Did you ever come across a brand and wonder what exactly does it do?
The answers are usually hidden in their mission statement.
Defining where your company is headed, what it wants to achieve, and identifying a goal is critical to businesses to guarantee growth and success. That’s where a mission statement comes into play.
A well-rounded mission statement centers on both the target audience and the employees as it serves as a framework that provides a launching pad to establish and build a brand.
For consumers, it helps set the business apart from the competition and makes them articulate about its products or service. Although, not all companies opt to share their mission statement publicly and use it solely as an internal tool.
What Is A Mission Statement?
A mission statement defines a company’s line of business, why it exists, and what value and purpose it has on a broader level. It includes many other elements, such as a quick intro to your primary customers, products, services, market position, corporate strategy, objectives, and more.
It is a meaningful piece of information for your employees too.
Mission statements are a way to show how your company stands out from the rest, which motivates people to become a part of your organization.
That’s why it is imperative to balance your company’s public image and internal communications.
In short, a mission statement identifies the following:
- Scope of the company’s operation
- Products or services
- Intended audience
- Value and Purpose
Why Are Mission Statements Important?
It is reported that 64% of the customers find brands relatively more attractive when they keenly convey their purpose. That sums up why a mission statement is so vital to your business.
Here are some more reasons why you should work on one for your business:
Defines The Company’s Direction
Mission statements help businesses determine and set the right direction for all the involved parties. This, in turn, makes the company successful as everybody has a clear approach, which helps them work towards a shared goal effectively.
Helps Make Informed Decisions
A mission statement sets clear boundaries that allow companies to delegate both authority and responsibility. Think of mission as a compass. It provides businesses with a framework to stay on the right path and reach the preferred future.
Keeps Employees Aligned
It is crucial for new hires to know about the company, purpose, values, etc., in order to get a clear route. A mission statement serves as the foundation that aligns the entire organization. Your employees will be on the same page, which will ultimately lead to better performance and results.
Mission-driven employees are 54% more likely to be in the company for five years and 30% more likely to become high performers.
Naturally, when you impart a mission statement’s message to your employees, it is the most effective as they align and revolve their actions around the mission.
Helps Formulate Strategy
Every entrepreneur needs a strategy, to begin with. Mission statements help them focus on the aspects most important to their business and then craft a well-rounded approach that revolves around the mission statement and helps them accomplish the intended goals and objectives.
Assists in Performance Evaluation
If you have a clear mission statement that contains all the important elements, you’ll gauge the business’ overall performance better and simultaneously improve it. Moreover, it brings clarity to almost all levels of the organization. So when you cultivate a robust mission-oriented work culture, it leads to business growth and success.
The Components Of A Powerful Mission Statement
Now that you why mission statements are essential for a business, it’s time to understand what key components help you devise a powerful mission statement that is effective and realistic.
Here are some of the elements that are most crucial when crafting a mission statement.
A brand’s target market is an essential element that helps you devise a powerful mission statement. Your intended audiences are the customers or consumers in a need that a business centers its marketing efforts on.
For instance, a bedding designer may target females over age 35, who make $70,000 a year and are interested in bedding remodeling.
In order to analyze your company’s key market, you need to identify the necessary information about your audience, such as income, age, gender, etc., through research and assess their needs and potential opportunities for your offerings.
This part focuses on a brand’s offerings and its high-level purpose. The description of the products and services plays a key role and distills the primary goal. A well-crafted mission statement allows you to ensure that the big idea behind your offerings is communicated and understood.
Furthermore, it outlines the need for the products and services you aim to bring into the market.
Who is the target audience?
How do your offerings differ from similar ones already in the market? And how will these products/services solve your target market’s problems?
And finally, what difference will your offerings make in the world?
Answer these questions truthfully to pave the path for unique and compelling products and streamline the internal processes that ultimately lead to better outcomes.
Finally, it is imperative to emphasize the business’s Unique Selling Proposition (USP) to clearly outline and communicate the most substantial advantage, differentiation points, and future direction to the people you want to target.
Remember, it’s about them, not about you. When you write a mission statement, it is essential to talk about your offerings, unique factors. This will help you capture your target audience’s attention, intrigue them, and entice them to explore your products more.
Writing A Mission Statement
If you are wondering how to get started on a mission statement that is good, simple, and understandable, then here are some of the tips that can help you craft an effective one.
An effective mission statement is concise and to the point. The more focused it is, the easier it is to understand and remember. An ideal mission statement is three sentences long. Moreover, it is also essential to address who, what, why, and how questions into that concise mission statement.
Therefore, when crafting your mission statement, make sure to keep it concise because if it gets lengthy, the purpose of writing one is overshadowed by the number of words.
If we take Chipotle’s example, “food with integrity.” It communicates the business commitment to cooking, sourcing, and surviving quality food in such a straightforward manner.
An all-inclusive mission statement serves as the basis that can help you establish goals, policies, and objectives that will inspire and unite the people to do things in each other’s best interest. So, when you accomplish these goals, it will benefit everybody.
Furthermore, it is crucial to forge a long term picture while making the mission statement that allows you to withstand time and hold its essence even in the long run. This means your mission statement shouldn’t change very often, and more importantly, it shouldn’t limit the company’s primary objective.
For example, Patagonia’s mission statement addresses the stakeholders internally and externally: “Build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis.”
They take a holistic approach and clearly articulate their goals to motivate employees and customers alike.
Whether you want to revamp your existing statement or craft one from scratch, it is always good to create drafts and test it before the final release. You can assess the effectiveness of your mission statement by testing it on your employees.
Distribute the drafts of statements to each employee and take their suggestion on if anything needs to be changed or added. That way, you can improve your mission statement’s quality with the help of your team’s opinions, and your employees feels invested as they had input into the pieces and crafting them.
Furthermore, it will give you a better idea of how well your mission statement reflects your company’s value, and being transparent with it can help forge a great message.
Mission statements should replicate your business’s specific nature and outline your company character and culture.
For example, “To discover, develop, and deliver innovative medicines that help patients prevail over serious diseases.” This mission statement of Bristol-Myers Squibb Company communicates what the company does in a precise manner.
Jargons and buzzwords are typically ineffective when used in a mission statement and make it hard for people to remember it. And when your message is hard to remember, it is not easy for your employees to align their routine tasks with the defined goals.
Therefore, it is crucial to pay attention to the choice of words and pick them wisely. Use the terms that are relevant and easy to understand for the involved parties.
Questions To Ask Yourself While Writing The Mission Statement
While it’s imperative to make your mission attainable and plausible, it is unequivocally essential to consider all the necessary elements. For example, Patagonia aims to “build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis.”
The statement references their products, but it also takes an aspirational approach. The brand links its development (apparel) with its core values (protecting the planet).
In order to come up with an all-encompassing mission statement, starts by asking yourself the right questions. Some of the following questions can help you craft a better picture of an effective mission statement that you can put into practice.
Why Are You In Business?
Clarify what you are trying to get out of your business and what you want for other stakeholders. Think about the moment that prompted your business decision.
Who Are Your Target Customers?
Define how you will contribute to a change in their lives and make a difference to their wellbeing and growth, both now and in the future.
What Brand Image You Want To Convey?
Employees, suppliers, customers, and the public – all will carry a certain perception of your company. But how do you want them to perceive your company, and how will you build that image?
How Do You Differ From Competitors?
What makes your company stand out from the rest of similar brands in the market? What strategies do your offerings play around? Is it cost-effective, or is providing customers with a differentiating factor?
What Fundamental Values Or Philosophies Does Your Company Hold?
Some businesses mention this individually. But listing your company’s values simplifies the “why” behind your statement.
Writing a mission statement is invaluable to your business’s growth and success in the short and long runs. It directs your company’s way forward and allows you and your employees to develop strategies that revolve around your mission statement.
Furthermore, it can help you and your teams stand firm during inevitable challenges while also propelling growth and driving you to align your operations with core values.
Therefore, a well-crafted mission statement facilitates steadiness through business processes and objectives and shares a great message to your customers — communicating your brand’s image in a way that reassures, intrigues, and conveys authenticity.