What is a mission statement and why every business should have one…
A mission statement helps to define the business you are in, what the goals of the business are and what your objectives are…and can provide differentiation and competitive advantage over your rivals
Think about why you stay loyal to a brand – it’s rarely to do with price, and most often to do with the product or service quality. This is no accident – the most successful brands have certain values which allow them to create an exceptional customer experience, combining a number of elements – logical, physical and emotional. This in turn creates a connection with the customers (and their employees), which generates a loyalty to the company and its brand.
These values are what are embodied within a company’s mission statement. And if everyone in your company adheres to these values, you are likely to attract customer loyalty.
Motivational speaker Simon Sinek recently tweeted: “Customers will never love a company until the employees love it first.”
He is right, if your staff truly believe in your company’s mission statement, so can live it in their everyday working lives, that is going to show through both in the customer experience and in employee production and retention.
What is a mission statement?
According to Lindsay Lolowich at HubSpot, a mission statement is intended to “clarify the ‘what’ and ‘who’ of a company, while a vision statement adds the ‘why’ and ‘how’ as well.”
A vision statement usually describes where the company aims to be in the future – Google’s vision statement for instance, is “to provide access to the world’s information in one click.”
To give you an idea of what a mission statement looks like, here’s a few from some very well-known brands:
- IKEA: To create a better everyday life for the many people.
- Tesla: To accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy.
- Apple: Appledesigns Macs, the best personal computers in the world, along with OS X, iLife, iWork and professional software. Apple leads the digital music revolution with its iPods and iTunes online store
Finally, I must confess to being a little disappointed with the Walt Disney Company’s mission statement – not a mention of fairies dust, wishes or bippity boppity boo anywhere!
“to be one of the world’s leading producers and providers of entertainment and information. Using our portfolio of brands to differentiate our content, services and consumer products, we seek to develop the most creative, innovative and profitable entertainment experiences and related products in the world.”
What is the purpose of a mission statement?
The mission statement helps to define the business you are in, what the goals of the business are and what your objectives are.
It’s the vision that everyone in the company should keep in mind during their day-to-day work – it’s what defines your organisation’s core values – and cannot be instrumental in keeping customers loyal to you but can provide differentiation and competitive advantage over your rivals.
The mission statement should be relevant to every part of your business from the products you offer to the quality, service and pricing. It should apply to how you deal with customers and your staff – even your attitude towards the technology you use.
How to create a good mission statement
A mission statement is not an essay. At most it is four sentences long – and probably no more than 100 words.
To compile your statement, you need to ask some questions. They should include:
- What do you want the business to offer you, your staff and your customers? How can it be in it for the long term?
- Look at who your customers are – how can you make your business more appealing to them?
- What image do you want for your business – how will it look to customers?
- Look at what affects your products and pricing, how can you keep that consistent over time?
- What sort of service do you want to provide?
- What sets you apart from rival organisations?
- Do you have any underlying philosophies for running your business?
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