Perhaps one of the most important tools in developing the company brand is often one of the hardest to understand and create. It is the mission statement. Simply defined, a mission statement is a short written statement defining a company’s reason for existence. It should embody its philosophies, goals, ambitions and mores. A company that operates without a mission statement, will at the very least lack direction. True success is unlikely when there is no definition of what that success constitutes.
A good mission statement accurately explains why your company exists and what it hopes to achieve. It articulates the company’s nature, its values, and its work. It is clear and succinct, and incorporates socially meaningful criteria and measurable goals. To be effective it should resonate with the people working in and for the company as well as with the customers and clients of the company. Ideally it expresses the company’s purpose in a way that inspires commitment, innovation, and resolve.
MISSION = P.A.V.E
P - Purpose of the company.
What needs and opportunities exist in the market place to be addressed?
A - Activity of the company.
What will the company do to address those needs?
V - Values of the company.
What principles and beliefs will guide the activities of the business?
E - Ethical Practices
What procedures will be implemented to achieve those principles and beliefs?
A few examples of well written mission statements:
Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream: “To make, distribute & sell the finest quality all natural ice cream & euphoric concoctions with a continued commitment to incorporating wholesome, natural ingredients and promoting business practices that respect the Earth and the Environment.”
The Elephant Sanctuary: “A Natural-Habitat Refuge Where Sick, Old and Needy Elephants Can Once Again Walk The Earth In Peace and Dignity.”
Sun Microsystems: “Solve complex network computing problems for governments, enterprises, and service providers.”
Starbucks: “Establish Starbucks as the premier purveyor of the finest coffee in the world while maintaining our uncompromising principles as we grow.
The following five guiding principles will help us measure the appropriateness of our decisions:
Provide a great work environment and treat each other with respect and dignity.
Apply the highest standards of excellence to the purchasing, roasting, and fresh delivery of our coffee.
Develop enthusiastically satisfied customers all of the time.
Contribute positively to our communities and our environment.
Recognize that profitability is essential to our future success.
Quote of the day: “Show your mission to your mother, if she does not understand it, start again.”