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How to Craft a Mission Statement [That’s Authentic to Your Brand]

by | Jan 8, 2020

Let’s say you entered a raffle for an all-expenses-paid vacation to a tropical paradise. And shortly after you get the call you’ve been waiting for: 

 

“Congratulations! You’ve won the Tropical Excursion Package! Get ready to pack your bags and depart from the airport tomorrow!”

You respond, “Excellent! Where am I going?!”

“An amazing sunny paradise with palm trees, white sand, and clear waters with spectacular sunsets!”

A confused knot begins to form between your eyebrows. “So…Bali? The Maldives? Hawaii?”

“It’ll be the best vacation you’ve ever had! Restful, peaceful, romantic. Make sure to pack a swimsuit!”

This all sounds great….“But where am I going?” Now you’re starting to get a little exasperated.

“You’re going on the best vacation of your life! It’ll be a life-altering experience.”

And this is where your excitement begins to falter when you’re not getting a clear idea of where you’re going.

 

Many businesses do the exact same thing when they have a mission statement that reads: 

“Encouragement of an ever-deeper understanding and enjoyment of modern and contemporary art by the diverse local, national, and international audiences that it serves.” MoMA

 

What does this mean? How do they do this? Why do they do this?

 

Businesses get caught up in writing a mission statement that they think their customer wants to hear, rather than what is authentic to their brand.

They end up with a mission statement that makes their internal team go, huh?

And in the fast-paced world of today where time is money and people have increasingly shorter attention spans, having to think really hard to understand something generally results in getting skipped over. 

 

Your business cannot afford to have an unclear mission statement. 

 

As a small business you’re fighting hard to differentiate yourself from the pack and earn a living.

As a large business, you’re trying to rally your troops to be more productive so your business can grow and beat the competition. 

 

If you don’t have a clear mission statement, you’re just going around in circles, wondering why your business isn’t more successful. 

 

But writing a good mission statement doesn’t happen in the blink of an eye. So where to start? 

 

Identify Your Core Values 

 

Core values feed into your mission statement and your mission statement reflects your core values. 

 

Start by answering the question: Why did I start my business?

Don’t worry about making it sound eloquent and put together. Write the truth. 

 

Then answer the question: What do I hope to achieve with this business?

This goes beyond making millions of dollars. If you have a good product or service, you’re generally alleviating a person’s pain point or adding to their happiness. What are you doing for your client?

 

Identify the values from your answers and expand the list to values you believe your business exemplifies or that you want it to have. Think of your values as what your business supports and also what it won’t support. 

 

From that list, prioritize three. Why three? Because three is easy to remember, adds enough variety for growth without being overwhelming, and makes you focus your brand

 

From the three, pick the one that trumps all others. If you were remembered by the public for this one value, which would it be? Then rank the other two after your primary value. 

 

You now have your three core values. 

 

These values also identify potential points of relatability with your target audience, give your employees a framework in how to act, and an expectation of what it’s like working with you. 

 

For example, Hobby Lobby demonstrates its Christian values by being closed on Sundays.

Whole Foods Market creates a unique, inviting, and educational experience in their stores.

At Benu Creative we believe in doing business relationally, educating and serving others, and promoting a high quality of work and life. 

Because we believe so strongly in providing honest and accurate information for branding and marketing, we create free educational content such as our blogs, webinars, and speaking events.

Now that you’ve identified your core values, you can use them to create your mission statement. 

 

Mission Statement vs. Vision Statement

 

A mission statement is a description of your business’s purpose for existing. 

It’s a unifying goal for your employees and a summation of your business to the public.

A mission statement should be concise, descriptive, and clear. It’s a vital tool in guiding business decisions and should be thought out carefully. It may take several iterations to finalize your mission statement.

 

In contrast, a vision statement describes what your business hopes to achieve in the future – Its ultimate goal. It’s your business’s aspiration for its audience, or even the world, once its mission is complete.

Although it’s also an important tool for your business, it can come later in its development or be combined into the mission statement.

 

A vision statement might look like Alzheimer’s Association: “A world without Alzheimer’s disease.”

Whereas a mission statement looks like: “Our purpose is to nourish people and the planet. We’re a purpose-driven company that aims to set the standards of excellence for food retailers. Quality is a state of mind at Whole Foods Market.”

 

Drafting Your Mission Statement

 

In the basic sense, your mission statement should comprise of why your business exists, what it does, how it does it, and who it does it for. 

 

Mission Statement = Why + What + How + Who

 

Let’s look back at the Whole Foods Market Example. 

Their “why” is – “a purpose-driven company” with quality as a “state of mind.” Not perfect, should be more specific, but their name is somewhat self-explanatory. 

Their “what” is – “nourish people and the planet.”

Their “how” is – “setting standards of excellence for food retailers.”

Their “who” is – people and the planet

“Quality is a state of mind” is their main core value that they decided to state in their mission statement. 

 

Now it’s your turn.

Aren’t you glad you answered the “why” question earlier? In a way, you also answered the “what” and “how.” Let’s simplify them. 

In one sentence answer each of the following questions: 

  1. Why does your business exist?
  2. What does it do?
  3. How does it do it?
  4. Who does it do it for?

Combine these answers and take out repetitive and unnecessary information. They don’t necessarily need to go in order, but all points should be conveyed. Make sure your mission statement conveys your three core values. 

Test your new mission statement by extracting out the why, what, how, and who. Ensure it answers these questions, even if subtly, and that it’s put in simple, easy to remember language. 

Finesse and get feedback. 

 

If you had to memorize your mission statement, could you? Could your employees?

 

At Benu Creative we’ve already gone through two iterations of our mission statement that have been made public. Our previous one was: 

 

“We believe purposeful work is about living out your true design.”

“We exist to help individuals and businesses discover the true purpose of their work. When you work for what you believe you become more than your occupation. When you live and work from a place of purpose you enrich others’ lives. When you enrich others’ lives you create a successful business.”

 

We utilized the process we outlined here and refined our mission statement. 

Our new mission statement is: 

 

“We exist to help businesses discover who they are and to promote a relational and ethical working environment that doesn’t compromise quality of work or life.”

 

See the difference?

 

Use Your Mission Statement 

 

To recap, a mission statement is a description of your business’s purpose for existing. It’s necessary for your business because it’s the north star guiding all your business’s decisions.

It’s not just a string of words, it’s how you run your business.

Now that you have a mission statement, use it! Don’t just hide it on your company about page. 

It’s the basis for your company culture. Make sure you and your team live it

 

Happy writing!

Cheers,Signature Gabriel
Mission Statement FAQs
What is a good mission statement?
A good mission statement should be concise, descriptive, and clear. It’s a unifying goal for your employees and summation of your business to the public. It should be simple and easy to remember – one or two sentences is generally best for most businesses.
What’s the difference between a mission statement and a vision statement?
A mission statement is a description of your business’s purpose for existing. It’s a unifying goal for your employees and summation of your business to the public. For example, our mission statement at Benu Creative is: “We exist to help businesses discover who they are and to promote a relational and ethical working environment that doesn’t compromise quality of work or life.”In contrast, a vision statement describes what your business hopes to achieve in the future – Its ultimate goal. It’s your business’s aspiration for its audience or even the world once its mission is complete. A vision statement might look like: Alzheimer’s Association: “A world without Alzheimer’s disease.”
How do I write a good mission statement?
In the basic sense, your mission statement should comprise of why your business exists, what it does, how it does it, and who it does it for. Start by identifying your top three core values. Then answer the following questions: 
      1. Why does your business exist?
      2. What does it do?
      3. How does it do it?
      4. Who does it do it for?
Download our worksheet for a step-by-step process on how to write a good mission statement.

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We’re passionate about helping businesses find their true online identity.

Found this info helpful? Let us know.

If you’re short on time or would like any additional help showing the world what you’ve got, let’s connect.

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Benu Creative Kelly Shields

Kelly Shields

Creative Lead | Brand Architect

Kelly Shields is an entrepreneur, educator, and equestrian. She strategically and creatively positions businesses to become successful through branding. In a former life, Kelly was a 3D Apparel Design Specialist for Browzwear, a global 3D software company helping lead the advancement of 3D technology in the apparel industry.

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READY FOR THE NEXT STEP?

We’re passionate about helping businesses find their true online identity.

Found this info helpful? Let us know.

If you’re short on time or would like any additional help showing the world what you’ve got, let’s connect.

 

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