Every brand needs a mission statement. You can consider your mission statement as the address of your friend’s house when you arrive and in a foreign country for the first time to meet him. With out it, you are lost.
In this article, we talk about how to go about creating a brand mission statement.
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Your mission statement answers questions such as:
- Why is your brand in business
- The moral and/or ethical stand of your company
- How you want to be perceived by the public
- How you intend to change this world through your brand
Most people believe that a company’s mission is to make money. While this may be true to a certain extent, most companies have a purpose that goes beyond just making money. In fact, it is such companies that thrive and hand around longer. Brands and companies that are conceived purely to make money do not do so well in the long term since the passion of a purpose and the reason of existing is lacking.
Where do you start?
If you have a clear purpose for starting your brand then congratulations – you are one of the few lucky ones. For most entrepreneurs the reason or purpose is not so clear. They may have strong marketing and sales related reason – of solving a problem or filling a market gap – but those are not the purpose of your brand. They are what your company does.
If you have already worked on your brand strategy, then a great place to start is either the brand promise or your brand story. In fact a lot of companies take inspiration from their brand stories directly.
If you do not have a brand story, I strongly recommend you start from there. A brand story will help you create your brand vision and your mission statement. If you do not want to do that then you can start by listing the core elements you want to communicate.
These core elements can be things like what motivates you, what your passions are, how you want to change the world and so on. By listing them down – however audacious they may sound – you will start to see the pieces of your mission statement.
What criteria do you look at?
Once you have the core elements listed and are ready to write your mission statement, consider the following criteria:
Make sure that you mission statement addresses your passion. Passion is what drives this world and all great companies were started to address a passion their founders had.
Moral or Ethical Stand
Don’t be afraid to take a moral or ethical stand. Your brand should stand for something. Sometimes this may have nothing to do with the service or product you want to provide the market. Remember, your brand should not be tied to your product or service. Your brand is a living, breathing entity that has a life of it’s own.
Your public perception
Your mission statement must dictate how your want the public to perceive your brand. This will ensure that your brand maintains integrity through thick and thin and does not succumb to the whims of the moment.
This one is a difficult one but I urge you to think long and deep and come up with something that you want to change in this world through your brand. This could be through your services or products directly or indirectly.
Does our mission statement align with your brand strategy?
As your write your mission statement and fine tune it, always make sure that it is aligned with your brand promise, brand story and your overall brand strategy. This is very critical.
Your brand promise is not simply a description of what the company does or offers to its customers. It is what it promises them beyond the service or product on offer. It is the promise of how it will deliver value to the market place.
Your brand story is something that will create this perception in your target markets minds that will translate into loyalty down the line. Of course eventually into conversions and sales. We understand stories readily. Stories actually make us imagine and arrived at our own conclusions. This is very important to understand. Why do we like stories in the first place? We like stores because stores allow us to think through and formulate our own opinions. To formulate our own conclusions about a particular belief or a particular event. So we feel more liberated when we hear stories. We also align ourselves with the right kind of stories.
How o Create The Perfect Brand Mission Statement
Does your business have a mission statement? While this may seem rather unnecessary when compared to many other, more visible elements of a brand, writing one can help you define your brand and your purpose in a way that nothing else can replace. In fact, having a mission statement and sticking to it can make all the difference in a competitive market. Here are a few ideas that can get you started on a mission statement that is perfect for your business.
1. Reflect. The first step is to think not just about the mission statement, but about your business in general. What makes your company different from other companies? What makes you different from other business owners? Think not just in terms of products, but of values and attitudes—the things that will set you apart as a brand. You may want to look at other business’s mission statements, but don’t copy them. This is 100% about you and your business.
2. Keep it simple. One paragraph is sufficient; if you can’t say your mission in a few sentences, you need to hone it more and focus on the few aspects that are the most relevant to you. Keep in mind that that being overly detailed or long winded will detract from the main ideas while limiting your growth in ways that cannot at the present be foreseen.
3. Focus on the timeless. Account for change in your products and customers. For instance, if you own a coffee shop, you may someday want to offer other hot beverages. This makes ‘coffee’ an inappropriate and restrictive word in your mission statement, even if it is your current number one product. Instead, think of the type of experience you are trying to offer and the problems you are solving in your customers’ lives. This type of information is likely to withstand the test of time and stay with you through years of success.
4. Ask for feedback. Ask friends and family whether they think your mission statement is clear and concise. Be sure to also include people who have worked with your company and are aware of your unique business culture, as they will be able to give feedback as to whether your statement really fits others’ perceptions of your company. However, take all advice with a grain of salt.
5. Display it prominently. Your mission statement should fit your brand, so make it as visible as any other brand element. Once you are sure that you have a mission statement that works, post it prominently in your locations and on your company website where customers and employees can see it.
A good mission statement is not just a piece of paper that will collect dust in a corner of your office; it is a well thought out masterpiece that defines your entire business, past, present, and future. It is an idea for employees and customers to identify with, and an easy answer when you get the inevitable questions about what you do for a living.
Ready to get started on your brand mission statement? You can also create a brand manifesto that can act as a mission statement. Here are some mission statements of big brands you can review and take notes.
If you need any advice or help with our brand mission statement, give me a shout.