A well-crafted mission statement captures the essence of a company’s purpose and values. It explains the fundamental reasons your business exists beyond making a profit.
Your mission statement is a key component of your business plan and broader company strategy. In this guide, we’ll cover what makes an effective mission statement and provide mission statement examples from top brands.
What is a Mission Statement?
A company’s mission statement defines its core purpose, focus, and aims. Typically 1-2 sentences long, a mission statement concisely explains:
- Purpose – The problem your company aims to solve
- Values – Guiding principles and beliefs
- Goals – What you aim to ultimately achieve
- Distinctions – How you differ from competitors
While a vision statement focuses on a company’s future state, a mission statement grounds you in the present. It communicates your fundamental objectives and approach.
Benefits of a Strong Mission Statement
An impactful mission statement provides many advantages, such as:
- Provides focus – Keeps teams aligned on shared goals
- Attracts talent – Helps recruit candidates who share your values
- Builds trust – Shows customers what you stand for
- Drives decisions – Guides strategy and problem-solving
- Inspires action – Motivates employees to achieve your purpose
Given these benefits, crafting an exceptional mission statement is one of the wisest investments any company can make.
How to Write a Powerful Mission Statement
Follow these best practices when writing or refining your mission statement:
Identify Your Purpose
Start by considering the core problem your company aims to solve. What customer needs do you address? Your mission should capture the heart of what you do in simple terms.
Express Your Values
Determine the principles, beliefs, and ethics that shape your decisions and culture. Convey what makes your company unique.
Keep It Focused
Avoid overly broad or generic statements that could apply to any company. Make your mission specific to your organization and objectives.
Make It Concise
The most memorable mission statements are brief, typically 15-30 words. Being succinct gives your statement more impact.
Use Action-Oriented Language
Write your mission statement with active, lively verbs that inspire people to take action.
While strategies evolve, a mission statement should stand the test of time. Write something evergreen.
With focus and brevity, you can craft an exceptional mission statement that drives real business results.
Mission Statement Examples
Here are examples of effective mission statements from leading companies:
To organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.
To accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy.
Build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, and use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis.
To make people happy by providing the finest in entertainment.
American Red Cross
To prevent and alleviate human suffering in the face of emergencies by mobilizing volunteers’ power and donors’ generosity.
To inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup and one neighbourhood at a time.
We work daily to make American Express the world’s most respected service brand.
These real-world examples demonstrate how effective mission statements express purpose, values, and focus in clear, succinct language. Use them for inspiration when writing your statement.
Tips for Using Your Mission Statement
To maximize its impact, make sure you:
- Post it prominently – Feature your mission statement on your website, materials, office walls, etc.
- Share it often – Regularly reinforce the mission in meetings, presentations, and communications.
- Align strategy and decisions – Evaluate opportunities and challenges through the context of your mission.
- Review it annually – Revisit the statement yearly in case your focus evolves.
- Incorporate it into culture – Reflect your mission in everything from hiring to operations.
Communicating and integrating your company’s mission statement drives alignment, focus, and success.
Bring Your Mission to Life
An exceptional mission statement conveys why your company exists and what it represents in clear, inspiring language. It provides a strategic foundation and touchstone for decision-making.
You can realise your purpose and full potential by writing, reinforcing, and integrating a compelling mission statement into all aspects of your business.
We’d love to hear your thoughts on mission statements. Please share your questions or experiences in the comments below!