A company’s mission statement is an explanation of their reason to exist, establishing their purpose to for their customers and also for its own workers. “A mission acts as a lantern, anchor and, sometimes as a conscience,” said Guy Kawasaki. Mission statements vary between every company because of their business, the nature of the company and other factors but, at the end of the day, the basic message has to be what the company does, how they do it and for whom they are doing it.
The mission statement is simple, but at the same time that simplicity is what makes it easy to make a mistake when you’re defining it. Some of the most common mistakes that I’ve seen while evaluating companies existing marketing plans include:
The mission statement existing just on paper.
Mission statement must be the company’s north and be present in its development strategy. It is essential that clients, providers and workers know the importance of that brief description in the way that company works.
The mission statement seems too amazing.
By trying to avoid the previous mistake it is possible to make another one: developing a mission statement on a very idealistic base that could be very difficult to accomplish.
One person is responsible for the mission statement.
The workers and partners make the company what it is, so it is important that they can be a part of the procedure of delivering the mission statement. That way the mission will include the perspective of all the people involved.
A boring mission statement.
A mission statement without energy and spark is kind of useless; it must be attractive and catch people’s attention and be able to motivate your own workers. It is normal that you fall in this mistake by making a long mission statement. “We’re not selling bricks. We’re selling imagination,” said Lars Silberbauer, Global Senior Director of Social Media and Video of LEGO, showcasing the intention of not only selling a product, but also selling fun.
Excessive use of technical words.
With the objective of impressing clients with technical vocabulary, you could turn the mission statement into something hard to understand for regular people and that leads to frighten potential customers.
Now that we know what to avoid, here’s what should be focused on:
Be sure to understand the difference between mission and vision.
It is very common to find mission and vision statements of different entities and it is very important to understand the difference–a mission is focus on present time while the vision is on the future.
Dedicate time to develop the mission statement.
Something so important that can define your company’s future needs a considerable period of time to develop the idea with your partners and workers. Don’t do it in a few minutes and by yourself.
Feel free to make some improvements.
Once you have your company’s mission statement, you could make some changes if you consider them necessary in order to get closer to the concept that you have in mind.
Make it unique.
Your company is unique and its mission statement must be it too, so don’t try generic efforts–this may take time, but you can do it. Use your own perceptions of life to provide a much deeper impact. As Neil Patel, the famous digital marketing, says: “Sometimes when you follow your dream, it opens the door for others to be able to follow theirs.” It’s all about connection.
The acronym noted by the U.S. Navy back in 1960, “Keep it simple, stupid” also applies to creating a mission statement. Sometimes simplicity is the best way to send a message. Actually, the biggest companies in the world use their mission statement as a slogan and they present everywhere at all times.
The mission statement is not a requirement only for the company’s website; it is a concept that defines the goals and personality of your company, so it is important to pick the right words to send such a key message.