Every business has a purpose—a mission that it hopes to complete through the work it does. But not every business articulates what that purpose is, potentially leaving its audience disconnected from the business’ brand or, worse, confused about what the business is offering to consumers.
That’s where mission statements come in. Writing a mission statement is an effective way to explain your business’ services and solidify its brand identity, which in turn can differentiate your business from your competitors.
A mission statement clearly sets out what your company’s purpose is, what it does and what you value as a business. It should succinctly answer any question your audience might have about your company, without going into too much detail about specifics (usually, mission statements are only one to two sentences long.)
Your mission statement should explain more than just the services your business offers—it should also provide a brief explanation of why you offer those services. Are you a battery manufacturer that envisions a greener future for the planet? What about a community centre that hopes to encourage healthy lifestyles in your inner city? Be sure to include a few words about what drives your business to do what it does.
We value brands that have values of their own. Having values that resonate with your audience and then authentically expressing them is important in building a connection with a consumer.
A mission statement is also a good way to clarify what your business is to your employees and your audience. Done well, a mission statement can embolden your stakeholders, drawing them to your business. It becomes the shared message from loyal followers to their friends, families, and anyone who will listen. Anyone new to your business who has a question about what you do can read your mission statement and quickly gain a better understanding of how and why you operate and why they should care.
Writing a couple sentences about your business sounds simple, right? Well, not always. If your business doesn’t have a clear goal or brand identity, writing a mission statement can be challenging. So, your first step is to identify what you hope to accomplish in the world—what is your purpose? Is your brand all about sustainability? Does it work to bring awareness to a particular cause? Is it about building the best widget out there? Brainstorm and write everything down, then narrow it down to your number one priority.
Next, tie this information in with the products or services you offer. This is where you can be a lot more general and creative. Consider Sweetgreen, an American restaurant chain. Its mission statement is, “Building healthier communities by connecting people to real food.” Instead of being overly specific such as by saying “building healthier communities by selling salads,” Sweetgreen gets more creative, telling us that they “[connect] people to real food.” This makes for a more inspiring mission statement that audiences can connect with.
Once you’ve found a way to explain your business and its purpose, there are a few other elements of a mission statement to consider:
By following these tips, your mission statement is sure to be one that resonates with your audience.
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