A mission statement helps an organization define its purpose and communicate it to its stakeholders. That is why a good mission statement has to be concise, and clear to able to articulate what’s unique about an organization, thus building trust and rapport with an audience.
Mission Statement Examples
In this article, we’ll look at a few mission statement examples, which you will find below:
- Amazon Mission Statement
- Apple Mission Statement
- Coca-Cola Mission Statement
- DoorDash Mission Statement
- Google Mission Statement
- Instacart Mission Statement
- Microsoft Mission Statement
- Netflix Mission Statement
- Nike Mission Statement
- Starbucks Mission Statement
- Tesla Mission Statement
- Uber Mission Statement
- Udemy Mission Statement
- Walmart Mission Statement
- WeWork Mission Statement
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 as how it decides to make money.
The 2018 Deloitte Millennial Survey Report shows that millennials (people born in 1981 and who become adults 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:
Mission statement vs. vision statement
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 organization’s uniqueness in the marketplace.
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.
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:
Read: OKR Goal-Setting System
How to draft your mission statement
Not everyone agrees on what 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 achieving 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 seem entirely off, and we’ll start with Google’s mission statement.
Amazon 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’s business model in this map:
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:
Read: Amazon Mission Statement
Apple’s mission is “to bring 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.”
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
- 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
Chipotle Mission Statement
Chipotle is an American chain of fast-food restaurants with an additional presence in Canada, Germany, France, and the United Kingdom.
The company, which is formally known as Chipotle Mexican Grill, was founded in 1993 by Steve Ells.
Chipotle has a short and succinct mission statement: “To provide food with integrity.” How the company delivers on this promise will be the subject of the rest of this article.
Real food that can change the world
One of the words that stands out on the webpage espousing the company’s core values is “real”. The word has an obvious connection to the mission statement, but how is this realness embodied in practice?
For one, Chipotle understands the relationship between the taste of food and how it was raised and prepared. When food is “real”, it is better for the customer and also the planet – even if this option is more difficult or expensive than alternative means of production.
Being real also means the company freshly prepares the food it needs daily. It does not use artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives.
Nor does it use any food item that is frozen or requires a can opener to consume.
In a subtle reference to its fresh, natural, non-chemical ingredients, Chipotle uses a selection of 53 sustainably sourced foods whose names consumers can actually pronounce.
Aside from supporting its mission statement, this commitment to fresh and natural food sets Chipotle apart from its competitors and redefines familiar notions of a fast food company.
Commitment to the environment
Integrity for Chipotle also means sourcing food and operating in a way that is sensitive to the environment. Within its 2021 sustainability report are various initiatives, such as:
- Composting programs launched at 31% of all restaurants.
- An increase in renewable energy usage to 23.6%, up from 22% in 2020.
- The diversion of 2.6 million cubic yards of waste via measures such as recycling, composting, and waste to energy.
These initiatives and many others position Chipotle as a brand that environmentally conscious consumers can relate to.
Commitment to animal welfare
Chipotle also treats animal welfare seriously.
All of its chicken meat is sourced from suppliers who meet stipulated animal welfare standards and the company is working to improve stocking density, natural lighting, and environmental enrichments on its chicken farms.
What’s more, cheese is sourced from pasture-fed cows who have access to outdoor areas and pork comes from pigs who are free from harmful growth hormones.
Commitment to people
Chipotle supports passionate employees who embody its core values. It does this by providing career growth, culinary training opportunities, physical and mental health schemes, and a debt-free university degree program.
The company has also made significant investments in the agricultural industry, with 5% of its profits from certain beverages donated to scholarships, grants, and education for those who want to start a career in farming.
This commitment also extends to improving food accessibility for the general public. Accessibility means that the company’s menu items are reasonably priced to enable more people to be able to afford healthy food.
Key takeaways from Chipotle mission statement:
- Chipotle has a short and succinct mission statement: “To provide food with integrity.” This integrity is reinforced by what the company calls “real” food and a belief that it can change the world.
- Supporting this belief is a commitment to sourcing healthier food that is free from artificial preservatives and colors. Integrity here means that Chipotle is committed to sourcing natural ingredients even if the alternatives are cheaper or easier.
- Chipotle’s mission statement is also underpinned by a commitment to animal welfare, employees, and the environment.
Costco’s mission statement analysis
Costco is a membership-only big box retail chain that was founded in Seattle, Washington, by James Sinegal and Jeffrey Brotman in 1983.
According to its official website, Costco has a simple but very important mission: “To continually provide our members with quality goods and services at the lowest possible prices.”
For Costco to achieve its mission and reward shareholders, the company must respect a code of ethics comprised of these four factors:
- Take care of our members.
- Take care of our employees.
- Respect our suppliers, and
- Obey the law.
Let’s take a look at each of these facets in the sections below.
Taking care of members
Costco’s members – which include individuals and other business owners – are the key to its success.
The company recognizes that if it does not maintain member satisfaction in the competitive retail industry, anything else it does is a waste of time.
Satisfaction is related to trust and that members will continue to pay money to shop at Costco so long as the company takes trust seriously.
Some of the trust-building initiatives that support Costco’s mission statement include:
- Providing safe, wholesome, premium quality foods via stringent supplier and employee standards.
- Providing members with the best customer service in the industry, and
- A 100% satisfaction guarantee on all products, services, and the membership itself.
Taking care of employees
For Costco, employees are its most important asset. It understands the link between employee talent and challenges or opportunities that promote personal and career growth.
The company prefers to promote internally with the majority of its management team comprised of “home grown” talent.
Some of the ways Costco takes care of its employees include:
- Competitive wages and attractive benefits.
- A culture free of harassment and discrimination.
- An Open Door Policy where employees can access ascending levels of management to resolve problems.
Costco considers its suppliers to be its business partners and believes that both parties must thrive for the relationship to be sustainable.
To that end, it has created four principles that guide all supplier interactions:
- Treat all suppliers and representatives in the same way that Costco would expect to be treated if visiting their premises.
- Ensure all commitments are honored.
- Protect any supplier property in Costco’s care as if it were the property of the company.
- Not accept any gratuity whatsoever from a supplier.
Obeying the law
Costco understands that the law is irrefutable.
Therefore, it must act in accordance with the laws of any community, state, or country in which it does business.
Costco’s pledge to obey the law includes:
- Respect for all public officials.
- Compliance with product safety and security standards.
- Compliance with relevant wage, hour, and antitrust laws.
- The conduct of business in the USA and foreign markets in a way that is legal and proper.
Key takeaways from Costco mission statement:
- According to its official website, warehouse retail chain Costco has a simple but very important mission: “To continually provide our members with quality goods and services at the lowest possible prices.”
- For Costco to achieve its mission and reward shareholders, it must respect a code of ethics with the following components: taking care of members, taking care of employees, obeying the law, and respecting suppliers.
- Costco believes its members are the key to its success. If these entities are not satisfied, little else the company does will make a difference. The company’s mission statement is also supported by a belief that employees are its most valuable asset and that supplier relationships must be mutually beneficial to prosper.
Adidas Mission Statement
Read Next: Adidas Mission Statement
DoorDash Mission Statement
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’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.
IBM mission statement analysis
While the technology underpinning IBM is in a constant state of flux, the company’s overarching purpose has remained more or less the same over the past century.
Founded in 1911 by Charles Ranlett Flint to advance the world via technology, the multinational tech company honors this tradition today with a diverse product and service line-up.
IBM does not have an official mission statement, but it once clarified its raison d’être in the following quote:
“To lead in the creation, development, and manufacture of the industry’s most advanced information technologies, including computer systems, software, networking systems, storage devices, and microelectronics. And our worldwide network of IBM solutions and services professionals translates these advanced technologies into business value for our customers. We translate these advanced technologies into value for our customers through our professional solutions, services, and consulting businesses worldwide.”
Deconstructing IBM’s mission statement
While the above may be construed as somewhat verbose, the essence of what IBM does and what it hopes to achieve can be distilled into three components.
To become the leader in the creation and manufacture of the most advanced information technologies.
IBM’s world-renowned culture of innovation has enabled it to develop breakthrough technologies capable of transforming numerous industries.
These include financial services, energy, telecommunications, retail, government, and consumer goods.
The company’s innovative prowess in personal computing is well known, but it is also a leader in technologies that will impact future generations.
IBM is a pioneer of quantum computing and is also using AI to develop robot microscopes that will clean the world’s water supply.
To establish a worldwide network of advanced technologies that provides customer value.
The second component of IBM’s mission statement references its global network of employees who are responsible for creating customer value.
The company’s workforce totals around 282,000 with 33% of those stationed in India – more than any other country.
IBM has chosen to establish an Indian hub to enable it to carry out its mission in a more cost-effective way. Indian teams work on products that span the entire spectrum of IBM products.
Some are working on vision for autonomous vehicles, while others handle the tech needs for corporate clients such as Shell and AT&T.
The creation of global professional services, solutions, and consulting businesses.
The sheer breadth and depth of IBM’s capacity as a consultancy business is impressive to behold. It has, for example, worked with Coca-Cola in Europe to accelerate the migration of mission-critical workloads to the cloud.
IBM has also partnered with the State Bank of India to develop a comprehensive banking platform for citizens under 35 who are more accustomed to conducting their business online.
IBM values that support its corporate mission
IBM has intertwined its mission, vision, and purpose into three short sentences that represent three of its core values:
- Dedication to every client’s success.
- Innovation that matters – for our company and the world.
- Trust and responsibility in all relationships.
These sentences underpin IBM’s corporate culture and brand while also serving as a guide for the tasks, roles, responsibilities, and decisions of employees.
Key takeaways for IMB’s mission statement:
- IBM’s mission to advance the world with technology was instituted by founder Charles Ranlett Flint in 1911. As technology has advanced over the past century, the company’s mission remains unchanged.
- In short, IBM seeks to become a world leader in advanced technologies across multiple industries. It also strives to maintain a worldwide workforce that creates customer value and reinforces IBM’s services, solutions, and consulting business.
- IBM’s mission is also supported by three core values which also include subtle references to its vision. These relate to a focus on customer success, innovation that solves real-world problems, and relationships characterized by trust and responsibility.
Lyft Mission Statement
Read: Lyft 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.”
McDonald’s 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:
- And promotion
It is not time-constrained as this is an ongoing objective.
Instacart Mission Statement
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
Linkedin Mission Statement
Netflix Mission Statement
Nike Mission Statement
Read next: Nike Mission Statement
Slack Mission Statement
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.”
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 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.
Tesla Mission Statement
Read: Tesla Mission Statement
Uber Mission Statement
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 mission is to “make quality education more accessible and improve lives through learning.”
Read more: Udemy Business Model
Walmart 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.
WeWork Mission Statement
WeWork’s mission is “to elevate the world’s consciousness.”
Read: WeWork Mission Statement
Personal Mission Statement
Some personal mission statement examples:
- Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla – “If something is important enough you should try, even if the probable outcome is failure.“
- Oprah Winfrey, founder of the Oprah Winfrey Network – “To be a teacher. And to be known for inspiring my students to be more than they thought they could be.“
- Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Group – “To have fun in my journey through life and learn from my mistakes.“
- Denise Morrison, CEO of Campbell Soup Company – “To serve as a leader, live a balanced life, and apply ethical principles to make a significant difference.“
Summary and conclusions
Amazon: To serve consumers through online and physical stores and focus on selection, price, and convenience.
Apple: To bring the best user experience to its customers through innovative hardware, software, and services.
Coca-Cola: To provide quality beverages that improve people’s lives and refresh the world.
Google: To organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.
Microsoft: To empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.
McDonald’s: To be our customers’ favorite place and way to eat and drink.
Lyft: Improving people’s lives with the world’s best transportation.
Netflix: To improve its members’ experience by expanding the streaming content with a focus on a programming mix that delights and attracts.
Nike: To bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world.
Starbucks: To inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup, and one neighborhood at a time.
Tesla: To accelerate the advent of sustainable transport by bringing compelling mass-market electric cars to market as soon as possible.
Uber: To ignite opportunity by setting the world in motion.
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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!”
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.”
What is Apple mission statement?
Apple’s Mission is “to bring 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.”
What is Nike mission statement?
Nike’s vision is “to bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world.” At the same time, its mission statement is to “do everything possible to expand human potential. We do that by creating groundbreaking sports 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.”
What is Amazon mission statement?
Amazon’s mission statement is to “serve consumers through online and physical stores and focus on selection, price, and convenience.” Amazon’s 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.”