A mission statement is a brief description of a company’s fundamental purpose. It answers the question, “Why does our business exist?” The mission statement articulates the company’s goals, product or service, primary stakeholders, and guiding principles. It provides direction for decision-making at all levels of the organization and helps to establish a framework for ethical behavior.
Mission statements can vary in length and content. Some might be very short and concise, while others may provide more detail about the company’s purpose and values. A good mission statement should be clear, memorable, and inspiring, providing a sense of direction and outlining what the company wants to achieve.
It’s important to note that a mission statement is different from a vision statement, though they are often used together. While a mission statement focuses on the current state and purpose of the company, a vision statement describes the company’s aspirations for the future.
For example, Amazon’s mission statement is: “Our mission is to continually raise the bar of the customer experience by using the internet and technology to help consumers find, discover and buy anything, and empower businesses and content creators to maximise their success.”
This statement clearly outlines Amazon’s central purpose (improving the customer experience and helping consumers and businesses), the key methods it uses to achieve this purpose (using the internet and technology), and what it hopes to achieve (customer and business success).
Example of a Mission Statement
Let’s look at the mission statement of a well-known company, Starbucks. Their mission statement is:
“To inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time.”
This mission statement is brief, but it gives a clear idea of what Starbucks aims to achieve beyond just selling coffee:
- Inspire and nurture the human spirit: This highlights Starbucks’ commitment to creating a welcoming, uplifting experience that positively impacts their customers’ lives.
- One person, one cup: This underscores Starbucks’ focus on individualized service and quality in every product they serve.
- One neighborhood at a time: This signifies Starbucks’ commitment to the local communities where they operate, emphasizing their role as a community gathering place and their commitment to social responsibility.
Overall, Starbucks’ mission statement goes beyond just making profits from selling coffee and emphasizes the emotional and community-building aspects of their business, aligning with their broader brand values.