You have this amazing business empire you’re going to build. The idea keeps you up at night, and wakes you early in the morning. You can’t move fast enough to get it off the ground! You meet someone and you want to tell them about it. 

A mission statement is the first thing you should define when you’re building a new business or brand. It’s the compass that will guide you in the right direction when you’re making decisions that directly affect your company. If you’re in the early stages of building your brand and haven’t created one yet– now is the time! 

Are you so extremely brand new to the game that you’re wondering, What is a mission statement? Don’t worry, I’ve got you. 

[Side note: I’ll be using the terms business and brand interchangeably, by the way, so don’t be confused.]

A mission statement has the following key elements that sets the foundation of your business:

  • Identifies your products or services, and what sets your business apart
  • Outlines the function of your business
  • Shines a light on your brand’s attitudes and company culture, and aims to inspire employees to uphold these beliefs when they’re on the job

Having the above elements written into a clear, concise statement will make your future brand decision making that much easier. Think about what you want your brand’s priorities to be. What creates the heartbeat of your business? 

One thing that’s important to point out is that it doesn’t matter if your business is big (like Whole Foods) or small (like a local clothing boutique), a brand’s mission statement is necessary for all business sizes to let outsiders get a clear image and understanding of what your brand is, how it operates, and what your purpose is. 

Let’s dissect what makes a solid mission statement, shall we?

 

First, You’ll need to…

IDENTIFY WHAT SERVICES & PRODUCTS YOUR BUSINESS PROVIDES

 

 

When you are defining your brand, whether it’s a service or product, it’s important to narrow it down to simple terms and pinpoint what makes it special. 

Simple and straightforward is preferred! When you’re explaining your game-changer business to friends and potential clients/buyers, you need that elevator pitch to be short so they don’t get lost when you’re explaining it. You’ll find that people glaze over if it goes one second too long, and you don’t want that. You want a captivated audience– and if they want more info, they’ll ask for the deets and that is the opportunity to deep dive into further details. I really like how Whole Foods is super straight to the point in their mission statement– it goes into more depth on its website, but they highlighted each key component in bullet form. Zero room for confusion. For identifying its products and services, they have this:

 We sell the highest quality natural and organic foods. 

We satisfy and delight our customers. 

Here, the brand explains that it doesn’t just sell food. The food is held to the highest quality, and is natural and organic. This makes Whole Foods more specialized than your everyday corner grocery store. The brand is immediately more elevated by adding this standout detail about its product. 

The next point, Whole Foods lets us know it aims to “satisfy and delight” its customers. When the company buys a product, it makes sure it brings a wanted product that its customers are excited about– not just the first thing they could grab to make a quick profit. It’s a thoughtfully driven approach to create an enhanced consumer experience. 

When you sit down and write about your product or service, think about what makes your brand stand out the most. Is it something your target audience cares about? The more fine tuned it is for your audience, the better. Are your products handmade and one of a kind? Consumers notice the differentiating factors and will keep coming back for more because hey, they are your target, aren’t they?!

 

NEXT…

TELL YOUR AUDIENCE HOW YOUR BUSINESS OPERATES

The average consumer today is more in tune with corporate responsibility and genuinely cares to know how a company operates. You may be saying, “I’m just a small business– that doesn’t really apply to me.” Guess what? It does matter! You need to let your audience know how you operate. 

I walked into a cute, little boutique the other day and all over the store was handcrafted jewelry from female entrepreneurs in Africa. The entire business revolves around supporting these women. How cool! If they had not differentiated themselves in this way and told me, I would’ve thought it was just another jewelry store. Now that I know about its core focus and operations, it makes me think of this boutique more and I’m more likely to shop here than a neighboring jewelry store. 

If you are focused on your employees’ growth and team-building, let your audience know! Do you focus on decreasing your carbon footprint by “50%” by a certain year? Let them know you’re making an effort to save the world! Your target audience may be more likely to make a purchase through you because they know you take care of your employees, or because you care about the environment. It does matter.

A glimpse into the values and principles that your brand lives by can be an opportunity to showcase a side of you that your audience may not realize at first glance. Bringing it to the forefront not only highlights a positive foundational value, but also holds your brand accountable. When you review company policies and initiatives, this will remind you of the core belief that you hold your brand to. Are you still taking the right steps to uphold this promise? It’s important to keep your brand in check, because if you don’t– your consumers will.

Here is Whole Foods’ operational section:

We promote team member growth and happiness.

We practice win-win partnerships with our suppliers.

Whole Foods makes it clear that it’s all about promoting/growing its employees. They don’t want to be just another job to clock in and out of, they want to promote happiness. I’m loving the positivity here.

They also practice positive relationships with its suppliers. Instead of using and abusing its suppliers like some big companies do to save a buck, they are stating the respect level they uphold and want it to not only benefit Whole Foods, but also the supplier. Makes you feel warm and fuzzy about the business you’re buying from, doesn’t it? Knowing that they stand by this statement will probably make you think more highly about purchasing from them when given the choice.

 

THEN…

PUT A SPOTLIGHT ON YOUR BRAND’S PURPOSE

Remember that heartbeat I mentioned earlier? I’m about to go Marie Kondo on you. What sparks joy for your company? What is its purpose? This segment of your mission statement is important because it can serve as a moral compass that is bigger than the actual product. It can also be paired with something simple and practical  like wanting to make a profit, but more about making everyone prosperous which is a win-win. You’re a business– so you do need to make money, no shame in that. Maybe your company’s purpose is to build women’s confidence by selling high quality, comfortable fashion-forward shoes. Perhaps your purpose is to support small businesses by providing free business law consulting services. 

Here is Whole Foods’ brand purpose: 

We Create profits and prosperity.

We care about our communities and the environment.

Whole foods’ highlights that they are creating profits and prosperity, which in this context can be applied to its suppliers, employees, and its own brand as a whole which is a win-win. It also brings up that they care about its communities and environment, which consumers that shop at Whole Foods tend to care deeply about. Who doesn’t like supporting local communities and striving to make the environment a better place? 

So you can see it altogether, here is Whole Foods’ mission statement as a whole (see what I did there? Okay, I’ll stop…): 

We sell the highest quality natural and organic foods. 

We satisfy and delight our customers. 

We promote team member growth and happiness.

We practice win-win partnerships with our suppliers.

We create profits and prosperity.

We care about our communities and the environment.

Pretty cool, right? Like I said, it goes more into detail on its website but these are the key highlighted elements. You can easily tell someone about your business with a bulleted list like this, and they’d get a clear picture of what your brand stands for. 

IT’S SUPER IMPORTANT TO…

LET YOUR AUDIENCE KNOW ABOUT YOUR MISSION

Create a mission statement that your brand is proud of, and let your audience know about it! It will keep you grounded to what your brands foundational beliefs are, and will keep you holding yourself accountable. If you don’t, your shoppers will! 

I once had to do research on a brand to figure out new ways to market them. It was an amazing product– but the sales were particularly lower than its target goal. Deep diving into it, I found that it regularly volunteers with its employees to clean up local beaches. How awesome?! I thought. I’d totally buy their product after knowing this fun fact.

Sadly, the brand didn’t put any effort into letting its audience know. I only found out because I dug deep into its website and found a teeny, tiny link leading me to a page about it. Such a missed opportunity! If the brand had added that it puts time and money into environmental efforts, it could have had a positive impact on target audience’s thoughts towards the brand and for future sales. 

Also, who wouldn’t want to highlight the most positive details about your brand and how awesome you are. This is an element to show off and put your best foot forward! 

DON’T FORGET TO…

REVIEW YOUR MISSION STATEMENT FREQUENTLY

A key take away from this when you’re building your mission statement, is to keep it clear and concise. Really think through what your brand is, how you operate as a whole, and your purpose for operating this way. What is your overall impact? If it’s something that isn’t visible to the eye, is it something your target audience may value? Highlighting these key principles in a quick simple statement will set your brand apart and can be a contributor to building sales when your shopper is making a decision between your brand and competitors. Don’t just do it for the sales though, do it because you truly believe in it. Things will fall into place easier and your passion towards the purpose will shine through naturally.

While creating a mission statement,  keep in mind that it can always be fine tuned and changed, as you and your brand evolve over time. It’s a foundational part of your brand, and should always be revisited when making brand decisions. Something you should ask yourself when making these decisions is “does this align with my mission statement? How can we align it with our brand principles?” If you’re not asking yourself these questions regularly and you take a turn away from it, your consumer will be sure to hold you accountable. Trust me, you’ll want to stay ahead of the game here.  

Reviewing your mission statement also keeps the brand morale and passion alive! Striving towards helping people become prosperous and happy at work, selling an amazing product that elevates the daily life of your consumers, operating your business in a way that delivers a positive impact on a cause bigger than you like the environment can get you excited about work everyday. It’s important to keep this at the heart of what you do everyday and to remind yourself why you’re doing this.

I hope this inspires you to jot down all the amazing highlights about your brand. I recommend you get a piece of paper or dry erase board and go to town with words that describe your product, important operational measures and values that are important to you as a brand. As you start writing them down, it’ll become clear what gets you excited about the brand and product as a whole– and the rest will flow easily into an incredible mission statement that will set the brand’s foundation for success. 

What key components does your brand have in its mission statement? Show off the deets below in the comments section– I’d love to hear about them 🙂

 

hi there, I'm blaire!

I’m an expert at marketing & entrepreneurship, and completely obsessed with helping business owners transform their dreams into booming success stories. Sometimes it just takes an extra set of hands and another person’s perspective to make the business magic happen. Contact me today and let's talk shop! 

 

 

1 Comment

  1. Penny of Brown

    thank you for the information and the motivation. this is exciting!

    Reply

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