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Whether your business is brand new or deep in the middle of a strategic plan overhaul, your company mission statement matters.
More than just a planning exercise, a mission statement speaks volumes about your organization. It focuses your leadership team, inspires employees, and communicates your core values to the larger world.
All in a single sentence. Magic.
A mission statement is one of the most important documents in your company’s arsenal, but it is also one of the most difficult to craft. We’ve gathered 16 of the best company mission statement examples to help get your creativity flowing.
Level up: A mission statement is one of the best tools for aligning staff and boosting morale. Deliver yours with the most engaging communication medium — video. Get started now and turn your company’s mission statement into a video with Biteable.
What is a mission statement?
Short and sweet, a mission statement sums up the core of who your company is and why it exists. It’s raison d’etre, if you want to get fancy and speak a little French.
Mission statements are typically succinct, only a sentence or two. And the best of the best mission statements are anything but boring.
When done right, your company’s mission statement acts as a powerful driver that informs every aspect of your organization, from daily operations, to customer loyalty, to employee satisfaction. When done wrong, a mission statement is just another line of jargon everyone pretty much ignores.
Take the Starbucks mission statement (one of our favorites) as an example: To inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time.
Starbucks could have said: To challenge the predominant infrastructure of coffee culture and develop a network of coffeehouses in every major market.
Did your eyes glaze over on that second one? Ours too. While technically true, our made-up example is full of dreaded corporate-speak. It belongs deep in the bowels of a strategic plan, not as it’s headline.
On the other hand, the real Starbucks mission statement makes us want to be a part of it all. And even more than that, it conveys a sense of the beating heart behind the company.
The best mission statements do just this — clearly convey a company’s reason for existing, in language that is exceedingly human.
Mission statements vs. vision statements — what’s the diff?
It’s easy to confuse vision statements and mission statements. But there are a few important differences.
A vision statement is aspirational. It outlines where your company strives to be in the future — whether that is one year from now or ten. In contrast, a mission statement spells out where your company is right now.
Think of your company’s vision statement as a long-term goal post. The end point towards which you are working. If your vision statement is a goal post, then your mission statement is what drives you toward that goal post.
Why your company mission statement is important
You will probably design your company mission statement during your strategic planning because it is a valuable tool that helps your leadership team make big-picture decisions. But the purpose of a mission statement goes far beyond strategic planning.
Consumers value mission-driven companies
It’s no secret that today’s consumer values a company with, well, values. These values don’t have to be centered around saving the world. But they do need to be clear, focused, and genuine.
A 2020 study by global communications agency Zeno Group found that if consumers think a company has a strong purpose, they are:
- 4 times more likely to purchase from the company
- 4.5 times more likely to recommend the company to family and friends
- 6 times more likely to defend the company in the wake of public criticism
Think about this in terms of your personal life. The more you connect with a person, the more likely you are to invite them over for coffee, introduce them to your other friends, and come to their defense. The same is true for the companies we buy from.
We humans value connection and a shared sense of purpose. All things equal, your company’s mission statement can be a powerful differentiator.
Employees want a sense of purpose
Just as your mission statement makes an impact on consumer sentiment, the same can be said about employee sentiment.
According to a recent Gallup poll Gen Z and millennials (who make up nearly half of the full-time workforce in the US) value belonging to a company with a strong moral compass. They appreciate ethical leadership, and they want to know that their own work has a positive impact on the world at large.
The more effectively human resources and the rest of the leadership team communicates the company’s mission to rank and file employees, the better.
But it doesn’t stop there. It is equally important to put your money where your mouth is, so to speak. If your company mission places value on the environment, do you give your employees opportunities to act upon these values in their everyday work life?
The most effective mission statements are clear and actionable, from the products a company makes all the way down to the food in the employee cafeteria.
How to write an effective mission statement without a lot of headache
Understanding mission statements is one thing. Actually sitting down to write your company’s own mission statement is quite another.
But if you take the time to do it right, the process is a really useful exercise. Think of this as a chance to clarify and fine tune your purpose so you can point the company in the right direction for years to come.
Brainstorming your company mission statement
To get started, gather your leadership team and brainstorm answers to these four questions. If you are the solo founder of a fledgling company, gather key stakeholders or a handful of your professional mentors instead.
Aim for a short paragraph on each question.
- Why does our company exist?
- What value do our products or services bring to consumers?
- What core beliefs guide our work?
- What makes our company different, better, or more inspiring than our competitors?
After you brainstorm answers to these questions, review your answers and highlight the concepts that are central to your company.
If this brainstorming discussion took place with a group of people, now is the time to send one or two individuals off to winnow the answers down to a couple of sentences.
Task this pair with writing several drafts of a mission statement, so the final decision makers have choices to work with.
This group process might seem cumbersome, but remember, your company mission statement is a core document. It should reflect the thought processes of as many stakeholders as possible.
Finalizing your work
After you land on a mission statement, do one final check to make sure it meets these criteria:
Plausibility: Although your mission statement is big-picture, do make sure it ultimately ties back to your everyday business operations. At least in a broad sense.
Readability: No corporate speak or jargon. Avoid unnecessarily big words or complex sentences. Keep it simple.
- Voice: Now is not the time to be dry and boring. Use language that is active and compelling. Your mission statement should reflect the unique voice and culture of your company.
Pro-tip: Give your mission statement more reach by creating both a text and video version. The video can be simple, just an eye-catching background, animated text, and a soundtrack.
Include your mission statement video as part of hiring announcements or other HR video communications. Or, send it over to your marketing team to use as a Facebook cover, website content, and more.
16 of the best mission statement examples
How do other leading companies tackle their mission statements? We searched far and wide for the best mission statement examples.
The Seattle-based coffee giant originated in 1971 and has since become ubiquitous around the world.
Starbucks mission statement: Inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time.
Why it works: We touched on the Starbucks mission statement earlier, but we’ll elaborate more here. This mission statement works well for two reasons: it is ambitious without being overreaching, and it uses down-to-earth language.
Inspiring and nurturing the human spirit isn’t directly related to coffee. But considering the role the company played in reviving coffee house culture (at least in the US), the human spirit and a sense of community doesn’t seem like too big of a stretch. The second part of the statement is exceedingly tangible. It paints a small-scale picture of the company and its work.
2. Honest Company
Honest Company made headlines when it went public in mid-2021, with founder Jessica Alba as the youngest-ever Latina to list a company on the New York Stock Exchange.
Honest Company mission statement: Meaningful transparency and thoughtful design. We’re on a mission to change the world, one product at a time.
Why it works: As a company committed to creating “clean” baby products, a mission of meaningful transparency and thoughtful design is two-fold. It is a necessary part of their business practices, and it also speaks to consumers looking for a higher standard in their products.
Being on a “mission to change the world” might be a bit of a stretch. But considering the baby products market is projected to be worth $88.72 billion US dollars worldwide by 2026, maybe it isn’t such a huge stretch after all.
The outdoor apparel and equipment company is known for its social and environmental activism.
Patagonia mission statement: We’re in business to save our home planet.
Why it works: Patagonia’s mission statement is oft-repeated as a good example, for a reason. Although it is wildly loftly, the company really does put their money where their mouth is.
Patagonia originally began as a scrappy company specializing in steel pitons for rock climbing. But when the founders realized their gear damaged the rock face they so loved, they pivoted to low-impact aluminum chocks.
We’re not sure when they wrote their current mission statement. But from the moment Patagonia pivoted to aluminum chocks, it became an environment-first company with far-reaching efforts built into every aspect of their business practices.
The software giant is currently valued at approaching $2 trillion.
Microsoft mission statement: To empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.
Why it works: Notice, Microsoft’s mission statement makes no mention of software, or PCs, or technology at any level.
This isn’t to say the company is focused on something other than tech. But by concentrating on the “why” not the “what” of the business, this mission statement remains flexible and agile. No matter where the market moves, Microsoft aims to increase productivity with it’s products.
Square’s point-of-sale and online payment platforms came out on top during the pandemic. But even before that time, the company was a leader in POS products.
Square mission statement: Everyone should be able to participate and thrive in the economy.
Why it works: The company’s extended mission statement goes on to say: No one should be left out of the economy because the cost is too great or the technology too complex.
Similar to Microsoft’s mission statement, Square leaves room for agility here. It aims to produce simple, low-cost payment products, regardless of where the market takes it. We also appreciate Square’s focus on who the company serves, and why.
Ah, Pinterest. Inspiration central for crafters everywhere, but also a valuable tool for businesses looking for new marketing platforms. Pinterest video, anyone?
Pinterest mission statement: Bring everyone the inspiration to create a life they love.
Why it works: More than the words it uses, we appreciate how Pinterest discusses the ways in which its mission evolved along with the company.
According to Pinterest, the platform was originally conceived as “a tool to help people collect the things they were passionate about online.” It quickly became clear that people most enjoy using the site to get inspiration from others. And with this, Pinterest’s current mission was born.
Fun fact: According to Target’s website, 75% of the US population lives within 10 miles of a store. And why not? Everyone loves a trip to good old Target.
Target mission statement: Help all families discover the joy of everyday life.
Why it works: This mission statement is equal parts broad and super-specific, depending on how you look at it.
It speaks to Target’s affordable products, geared toward everyday people. But this mission statement can also easily extend to the company’s focus on community giving, corporate responsibility, and creating a positive employee experience.
8. Southwest Airlines
The smallest of the “big four” US airlines, Southwest is known for its friendly crew and affordable ticket prices.
Southwest Airlines mission statement: Connect people to what’s important in their lives through friendly, reliable, and low-cost air travel.
Why it works: Maybe you can chalk it up to the company’s southern roots, but Southwest consistently ranks high for customer service. Its mission of connecting people to what’s important in their lives touches on this value.
Southwest sees itself as doing more than just moving people from point A to point B.
The Swedish audio streaming platform currently has 356 million users across 178 markets.
Spotify mission statement: To unlock the potential of human creativity — by giving a million creative artists the opportunity to live off their art and billions of fans the opportunity to enjoy and be inspired by it.
Why it works: We included this example because, technically speaking, this is a mission statement and a vision statement combined into one.
When you write your mission statement, it’s important not to confuse the two. But for marketing purposes, wrapping a mission statement and a vision statement up into one shiny package sometimes works very well.
This one needs no introduction. After all, to Google is officially listed in Merriam-Webster as a transitive verb. If that isn’t a sign of a powerful company, we don’t know what is.
Google mission statement: Organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.
Why it works: Google’s effectiveness is centered around its algorithms. At its heart, an algorithm is a system for organizing information. So Google pretty much nailed it here.
We also appreciate the focus on making information “universally accessible and useful.” Google is arguably the most powerful search engine in the world, yet it is simple enough for anyone to use. Universally accessible and useful sums that up nicely.
The Oregon-based footwear, apparel, and sports equipment company was founded in 1964 and is now synonymous with athletics.
Nike mission statement: Bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world. If you have a body, you are an athlete.
Why it works: We admit, we like the asterisk more than we like the actual mission statement. Nike outfits some of the biggest names in professional sports, but its mission specifies “if you have a body, you are an athlete.” The word “inclusion” doesn’t appear in the company’s mission statement, but it says it — and then some — in so many words.
Founded as a drugstore in 1963 by brothers Stanley and Sidney Goldstein and partner Ralph Hoagland, CVS bills itself as a “health care innovation company that is reinventing pharmacy.”
CVS mission statement: Helping people on their path to better health.
Why it works: This isn’t one of the most inventive mission statements, and it also seems somewhat obvious for a drugstore. But CVS embodies its mission in some pretty bold ways. In 2014, it became the first national pharmacy in the US to stop selling cigarettes and tobacco products.
13. Harley Davidson
Harley-Davidson was founded in Milwaukee in 1903, and it remains one of the most popular motorcycle brands.
Harley Davidson mission statement: More than building machines, we stand for the timeless pursuit of adventure. Freedom for the soul.
Why it works: Harley-Davidson is known not only for its iconic design and distinctive engine sound, but also for the unique subculture of Harley riders.
Although Harley enthusiasts might balk at the idea, the company is as much a lifestyle brand as it is a motorcycle manufacturer. And that lifestyle delivers just what is promised in the company’s mission statement: adventure and freedom. And a whole lot of leather.
What started as a single product — the Dove Beauty Bar — grew into a major line of personal care products used by women around the world.
Dove mission statement: Help women everywhere develop a positive relationship with the way they look, helping them raise their self-esteem and realize their full potential.
Why it works: The company’s mission statement combines seamlessly with their vision statement, which says, “We believe beauty should be a source of confidence, and not anxiety.”
Dove delivers on this promise with its far-reaching body positivity campaigns, research initiatives, and self-esteem projects.
Livestrong is a nonprofit organization that supports people living with or affected by cancer.
Livestrong mission statement: Which everyday cancer problem will we fix today?
Why it works: Because selling products and services to consumers isn’t part of the equation, nonprofit mission statements differ from those of their for-profit counterparts. But we included Livestrong here, because it has such a unique mission statement.
Very few mission statements are in the form of a question. This was very intentional on the part of Livestrong. As the company puts it on their mission page, “We have a Mission Question, not a Mission Statement, because we believe that we can only achieve the best solutions through asking the right questions.”
The media company solicits keynote-style talks from some of the best minds and makes these available, for free, via video and through their podcast,
Ted mission statement: Spread ideas.
Why it works: This is another company mission statement that makes the rounds on the best-of lists. You can almost imagine the lengthy thought process that transpired as TED execs winnowed their mission statement down to just two words. Two words! But that’s all they need.
This mission statement doesn’t say they are “creating opportunities for…” or “gathering the brightest minds to…” They do all of these things as well. But at the very core of the organization, their mission is to spread ideas.
In those two words, they say it all.
Give your mission statement wings with Biteable
Is your mission statement falling flat? Give it wings by turning mission inspiration into video sensation. With Biteable, you can do it all in less time than it takes to ask “What is our purpose, anyway?”
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