How-to Guide: Creating a Mission Statement
Creating a mission statement doesn’t have to be rocket science, but it does have to be carefully crafted. We’re here to help with this 3-step guide.
It’s no secret that a brand’s mission and customer loyalty go hand in hand.
Think about the brands you keep returning to over the years despite new ones appearing on your social channels seemingly daily. Why are you loyal to these companies? How do their values align with yours? What do they do that makes you choose them over other brands?
All of these questions point to the same answer: their mission. Now think about your business. What values does it hold, and how does it communicate them to your customers? While creating a mission statement isn’t a requirement for every company (depending on your business structure), it does help to inspire employees and foster customer loyalty. It can also serve as the starting point for your marketing plan. So, how do you begin to write one that is memorable and true to your brand?
We’ll cover the steps for how to create a mission statement, including what points need to be covered, and then show you hand-picked examples of mission statements to get your creative juices flowing.
What Is a Mission Statement?
At its most basic, a mission statement explains your company's purpose. It includes what your company does, how, and why it does it. Think of it as an action statement that inspires your employees and appeals to the emotion and priorities of your customers.
But let’s make it super simple: Creating a mission statement means writing out your business’s purpose in a way that promotes its values and fosters a connection with others.
Mission vs. Vision Statements
It’s easy to conflate mission and vision statements, especially because the terms are tossed around frequently in the business world. But they aren’t the same. While a mission statement declares your company’s current purpose, a vision statement piggybacks off of the mission by expressing your company’s goals for the future and what it wants to become.
Think of the difference this way: The mission is settled here and now, while the vision is aspirational. That’s why you’ll typically learn how to write a mission statement for a company before you write a vision statement.
How to Create a Mission Statement in 3 Steps
Yes, you read that right! A mission statement should have only three essential things or at least imply. You might be thinking that this will be a piece of business cake. But writing a mission statement requires careful thought and consideration – and we'll cover why here.
Answer the “What”
First, write out what your company does or what service it provides and to whom – whether it’s a skincare company, a boat rental business, or a gourmet sandwich shop with a few locations around town. Don't overthink this step, but also don't overlook the value your company brings to its customers (and employees). In other words, keep it basic while also promotional.
The good thing is that this is a question you’ll answer when you write your business proposal, so some of the hard work might already be done.
Now that you have communicated what your company does, describe how it will do it. How is the company fulfilling a need or a competitor gap? How is it going to deliver the product or service to customers, and in what ways is the process different from other companies?
The final step in creating a mission statement is communicating why your company is here and why customers need your product or service. This is a chance for you to connect your business values with the “what” and the “how.” It’s important to note here that this explanation doesn’t have to only speak to your customers; it can be internal facing, too, like talking about your company culture.
After these steps are complete, put everything together into a single statement. The key here is to say more with fewer words. This means that, while your mission statement can be a few sentences, a shorter one can often be more impactful. To craft a mission statement that hits home, make sure every word is carefully chosen and not just used because it’s an industry buzzword. Take time to finesse, ensuring the what, how, and why are meaningful, concise, and memorable.
Mission Statement Examples
There’s no better way to talk about mission statements than by including examples from well-known brands. Here are 10 mission statement examples that do a great job of conveying what, how, and why.
Rare Beauty: “Rare Beauty is breaking down unrealistic standards of perfection. This is makeup made to feel good in, without hiding what makes you unique — because Rare Beauty is not about being someone else, but being who you are.”
This mission statement clearly states what the company provides (makeup), how it’s going about it (breaking down unrealistic beauty standards), and why. It promotes the value of being yourself, connecting makeup users everywhere.
Target: “To help all families discover the joy of everyday life. Our mission: The promise of surprises, fun, ease, and inspiration at every turn, no matter when, where, or how you shop.”
While Target doesn’t explicitly state that it’s a store, the “what” is implied with “shop.” This statement weaves in its values of joy, surprise, fun, ease, and inspiration that span customers and employees.
Trade Coffee: “Supporting local communities near and far by connecting coffee drinkers to better coffee.”
This mission statement is short and sweet but conveys what Trade Coffee does and how it’s doing it. Customers can also draw on the phrase “supporting local communities” to better understand the company’s values – connecting people to good coffee while fostering local business.
Microsoft: “Our mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.”
You might think that this statement is too vague, but notice how the meaning is implied: Microsoft offers a variety of products and services that help people and companies grow. The company doesn’t have to explicitly state its product or service for it to be well understood, and Microsoft can get away with it because it’s a globally known business.
This is a good time to note that after creating a mission statement, you can come back and tweak it throughout the years as your company changes and grows. So, where your first mission statement might be explicit in what it does to promote brand recognition, it might be vaguer later.
L.L.Bean: “We believe the more time you spend outside together, the better. That’s why we design products that make it easier to take longer walks, have deeper talks, and never worry about the weather. It’s like our founder always said – being outside brings out the best in us.”
This mission statement example is longer than the rest, but we’ve included it to show that while short and concise can be the goal, it doesn’t have to be the rule. L.L.Bean touches on the key things that should be part of a mission statement and expands on them to touch an emotional chord with customers.
Trader Joe’s: “We are committed to providing our customers outstanding value in the form of the best quality products at the best everyday prices.”
Trader Joe’s crafted a straightforward mission statement that lets you know exactly what it does and how it’s doing it. The “why” is implied: Customers value lower prices and high quality, and so does Trader Joe’s. The company goes even more in-depth on its website by touching on its other values of integrity, sustainability, and caring for the community.
Pact: “Our mission is to build Earth’s Favorite™ Clothing Company.”
Remember when we said that using fewer words to say more is a good goal when learning how to write a mission statement for a company? Well, Pact achieves this goal. Customers can easily understand that the company strives to make eco-friendly clothing for the eco-conscious consumer.
Lilly: “Lilly unites caring with discovery to create medicines that make life better for people worldwide.”
Note how this one hits every mark of the three-step guide on how to create a mission statement: “create medicines” (what); “unites caring with discovery” (how); and “make life better for people around the world” (why).
Make-A-Wish: “Together, we create life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses.”
The nonprofit Make-A-Wish has an effective mission statement that communicates the what, why, and how.
Esty: “Keep commerce human.”
This mission statement gets to the heart of the company, which provides an e-commerce marketplace for people who want to purchase directly from makers.
Now you have all the inspiration you need to learn how to create a mission statement for your company that will, in turn, inspire employees and customers. If you're starting your company earlier, we have great tips on creating a business name.
To continue developing and maintaining good customer relationships, learning more about SMS marketing by industry is important. In addition to other vital aspects of starting a company, like hiring a financial planner for small business and setting up your small-business goals, SMS marketing shouldn’t be overlooked. Why? Because your customers will be more engaged, you’ll grow your customer base, and drive more traffic to your website. Learn how EZ Texting can help.