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What Is a Mission Statement?
How a mission statement works, drafting a mission statement, displaying a mission statement.
- Advantages and Disadvantages
- Other Statements
- Mission Statement FAQs
- How to Start a Business
Mission Statement Explained: How It Works and Examples
Investopedia / Joules Garcia
A mission statement is used by a company to explain, in simple and concise terms, its purpose(s) for being. The statement is generally short, either a single sentence or a short paragraph.
- A mission statement is used by a company to explain, in simple and concise terms, its purpose(s) for being.
- It is usually one sentence or a short paragraph, explaining a company's culture, values, and ethics.
- Mission statements serve several purposes, including motivating employees and reassuring investors of the company's future.
- To craft a mission statement, consider how your company impacts customers, donors, investors, or your community and why you strive to help these parties.
- A mission statement might slightly overlap other marketing content, but it is different from a vision statement, value statement, brand, or slogan.
Mission statements serve a dual purpose by helping employees remain focused on the tasks at hand, and encouraging them to find innovative ways of moving toward increasing their productivity with the eye to achieving company goals.
A company’s mission statement defines its culture, values, ethics, fundamental goals, and agenda. Furthermore, it defines how each of these applies to the company's stakeholders —its employees, distributors, suppliers, shareholders, and the community at large. These entities can use this statement to align their goals with that of the company.
The statement reveals what the company does, how it does it, and why it does it. Prospective investors may also refer to the mission statement to see if the values of the company align with theirs. For example, an ethical investor against tobacco products would probably not invest in a company whose mission is to be the largest global manufacturer of cigarettes.
It is not uncommon for large companies to spend many years and millions of dollars to develop and refine their mission statements. In some cases, mission statements eventually become household phrases.
Mission statements aren't just for small or large companies. Many successful individuals, professionals, and investors have taken the time to craft a personal mission statement. These personal mission statements often incorporate the financial, professional, spiritual, and relational aspects of life. This, in turn, helps an individual maintain a healthy work/life balance that increases their personal achievement in all of these areas.
While it may be difficult to narrow down the focus of your company in a single statement, here are some tips to help you write a good mission statement.
- First, outline what your company does. This may be a good you produce or a service you provide to your customers —whatever makes your business run.
- Next, describe the way in which your company does what it does. Instead of being technical—that's not the point here—think of what values go into the core of your business. Maybe you value quality, customer service, or being sustainable. Alternatively, you may foster creativity and innovation in your business. These are key points to outline in your mission statement.
- Finally, include why you do what you do in your mission statement. This is key. It helps you stand out as a business, highlighting what sets you apart from the others in your industry. Remember to keep the mission statement short and to the point.
After you've drafted it, remember to look it over, edit it, and have someone else give it a once over. After you've approved it, you'll need to find a way to incorporate it wherever you can. In addition, be mindful to periodically review your mission statement. Although it's never ideal to constantly pivot your image and change your mission statement, your company may outgrow or shift directions resulting in the need of a new statement.
A company’s mission is its identity, and its vision is its journey to accomplishing its mission. A company should take as long as it needs to craft the right statement to describe its mission.
Once a mission statement is crafted, it's up to the company to make it publicly known. A mission statement only holds value if it is shared with existing and potential customers, vendors , donors, or employees.
Because a company's mission statement is often pretty short, it is easy to incorporate into marketing material. A mission statement should always be found somewhere on a company's website. In addition, it can also be used in marketing documents. A company may solicit employees to incorporate adding its mission statement as part of a company-wide standard e-mail signature block.
A mission statement is also a perfect "elevator pitch" sentence that key members of your company should know. Because it's so brief, it is easy to memorize. In addition, it's a perfect introduction for someone who has never heard of your company or wants to know more. Whether it's at a networking event, social gathering, or bus ride to work, a mission statement is an easy way to captivate a stranger's interest in your company should they ask what your company does.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Mission Statements
Companies can benefit from having a mission statement. First, it outlines a company's goals and position in the industry for its customers, competitors, and other stakeholders. It also helps the organization focus and stay on track to make the right decisions about its future.
Furthermore, the mission statement helps clarify a company's purpose. With a mission statement, a company's customers and investors can rest assured that the company is fully committed to achieving its goals and maintaining its values. It is also useful to guide and motivate employees, keeping them in line with the company's values.
Last, a mission statement adds validity to an organization. From the outside looking in, a mission statement demonstrates that a company has considered the big picture and the major goals it wants to accomplish. It demonstrates thoughtful leadership, reputability, and inspiration to potential investors, employees, or donors.
There are drawbacks to having a mission statement. Mission statements may sometimes be very lofty and far too unrealistic, which can distract employees from the company's goals. Management may become too distracted with high-level targets that shorter-term, necessary steps to get there become neglected.
Even though a mission statement is short and concise, it may take a lot of time and money to develop. The resources spent on a bad mission statement could be better spent elsewhere, creating an opportunity loss . The difficulty of crafting such a concise statement is many parties often have ideas, and there's not room for many of them. After the bulk of the work has been done, companies may struggle with "wordsmithing" or simply rearranging words instead of trying to generate value.
Last, by publicly announcing to the world the company's mission, some people on the outside (or even the inside) may disagree with the mission. In the examples below, some individuals may be skeptical of alternative sources of energy and may be scared away when learning of Tesla's mission statement. A mission statement doesn't give much opportunity for a rebuttal to clarify or further explain what a company is all about.
A mission statement is not required, though it may be a grant application for a nonprofit or asked for by an interested investor of a company.
Mission Statement Examples
Mission statements vary considerably from company to company. The following examples are the mission statements of some of the trending companies as of 2022:
- Nike ( NKE ): "Our mission is what drives us to do everything possible to expand human potential. We do that by creating groundbreaking sport innovations, by making our products more sustainably, by building a creative and diverse global team and by making a positive impact in communities where we live and work."
- Walmart ( WMT ): "We save people money so they can live better."
- Starbucks ( SBUX ): "To inspire and nurture the human spirit—one person, one cup, and one neighborhood at a time."
- Tesla ( TSLA ): "To accelerate the world's transition to sustainable energy."
- JP Morgan ( JPM ): "We aim to be the most respected financial services firm in the world."
Mission Statements vs. Other Statements
A mission statement is often confused or grouped with other types of organizational statements. Here are some other types of content and how they vary from a mission statement.
Mission Statement vs. Vision Statement
A company’s mission statement differs from its vision statement. While the mission statement remains unchanged for the most part and represents who the company is or aspires to be for the entirety of its existence, the vision statement can change. The latter outlines what the company needs to do to remain the way it has presented itself to be. In effect, a company’s mission is its identity, and the vision is its journey to accomplishing its mission.
Mission Statement vs. Value Statement
A company's value statement is also centered around a company's core principles and philosophy. However, it is more direct in guiding how decisions will be made and what will impact the daily culture of the organization. A value statement often includes actionable direction such as "taking ownership", "acting ethically", "doing what is right", or "being transparent." Whereas a mission statement describes the highest level of purpose, a vision statement starts to describe how that purpose will be achieved.
Mission Statement vs. Company Goals
A company's goals or business plan may be publicly disclosed or kept private/internal. In general, a company's goals are often even more specific, potentially referring to specific business lines, growth percentages, geographical regions, or new initiatives. While a mission statement often does not mention a specific aspect of the business, company goals are often measurable relating to departments or products so a company can track progress. A company's mission statement should drive the goals that are set.
Mission Statement vs. Brand
A brand is an suite of elements that encompasses a company's identity. This includes its marketing materials, engagement in community events, reviews from current and former employees, and its logo presence. A company's brand is also shaped by its mission statement. Though a small component, a mission statement helps customers, employees, and investors form an opinion of a company.
Mission Statement vs. Slogan
A slogan is a very brief, often memorable phrase that people primarily outside of your company can remember. Utter a great slogan such as "Just Do It" can invoke memories, commercials, logos, brand ambassadors, and emotions through a successful ad campaign . Although a mission statement is brief, it is longer and relatively more detailed compared to a slogan. A mission statement isn't meant to necessarily be catchy; it's meant to be informative and useful for guiding high-level decisions. Alternatively, a slogan is a very pointed marketing phrase used to be memorable even if it is less informative.
A mission statement is a brief description of the overarching meaning of the company or nonprofit. A mission statement does not explain what a company does or how it does it. It attempts to succinctly explain why a company exists and what its purpose is.
What Is an Example of a Mission Statement?
Microsoft's mission statement is: "Our mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more."
What Is in a Good Mission Statement?
A good mission statement is concise. It should be limited to one sentence, though it shouldn't be too limiting as it should encompass the entire company's purpose. A good mission statement also focuses on the long-term goal it wishes to deliver to customers.
How Do You Write a Mission Statement?
There's no single best way to come up with a mission statement. In general, the mission statement writing process should start with considering what a business does for the customers, employees, and general public. It's often best to begin by collecting more content than needed, then later refining the mission statement into a single sentence.
One method of brainstorming ideas of a mission statement is to think about personal experiences from the company. This could also include soliciting ideas or memories from employees. Instead of focusing directly on the narrow business element of your company, embrace the broader aspect. For example, Microsoft did not craft its mission statement around delivering Windows '98. Rather, it crafted its mission statement around the possibilities it presented through its product.
Nike. " About Nike ."
Walmart. " History ."
Starbucks. " Our Company ."
Tesla. " About Tesla ."
JP Morgan. " About Us ."
Microsoft. " About Us. "
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What Is a Mission Statement? Definition and Guide
- by Shopify Staff
- Starting Up
- Nov 18, 2022
- 2 minute read
A mission statement is a brief description of why a company or organization exists. In one to three sentences, it explains what the company does, who it serves, and what differentiates it from competitors.
It’s used to provide focus, direction, and inspiration to employees while it tells customers or clients what to expect from the business. A mission statement is often part of a business plan .
Mission statement examples
The best mission statements are clear, concise, and memorable. Here are a few examples:
- TED : Spread ideas.
- Google : Google’s mission is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.
- Walmart : We save people money so they can live better.
How to write a mission statement
Well-crafted mission statements:
- Identify the organization’s target market , audience, or customers.
- Say what makes the business unique or provides its competitive advantage.
- Are realistic and reasonable rather than grandiose or lofty.
- Are relevant, specific, and believable.
- Inspire employees.
- Are short and to the point.
While a mission statement shouldn’t be written in isolation by one person if the organization employs many people, it’s not a job for a committee, either.
Leaders often ask a few employees to write one sentence that summarizes what the company does and stands for. They then compare them, looking for similarities, differences, and surprises. They use that input to craft a statement that is honest and accurate rather than something the company aspires to achieve.
Testing the statement with employees before sharing it internally or externally helps generate useful feedback. Does it ring true? What would they change? Employees are the most important audience for the mission statement because they will need to “walk the talk." It needs to resonate with them.
How to use a mission statement
How the statement is used depends on the size and nature of the business. Smaller businesses might post it where all employees can see it or include it in every company slide deck.
Companies may also share it in marketing materials—on the website, in the company description, and in advertisements.
How it’s used, however, is less important than whether the statement is accurate and realistic, and whether employees and management use it to guide strategy and decisions.
What Is a Mission Statement? FAQ
What is an example of a mission statement, what is a mission statement in simple words, what are the 3 parts of a mission statement.
- Purpose: An explanation of the organization's reason for existing.
- Vision: A description of what the organization wants to achieve in the future.
- Values: A list of the core values that guide the organization's behavior and decisions.
What is a good mission statement?
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27 Mission and Vision Statement Examples That Will Inspire Your Buyers
Published: November 17, 2022
Think about the brands you purchase from over and over. Why do you choose to buy products and or services from them even when cheaper options exist?
Well, there's a good reason for it — because of their values which are expressed in their mission statement. As consumers, we like to patronize businesses that have values we believe in.
Still, Loyalty doesn’t happen overnight. Building brand loyalty , like creating mission and vision statements, takes time. If you’re in a bit of a time crunch, use this table of contents to find precisely what you’re looking for to inspire the development of your company’s mission:
What is a mission statement?
Mission vs Vision Statements
Best Mission Statement Examples
Best Vision Statements Examples
100 Mission Statement Examples & Templates
Fill out this form to access the guide.
A mission statement is an action-oriented statement declaring the purpose an organization serves to its audience. It often includes a general description of the organization, its function, and its objectives.
As a company grows, its objectives and goals may be reached, and in turn, they'll change. Therefore, mission statements should be revised as needed to reflect the business's new culture as previous goals are met.
What makes a good mission statement?
The best brands combine physical, emotional, and logical elements into one exceptional customer (and employee) experience that you value as much as they do. A good mission statement will not only explain your brand’s purpose, but will also foster a connection with customers.
When your brand creates a genuine connection with customers and employees, they'll stay loyal to your company, thereby increasing your overall profitability.
Mission statements also help you stand out in the marketplace, differentiating your brand from the competition.
What are the 3 parts of a mission statement?
Your mission statement should clearly express what your brand does, how it does it, and why the brand does it. You can quickly sum this up in your mission statement by providing the following:
- Brand Purpose: What does your product or service do, or aim to provide and for whom?
- Brand Values: What does your company stand for? For example, are you environmentally conscious and provide a more sustainable solution to solve a problem? Values are what make your company unique.
- Brand Goals: What does your company accomplish for customers? Why should they purchase from you instead of other competitors?
With these three components, you can create a mission that is unique to your brand and resonates with potential customers. Next, we’ll guide you step by step how to write a proper mission statement to build off of as your company evolves.
How to Write a Mission Statement
- Explain your company’s product or service offering.
- Identify the company’s core values.
- Connect how your company's offering aligns with your values.
- Condense these statements into one.
- Make sure it’s clear, concise, and free of fluff.
1. Explain your company’s product or service offering.
You want prospects to understand what your company does in a literal sense. This means explaining your offering in basic, clear terms. Your explanation should answer the most basic questions like:
- Are you selling a product or service?
- Why would customers buy it?
- How does your offering solve for the customer?
Record your answers and focus on how your product or service brings value to your buyer personas , otherwise known as your target audience.
2. Identify the company’s core values.
Now, this is where you can start thinking bigger. You didn’t just make a product or service at random, you most likely were motivated by a set of core values .
Core values are deeply ingrained principles that guide a company’s actions. Take HubSpot’s culture code, HEART , for example:
These are principles that not only company employees respect, but are principles that our customers appreciate as well. By identifying core values that hold meaning on personal and organizational levels, you’ll have an appealing set to add to your mission statement.
3. Connect how your company's offering aligns with your values.
So how can your company offering serve your core values? You need to draw a connection between the two in a way that makes sense to the public.
For example, if one of your core values is centered on innovation, you want to frame your product or service as pushing boundaries and explaining how it helps customers innovate their lives or business practices. Essentially, you’re taking the literal benefit of the offering and expanding it to serve a higher purpose.
4. Condense these statements into one.
A mission statement can be as short as a single sentence, or as long as a paragraph, but it’s meant to be a short summary of your company’s purpose. You need to state the what, who and why of your company:
- What: The company offering
- Who: Who you’re selling to
- Why: The core values you do it for
Once you have successfully conveyed your message, it’s time to refine and perfect your statement.
5. Make sure it’s clear, concise, and free of fluff.
Above all, your mission statement is a marketing asset that is meant to be clear, concise, and free of fluff. It should clearly outline the purpose of your company offering and demonstrate the common goals the company is working to achieve. You should also have other team members or advisors read the mission statement and make adjustments if needed according to their recommendation.
A vision statement is aspirational and expresses your brand’s plan or “vision” for the future and potential impact on the world. They often serve as a guide for a brand’s future goals and explain why customers and employees should stick around for the long-haul.
What makes a good vision statement?
A good vision statement should be bold and ambitious. They’re meant to be inspirational, big-picture declarations of what your company strives to be in the future. They give customers a peek into your company’s trajectory and build customer loyalty by allowing them to align their support with your vision because they believe in the future of your brand as well.
What are the 3 parts of a vision statement?
Your company vision is meant to be inspirational while also aligning with the company’s mission. A vision statement should have the following characteristics:
- Aspirational and Ambitious: Have a lofty outlook for what you want your business to accomplish? Here’s the place to put it. Your vision statement should be aspirational and showcase how your business will grow in the future.
- Practical and Achievable: While your statement should be ambitious, it shouldn’t be impossible. Set a goal that is both challenging and practical.
- General: Your vision should be broad enough to encompass all of your brand’s overall goals. Think of it in terms of an umbrella for your mission statement and company objectives to nest under.
Both mission and vision statements are often combined into one comprehensive "mission statement" to define the organization's reason for existing and its outlook for internal and external audiences — like employees, partners, board members, consumers, and shareholders.
The difference between mission and vision statements lies in the purpose they serve.
Mission Statement vs. Vision Statement
A mission statement clarifies what the company wants to achieve, who they want to support, and why they want to support them. On the other hand, a vision statement describes where the company wants a community, or the world, to be as a result of the company's services. Thus, a mission statement is a roadmap for the company's vision statement.
A mission statement is a literal quote stating what a brand or company is setting out to do. This lets the public know the product and service it provides, who it makes it for, and why it’s doing it. A vision statement is a brand looking toward the future and saying what it hopes to achieve through its mission statement. This is more conceptual, as it’s a glimpse into what the brand can become in the eyes of the consumer and the value it will bring in longevity.
In summary, the main differences between a mission and vision statement are:
- Mission statements describe the current purpose a company serves. The company's function, target audience, and key offerings are elements that are often mentioned in a mission statement.
- Vision statements are a look into a company’s future or what its overarching vision is. The same elements from the mission statement can be included in a vision statement, but they'll be described in the future tense.
Now that we know what they are, let’s dive into some useful examples of each across different industries.
Mission and Vision Statement Template
Free Guide: 100 Mission Statement Templates & Examples
Need more examples to build your mission statement? Download our free overview of mission statements – complete with 100 templates and examples to help you develop a stand-out mission statement.
- Life is Good: To spread the power of optimism.
- Sweetgreen: To inspire healthier communities by connecting people to real food.
- Patagonia: We’re in business to save our home planet.
- American Express: Become essential to our customers by providing differentiated products and services to help them achieve their aspirations.
- Warby Parker: To offer designer eyewear at a revolutionary price while leading the way for socially conscious businesses.
- InvisionApp: Question Assumptions. Think Deeply. Iterate as a Lifestyle. Details, Details. Design is Everywhere. Integrity.
- Honest Tea: To create and promote great-tasting, healthy, organic beverages.
- IKEA: To create a better everyday life for the many people.
- Nordstrom: To give customers the most compelling shopping experience possible.
- Cradles to Crayons: Provides children from birth through age 12, living in homeless or low-income situations, with the essential items they need to thrive – at home, at school, and at play.
- Universal Health Services, Inc.: To provide superior quality healthcare services that: PATIENTS recommend to family and friends, PHYSICIANS prefer for their patients, PURCHASERS select for their clients, EMPLOYEES are proud of, and INVESTORS seek for long-term returns.
- JetBlue: To inspire humanity – both in the air and on the ground.
- Workday: To put people at the center of enterprise software.
- Prezi: To reinvent how people share knowledge, tell stories, and inspire their audiences to act.
- Tesla: To accelerate the world's transition to sustainable energy.
- Invisible Children: To end violence and exploitation facing our world's most isolated and vulnerable communities.
- TED: Spread Ideas
1. Life Is Good : To spread the power of optimism.
The Life is Good brand is about more than spreading optimism — although, with uplifting T-shirt slogans like "Seas The Day" and "Forecast: Mostly Sunny," it's hard not to crack a smile.
There are tons of T-shirt companies in the world, but Life is Good's mission sets itself apart with a mission statement that goes beyond fun clothing: to spread the power of optimism.
This mission is perhaps a little unexpected if you're not familiar with the company's public charity: How will a T-shirt company help spread optimism? Life is Good answers that question below the fold, where the mission is explained in more detail using a video and with links to the company’s community and the Life is Good Kids Foundation page . We really like how lofty yet specific this mission statement is — it's a hard-to-balance combination.
2. sweetgreen : To inspire healthier communities by connecting people to real food.
Notice that sweetgreen's mission is positioned to align with your values — not just written as something the brand believes. We love the inclusive language used in its statement.
The language lets us know the company is all about connecting its growing network of farmers growing healthy, local ingredients with us — the customer — because we're the ones who want more locally grown, healthy food options.
The mission to connect people is what makes this statement so strong. And, that promise has gone beyond sweetgreen's website and walls of its food shops: The team has made strides in the communities where it's opened stores as well. Primarily, it provides education to young kids on healthy eating, fitness, sustainability, and where food comes from.
3. Patagonia : We’re in business to save our home planet.
Patagonia's mission statement spotlights the company’s commitment to help the environment and save the earth. The people behind the brand believe that among the most direct ways to limit ecological impacts is with goods that last for generations or can be recycled so the materials in them remain in use.
In the name of this cause, the company donates time, services, and at least 1% of its sales to hundreds of environmental groups worldwide.
If your company has a similar focus on growing your business and giving back, think about talking about both the benefit you bring to customers and the value you want to bring to a greater cause in your mission statement.
4. American Express : Become essential to our customers by providing differentiated products and services to help them achieve their aspirations.
Customers will never love a company until the employees love it first.
— Simon Sinek (@simonsinek)
The tweet above is from Simon Sinek , and it's one that we repeat here at HubSpot all the time. American Express sets itself apart from other credit card companies in its list of values, with an ode to excellent customer service, which is something it’s famous for.
We especially love the emphasis on teamwork and supporting employees so that the people inside the organization can be in the best position to support their customers.
5. Warby Parker : To offer designer eyewear at a revolutionary price, while leading the way for socially conscious businesses.
This "objective" statement from Warby Parker uses words that reflect a young and daring personality: "rebellious," "revolutionary," "socially-conscious." In one sentence, the brand takes us back to the root of why it was founded while also revealing its vision for a better future.
The longer-form version of the mission reads: "We believe that buying glasses should be easy and fun. It should leave you happy and good-looking, with money in your pocket," which further shows how Warby Parker doesn't hold back on letting its unique personality shine through. Here, the mission statement's success all comes down to spot-on word choice.
6. InvisionApp : Question Assumptions. Think Deeply. Iterate as a Lifestyle. Details, Details. Design is Everywhere. Integrity.
These days, it can seem like every B2B company page looks the same — but InvisionApp has one of the cooler company pages I've seen. Scroll down to "Our Core Values," and hover over any of the icons, and you'll find a short-but-sweet piece of the overall company mission under each one.
We love the way the statements are laid out under each icon. Each description is brief, authentic, and business babble-free — which makes the folks at InvisionApp seem trustworthy and genuine.
7. Honest Tea : To create and promote great-tasting, healthy, organic beverages.
Honest Tea's mission statement begins with a simple punch line connoting its tea is real, pure, and therefore not full of artificial chemicals. The brand is speaking to an audience that's tired of finding ingredients in its tea that can't be pronounced and has been searching for a tea that's exactly what it says it is.
Not only does Honest Tea have a punny name, but it also centers its mission around the name. For some time, the company even published a Mission Report each year in an effort to be "transparent about our business practices and live up to our mission to seek to create and promote great-tasting, healthier, organic beverages."
8. IKEA : To offer a wide range of well-designed, functional home furnishing products at prices so low that as many people as possible will be able to afford them
The folks at IKEA dream big. The vision-based mission statement could have been one of beautiful, affordable furniture, but instead, it's to make everyday life better for its customers. It's a partnership: IKEA finds deals all over the world and buys in bulk, then we choose the furniture and pick it up at a self-service warehouse.
"Our business idea supports this vision ... so [that] as many people as possible will be able to afford them," the brand states .
Using words like "as many people as possible" makes a huge company like IKEA much more accessible and appealing to customers.
9. Nordstrom : To give customers the most compelling shopping experience possible.
When it comes to customer commitment, not many companies are as hyper-focused as Nordstrom is. Although clothing selection, quality, and value all have a place in the company's mission statement, it’s crystal clear that it’s all about the customer: "Nordstrom works relentlessly to give customers the most compelling shopping experience possible."
If you've ever shopped at a Nordstrom, you'll know the brand will uphold the high standard for customer service mentioned in its mission statement, as associates are always roaming the sales floors, asking customers whether they've been helped, and doing everything they can to make the shopping experience a memorable one.
10. Cradles to Crayons : Provides children from birth through age 12, living in homeless or low-income situations, with the essential items they need to thrive – at home, at school, and at play.
Cradles to Crayons divided its mission and model into three sections that read like a game plan: The Need, The Mission, and The Model. The "rule of three" is a powerful rhetorical device called a tricolon that's usually used in speechwriting to help make an idea more memorable. A tricolon is a series of three parallel elements of roughly the same length — think "I came; I saw; I conquered."
11. Universal Health Services, Inc. : To provide superior quality healthcare services that: PATIENTS recommend to family and friends, PHYSICIANS prefer for their patients, PURCHASERS select for their clients, EMPLOYEES are proud of, and INVESTORS seek for long-term returns.
A company thrives when it pleases its customers, its employees, its partners, and its investors — and Universal Health Services endeavors to do just that, according to its mission statement. As a health care service, it specifically strives to please its patients, physicians, purchasers, employees, and investors. We love the emphasis on each facet of the organization by capitalizing the font and making it red for easy skimming.
12. JetBlue : To inspire humanity – both in the air and on the ground.
JetBlue's committed to its founding mission through lovable marketing, charitable partnerships, and influential programs — and we love the approachable language used to describe these endeavors. For example, the brand writes how it "set out in 2000 to bring humanity back to the skies."
For those of us who want to learn more about any of its specific efforts, JetBlue's provided details on the Soar With Reading program, its partnership with KaBOOM!, the JetBlue Foundation, environmental and social reporting, and so on. It breaks down all these initiatives really well with big headers, bullet points, pictures, and links to other web pages visitors can click to learn more. JetBlue also encourages visitors to volunteer or donate their TrueBlue points.
13. Workday : We aim for innovation not only in our development organization but also in the way we approach every aspect of our business.
Workday, a human resources (HR) task automation service, doesn't use its mission statement to highlight the features of its product or how it intends to help HR professionals improve in such-and-such a way.
Instead, the business takes a stance on the state of enterprise software in general: There's a lot of great tech out there. But at Workday, it revolves around the people. We love how confident yet kind this mission statement is. It observes the state of its industry — which Workday believes lacks a human touch — and builds company values around it.
14. Prezi : To reinvent how people share knowledge, tell stories, and inspire their audiences to act.
If you know Prezi, you know how engaging it can make your next business presentation look. According to its mission statement, the company's clever slide animations and three-dimensional experience aren't just superficial product features. With every decision Prezi makes, it's all about the story you tell and the audience that story affects.
15. Tesla : To accelerate the world's transition to sustainable energy.
A car company's punny use of the word "accelerate" is just one reason this mission statement sticks out. However, Tesla makes this list because of how its mission statement describes the industry.
It may be a car company, but Tesla's primary interest isn't just automobiles — it's promoting sustainable energy. And, sustainable energy still has a "long road" ahead of it (pun intended) — hence the world's "transition" into this market.
Ultimately, a mission statement that can admit to the industry's immaturity is exactly what gets customers to root for it — and Tesla does that nicely.
16. Invisible Children : To end violence and exploitation facing our world's most isolated and vulnerable communities.
Invisible Children is a non-profit that raises awareness around the violence affecting communities across Central Africa, and the company takes quite a confident tone in its mission.
The most valuable quality of this mission statement is that it has an end goal. Many companies' visions and missions are intentionally left open-ended so that the business might always be needed by the community. Invisible Children, on the other hand, wants to "end" the violence facing African families. It's an admirable mission that all businesses — not just nonprofits — can learn from when motivating customers.
17. TED : Spread ideas.
We've all seen TED Talks online before. Well, the company happens to have one of the most concise mission statements out there.
TED, which stands for "Technology Education and Design," has a two-word mission statement that shines through in every Talk you've seen the company publish on the internet. That mission statement: "Spread ideas." Sometimes, the best way to get an audience to remember you is to zoom out as far as your business's vision can go. What do you really care about? TED has recorded some of the most famous presentations globally, but in the grand scheme of things, all it wants is to spread ideas around to its viewers.
Now that we’ve gone over successful mission statements, what does a good vision statement look like? Check out some of the following company vision statements — and get inspired to write one for your brand.
Vision Statement Example
“Our vision is to improve sustainable farming practices across the globe.” This vision statement is ambitious and broad enough to be an umbrella statement in line with a brand's mission.
1. Alzheimer's Association : A world without Alzheimer's disease.
The Alzheimer’s Association conducts global research and provides quality care and support to people with dementia. This vision statement looks into the future where people won’t have to battle this currently incurable disease. With the work that it's doing in the present, both employees and consumers can see how the organization achieves its vision by helping those in need.
2. Teach for America : One day, all children in this nation will have the opportunity to attain an excellent education.
Teach for America creates a network of leaders to provide equal education opportunities to children in need. This organization’s day-to-day work includes helping marginalized students receive the proper education they otherwise wouldn’t have access to. Its vision statement is what it hopes to see through its efforts — a nation where no child is left behind.
3. Creative Commons : Realizing the full potential of the internet — universal access to research and education, full participation in culture — to drive a new era of development, growth, and productivity.
This nonprofit’s vision statement is broad. It helps overcome legal obstacles to share knowledge and creativity around the world. By working closely with major institutions, its vision is an innovative internet that isn’t barred by paywalls.
4. Microsoft : We strive to create local opportunity, growth, and impact in every country around the world.
Microsoft is one of the most well-known technology companies in the world. It makes gadgets for work, play, and creative purposes on a worldwide scale, and its vision statement reflects that. Through its product offering and pricing, it can provide technology to anyone who needs it.
5. Australia Department of Health : Better health and wellbeing for all Australians, now and for future generations.
This government department has a clear vision for its country. Through health policies, programs, and regulations, it has the means to improve the healthcare of Australian citizens.
6. LinkedIn : Create economic opportunity for every member of the global workforce.
LinkedIn is a professional networking service that gives people the opportunity to seek employment. Its vision statement intends to provide employees of every level a chance to get the job they need.
7. Disney : To be one of the world's leading producers and providers of entertainment and information.
Disney’s vision statement goes beyond providing ordinary entertainment. It intends to tell stories and drive creativity that inspires future generations through its work. This is an exceptional vision statement because it goes beyond giving consumers programs to watch, but ones that excite and change the way people see them and the world around them.
8. Meta : Give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together.
Meta, formerly known as Facebook, is a major social media platform with a concise vision statement. It provides a platform to stay in touch with loved ones and potentially connect to people around the world.
9. Southwest : To be the world's most loved, most efficient, and most profitable airline.
Southwest Airlines is an international airline that strives to serve its flyers with a smile. Its vision statement is unique because it sees itself not just excelling in profit but outstanding customer service, too. Its vision is possible through its strategy and can lead its employees to be at the level they work toward.
10. Dunkin' : To be always the desired place for great coffee beverages and delicious complementary doughnuts & bakery products to enjoy with family and friends.
Notice the interesting use of the word "complementary" in this vision statement. No, the chain isn't envisioning giving out freebies in the future. Its vision goes beyond remaining a large coffee chain. Rather, the brand wants to be the consummate leader in the coffee and donut industry. It wants to become a place known for fun, food, and recreation.
Inspire Through Brand Values
Brand values play a much more significant role in customer loyalty than you think. Showing that your business understands its audience — and can appeal to them on an emotional level — could be the decision point for a customer’s next purchase. We hope you found some insight in this post that can help you brainstorm your inspiring vision and mission statements for your business.
Editor's note: This post was originally published in August 2014 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.
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Best Mission Statements: 12 Examples You Need to See
by Sunny Tsang . In Company Culture .
What makes a good mission statement? Is it a succinct sentence that captures your company purpose, a catchy slogan, or something more? The best mission statements leave a lasting impression of your brand in the minds of your consumers, encouraging them to choose you over another vendor. A quality mission statement incorporates your company core values and reflects your organization’s personality. So, how do you get started with crafting your own? And which companies are doing it right?
Let’s first explore what a mission statement is, how to craft one, and then review 12 examples of amazing mission statements crafted by leading enterprises.
What exactly is a mission statement?
A mission statement is defined as an action-based statement that declares the purpose of an organization and how they serve their customers. This sometimes includes a description of the company, what it does, and its objectives.
A mission statement provides perfect clarity behind the “what,” the “who,” and the “why,” of your company. The best mission statements are guidelines by which a company operates. Everything you do as a company should work toward your mission statement.
Most mission statements are between one and three sentences, never exceeding 100 words. The best mission statements are typically a single succinct sentence, so keep this in mind when crafting yours.
Your company’s mission statement should be communicated to employees before their first day on the job. It should be highlighted on all your recruiting and onboarding materials, and employees should know it by heart. After all, this is the mission your employees should be aligned with every day. Otherwise, they’ll come into work feeling aimless and struggling to understand their purpose.
How do I craft a mission statement?
To craft a compelling mission statement, you’ll need to follow a few steps. First, be careful: you don’t want to fall into the trap of accidentally creating a vision statement , which is different than a mission statement. A vision statement describes what a company aspires to be, as opposed to what it is now.
When creating a mission statement, avoid the common pratfall of trying to summarize your company’s services in a generic sentence.
Step 1: Interview Leadership
First, interview leadership about what they believe your company’s purpose is. Ask questions like:
- What prominent challenges does our company solve? Why are we in business?
- When you first applied, why did you want to work for us?
- Who are our customers, and what do they value most?
- What kind of image do we want to convey to the outside world as a company?
- How do we use our products and services to reach our goals?
- What do you think our organization’s purpose is?
- What do you like about working for our company?
- What differentiates us from our competitors?
- What underlying philosophies and principles shaped your responses to the previous questions?
Ensure every member of leadership is involved in this process. Take notes during your interviews and observe similarities and differences between the answers. Do you see certain themes or topics emerging? If so, you can use these to shape your mission statement.
Step 2: Identify Common Themes from Your Interviews
Next, review the common themes that emerged during your conversations, distilling them into paragraphs. You’ll want to set aside several hours to do this, or even an entire day. It’s important that you carve out the necessary time to spend on this process since crafting a mission statement is critical to identifying the motivations behind your business. When developing ideas, keep the following in mind:
- Your mission statement should be attainable. Your company should be working toward it already and it should be possible to achieve.
- Ensure your mission statement is clear so everyone can understand it.
- The best mission statements are inspiring for management and staff.
- It should set your company apart from others and be unique to you.
- Your mission statement needs to be credible and inspire buy-in from all your major stakeholders.
Once you have these paragraphs written, rewrite each to be more succinct. Eliminate as many unnecessary sentences as you can. Once you have each paragraph distilled down to three sentences, challenge yourself to combine these sentences into a single thought that encapsulates your theme. Do this with every theme you’ve discovered during your interviews and you’ll end up with several options for a mission statement to present to leadership.
3 Common Mission Statement Mistakes to Avoid
While you’re developing ideas for your mission statement, be sure to avoid the following common mistakes:
1. Leaving Little Space for Inspiration
A mission that reads more like a fact sheet than something that explains a company’s reason for existing won’t be effective. Avoid simply listing what your company does and shift your focus to the bigger picture: what guides your company strategy and inspires your workforce.
2. Lacking Personality and Fun
The best mission statements incorporate your company’s unique personality. Your mission statement should not be devoid of humanity — while it’s tempting to create a mission statement that presents your company as a professional and serious organization, it’s more important (and ultimately more beneficial) to reflect the culture that makes your company unique.
3. Using Buzzwords and Jargon
Bogging down your mission statement with buzzwords and jargon is a common misstep companies make when crafting mission statements. The best mission statements are comprised of simple, clear language that directly communicates a company’s purpose.
Step 3: Present to Leadership
Once you have identified a few options for your mission statement, present them to leadership and get feedback. Be prepared to hear a lot of conflicting opinions — this is all part of the process! Mission statements don’t evolve in a vacuum, and it will take time to iterate on your ideas.
Once leadership has bought into your mission statement, you’re ready to start communicating about it to your employees.
12 Examples of the Best Mission Statements
Now that we’ve examined what a mission statement is and how to create one, we can address the key question of this article: what does a good mission statement look like, and who’s doing it right? Here are 12 of the best mission statements for you to review and use as inspiration for your own.
“To inspire humanity — both in the air and on the ground.”
JetBlue aimed wide with their mission statement, proving that not all mission statements have to be tailored specifically to what a company does . This inspirational statement focuses on their audience, creating an immediate connection with readers, which isn’t surprising considering their history of creative and personal marketing . JetBlue promotes themselves as a group of service-oriented people dedicated to “bringing humanity back to air travel,” so this mission statement works well to reflect their branding and company personality.
“To accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy.”
Tesla focuses on enhancing the use of sustainable energy throughout the globe, so it’s no surprise that their mission statement reflects this. Plus, we love their use of “accelerate” right in the mission statement: it’s a great play on words that reflects their industry. This mission statement narrows the focus down to Tesla’s core purpose: to provide clean energy electric vehicles to the public, while still acknowledging the ongoing transition between fossil fuels and sustainable energy. This self-awareness that their market is still relatively young sets Tesla apart as having one of the best mission statements.
TED’s mission statement is simple, which makes it stand out on this list. While you might find it ironic that a media organization that hosts hours of content would stick to a two word mission statement, it actually fits with their branding. TED exists to share ideas online for free, and talks are usually limited to only 18 minutes. This kind of rapid-fire idea sharing is what makes TED such a lasting presence in American and global culture.
“To connect the world’s professionals to make them more productive and successful.”
LinkedIn’s mission statement is succinct and descriptive, encapsulating exactly what the social media powerhouse does: connect professionals from all around the world. Their mission statement stands out as one of the best because it quickly and effectively captures the fundamental function of LinkedIn while placing an important emphasis on the users of the platform, who are always the focus of LinkedIn’s design strategies.
“To build the web’s most convenient, secure, cost-effective payment solution.”
PayPal’s values center around being a leader in FinTech to democratize financial services for all. This message is apparent in their mission statement, especially because of the emphasis on being a “cost-effective solution.” Merging security with cost effectiveness accurately sums up PayPal’s central mission of providing affordable services that advance the global economy while protecting people.
“To be Earth’s most customer-centric company, where customers can find and discover anything they might want to buy online, and endeavors to offer its customers the lowest possible prices.”
Amazon is one of the largest global companies in existence and has grown to include millions of consumers and sellers. This mission statement’s emphasis on customer service and low prices truly encapsulates exactly what Amazon provides to its customers, all while highlighting just how large Amazon is and how far it reaches.
“To help humanity thrive by enabling all teams to work together effortlessly.”
Asana’s warm and friendly marketing aligns well with their mission statement. They have adapted the common tech-friendly sentiment of “making the world a better place,” but they have incorporated their own unique spin on this value by turning its focus toward their product. While this mission statement might be vague, they narrow their focus just enough to make their mission statement feel personalized to their company.
“Bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world.* *If you have a body, you are an athlete.”
Nike stands out among the best mission statements for a lot of reasons, but our favorite is the style and tone of this mission statement. The use of the asterisk is unique and gives the audience something to think about. Furthermore, their message is inclusive, which follows notable trends in marketing when reaching millennial and Gen Z audiences.
“To give customers the most compelling shopping experience possible.”
In an ever-changing world, Nordstrom has maintained one constant: their commitment to customer service. Nordstrom has been in business for over 100 years, and their mission statement has evolved with the industry. However, each iteration of their mission statement focuses on the customer experience due to their emphasis on quality and style, not just buying clothes.
10. American Express
“We work hard every day to make American Express the world’s most respected service brand.”
American Express has differentiated itself from other credit card vendors by constantly emphasizing their commitment to customer service. This mission statement is a great example of reflecting this value: not only does American Express value customers’ opinions, but they also value the opinions of their own employees. By putting employees and customers first, American Express has established itself as a respected brand throughout the globe.
“Build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis.”
This mission statement is great because it combines all the elements that make Patagonia successful: their high-quality products and their core value of putting the environment first. Patagonia is a company focused on selling products and giving back, which is why their core value is a perfectly balanced hybrid of what makes their business stand out from the rest. Plus, their emphasis on their product keeps their mission statement grounded and actionable.
“To put people at the center of enterprise software.”
This mission statement is unique for several reasons: it encapsulates Workday’s stance that they are an enterprise software, dedicated to standing out among competitors. Simultaneously, it takes a look at the HR software industry as a whole, making a pointed statement that, ironically, even in the HR space, people are often at the wayside. This is a confident mission statement that not only observes the state of the industry but also supports Workday’s values in tandem.
You’ve crafted your mission statement. Now what?
After you have created your mission statement, be sure to communicate it to your workforce. After all, you don’t want to invest this time and effort only to have your mission statement lose impact.
Meet with your CEO and leadership team to present your mission statement, take questions, and address any feedback. Once leadership has approved your mission statement, begin introducing it into your workplace. Send out a company-wide message to employees informing them of your new mission statement. Include your mission statement on collateral, make posters to hang throughout your offices, and regularly recognize employees who can recite your mission statement from memory.
This is also a good opportunity to reinforce your company’s core values by identifying and rewarding behaviors that align with them. Your mission statement should align with your core values, so use this chance to reward your team for embodying your company’s purpose and values. This positive reinforcement helps spread awareness about your new mission statement as well as boost morale. As a result, your company culture becomes even more appealing. With time, effort, and a strong mission statement, your company will be on the right track to focus on purpose and meaning.
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What is a Mission Statement?
Example of a mission statement, why is a mission statement important, the rise of a purpose statement, additional resources, mission statement.
Defines what line of business a company is in and what purpose it serves
A mission statement defines what line of business a company is in, and why it exists or what purpose it serves. Every company should have a precise statement of purpose that gets people excited about what the company does and motivates them to become part of the organization. A mission statement should also define the company’s corporate strategy and is generally a couple of sentences in length.
Let’s look at Microsoft Corp.’s mission statement. Microsoft Corp. is an American multinational company that develops, manufactures, licenses, and sells technology products, including computer software, electronics, and personal computers. It is also one of the largest corporations in the world, alongside companies such as Apple, Inc. and Amazon.com, Inc.
Microsoft’s mission is:
“To empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.”
The statement above is a good example of a mission statement because it provides a broad enough scale of scope to explain what the company can do, and it is also inspirational — it’s all about empowering people. It is the kind of statement that people can get excited about and can rally behind. It also defines Microsoft’s strategy, which is reaching out to the whole world and making an influence on all individuals and organizations.
As shown in the diagram above, the combination of a mission statement, vision , and values tells a full story about Microsoft’s businesses and points out the things that matter to the company. Being able to build an influential statement is the first step to business success because all strategies are developed and executed with a solid mission as the foundation. The statement guides the management team in implementing strategies that help reinforce the company’s identity and achieve its goals.
It is important for:
- Motivating employees
- Inspiring customers
- Strategic planning
- Setting values
- Understanding why a business exists
The mission statement, vision, and values are traditionally the three most common descriptions of a business that explain why a company exists. In recent years, another type of statement has also emerged in the business world and is gaining more popularity. This type of statement is called a purpose statement.
A purpose statement conveys a company’s reason for existence, just as the mission statement and vision do, but it also shows the connection between the brand identity and workplace culture of the company. It combines the components of a mission statement, vision, and values into a single statement.
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How to Write the Perfect Mission Statement (With Samples)
Learn what a mission statement is, why you need one and how to write the perfect one for your business.
- Mission statements summarize an organization’s primary goals, purpose and values by answering the question, “Why does this organization exist?”
- Without a mission statement, potential customers cannot differentiate you from your competitors.
- Mission statements can be inspiring, although not all are.
- This article is for small business owners and organizational leaders who want to learn how to create a mission statement for their brand.
Developing a mission statement is a lengthy process that involves the input of team members who fully understand your business, employees, customers, industry, and the products and services your company provides.
Once completed, your organization can share its mission statement so consumers, employees, investors and other stakeholders know precisely what your organization does (or doesn’t do), what it values and why it exists. Often a mission statement can help clarify an owner’s ideas about their business’s “whats” and “whys.”
We’ll explore mission statements, why companies need them, and how to craft the perfect mission statement for your organization.
Establishing a company mission can create a better culture and increase employee engagement as everyone works toward a common goal.
What is a mission statement?
A mission statement is a declaration of what your company does and why it exists. This message is designed for internal and external audiences; it should ignite interest in the organization as it builds its brand .
The best mission statements have two primary objectives:
- Educate: Mission statements educate by sharing what the organization does, how it does it and why.
- Inspire: If it’s a well-written mission statement, its second objective is to inspire. The best mission statements energize people to learn more about the brand and become supporters.
How to create a mission statement
When creating your mission statement, you’ll need to understand its essential components and ask probing questions to define precisely what your organization does and how. Finally, you’ll need to outline your organizational mission so it’s clear to everyone reading it.
1. Include three essential components.
According to Chris Bart, a retired professor of strategy and governance at McMaster University, a well-written mission statement has three essential components. Address each of these components when creating your mission statement:
- The business’s key market: Who is your customer base ? What industry does your business serve?
- The company’s contribution, or “what”: What product or service does your business offer? How does it better your local community or humanity?
- Distinctions between your solution and competing ones: What makes your product or service unique? Why should your audience buy your product over the competition’s?
2. Dig deeper to uniquely portray your business.
While incorporating the essential elements, ask yourself – and your team – probing questions to truly understand who your business serves, what your organization does and how it works. Here are some questions to start with:
- Why do we exist?
- What do we do?
- How do we use our products – or services – to achieve our goals?
- Who do we serve?
- How do we serve them?
- What do we do better than anyone else?
- What differentiates us from our competitors?
- How do our customers describe us?
3. Define your organizational mission.
Creating an accurate, inspiring mission statement isn’t purely a philosophical exercise. It has to be practical, too. A mission statement must make sense to those who read it, whether they know about your organization or not.
Keep these four tips in mind as you define your organizational mission:
- Make the connection obvious: People unfamiliar with your company who read your mission statement should come away with a clear, concise understanding of what your organization does and why it exists.
- Be brief, yet informative: Keep the statement under 25 words. If it’s longer, people won’t read it or remember your company.
- Talk to stakeholders: Before finalizing your mission statement, speak to as many stakeholders as possible to see if it makes sense to them. Encourage feedback by seeking out board members’, long-time customers’ and trusted vendors’ opinions.
- Develop a long-term mission: This may be one of the more challenging aspects of writing a mission statement because defining what your organization is about today can be easier than providing predictions. However, you can update your long-term goals as events and changes occur.
Avoid common mission statement mistakes
Since your mission statement helps define your business, getting it right is crucial. Avoid these typical mistakes:
- Using elaborate language: Avoid the pitfalls of “fancy” writing and using ambiguous words. Aim for clarity and brevity, and don’t make your mission statement overly formal. You want people to relate to it, not misunderstand it.
- Failing to update your statement as your business evolves . Revisit your mission statement over time to ensure it still resonates with your company’s current purpose. While it may seem like a clear, concise mission statement should cover all your bases – like any business-defining feature – it must also evolve as your business grows.
What do effective mission statements have in common?
Effective mission statements are succinct and thoughtful.
- Succinct: The more succinct your mission statement, the more likely it will resonate with audiences. A lengthy mission statement that’s challenging to remember can fall flat. A good test to see if your mission statement hits the mark is if your employees can recite it. For example, the mission statement of media organization TED, famous for its TED Talks, is “Spread ideas.” In two short words, TED outlines what it does and why people might be interested in learning more about it.
- Thoughtful: Other companies take a more creative, thoughtful approach. LEGO, whose mission statement, “Inspire and develop the builders of tomorrow,” clearly defines what the company does – inspire and develop – and who its target customers are – the builders of tomorrow. In 2009, LEGO’s CEO Jørgen Vig Knudstorp said, “We make very clear the values we promise everyone we interact with – whether they are colleagues, partners in retail, the wider community, or – most important of all, of course – the children we deeply care for.” Its mission is woven through the entire organization, which is when mission statements come to life.
When companies don’t have well-constructed mission statements (or any mission statement), customers, potential customers and the public are forced to identify for themselves what the company is and why it exists.
When a strong, compelling mission statement resonates with the entire organization, you give employees motivation that goes beyond money .
What’s the difference between mission and vision statements?
Mission statements and vision statements are both crucial, but they have different objectives. A mission statement is focused on today, while a vision statement is focused on the future – what you want to become and how you want to impact people.
Here are some questions that will define your vision statement:
- What are the organization’s goals and dreams?
- What will the world look like if we are successful?
- What problem(s) is the organization solving for the greater good?
- Who and what are we inspiring to change over the long term?
To help understand how mission statements and vision statements differ, compare Airbnb’s mission and vision statements.
- Airbnb’s mission statement: “Belong anywhere.” This mission statement is short and to the point. The message conveys that you can stay anywhere in the world and feel included when doing business with Airbnb.
- Airbnb’s vision statement: “Tapping into the universal human yearning to belong – the desire to feel welcomed, respected, and appreciated for who you are, no matter where you might be.” This message taps into a larger picture of what a future could look like when the global community imbues Airbnb’s philosophy.
Examples of effective mission statements
Here are examples of effective mission statements from well-known brands. These mission statements briefly define the organization, its purpose and its impact on humanity:
- Nike: “To bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world. If you have a body, you are an athlete.”
- JetBlue: “To inspire humanity – both in the air and on the ground.”
- Warby Parker: “To offer designer eyewear at a revolutionary price while leading the way for socially conscious business.”
- Tesla: “To accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy.”
- LinkedIn: “Connect the world’s professionals to make them more productive and successful.”
- Microsoft: Early days: “A computer on every desk and in every home.” Now: “To empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.”
- Disney: “To entertain, inform, and inspire people around the globe through the power of unparalleled storytelling.”
- Ford: “To help build a better world, where every person is free to move and pursue their dreams.”
Many effective mission statements focus on corporate social responsibility , appealing to their customers as they try to make the world a better place.
Finding your mission statement language
To get started, start tossing around words with trusted stakeholders. However, remember that you’re not looking for what “sounds good” as much as gaining clarity about what your business does. Brainstorm with others in low-stake sessions and see what language resonates with your brand.
Remember that sounding good is important, but first you must define yourself. If your mission statement includes a nod to your business’s philosophy, values and culture of ethical behavior , the more benefits you’ll reap.
As with any other business plan or project, you may need to explore dozens of ideas before landing on your best fit.
Patrick Proctor contributed to the writing and reporting in this article.
How to Write a Mission Statement With 10 Inspiring Examples
What is it about certain brands that keep us coming back? What is it about them that makes us spend more time, money, or effort over other options? Is it the price? Maybe the convenience? Or is it something more?
The brands and businesses that we really connect with do more than just supply a product or service. They showcase a purpose, a mission that we can get behind. This can be displayed in how they interact with customers , the organizations and communities they support and even the way they develop their products. And there’s no better way for a business owner to showcase this purpose, then through a well-written mission statement.
What is a mission statement?
A mission statement is a simple action-oriented statement that explains your company’s purpose. It summarizes what your company does for customers, employees, and owners, and typically includes general descriptions of your organization, its core function, and its goals . In short, you’re explaining what you do and why you do it within a mission statement.
Depending on the focus of your business, your mission statement may be even broader. Explaining not just how you serve your customers and employees, but your community and the world at large. Some businesses even opt to separate this larger aspiration into what’s known as a vision statement.
What is a vision statement?
A vision statement is exactly what it sounds like. It’s a vision for the direction of your company and what it aspires to be.
If we were looking at OKR’s (objectives and key results) this would serve as your larger objective. Your mission statement would then be the key results, or steps, you need to take to get there. Again, this is typically an aspirational representation of the purpose of your business. That doesn’t mean the end goal of the statement is impossible, but it is meant to be something that you’re pushing yourself, and your business, to achieve.
Mission statement or vision statement?
These two statements aren’t really interchangeable. They both reflect the purpose and goals of your business, but serve completely different purposes. Your mission statement should serve as the roadmap to achieve your vision statement. And your vision statement should serve as the guiding light for the aspirations of your business.
These can be completely separate written statements for your business, or they can be combined into a more comprehensive mission statement. Having all three does allow you to utilize them for different business purposes, so it may be worth developing variations over time.
Speaking of variations, it’s important to note that your mission statement will likely evolve over time as your business grows and changes. So, don’t be afraid to make adjustments when it seems necessary and avoid looking for the perfect version of your mission statement.
Why write a mission statement?
I’ve had a 30-year love-hate relationship with mission statements. I’ve read thousands. I love it when a mission statement defines a business so well that it feels like strategy—which does happen—and I hate it when a mission statement is generic, stale, and completely useless.
Just because a traditional business plan often includes a mission statement isn’t a reason to do one. If it’s not going to be useful for you and help guide your business, don’t bother. The vast majority of the mission statements are just meaningless hype that could be used to describe any business.
Don’t fall into the trap of writing a mission statement just because some checklist or expert said you had to. There are actually sites that poke fun at how most mission statements use vague, high-sounding phrases to say nothing. You should write a mission statement if you want to add clarity to your business goals and you want to get your employees, investors, and customers to understand what your organization is all about.
How to write a great mission statement
Developing your company’s first mission statement, or writing a new or revised one, is your opportunity to define the company’s goals, ethics, culture, and norms for decision-making. The daily routine of business gets in the way sometimes, and a quick refresh with the mission statement helps you take a step back and remember what’s most important: the organization has a purpose.
So how do you make a useful mission statement? Over the decades I’ve spent reading, writing, and evaluating business plans , I’ve come up with a process for developing a useful mission statement, and it boils down to these five steps.
1. Start with a market-defining story
A really good market-defining story explains the need, or the want, or—if you like jargon—the so-called “why to buy.” It defines the target customer or “buyer persona.” And it defines how your business is different from most others, or even unique. It simplifies thinking about what a business isn’t, what it doesn’t do.
Imagine a real person making the actual decision to buy what you sell. Why do they want it? How did they find your business? What does it do for them? The more concrete the story, the better. And keep that in mind for the actual mission statement wording: “The more concrete, the better.”
This isn’t literally part of the mission statement. Rather, it’s an important thing to have in your head while you write the mission statement. It’s in the background, between the words. If you’re having trouble getting started, make a quick list of what your company does and doesn’t do.
2. Define what your business does for its customers
Start your mission statement with the good you do. Use your market-defining story to suss out whatever it is that makes your business special for your target customer.
Don’t undervalue your business: You don’t have to cure cancer or stop global climate change to be doing good. Offering trustworthy auto repair, for example, narrowed down to your specialty in your neighborhood with your unique policies, is doing something good. So is offering excellent slow food in your neighborhood, with emphasis on organic and local, at a price premium.
This is a part of your mission statement, and a pretty crucial part at that—write it down.
If your business is good for the world, incorporate that here too. But claims about being good for the world need to be meaningful, and distinguishable from all the other businesses. Add the words “clean” or “green” if that’s really true and you keep to it rigorously. Don’t just say it, especially if it isn’t important or always true.
For example, Apple Computer’s 2020 mission statement is:
“Apple revolutionized personal technology with the introduction of the Macintosh in 1984. Today, Apple leads the world in innovation with iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple Watch, and Apple TV. Apple’s four software platforms—iOS, macOS, watchOS, and tvOS—provide seamless experiences across all Apple devices and empower people with breakthrough services including the App Store, Apple Music, Apple Pay, and iCloud. Apple’s more than 100,000 employees are dedicated to making the best products on earth, and to leaving the world better than we found it..”
That one obviously passes the test of defining the company with flying colors. Nobody could mistake that mission for generic hype. And it’s an interesting change from the early mission as defined by founder Steve Jobs:
“To make a contribution to the world by making tools for the mind that advance humankind.”
Ikea, on the other hand, starts its mission statement with something that could be any company anywhere. “Our vision is to create a better everyday life for the [sic] many people.” To its credit, it goes on to define a “rest of the mission” that could only be IKEA:
“We make this possible by offering a wide range of well-designed, functional home furnishing products at prices so low that as many people as possible will be able to afford them.”
And note, in this mission statement, how Sweetgreen incorporates a world vision into a product-oriented mission statement:
“Founded in 2007, Sweetgreen is a destination for delicious food that’s both healthy for you and aligned with your values. We source local and organic ingredients from farmers we know and partners we trust, supporting our communities, and creating meaningful relationships with those around us. We exist to create experiences where passion and purpose come together.”
3. Define what your business does for its employees
Good businesses are good for their employees too or they don’t last. Keeping employees is better for the bottom line than turnover. Company culture matters. Rewarding and motivating people matters. A mission statement can define what your business offers its employees.
My recommendation is that you don’t simply assert how the business is good for employees—you define it here and then forever after make it true.
Qualities like fairness, diversity, respect for ideas and creativity, training, tools, empowerment, and the like, actually really matter. However, since every business in existence at least says that it prioritizes those things, strive for a differentiator and a way to make the general goals feel more concrete and specific.
Don’t worry about being fully unique
With this part of the mission statement, there’s a built-in dilemma. On the one hand, it’s good for everybody involved to use the mission statement to establish what you want for employees in your business. On the other hand, it’s hard to do that without falling into the trap of saying what every other business says.
Stating that you value fair compensation, room to grow, training, a healthy, creative work environment, and respect for diversity is probably a good idea, even if that part of your mission statement isn’t unique. That’s because the mission statement can serve as a reminder—for owners, supervisors, and workers—and as a lever for self-enforcement.
If you have a special view on your relationship with employees, write it into the mission statement. If your business is friendly to families, or to remote virtual workplaces, put that into your mission.
You may not need to focus on employees
And this is rare in mission statements. The vast majority are focused on messaging for customers. My recommendation here is not the norm. I include it because it’s good practice, even though not common.
While I consulted for Apple Computer, for example, that business differentiated its goals of training and empowering employees by making a point of bringing in very high-quality educators and presenters to help employees’ business expertise grow. That was part of the culture and, to my mind, part of the mission; but it wasn’t part of the mission statement. It could have been.
American Express, however, includes the team in its mission:
“We have a mission to be the world’s most respected service brand. To do this, we have established a culture that supports our team members, so they can provide exceptional service to our customers.”
4. Add what the business does for its owners
In business school, they taught us that the mission of management is to enhance the value of the stock. And shares of stock are ownership. Some would say that it goes without saying that a business exists to enhance the financial position of its owners, and maybe it does. However, only a small subset of all businesses are about the business buzzwords of “share value” and “return on investment.”
In the early years of my business, I wanted peace of mind about cash flow more than I wanted growth, and I wanted growth more than I wanted profits. So I wrote that into my mission statement. And at one point I realized I was also building a business that was a place where I was happy to be working, with people I wanted to work with; so I wrote that into my mission statement, too.
However, this element too, as with the suggestion about including employees, is unusual. Few mission statements do it. That’s understandable, since most mission statements are outward-facing only, aimed at customers and nobody else.
Still, some of the best mission statements incorporate a much broader sense of mission that includes, or at least implies, the mission of ownership.
Warby Parker, an eyewear company, does a great job at voicing a higher mission that includes customers, employees, and owners.
“Warby Parker was founded with a rebellious spirit and a lofty objective: to offer designer eyewear at a revolutionary price while leading the way for socially-conscious business.”
5. Discuss, digest, cut, polish, review, revise
Good mission statements serve multiple functions, define objectives, and live for a long time. So, edit. This step is worth it.
Start by considering developing a full mission statement for internal use and using a customer-facing subset for general publication. That’s common. Many companies have segmented mission statements, with sections set aside and categorized by type or goal. Use bullet points or sections if that works for you. Part of the reason people confuse mission with mantra and vision is that many businesses use them together, and many others also redefine them to fit their context. So what a company does for customers is often called vision, despite the formal definition.
Remember, form follows function, in mission statements, as in all business writing. Make it work for your business. Or don’t do it at all. If you want to call it a vision, and that works for employees and customers, then do that.
Cut out general terms
As you edit, keep a sharp eye out for the buzzwords and hype that everybody claims. Cut as much as you can that doesn’t apply specifically to your business, except for the occasional special elements that—unique or not—can serve as long-term rules and reminders. Unique itself, the word, means literally, the only one in the world. Use it sparingly. Phrases such as “being the best possible,” “world-class,” and “great customer service” mean little because everybody uses them. Having great customer service is way harder than writing that into a mission statement.
Read other companies’ mission statements, but write a statement that is about you and not some other company. Make sure you actually believe in what you’re writing—your customers and your employees will soon spot a lie.
Then, listen. Show drafts to others, ask their opinions and really listen. Don’t argue, don’t convince them, just listen. And then edit again.
And, for the rest of your business’s life, review and revise it as needed. As with everything in a business plan, your mission statement should never get written in stone, and, much less, stashed in a drawer. Use it or lose it. Review and revise as necessary, because change is constant.
10 Examples of Great Mission Statements
If you’re looking for some inspiration to get you started on your own mission statement, here are a few of my favorites.
1. Southwest Airlines
“The mission of Southwest Airlines is dedication to the highest quality of customer service delivered with a sense of warmth, friendliness, individual pride, and company spirit.”
What’s most interesting about Southwest’s mission statement is that they don’t mention anything about getting from point A to point B. Their mission is all about how they differentiate what, these days, can be seen as a commodity experience. They also focus on their own employees and the “spirit of the company”, not just the customer experience.
2. Urban Outfitters
“A lifestyle retailer dedicated to inspiring customers through a unique combination of product, creativity and cultural understanding. Founded in 1970 in a small space across the street from the University of Pennsylvania, Urban Outfitters now operates over 200 stores in the United States, Canada, and Europe, offering experiential retail environments and a well-curated mix of women’s, men’s, accessories and home product assortments.”
Urban Outfitters focuses on the experience that they deliver and the focus on what they do. Their mission drives what their stores look like and what their goal is: to inspire. They also nod to their heritage of starting small and growing.
“ At Recreational Equipment, Inc. (REI) we believe a life outdoors is a life well-lived. We believe that it’s in the wild, untamed and natural places that we find our best selves, so our purpose is to awaken a lifelong love of the outdoors, for all.”
REI’s mission focuses mostly on what it wants to do for its customers, but hidden in the mission statement is a mission to preserve the environment as well. Their focus on “getting outside” is what creates a connection between them and their customers.
“To inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup, and one neighborhood at a time.”
Starbucks expands on its mission statement by stating its core values. This is really an extension of the mission statement and explains how they focus on their customers, how they grow their company, and how they work with employees. You can read their values here .
“Walgreens’ mission is to be America’s most-loved pharmacy-led health, well-being, and beauty retailer. Its purpose is to champion everyone’s right to be happy and healthy.”
Walgreen’s mission really defines their goals: what they want to achieve and in what product categories they want to achieve it in. They also bring in their broader purpose when they talk about “everyone’s right to be happy and healthy.”
“Make work-life simpler, more pleasant, and more productive.”
While Slack’s mission statement is short, it implies a lot. “Work” doesn’t just mean their customer’s work, it means their own work at their company. Their mission statement serves them both internally and externally.
7. The Coca Cola Company
“Refresh the world. Make a difference.”
Coca Cola takes a slightly different approach with a statement of purpose and then a vision statement. Their purpose is essentially their mission statement and says a lot for being so short. They want to refresh people in both body and spirit while making a positive impact on the world. Their vision also implies their goal of serving the entire world’s population which hits on their corporate and shareholder goals.
“We’re in business to save our home planet.”
Another short mission statement that says so much more than you would think at first glance. First and foremost, Patagonia doesn’t say that they are a non-profit – they state that they’re a business. And, this implies that they need to be a strong, healthy business to meet their goal of saving the planet. Their mission applies to their employees, their customers, their products, and their activism.
9. charity: water
“charity: water is a nonprofit organization bringing clean and safe drinking water to people in developing countries.”
charity: water’s mission statement is clear and to the point – it simply describes what it does and who it does it for. For most non-profit mission statements, this is enough.
“Asana’s mission is to help humanity thrive by enabling the world’s teams to work together effortlessly.”
Similar to other mission statements, Asana blends a message about what they do with a higher goal of enhancing the world outside of their company. Yet, they still hint at their target market and goals of being a world-wide company, thus improving the lives of their employees and shareholders.
*Editor’s note: This article was originally published in 2018 and updated for 2021.
Tim Berry is the founder and chairman of Palo Alto Software and Bplans.com. Follow him on Twitter @Timberry .
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The 28 Best Mission Statement Examples to Help You Write Yours (+Template!)
Every business sells something. Every business is unique. And every business wants to put its best foot forward both in the physical world and online. Yes, your social media posts, website content, paid ads, emails should reflect that. But it’s also important to have one central statement that brings everything together.
That’s where your business mission statement comes in. This powerful blurb describes the essence of your company and gives customers and employees a clear image of what it’s all about.
But even though it’s a short blurb, distilling your business into one or two sentences is not easy. And that’s what we’ve set out to help you accomplish. In this article, we’re going to show you exactly how to do just that.
Table of contents
What is a mission statement, how long should a mission statement be.
- How to write a business mission statement
- Business mission statement template
- Business mission statement examples
Words to use in your mission statement
A good business mission statement defines your organization in a nutshell. It boils down the reason for your existence and delivers it to the public in a way that is easy to digest. This includes:
- What products/services you provide
- How you make it possible
- The ultimate value/positive outcome of those products/services.
That last bullet is key. Because while your mission statement is factual, it needs to be delivered in a way that communicates authenticity and inspiration . Let’s take a look at two examples so you can see what I mean:
An uninspiring mission statement example:
All the information is captured here, but with no emotion .
An inspiring mission statement example:
This mission statement from Davids Tea , on the other hand, is packed with interesting words and phrases that convey feeling:
Mission statement vs vision statement vs values
Mission statements often get confused with other aspects of a brand’s identity , so let’s separate them out:
- Mission statement : This is what you do, why you do it, how you do it, and what value you bring.
- Vision statement : Your vision statement is what you hope to be by doing your mission.
- Goals : Your goals are tangible outcomes that will fulfill your mission.
- Core values: Your core values unite your team to fuel all of the above. Because your business achieves your goals through the lens of your core values, you fulfill your mission which fuels your vision.
See how it all connects? Here’s an example of a mission, vision, and core values:
- Example mission statement: We empower individuals to save money while saving the planet by intersecting creative, sustainable packaging with wearable technology that educates, inspires, and drives Earth-friendly action.
- Example vision statement: To change the way we think about saving the planet.
- Example values: Tomorrow-minded, knowledge is power, assume best intentions, sustainability.
It’s worth noting that not all business have a separate vision and mission statement—sometimes they are blended together.
A business mission statement should be between one and three sentences, around 100 words. So, not an essay describing how the company got started and where the vision came from. Save that descriptive content for your “ about us ” page. It should be direct, purposeful content that acts as a sort of subheading for your company.
Think of your mission statement as a branding tool—sum up the purpose of your company in a few memorable sentences or less.
How to write a mission statement for business
Distilling your business down into a matter of sentences is hard work, but we’ve got a six-step process to help you write your company’s mission statement:
- Take inventory
- Answer the key questions
- Whittle it down
- Make it public
- Adjust as needed
1. Take inventory
First start broad. Sit down with your team (or yourself) and take an inventory of the following:
- What is your core business type?
- What are your tangible deliverables?
- What makes your deliverables different?
- What problems do your deliverables solve?
- What benefits do your deliverables provide?
- What is your unique value proposition ?
- What is your brand personality ?
- What is your secret sauce?
- What advantages do you have over competitors?
- What are your team members’ strengths and secret weapons?
- Who are your target customers ?
- What are your general audience segments or personas ?
- Do they exist in a particular location or region?
2. Answer the key questions freely
Gather together your answers to these questions and use them to answer the five key questions below:
- What you do
- How you do it
- Who you do it for
- Where you do it
- What ultimate benefit/value you achieve
Write freely—this is the creative writing part of the exercise. You’ll notice that sometimes, parts of the list are blended together or not included. There is no right or wrong mission statement.
3. Whittle it down
Now it’s time to distill each answer down into a phrase or two for each of the above elements. In the process, you’ve likely landed on words and phrases that you really like, so this part should be easy.
Now, plug them into the formula below:
We [what you do] by [how you do it] for [target customers] to [ultimate value you provide].
You can change the order any way you see fit.
- We [provide this value] to [target customers] by [what you do] through [how you do it].
Let’s take a look at AnyClip’s mission statement as an example:
- What they do : provide a personalized viewer experience.
- How they do it: through metadata expertise.
- Ultimate benefit: heighten viewer engagement.
4. Add color
Avoid flowery and unnecessary adjectives and adverbs that will take away from readability, but see if the addition or substitution of any word can help add more emotional feel, like Campaign Monitor does with “deliver,” “complex,” and “beautifully uncomplicated.”
“We deliver technology that solves complex problems in a beautifully uncomplicated way.”
3. Make it public
Now it’s time to make your mission known! Here are some of the many ways to do it:
- Create a page dedicated to your mission, vision, goals, and values.
- If it’s short enough, use it as your homepage headline.
- Use it in your Facebook or LinkedIn company page.
- Link to it in job postings.
4. Adjust as needed
Change happens. New leaders come on board. Businesses rebrand or merge. Goals and strategies shift. Culture evolves. So be sure to revisit your mission statement each year and make adjustments if needed.
Business mission statement tips
- Use simple language. You don’t want your employees or consumers consulting a dictionary when reading about your core values. Use basic structure and vocabulary that can be understood by an eighth-grade graduate.
- Show your unique value. This is the hook for your prospects. Let them know why you are the best choice out there—what their business will help you to achieve, as well as what you can help them achieve. Let’s say you’re an international internet-based voice-call mobile app and the mission statement is currently, “Talk more.” But…why?! Rework it to include an inspirational or motivational element, such as, “Talk more. Share news, culture, and perspective from anywhere in the world.”
- Celebrate it: Ideally, your mission statement will become a mantra for your employees and consumers. Recognize and reward behaviors that support your mission statement to reinforce what you stand for and incorporate it into your culture.
- Look at the bigger picture. The best company mission statements include the over-arching reason why the business exists and how they are bettering the world. Whether it is for the accessibility of information, saving the planet, seeking equality, or fighting poverty, the “bigger picture” can be the guiding principle for growth and engagement.
Business mission statement templates
As stated above, here is a basic mission statement template:
And you can re-order the elements:
- By [how you do it], we [help target customers] [achieve ultimate value] through [product/service].
For more inspirational wording, you can use this template
We help/empower/equip [target customer] to achieve/reach/eliminate [desire/painpoint] by providing/building/creating [tangible deliverables].
The best business mission statement examples
Let’s explore some example mission statements for existing businesses and the different approaches they take.
1. Clarks—cultivate brand loyalty
Creating brand loyalty starts with creating an emotional connection with your ideal clients (and employees) through a winning mission statement. This keeps the values and goals of your company at the forefront in the minds of customers and employees.
2. Swarvoski—attract and retain top talent
Having a mission statement is also important when it comes to attracting the right kind of talent to your company. People who identify with a company’s mission statement are motivated by more than just work and money.
They are also motivated by their shared mission. Workers who are mission-driven are more likely to stay with a company and become high performers, which significantly contributes to the overall success of a business.
3. Patagonia—stand out from the competition
When you are first starting out, it’s vital that your company finds ways to stand out from other companies with similar products and services. A good business mission statement can help your company build trust with customers and create a connection with your target audience.
Patagonia’s mission statement reads:
“ Build the best product cause no unnecessary harm, use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis.”
4. Full Cast Audio—compete with the big brands
While it may at times feel like “the big guys” are hard to compete with, a well crafted mission statement can inform customers of the ways that your brand fits them better. There is no reason why you can’t build your brand recognition like large companies do. There are nearly 4 billion people on social media, and you can share with them your business mission through targeted digital marketing strategies.
Full Cast Audio’s mission statement reads:
5. Cisco—address the broader community you’re a part of
Many companies have several layers made up of products, services, and partners that contribute different things to the market. A unified business mission statement helps to clarify your company’s purpose to investors, clients, and applicants. Decide on the personality of your brand as a whole, and deliver that message through a well-defined mission statement.
Cisco’s mission statement reads:
6. Walmart—keep it short and sweet
Walmart’s mission statement is only one sentence, which makes it easy to understand and remember. They clearly explain their reason for being and why they are important to the lives of their customers.
Walmart’s mission statement reads:
7. Shopify—state your belief
A simple phrase like “we believe” followed by a unique perspective can help differentiate the “why” behind your brand.
Shopify’s mission statement reads:
8. Nike—make it inclusive
Nike’s mission statement is clear, concise, and inclusive . Their goals are simple, and their messaging implies that everyone deserves to be inspired and benefit from their innovation.
“Too bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete* in the world.
9. Virgin America—position yourself as an industry leader
Virgin America’s mission statement tells you where they are located and exactly how they plan on accomplishing their goals. They also position themselves as an industry leader in domestic air travel.
10. Whole Foods—reveal your personality
Whole Foods Market mentions both generally and specifically who they would like to help with their business mission statement. This shows that their personality is focused on goodwill, and they clearly explain how they intend to improve the world with their business.
The Whole Foods mission statement reads:
11. WordStream by LOCALiQ
And last but not least, our mission statement here at WordStream by LOCALiQ is:
To be the go-to resource for digital marketers and local business owners, providing the tools, strategies, data, and creative ideas they need to learn, grow, and succeed.
Our mission statement has a touch of vision statement in it as it captures what we do now and where we strive to be. Short and sweet.
Even more company mission statement examples
No matter what a company offers, its mission statement is the rally cry for employees to come together for a “greater good.” Mission statements are a useful way to make sure that all different functions of the company are focused on a cohesive goal, as well as to brag about your offering to the world. When facing hard decisions, you can always return to your mission statement to justify your choice. Here are even more examples:
12. Airbnb’s mission statement
Airbnb lets people offer their homes to strangers to stay in while visiting. Their simple, two-word mission is all they need to drive the point home.
13. WeWork’s mission statement
Create a world where people work to make a life, not just a living.
WeWork offers office space for small companies, traveling employees, freelancers, and startups. The space is usually open (no cubicles!) and is a great place to grow your business through networking with those who share the space.
14. Square’s mission statement
Make commerce easy.
You probably recognize Square as the little white card-swipe widely used at farmer’s markets or craft fairs. The business has been growing rapidly, spreading to brick-and-mortar stores as credit cards are becoming the norm in shopping transactions.
15. Toys R Us’ mission statement
Be the world’s greatest kid’s brand.
Self-explanatory! Who didn’t dream of a trip to Toys R Us as a kid? I still have my stuffed Geoffrey the Giraffe…
16. TED ’s mission statement
A nonprofit foundation, TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) hosts conferences around the world to share ideas and “spark conversation.” You might know them as TED Talks or TEDx, probably in a university or city near you; the talks may be long and dive into complicated issues, but their mission only needs two words.
17. Burt’s Bees’ mission statement
Make people’s lives better every day—naturally.
Known for their distinct yellow-wrapped lip balms that can make you cry if you rub it under your eyes (a fun trick if you’re in fifth grade), Burt’s Bees uses natural ingredients to create eco-friendly cosmetics. Highly recommend their lip balm for lifeguards, not only does it turn your lips white, it really does work.
18. TOMS Shoes’ mission statement
Improving lives. One for one.
TOMS is a for-profit company that gives one pair of canvas shoes or eyeglasses to a person in need when another pair is purchased. Though the “One for one” verbiage is vague, it embodies the mission of TOMS in a comprehensive way for their employees and customers.
19. Zappos’ mission statement
Provide the best customer service possible.
Zappos was created because the founder couldn’t find the precise pair of shoes he wanted to buy. Since 1999, it has been making shoe-shopping easier and letting us know that the customer is always right. In fact, Zappos has clocked record-long customer service calls, with one at 10 hours and 29 minutes. They call this the “WOW philosophy.”
20. Lowe’s mission statement
Help customers improve and maintain their biggest asset – their home.
Lowe’s value is obvious in their mission statement; the company was built around home improvement.
21. Cuisinart’s mission statement
Savor the good life .
The ultimate wedding present, famously used by Julia Child, is a Cuisinart food processor. I like the word “savor” in this mission statement, alluding to the culinary products Cuisinart sells—food makes the world go ‘round!
22. Life is Good mission statement
Spread the power of optimism.
Per Life is Good , “Life is not perfect. Life is not easy. Life is good.” The Life is Good community uses their “Superpowers” of good to spread optimism through this happy clothing line. They even have this fun diagram to show how you, too, can spread optimism!
23. Starbucks’ mission statement
Inspire and nurture the human spirit—one person, one cup, and one neighborhood at a time.
This mission statement is particularly memorable because Starbucks is so popular but also known for showing the power of the human spirit through their decorative coffee cups. Controversial opinion: I personally love the new holiday cup…
24. Ann Inc. Mission Statement
Inspire and connect with women to put their best selves forward every day.
Ann Taylor’s mission is not just to clothe professional women but also to encourage them to be the best. Feminism, yeah!
25. Google’s mission statement
Organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.
This may be the most well-known mission statement since Google is the biggest company, and possibly most impactful, on this list. Bigger picture, meet the G.
26. Aveda’s mission statement
Care for the world we live in, from the products we make to the ways in which we give back to society.
Aveda has salons, spas, training institutes, and hair products worldwide which strive to treat the “planet we live in with care and respect.”
27. Naked Juice’s mission statement
Making the whole planet feel better. One bottle at a time.
Naked Juice , the square-bottled smoothie drink company, has a mission statement with a high order, involving the whole planet, but shows the value and bigger picture well.
28. Warby Parker’s mission statement
Offer designer eyewear at a revolutionary price, while leading the way for socially-conscious businesses.
Like TOMS, Warby Parker also has a one for one policy, giving glasses to people in need with each purchase of full, but still reasonably priced, glasses. If the four people with shiny new Warby Parker glasses on our marketing team at WordStream is any indication, it’s working!
We’ll finish off with some words and phrases you can use in your mission statement. For a more complete list, check out these 350+ power words !
- Bridge the gap
- Make it easy for
Get started with writing your business mission statement
As you can see from these examples, a great mission statement doesn’t need to be lengthy or incredibly detailed. Your mission statement should concisely communicate your company’s purpose and allow customers to see themselves within a brand. Follow these simple steps to create your own business mission statement that will impact your employees, investors, and customers alike.
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Kristen is the Senior Managing Editor at WordStream, where she helps businesses to make sense of their online marketing and advertising. She specializes in SEO and copywriting and finds life to be exponentially more delightful on a bicycle.
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Mission statements, what is a mission statement.
The definition of a mission statement is a concise description of your organization’s core purpose, answering the question, “why do we exist?”. A mission needs to boldly state why you exist, and why you do what you do. The best mission statements express your core purpose and why you exist with clarity.
Why Are Mission Statements Important in Strategic Planning?
A great mission statement is a foundational element of good strategy because it helps define your organization’s core purpose, serving as a vantage point from which to look down the road. Combined with your vision statement , it helps define why your organization exists and where you are going in the future.
Get the Free Guide and Canvas to Build a Mission that Sticks
Mission statements versus vision statements – the differences.
While the vision statement articulates the organization’s future state, the mission directly relates to the vision by articulating the greater reason why that vision matters. A powerful mission keeps the organization on track and rallies around the direction the organization is headed. Learn how to write your mission statement here.
Language Matters. We always recommend mission statements be written in present tense using concrete language. Writing in present tense allows your mission to be easily deciphered from your vision statement, which is written in future tense . Solid language leaves little room for interpretation of what exactly your mission statement means.
A great mission statement is comprised of the following elements:
- Label: We like to start with “Our mission…”
- Verb: Use an action verb in the present tense.
- For Whom: Describe who you do it for.
- Result: What is the result or benefit from your work?
- What You Do: Briefly state what you do and how.
What Makes Mission Statements Powerful?
Mission statements help your entire organization clearly understand its core purpose and why you do what you do. As a leader, it’s important to have clarity and a cohesive understanding of why your organization exists. Great leadership requires connecting your organization’s core purpose and vision of the future to your team’s day-to-day activities.
As leaders, we are put under a lot of undue stress to generate a perfect, short, sing-songy mission statement. The result is meaningless drivel, leaving everyone irritated and underwhelmed. Employees don’t want to hang back on conceptualizing wishes and dreams. But don’t let being pragmatic get in the way of this important stage of building a strong foundation of consensus for the organization.
If time isn’t dedicated to articulating your mission on the front-end before developing strategy, the result will likely be goals and objectives without a crystal-clear strategic direction.
Free Canvas & Guide to Create a Mission Statement
Whether you’re writing a new mission statement or revisiting yours as part of a planning process, we’ve created a canvas you can use to create a mission statement that inspires your team. You can download it here for free !
Mission Statements Answer At least One of These Core Questions
- What is our organization’s reason for existing?
A mission helps clearly articulate your organization’s reason for existing. At the absolute minimum, your mission statement should answer this question above all else. What’s your core purpose?
Example: “LinkedIn – To connect the world’s professionals to make them more productive and successful.”
- Why is it special to work for this organization?
The best way to answer this question is to connect to the heart of your employees, customers, or the population you serve. Be compelling, and let people understand and connect with your core purpose. How does your reason for existing impact people in a special way, or why do your employees show up to work every day?
Example: “Tesla – To accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy.”
- What is our business and what are we trying to accomplish on behalf of whom?
Some mission statements benefit from clearly stating who benefits from your business, or what you’re setting out to accomplish on behalf of whom. Who does your purpose impact the most and why?
Example: “Google’s mission is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.”
More mission statement examples can be found here.
Checklist for Great Mission Statements
When evaluating the quality of your current or newly drafted mission statement, it’s important your mission meets these four simple criteria:
- Your Mission Must Be Foundational. It clearly states why your organization exists.
- It’s Original. It’s unique to your organization. If you were to read the mission statements of all the organizations in your industry, yours would be different than your competition.
- It’s Memorable. Memorable = motivating to employees, prospective employees and customers.
- It Fits on a T-Shirt. Peter Drucker famously advised that your mission statement should be short and compelling enough to fit on a t-shirt your staff would actually wear.
Other Helpful Tips
You’re refreshing your mission, complete it after your swot.
Mission statements should be developed after completing the SWOT assessment, and before going into the rest of the planning process. This allows your team to be grounded and in alignment with where your organization is today and what the organization’s strengths and contributions are.
Be Inspiring and Motivational
The mission statement motivates and inspires staff. Every single staff member knows that their purpose is defined in the mission statement. (e.g. Starbucks’ mission: To inspire and nurture the human spirit — one person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time.)
A Great Mission Can Be Easily Recited at a Party
Develop the mission statement on a “party level”—it can quickly and briefly be understood by people at a party or on an airplane. The statement gives a profoundly simple focus for everything the team does as an organization. (e.g. Marine Stewardship Council’s mission: To safeguard the world’s seafood supply by promoting the best environmental choices.)
Now that you’ve finished your mission statement, writing your core values and vision is up next.
Mission Statement FAQs
Answering these three questions will help create a mission statement:
The five parts of a mission statement are Label + Verb in Present Tense + Who You Serve + Result You Wish to Achieve or Reason for Existing + What You Do
A mission statement defines why your organization exists. A vision statement expresses where your organization is going in the future. They work together to express your reason for existing and> how you’re setting out to change the world.
Powerful mission statements are concise, descriptive, and connect people to your core purpose with conviction. Check out the mission statement guide here , or the complete guide to strategic planning here .
Patrick Lencioni said that a great mission statement should be able to fit on a t-shirt, and that your staff would actually wear that t-shirt .
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