So much goes on behind the scenes of running a successful business.
From marketing and sales to back-office duties like accounting and product development, it can be easy for employees, customers, and occasionally business owners to forget a company’s purpose.
That’s why it is crucial to create a mission statement.
It keeps everyone in a company focused on achieving the same goal while communicating what the company stands for to the customers.
This article will take you through what a mission statement is, some great examples, and how to write your own powerful statement.
What is a mission statement?
A mission statement is a clear and succinct description of company vision and values. It is crucial for brand building.
A mission statement example looks something like this from Tesla: “To accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy.”
It answers why the company exists, who its customers are, and how it caters to them.
Good mission statements capture the essence and values of the business.
It should let employees and customers know how unique your company is. In the case of Tesla it translates the idea that Tesla wants to make a difference.
Though it’s best practice to set a mission statement from the start, it’s crucial to review it as your company changes or expands to ensure it represents the highest quality goals of your business.
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Is having a mission statement important for a company’s success?
A mission statement summarizes the company’s short to medium-term strategic goals.
Defining the overall mission of the company provides a framework for employees to work towards, and in turn, helps drive action and employee engagement.
Mission statements also establish a consistent company image, made simple through a company slogan, for external stakeholders to understand.
10 inspiring mission statement examples
Let’s unpack some of the best examples of mission statements and see why they’re perfect for their respective companies.
1. IKEA: “To create a better everyday life for the many people.”
IKEA is a Swedish multinational company that makes furniture and homeware accessible to everyone.
The company designs and sells beautiful, yet affordable, ready-to-assemble furniture. You can find anything here, from beds and chairs to kitchen counters and lighting.
Its mission statement perfectly embodies what IKEA aims to achieve. Their products help anyone create a beautiful home at a low cost, giving joy to the people that reside in it.
2. Nike: “Do everything possible to expand human potential”
Nike is the most recognizable sports brand in the world.
In terms of mission statement examples, the sportswear business hits the nail on the head.
What many people do not know is that their business vision is “To bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world.” We will discuss mission vs vision in a later section, for now let’s focus on the mission statement.
The sports giant has taken over the world with its innovative athletic fashions and accessories, empowering people of all shapes and sizes.
Nike was also among the first companies to use celebrity partnerships and endorsements to market its brand.
The brand ambassadors give powerful messages, encouraging everyone to strive for the highest and be inclusive. This aligns well with the company’s famous slogan, “Just do it.”
Thus, its mission statement perfectly encapsulates what Nike does. Provide customers with innovative apparel, and motivate them to succeed in whatever they do.
3. Adobe: “To move the web forward and give web designers and developers the best tools and services in the world.”
Adobe is a software company that empowers creatives and professionals alike to produce cutting-edge digital content.
It carries software products that have become household names such as Photoshop and After Effects.
For years, Adobe users had to purchase each software product individually. The cost can quickly pile up for those who need multiple softwares for their projects.
Now, however, users can pay a single, monthly, or yearly subscription to the Adobe Creative Cloud and get access to over 20 of Adobe’s design apps.
This switch was prompted by Adobe’s mission to give every web designer and developer, regardless of their income level, the best creative tools needed to push the web forward.
Adobe’s mission statement inspires change within the company, and it is an excellent example of why a mission statement is important.
4. Google: “To organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.”
Google has the answers to all the world’s questions.
It processes about 5.8 billion search queries a day with millions of suggestions for each search.
There’s so much information on the web that Google has to crawl through, yet the search engine only takes milliseconds to recommend top sites for users.
However, it wasn’t always this lightning-fast.
In 1999, Google used to take a month to crawl through 50 million pages. But by 2012, it only took one minute to do the same.
Accompanied by a clear and strong company mission statement, Google continues to improve significantly, and it’s safe to say the tech giant is doing its job right.
5. Facebook: “To give people the power of community and bring the world closer together.”
These days, it’s hard to imagine a world without social media. Platforms like Facebook, which popularized the concept when it launched globally in 2006, helped get things started.
Facebook has integrated algorithms to recommend friends, groups, and pages to the user based on their activities on the site.
These algorithms help fulfill Facebook’s mission of empowering people so they can connect and build a strong online community.
With the acquisitions of social media powerhouse Instagram and global free messaging app WhatsApp, Facebook has expanded its brand to make it even easier for any generation in any city to connect with each other.
And the world has certainly become closer ever since.
6. Tesla: “To accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy.”
Tesla is an American automotive business that specializes in making premium electric vehicles and clean energy.
Under Elon Musk’s innovative direction, Tesla’s overarching goal is to make clean energy affordable and accessible to everyone. Tesla have challenged the world car market by reducing how long it takes to manufacture effective electric vehicles.
What’s clever about Tesla’s mission statement is that it perfectly describes what Tesla does without saying it blatantly. It’s short, sharp, and powerfully delivers on its purpose.
7. Starbucks: “To inspire and nurture the human spirit — one person, one cup, and one neighborhood at a time.”
Whether you’re a coffee drinker or not, chances are, you’ve heard of Starbucks.
Here’s how Starbucks’ mission statement inspires action in the business:
- One person. Starbucks provides its employees with an education assistance program so everyone can have equal opportunities. It also speaks to the business focus on customer service.
- One cup. Starbucks supports farmers and the environment by using ethically sourced coffee.
- One neighborhood. The coffee business aims and will soon succeed in opening its doors in every neighborhood around the world. It also works with fair trade suppliers to better their neighborhoods.
Its mission statement does not only cover its products, but it also concerns how they can support the people and neighborhoods, with friendly customer service and as an equal rights employer.
8. Spanx: “To invent and enhance products that promote comfort and confidence in women.”
Spanx is a women’s fashion company that specializes in comfortable shapewear.
The company started with just $5000 and has spent $0 on advertising, yet it is now a billion-dollar business, beloved by celebrities and women worldwide.
The mission statement covers some of Spanx’s core values of comfort and confidence. It addresses how they’re going to achieve its mission, and for whom it is aimed at.
These elements are what make a good mission statement.
9. McDonald’s: “To be our customers’ favorite place and way to eat and drink.”
McDonald’s is a renowned fast-food restaurant chain, home to everyone’s favorite cheeseburger and golden french fry.
Since 1948, McDonald’s has become one of the leading global fast-food restaurants in the world, boasting over 18,000 stores globally.
It’s so significant in today’s culture that economists even use the Big Mac Index (BMI) to measure consumers’ purchasing power in different countries.
McDonald’s mission statement is clear and simple. And with just above 200 new stores opening its doors overseas, it’s safe to say it has become everyone’s favorite place to eat.
10. Make-A-Wish Foundation: “Together, we create life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses.”
Make-A-Wish Foundation is a not-for-profit organization that grants wishes to children with critical life conditions.
The foundation coordinates various events, like private meet and greets with celebrities, trips, and adventures for the kids.
Its mission statement centers around togetherness, which is one of its core values.
The foundation believes that granting a wish impacts everyone involved in the process – the wish kid, the guests, and parents.
The mission statement also acknowledges that the organization cannot achieve its goals on its own. It counts on donators, volunteers, and fundraisers to make it all happen.
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How to write a mission statement
Now that you’ve got some inspiration, it’s time to create your mission statement.
Here are three simple steps to get you started:
- Define your purpose. Why does your organization exist? Keep it simple and straightforward.
- Specify your target market. Who does your business cater to? Identify the general market, but don’t limit yourself to just one location or age group because you never know what might happen in the future.
- Explain how your company is unique. List the values and goals that are important to your company and choose one or two to focus on. Make this part brief, but inspiring.
Next, draft some statements and begin the process of condensing until you find one that best summarizes your mission.
A statement that makes a difference typically covers the company’s purpose and values.
Here’s a sample mission statement template that you can follow:
“[Company Name] goal is to [company purpose] for [main beneficiaries] through [your company’s activities].”
Make sure to involve your employees in the process, too. You can create a focus group or conduct an online survey to hear your staff’s feedback.
Lastly, don’t forget to review your mission statement every once in a while and change it as needed.
Mission statement vs vision statement
Vision and mission statements go hand in hand. To read them, they even look like each another.
Both statements inform company decisions and inspire employee and customer actions.
However, the main difference in vision vs mission is that a mission statement focuses on the now, whereas a vision statement focuses on the future.
A mission statement concentrates on how a company wants to get to where they want to be and guides the day-to-day operations to achieve its near-term goals.
In contrast, a vision statement focuses on what the company envisions for itself and the industry in the long term.
In this sense, vision statements guide the mission statement as it is the ultimate goal the company wants to achieve.
Vision statement examples
Here are the vision statements of some of the companies mentioned earlier:
- Tesla. To create the most compelling car company of the 21st century by driving the world’s transition to electric vehicles.
- Google. To provide access to the world’s information in one click.
- Make-A-Wish Foundation. To grant the wish of every eligible child.
These business vision statement examples are much broader compared to its respective mission statements, but it does a great job at inspiring and informing people about their aspirations for the future.