Whether it is a simple sentence or a group of paragraphs, a mission statement is essential to set the purpose of a business or brand and suggest potential directions for future growth. It defines the course for how a brand will treat its customers and, thus, provides employees with a common set of goals to work toward, making it the driving force behind the brand and what distinguishes it from competition. The most effective mission statements not only help define a company’s actions, but also inspire customer loyalty. There’s certainly an art to writing a mission statement that your staff will adopt and your customers will laud. Here are 5 essential steps that can help develop a meaningful mission statement:
1. Define Your Prime Business Goals: Identify what drives you and what the purpose of your business is.
2. Live up to your word: Fulfill your promise and be true to yourself and others.
3. Keep It Simple: Use simple words instead of jargon and buzzwords.
4. Make It Inspirational: Include an inspirational element to encourage your team members to work toward your vision.
5. Adapt As Your Business Evolves: Change your mission statement to align with your evolution.
This can start by asking yourself why your brand exists. Does it exist to inform? to empower? to connect? to help in some way? What outcome do you want your customers and teammates to have after interacting with you? How do you want them to feel? Identifying your service is a great starting point, along with defining for whom this service is for, how you plan to deliver it and why it's valuable. Together, these elements communicate your purpose to consumers and team members.
For example, Voila’s mission is “To deliver best-in-class B2B Lead Generation Services That Drive Business Growth for Major & Challenger Brands In The Middle East.” Our staff works toward this goal every day, and our customers experience it via the tangible results that make them stick to working with us.
Building a killer mission statement that sounds perfect to the audience but your brand cannot fulfill is certainly not the way to go. Unless you are authentic and honest about your promises, your clients will likely take action that goes against your mission. For your mission statement to be sincere, you do not need to take a hard stance on any position (unless that’s at the core of what your brand is). Your mission statement should reflect your values. Then, as your brand acts—and reacts—within the outside world, you can check how this works with and reflects back on your mission.
Simplicity is the key. Whether your mission statement is short or long, make sure you use language everyone can read. You don’t want a sentence that defines your brand to be filled with vocabulary only your employees can understand. The same goes for jargon and buzzwords, which are generally ineffective in a mission statement. If you tell people that you “deliver business efficiencies using optimized software products,” they’re unlikely to commit this phrase to memory. When your mission is hard to remember, it’s difficult for team members to align their daily activities with the goals outlined. Choose your words wisely and use terms that are easily understood and relevant to your business.
While it’s vital to make your mission statement plausible and attainable, it can also be powerful to include an inspirational element so you can encourage your team members to work toward your vision. You might also find it useful to tie your mission statement to specific activities or behaviors, which can move it from the conceptual realm to the practical world.
Your mission statement can be as adaptable as your company is. As your brand may flex and change over time, so can your statement. While it’s not effective to be switching mission statements every few months, your statement isn’t serving you well if it’s outdated and doesn’t match your brand’s culture and values. Facebook, Snapchat, and Microsoft – for example – have all changed their mission statements as their business models and values evolved.
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