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Is Your Mission Statement Too Generic? 6 Ways To Maximize Its Impact

Updated: Jul 19, 2021

Photo by Gabrielle Henderson on Unsplash

What is it about a brand that turns us into die-hard fans? We find ourselves delaying our purchases or driving an extra 15 minutes so we can purchase that particular product or service. It's almost like a special kind of magic that keeps us coming back to the same brands over and over again.

From the moment we see their logo, something about it makes us want that product with that logo. What differentiates these companies from most is the mission. It makes us feel something when we hear their name or see their logo. They make us think we're part of something more important than just selling stuff or making money, even if we're unsure why.

Why Do Mission Statements Matter

A well-written mission statement can reflect a business' purpose in a concise yet meaningful way that is easy to understand and serves as a reminder of the organization's purpose daily. It can also help shape the company's culture and ensure that it holds to its values.

A mission statement is a formal declaration of your core purpose. The reason you exist, the reason why you provide value to the world. It is this purpose or mission that will guide every decision you make as a business owner. When composing a mission statement, it's vital that it inspires and resonates with your customers. It's also critical that it communicates your brand personality and culture to current and new employees. This is crucial information to help you identify your strategic goals and guide you as you put yourself out into the world.

Review these 6 ways to strengthen your mission statement to maximize your venture's impact in case it's too generic.

1. Who Wants What You Got

Before you can write your mission statement, you need to understand why someone would buy your product or service. Take a moment to envision a real person and ask yourself, what does your product or service do for them that no one else does? Why do they want it, how does it make them feel, and how do they find what you sell? Often, this is better known as a buyer persona. Keep this in mind while creating your mission statement and refer to it to ensure you develop something concrete and concise.

2. Be Mission Driven

The companies that last are the mission-driven ones. They find the human value in the work that they do. Essentially, customers are seeking out companies with a purpose. A consumer survey by Deloitte found that sure price and quality remained the most significant factors behind customers' purchases. However, "Purpose-oriented companies have higher productivity and growth rates, along with a more satisfied workforce who stay longer with them."

3. Define What Your Mission Does For Your Customer

This is a great place to use the information you collected from who wants what you got to define how you impact your customer. How do you do good in the world? Share that. Narrow down your specialty, also known as your unique value proposition. Be sure what you claim is true, and you can deliver it.

4. Define What Your Mission Does For Your Employees

We already know that companies that are mission-based with a clear purpose receive a more substantial buy-in. How do you incorporate and display your company culture through your mission statement? For example, some companies claim to promote a diverse work culture. If that's something you do, how can you be the differentiator?

5. Define Your Company Values

Values and beliefs are your compasses. When these are clear, it'll be easier for you to make strategic decisions for the direction of your company. What's important to you, your customers, and your stakeholders? People tend to buy, work for and do business with people who stand for something. What do you stand for?

6. Review, Trim, Refine, & Perfect

Once you've followed these steps, you might find yourself with paragraphs of notes. Remember, mission statements are short when they're front-facing. You might consider designing one for your internal team, but customers and outsiders need to be able to read it and connect to it easily. Your mission statement has to be functional. It has to be inspirational, cut out general terms, and try to be unique. Share it with others to receive feedback. Most importantly, remember that you can revise because as you grow and iterate, so does your mission and vision.

The best mission and vision statements work for the entire organization. They become a unifying focal point that encourages a consistent brand experience and behavior throughout the organization. Great mission statements are specific, inspiring, and action-oriented. They help the leaders of an organization to focus on what matters most in their daily work. The definition of every word counts-- choose words that reflect the passion and spirit you approach your business.

If you need a bit of inspiration, read about these powerful mission statements.

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