Think about what your company offers.
Can you summarize everything you stand for — your company’s value to the marketplace and how it approaches business — in one sentence? What about a sentence that empowers employees and resonates with customers?
If so, then you’ve just taken a crack at writing a mission statement.
Every mission statement example, from small businesses to large corporations, has something in common: It’s challenging to write. But thankfully, there are many established businesses with professional and iconic mission statements to draw inspiration from.
What’s a mission statement, and why is it important?
A mission statement is a short sentence that explains a company’s purpose. It’s part value proposition and part marketing, communicating what your company stands for. As a brand, your mission statement is who you are, so creating one that truly represents your identity and values is essential.
Think of a mission as a statement of existence: Why is this company here? The answer to that question drives every aspect of your organization, from employee morale to customer service. With that in mind, good mission statements can lead you to success, while the best mission statements become icons of the market.
Customers, vendors, and other companies frequently look to mission statements to decide whether or not to work with you. A long and tedious mission statement might leave them confused and unsure of whether to connect. In contrast, a snappy and accurate mission statement inspires and engages an audience, immediately forming a clear view of your company in their minds.
While not as intentionally aspirational as vision statements, which consider a company’s long-term goals, mission statements speak to a company's moral center. Vision statements sum up a company’s ultimate trajectory, while the mission statement is the overarching theme that drives it toward those goals.
What makes a good mission statement?
Crafting a successful mission statement starts with determining three main points: your purpose, values, and goals. Regardless of how you construct your statement, these three bullet points should be the elements that resonate with clients and employees alike:
Brand purpose — the purpose of your brand is what you do and who you do it for. This can be as simple as you want it to be. Are you a beverage brand putting water in boxes to save the planet? Convey that to customers.
Brand values — if you want to save the planet with your boxed water, consider that a brand value. It’s a unique quality that nurtures creativity and optimism in your brand.
Brand goals — what makes you stand out to customers? What makes your employees want to stick around? Maybe you want to save 100,000 plastic bottles per year. Brand goals define how your purpose and values will lead to definitive accomplishments.
How long should a mission statement be?
There isn't a standard rule for mission statements, but after you read a few dozen, you'll find they tend to be between 29 and 100 words. The general rule of thumb is to not fill your mission statement with too much fluff. Keep it concise and on point. Someone should be able to glance at it and immediately understand what your brand is all about.
10 best mission statement examples
These mission statement examples for businesses come from some of the world's largest and most well-known corporations. They may be short, but they have hours upon hours of brainstorming and creativity behind them.
Here are 10 mission statements that exemplify strong branding and values:
"Our mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more."
You probably know Microsoft for being a leader in computer software and technology. But it mentions none of this in its mission statement. Microsoft focuses on the “why” of its business rather than the “what.” If your product or service has a holistic goal like this one, it's an excellent place to start.
"Fulfilling Lives, Every Day."
Wawa, one of the most well-known convenience stores along the East Coast, offers gas, snacks, and a famously competent built-in deli. That's a lot to offer, so how do you craft a mission statement around it?
If your service offering reads like a restaurant menu, you might wonder the same thing. Keep it simple and break it down to your core mission, just like Wawa does. It hones in on the daily impacts it offers customers.
"To organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful."
At its core, Google is an algorithm. And luckily for Google, it doesn’t have to worry about the complexities of selling an algorithm, because everyone already knows its name. With that gigantic scope in mind, its mission statement is lofty but simple. The takeaway here is crafting your mission statement with a singular focus on your most potent service offering.
"To unlock the potential of human creativity — by giving a million creative artists the opportunity to live off their art and billions of fans the opportunity to enjoy and be inspired by it."
Spotify has a mission statement that doubles as a description of its actual business activities. It's a template for companies looking to create mission statements that double as vision statements by putting goals and values in the same basket.
"We're in business to save our home planet."
This statement has grand allusions. Patagonia touts environment-first production and activism, conveying to customers that it really wants to save the planet. If your business is this serious about something so grand, this is what that mission statement should be — clear, direct, and to the point.
"With every cup, with every conversation, with every community — we nurture the limitless possibilities of human connection."
Starbucks is an excellent example of how a mission statement can change over time. Only a short time ago, its mission read: "Inspire and nurture the human spirit — one person, one cup, and one neighborhood at a time."
While the changes are slight, you can see how Starbucks relates itself to its customers with a mission statement that evokes personal connection through accessible language. It places the community at its center rather than the individual spirit, showing its goal of human connection.
"To accelerate the world's transition to sustainable energy."
Tesla believes in creating a sustainable world through electric vehicles and developing innovative energy sources. While your business might not have such lofty aspirations, your mission statement might benefit from focusing on your core belief system. If how you operate your business coincides with how your product furthers a change, put those ideas in your mission statement.
"Bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world. If you have a body, you are an athlete."
There's actually an asterisk between those two sentences, and that says everything you need to know about the Nike mission statement. It believes in inclusivity and accessibility. Your mission statement should always connect with your whole audience and, even if for a niche offering, help all customers feel like you want and value them.
9. Southwest Airlines
"Connect people to what's important in their lives through friendly, reliable, and low-cost air travel."
This mission statement from Southwest Airlines highlights its commitment to customer service. While it is an airline (and suffers from public perception of air travel), it still highlights its service offering, costs, and attitude in one sentence. And instead of starting with its services, Southwest begins with its customers.
10. Warby Parker
"To inspire and impact the world with vision, purpose, and style."
When writing your mission statement, you might wonder how to include your service offering without being too upfront. Warby Parker shows how it's done. Since this company makes eyewear, sliding in the words "vision" and "style" serve dual purposes. They’re words that invoke feelings of inclusion and slyly tell you what problem Warby Parker products solve.
Visualize your mission and get it in Notion
Once you have your core values immortalized in a mission statement, it's time to get to work.