how-to-write-a-mission-statement

Mission Statement Examples: How To Write A Mission Statement

A mission statement helps an organization to define its purpose in the now and communicate it to its stakeholders. That is why a good mission statement has to be concise, clear to able to articulate what’s unique about an organization, thus building trust, and rapport with an audience.

In this article, we’ll look at a few mission statement examples, which you find below: 

Or if you like you can continue reading from scratch. 

Why does a mission statement matter?

Business isn’t done for the sake of it. Of course, making money is a crucial element of making business, but an organization also exists to create a culture and push its core values and beliefs into the world. Therefore, a company’s purpose is as important if not more of how it decides to make money.

Therefore a mission statement is a great way to define a brand purpose and communicate it outside the organization although the brand purpose and mission statement is not the same thing.

In the 2018 Deloitte Millennial Survey Report, it shows that millennials (people born from 1981 and become adult at the turn of the 21st century) in particular have lost faith in business.

As highlighted in the report “there continues to be a stark mismatch between what millennials believe responsible businesses should achieve and what they perceive businesses’ actual priorities to be” and if that is not enough three-quarters of the responders “see businesses around the world focusing on their own agendas rather than considering the wider society.”

This brings us back to why a mission-oriented organization has become so important. As the same report shows “good pay and positive cultures are most likely to attract both millennials and Gen Z, but diversity/inclusion and flexibility are important keys to keeping them happy.

Therefore, a company’s purpose can help the organization better alight with its customers, and employees, but also with its other main stakeholders (owners, and suppliers).

Do you need to have a mission statement?

As the mission statement helps define and communicate the goals of the organization, it also helps align its interests with those of employees and customers. While a larger an organization the more it might need a mission statement. A mission statement can help startups and small organizations create a strong identity.

Therefore there might be three key elements that make a mission statement important:

  • Alignment
  • Culture
  • Action

Mission statement vs. vision statement

It is important not to confuse a mission with a vision statement. In a vision statement, an organization can set its long-term goals. For instance in BHAG (big hairy audacious goal),  Jim Collins points out:

Like the moon mission, a trueBHAGis clear and compelling and serves as a unifying focal point of effort– often creating immense team spirit.  It has a clear finish line, so the organization can know when it has achieved the goal; people like to shoot for finish lines.

ABHAGengages people– it reaches out and grabs them in the gut.  It is tangible, energizing, highly focused.  People “get it” right away; it takes little or no explanation.

Thus a well-drafted vision reflects a long-term – seemingly unachievable – goal. At Google, they call it Moonshot Thinking. As it is so far into the future, it might also be easier to draft.

A mission statement instead has to be specific, actionable, and easy to understand to anyone within the organization, and from the outside world! It is a way to set the stage for action in the present moment. 

Simple, isn’t it?

SMART: How to draft objectives from a mission statement

The objective of a well-crafted mission statement is to set goals that need to be achieved in the short and medium-term. Those goals need to be communicated clearly to the key stakeholders.

That’s why a good mission statement is clear, concise, and able to communicate the uniqueness of the organization in the market place.

Drafting a good mission statement isn’t a simple exercise as you need to go deep and define your purpose. You need to ask questions like: what do we do? Why do we do it? How do we do it differently? Whom do we do it for? And what key values do we bring that others don’t?

Therefore, from a well-crafted mission statement key objectives, can be derived. You can use several frameworks to draft a mission statement’s objectives. For the sake of this discussion, we’ll use the S.M.A.R.T. method.

As pointed out by George T. Doran in a paper entitled “There is a S.M.A.R.T. way to write management’s goals and objective:

A characteristic of management excellence is a climate in which company officers and managers talk in terms of objectives.

He defined objectives as:

Quantitative support and expression to management’s beliefs.

He recognized that objectives enabled organizations to “focus on problems, and give the company a sense of direction.” Yet he also recognized executives couldn’t define meaningful objectives.

For that matter, it went on to create a framework on how to define meaningful objectives. It had to be:

  • Specific – target a specific area for improvement.
  • Measurable – quantify or at least suggest an indicator of progress.
  • Achievable – specify who will do it.
  • Realistic – state what results can realistically be achieved, given available resources.
  • Time-related – specify when the result(s) can be achieved.

In defining the objectives for your mission statement, also a tool like the OKR can be a good companion:

what-is-okr

Read: OKR Goal-Settign System

How to draft your mission statement

Not everyone agrees on how a great mission statement should look like. I believe that a good mission statement has to have five key elements:

  • Focused: it needs to get you toward your vision
  • Actionable: it needs to set things in motion
  • Achievable: it has to be actionable but also don’t lose sight of the long-term vision
  • Motivational: it has to motivate people to take action
  • Unique: you need to be able to distinguish your organization from the others

In other words, while you define a key and actionable objective. This objective is what in the now will get you going to get you closer to achieve the vision set 10 ahead from now.  Therefore, it is important to ask what actions you’re doing today will bring you closer to your vision.

You also need to make it achievable. Indeed, most people think that to make people act you have to set reasonable goals. That isn’t always the case. Indeed, the so-called 10X goal-setting might make your organization more successful than a regular goal-setting schedule.

However, we’ll leave the big hairy audacious goal to the vision statement. While, we’ll let the mission statement be more realistic, as it needs to set things in motion.

In other words, where a vision statement has to be inspirational, a mission statement has to be motivational.

In terms of structure, an opener like “Our mission is to…” followed by an adverb or a verb that makes it actionable “build the …” an adjective and noun that indicate the uniqueness of that mission “leading product…” and a closer that defines its uniqueness might work pretty well.

Of course, this is one example; let’s look at some of the mission statements out there.

Mission statement examples

Let’s analyze some of the mission statements of companies that influence our daily lives. It is important to remark that in no way I’m trying to say that a mission statement correlates with a company’s success.

A mission statement is a tool that well-drafted can serve as a way to focus on the actions of groups of people within the organization. It also helps in creating an identity and culture within the organization. Whether or not that determines the success of a company it’s not possible to determine, in my opinion.

Indeed, we’ll see how very successful companies set out mission statements that on paper might see entirely off, and we’ll start from Google’s mission statement.

Amazon Mission Statement

amazon-vision-statement-mission-statement

While Amazon‘s mission statement is to “serve consumers through online and physical stores and focus on selection, price, and convenience” and its vision is “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.”

In reality, this applies to Amazon intended as an e-commerce company. Yet Amazon has a sort of multi-business model where in the same company we have a few parts of the business that have completely different features.

You can grasp the complexity of Amazon business model in this map:

amazon-case-study

In short, while the core of Amazon’s business is still its e-commerce platform. Amazon also has other parts (like Amazon AWS) that have different logic.

For instance, AWS isn’t a B2C business but rather a B2B/Enterprise Cloud Platform, driven by a community of developers, building AI tools, and SMBs and enterprise companies as paying customers (Netflix, for instance, is an AWS customer).

In short, Amazon has a suite of value propositions, each serving several key players that sustain the business: 

Amazon Value Proposition

Read: Amazon Mission Statement

Apple Mission Statement

apple-mission-statement-vision-statement

Apple’s mission is “to bringing the best user experience to its customers through its innovative hardware, software, and services.” In a manifesto dated 2009 Tim Cook set the vision specified as “We believe that we are on the face of the earth to make great products and that’s not changing.”

apple-value-proposition

Just like Amazon, Apple is a tech giant, and as such, it encompasses a set of value propositions that make Apple’s brand recognized.

Read: Apple Mission Statement

Coca-Cola Mission Statement

coca-cola-mission-statement

Coca-Cola is very good at marketing itself. By setting up its product as delivering a specific positive emotion for people that consume it has two effects, I argue

  • Empower its employees by making them feel they are making a difference in people’s lives, thus offering them a different perspective of just a company “selling sugary water” (remember when Steve Jobs said to Pepsi executive John Sculley  “Do you want to sell sugar water for the rest of your life, or do you want to come with me and change the world?”)
  • Allowing its consumers to align with this view of the Coca-Cola brand

DoorDash Mission Statement

how-does-doordash-make-money
DoorDash is a platform business model that enables restaurants to set up at no cost delivery operations. At the same time, customers get their food at home and dashers (delivery people) earn some extra money. DoorDash makes money by markup prices through delivery fees, memberships, and advertising for restaurants on the marketplace.

DoorDash’s mission is to grow and empower local economies. It does that through its business model

Read next: DoorDash Business Model

Google Mission Statement

google-vision-statement-mission-statement

google-mission-statement

Google‘s mission statement doesn’t sound too far from a vision statement. Indeed, Google is the leading source of the world’s information. However, this same mission was set out by Google’s founders back in the days when Google was still a small startup.

I think at the time when people did read this mission they thought of it as too ambitious for a company that at the time was not a key player in the search industry. Yet this is at the core of Google‘s Moonshot Thinking.  And this mission helped for sure the company to focus on a key long term objective, that they indeed achieved!

I’m sure out there is plenty of organizations, now dead, that had very ambitious goals. However, I do think that a very ambitious goal is part of a good mission statement.

Read: Google’s Mission Statement

Microsoft Mission Statement

microsoft-mission-statement

Microsoft’s mission statement is also very generic (every person and every organization on the planet) and it didn’t set a specific goal (achieve more of what?). I don’t think that is a good example.

By itself the verb “empower” doesn’t mean much if not specified for whom. One thing is to say, “empower young men wanting to advance their careers.” Another is to say “empower every person.”

Read: Microsoft Mission Statement

McDonald’s Mission Statement

mcdonald-mission-statement

This is a great mission statement. It is specific, it defines well its goal, and it also identifies a plan to get there through the five Ps:

  • People
  • Products
  • Place
  • Price
  • And promotion

It is not time-constrained as this is an ongoing objective.

Instacart Mission Statement

how-does-instacart-make-money
Instacart’s business model relies on enabling an easy set up for grocery stores, the comfort for customers to get their shopping delivered at home, and an additional income stream for personal shoppers. Instacart makes money by charging service fees, via memberships, and by running performance advertising on its platform.

Instacart mission is to “create a world where everyone has access to the food they love and more time to enjoy it together.”

Instacart has structured its business model to cover the so-called last-mile delivery, thus enabling anyone to become a delivery person, and on the other end, to customers to get the food they want straight to their doors. 

Read next: Instacart Business Model

Netflix Mission Statement

netflix-vision-statement-mission-statement
Netflix’s core mission, strategy, and vision are that of “improving its members’ experience by expanding the streaming content with a focus on a programming mix of content that delights members and attracts new members.”

Read: Netflix Mission Statement

Nike Mission Statement

nike-vision-statement-mission-statement
Nike vision is “to bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world.” While its mission statement is 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.”
 

Read next: Nike Mission Statement

Starbucks Mission Statement

starbucks-mission-statement-vision-statement

 

Starbucks highlights its mission as “to inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time.” And its vision is to “treat people like family, and they will be loyal and give their all.”

swot-analysis-of-starbucks

Starbucks is a global consumer brand with direct distribution, recognized brands, and products that make it a viable business. Its reliance on the Americas as a primary operating segment makes it a weakness. At the same time, Starbucks faces risks related to coffee beans price volatility. Yet the company still has global expansion opportunities.

starbucks-business-model

Starbucks is a retail company that sells beverages (primarily consisting of coffee-related drinks) and food. In 2018, Starbucks had 52% of company-operated stores vs. 48% of licensed stores. The revenues for company-operated stores accounted for 80% of total revenues, thus making Starbucks a chain business model.

Read: Starbucks Mission Statement

Tesla Mission Statement

tesla-vision-statement-mission-statement
Tesla’s vision is to “create the most compelling car company of the 21st century by driving the world’s transition to electric vehicles,” while its mission is “to accelerate the advent of sustainable transport by bringing compelling mass-market electric cars to market as soon as possible.” Tesla used a transitional business model as its ecosystem grows.

Read: Tesla Mission Statement

Uber Mission Statement

liquidity-network-effects

Our mission is to ignite opportunity by setting the world in motion.

The ambition of Uber’s business strategy emphasized first on creating a whole new market (ridesharing). And then to take over the mobility market itself.

As pointed out in its financial prospectus Uber “just got started” with only 2% of the population in the 63 countries where it operates the company looks to expand further.

Several factors drove the Uber phenomenon. In the letter to shareholders in 2019, CEO Dara Khosrowsha pointed out how Uber got there and where’s going next!

Udemy Mission Statement

udemy-business-model
Udemy is an e-learning platform with two primary parts: the consumer-facing platform (B2C). And the enterprise platform (B2B). Udemy sells courses to anyone on its core marketplace, while it sells Udemy for Business only to B2B/Enterprise accounts. As such, Udemy has two key players: instructors on the marketplace, and business instructors for the B2B platform.

Udemy mission is to “make quality education more accessible and improve lives through learning.” 

Read more: Udemy Business Model

Walmart Mission Statement

walmart-vision-statement-mission-statement

Walmart’smission can be summarized as “helping people around the world save money and live better – anytime and anywhere – in retail stores and through eCommerce.” While its vision is to “make every day easier for busy families.” Walmart defines “busy families” as the bull’s eye of its business strategy.

Read: Walmart Mission Statement

WeWork Mission Statement

wework-mission-statement-vision-statement

WeWork’s mission is “to elevate the world’s consciousness.” 

Read: WeWork Mission Statement

Summary and conclusions

As we can see from the examples above, drafting a good mission statement isn’t a simple task. And as a mission statement becomes universal, it also risks losing its specificity and becomes too generic with no utility.
 
I believe that a good mission statement should in the first place allow an organization to align a group of people with focusing on the same objective while getting them inspired.
 
Of course, a mission statement has to be accompanied by specific plans, and it needs to be executed daily to become effective over time!
However, from the mission statement, a set of core values can be derived. Those core values will be the guiding principles of the organization.
 

Read next: 

Other resources:

What is a good mission statement?

A mission statement helps an organization to define its purpose in the now and communicate it to its stakeholders. That is why a good mission statement has to be concise, clear and able to articulate what’s unique about an organization.

What is Alphabet’s mission statement?

Google mission statement is to “organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.” Its vision statement is to “provide an important service to the world-instantly delivering relevant information on virtually any topic.” In 2019, Sundar Pichai emphasized a renewed mission to allow people “to get things done!”
View more on FourWeekMBA

What is Starbucks mission statement?

Starbucks highlights its mission as “to inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time.” And its vision is to “treat people like family, and they will be loyal and give their all.”
View more on FourWeekMBA

What is Apple mission statement?

Apple Mission is “to bringing the best user experience to its customers through its innovative hardware, software, and services.” And in a manifesto dated 2009 Tim Cook set the vision specified as “We believe that we are on the face of the earth to make great products and that’s not changing.”
View more on FourWeekMBA

What is Nike mission statement?

Nike vision is “to bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world.” While its mission statement is 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.”
View more on FourWeekMBA

What is Amazon mission statement?

Amazon mission statement is to “serve consumers through online and physical stores and focus on selection, price, and convenience.” Amazon vision statement is “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.” 
View more on FourWeekMBA

Published by

Gennaro Cuofano

Gennaro is the creator of FourWeekMBA which target is to reach over two million business students, executives, and aspiring entrepreneurs in 2020 alone | He is also Head of Business Development for a high-tech startup, which he helped grow at double-digit rate | Gennaro earned an International MBA with emphasis on Corporate Finance and Business Strategy | Visit The FourWeekMBA BizSchool | Or Get in touch with Gennaro here

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