- The distinction: what makes the brand/product/service unique
How long should a mission statement be?
A mission should generally be just long enough to convey your message but not so long that the target audience doesn’t read it. Most mission statements are no longer than 100 words and tend to range from 2 to 4 sentences.
Mission statement vs. vision statement
A mission statement describes a company’s products or services and objectives, while a vision statement captures the intended future position of the brand.
Now that you know how to write a mission statement, it is time to create one for your company. It is important to note that, like your brand, your mission statement should be unique to your values and goals. Some mission statements are poignant, like that of the Smithsonian (“the increase and diffusion of knowledge”), while others (Facebook) are more informative. Find what works for you.