What Exactly Is a Mission Statement? (15 Top Examples)

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mission statement

What Is a Mission Statement?

Mission Statement Definition

A mission statement serves as a concise and straightforward explanation of a company’s purpose for existence. Typically, it would help if you kept it short, consisting of a single sentence or a brief paragraph.

A company’s mission statement represents far more than words on a page, it outlines the core purpose and values that empower every aspect of the business. But for employees, understanding why the mission is so essential can boost motivation levels and ensure stellar performance across all teams.

At the heart of any mission statement lies a clear goal for the organization. The shared long-term vision is essential for uniting diverse departments and roles towards a unified purpose. While individual teams may develop complementary missions, the overarching company statement provides high-level direction everyone can get behind.

However, crafting a compelling mission is an art. It must communicate the core values that drive the business in a memorable yet flexible manner. It allows all employees to feel personally invested in helping achieve the goals.

Extensive research has shown the significance of having a clear mission statement. According to studies by McKinsey & Company and the University of Minnesota, companies with well-defined mission statements are more likely to excel compared to their peers. 

Similarly, the Harvard Business Review reports that organizations with an effectively articulated and disseminated mission experience higher levels of staff commitment and loyalty. Additionally, data shows that 63% of employees at firms with a solid mission say they feel motivated, versus just 31% at other companies.

A robust mission statement vividly portrays the company’s values for customers and the broader community. It captures attention by showcasing its solutions and benefits, instilling confidence that employees are committed to consistently maintaining quality and service.

Here are nine key reasons why having a clear mission is so important.

  • Identity and Unity: The mission gives your company a distinct sense of self that brings unity. It shapes your brand and provides common ground for all involved to make aligned decisions.
  • Talent Attraction: When presented with inspiring missions, talented individuals naturally gravitate towards the ones that resonate with them, allowing them to make meaningful contributions to priorities they care about.
  • Culture Development: Your values, norms, and beliefs arise from the mission. It guides a positive culture by clearly communicating your organizational DNA.
  • Employee Purpose: The mission imbues work with significance, improving engagement. Employees see how daily tasks impact a greater good, boosting morale.
  • Performance Boost: With a shared target, performance thrives. The mission motivates all to meet high standards that consistently further long-term plans.
  • Community Building: An inspiring mission resonates externally, strengthening ties with customers, partners, and your community for mutually beneficial relationships.
  • Strategic Direction: As an ideal vision, the mission provides a compass for growth, allowing agile responses to changing contexts while upholding principles.
  • Behavioral Alignment: Ensuring consistency across interdependent teams and decisions through a common mission that filters into all you do.
  • Critical Thinking: Stimulating perspective-taking to consider diverse impacts and opportunities in pursuit of your long game.

When crafting statements to define their purpose and direction, many companies use the terms “mission” and “vision” interchangeably. However, these concepts represent two distinct components that should not be confused. Properly distinguishing a mission statement from a vision statement is crucial for focusing organizational strategy and efforts in achieving long-term goals.

A mission statement declares an organization’s fundamental reason for existing in the present. It clearly and concisely communicates what a company or individual strives to achieve through their current efforts and operations. A compelling mission unites stakeholders behind a clear grasp of what matters most: the vital daily work.

For example, a software company’s mission may be “To develop innovative, user-friendly solutions that empower small businesses.” This statement orients everyone to the products and solutions the team focuses on now.

In contrast, a vision statement paints an ambitious picture of the future. It depicts where an organization ultimately wants to be, not where they are currently. An inspirational vision motivates continued progress by detailing how success may look further down the road.

You might be wondering what makes a mission statement great. Worry not. We have got you covered. 

  • Focus on the Essentials: Incorporate three key things – your company’s purpose in serving customers and community through your unique product or service. Also, note the industry you target and what distinguishes you within it. Sharing your origins captures these elements compellingly.
  • Keep it Brief but Informative: Limit your mission to around 25 words for readability as an intro. The message must define your value proposition succinctly.
  • Gather Input and Refine: Share drafts internally and externally for feedback. Customers, partners, and vendors ensure resonance. Consider developing two versions namely one for within your walls, another outside. Consolidate insights to craft polished wording applicable to all.
  • Evolve with Your Journey: While timeless guidance is ideal, missions adapt as businesses grow. Revisit yours periodically to confirm continued relevance as you blaze new trails.

Everyone you encounter with an engaging yet efficient mission clearly comprehends your collective purpose. Use this process to discover the perfect phrases fueling your future.

15 Mission Statement Examples from Successful Businesses

Let us look at the best mission statements of thriving businesses:

  • American Express: “To become essential to our customers by providing differentiated products and services to help them achieve their aspirations.”
  • Cisco: “Shape the future of the Internet by creating unprecedented value and opportunity for our customers, employees, investors, and ecosystem partners.”
  • Nike: “To bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete* in the world. *If you have a body, you are an athlete.”
  • Dunkin’ Donuts: “We strive to keep you at your best, and we remain loyal to you, your tastes and your time. That’s what America runs on.”
  • Walmart: “To save people money so they can live better.”
  • Tesla: “Accelerating the world’s transition to sustainable energy.”
  • IKEA: “To offer a wide range of well-designed, functional home furnishing products at prices so low that as many people as possible will be able to afford them.”
  • Disney: “To entertain, inform, and inspire people around the globe through the power of unparalleled storytelling.”
  • Amazon: “To be Earth’s most customer-centric company, where customers can find and discover anything they might want to buy online.”
  • Google: “To organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.”
  • Starbucks: “To inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time.”
  • Shopify: “Make commerce better for everyone, so businesses can focus on what they do best: building and selling their products.”
  • Honda: “Maintaining a global viewpoint, we are dedicated to supplying products of the highest quality, yet at a reasonable price for worldwide customer satisfaction.”
  • InvisionApp: “Transform the way people work together by helping them collaborate better. Faster. On everything. From anywhere.”
  • JetBlue: “To inspire humanity – both in the air and on the ground.” 

Why Are These 15 Business Mission Statements Successful?

There are a few key reasons why successful business mission statements tend to be effective:

  • Clarity: They clearly articulate the core purpose and focus of the business in a concise and easy-to-understand manner. This provides clarity for employees and stakeholders.
  • Inspiration: Well-crafted mission statements inspire and motivate employees by painting a vision for the future that people want to work towards achieving. It promotes engagement.
  • Differentiation: They highlight what uniquely differentiates the business and creates customer value. This approach helps the company stand out from competitors.
  • Alignment: A cohesive mission pulls all departments and employees in the same direction by providing a unified vision and objectives. It ensures everyone is working towards shared goals.
  • Timelessness: Rather than focusing on specific tactics, they emphasize long-term goals and priorities so the statement remains relevant even as strategies change over time.
  • Inclusiveness: The best missions don’t just focus on profits but also consider stakeholders like employees, customers, and the community. This approach helps you build goodwill.
  • Measurability: Traits like specificity in outcomes allow an organization to effectively measure success in fulfilling its mission continuously.
  • Authenticity: Truly successful missions capture the heart and soul of the organization in a way that feels sincere and authentic to insiders and outsiders.

In summary, an effective mission statement acts as a compass to guide strategic decisions and drives alignment by clarifying purpose in a clear, inspiring, and long-lasting manner. This focus and coherence contribute greatly to business success.

How to Write Your Own Mission Statement?

Here is your guide to writing your mission statement like a pro:

Explaining Your Value Proposition

The first step to crafting an effective mission statement is clearly articulating your company’s value proposition. A value proposition directly answers the fundamental question: what problem does your product or service solve for customers?

Start by outlining your offering in straightforward terms. Specify whether you sell a product, service, or both. Using concrete language with minimal industry jargon, describe what you provide and how customers interact. Make sure to highlight the underlying customer benefits rather than features alone.

Focus on how your unique solution fulfills an existing need for specific buyer personas. Define the critical pain points or challenges faced by your ideal customers. Then, explain how your offering remedies these issues by making certain tasks more manageable, saving time or money, reducing risk, or providing other advantages. Back up your value proposition with market research and customer interviews if possible.

With your value crystalized, prospects can grasp why your product or service might be worth their consideration compared to alternatives. 

Core Values that Guide Your Organization

Beyond outlining your value proposition, it is also important to articulate the core values that motivate our work. You don’t create our products and services randomly. They follow underlying principles that define what is most important to us as an organization.

Some of your fundamental values could include:

  • Quality: You are committed to delivering outstanding products and service experiences defined by excellence, reliability, and craftsmanship.
  • Innovation: Continuous improvement and creative problem-solving allow you to develop new solutions and stay ahead of industry changes.
  • Integrity: Honesty, fairness, and accountability are the basis for all your business dealings and customer relationships.
  • Community: Through enrichment programs and volunteer efforts, you strive to have a positive social impact and support the neighborhoods in which you operate.
  • Sustainability: Environmental protection and preservation are integrated into your business practices to promote a more just and livable world for future generations.

By infusing these values into our day-to-day work and long-term planning, we seek to meet customer needs profitably and make a difference through our business in areas we feel strongly about. Our values represent who we are at our core.

Aligning Your Offering With What You Stand For

The third step is showing how your company’s products or services can back up the values you said are most important. You must thoughtfully connect what you provide to customers with the principles guiding your business.

For example, if innovation is a core part of your mission, discuss how your solutions help push boundaries and give clients new ways to advance their work or lives. Explain the literal uses of your offering, but put it in the bigger context of furthering innovation generally. It frames what you offer as a means to an end that’s about more than just the product, it serves a higher purpose aligned with what drives your company forward each day.

The key is taking the straightforward benefits and expanding the perspective to demonstrate how your values motivate you to help customers in these practical ways. It brings your mission statement full circle by showing how your work puts principles into practice.

Your Mission Comes Into Focus

You’ve laid the groundwork by outlining the value you provide customers and the core values that motivate your work. It’s time to combine these insights into a cohesive mission statement.

A compelling mission should communicate succinctly yet clearly who you serve, how, and the difference you make, and your driving purpose. With review and refinement, the following draft expresses these elements:

  • You serve [target customer(s)] by [Core Offering]. 
  • Your mission is to [Core Benefit/Outcome] through [Differentiator]. In doing so, you fulfill your purpose of [Core Value].
  • By [Core Value], you [Core Offering] in a way that [Core Benefit/Outcome].
  • You are committed to [Core Value] by [Reiteration of Differentiator].

This draft captures the essence of your discussions so far: the people you help and how the impact you create, and what inspires your work. 

Make Sure Your Mission Statement Is To The Point

Most importantly, keep your mission statement clear, concise, and straightforward. The goal is to outline your company’s purpose and common goals directly yet engagingly. Have others review it for clarity and impact, making revisions as needed to ensure it accurately conveys your vision in an accessible way. 

Remember that a mission statement is a core marketing asset, so focus on simplicity and substance over flourishes of wording.


Crafting an effective mission statement requires genuinely understanding your organizational purpose and values. It serves as a compass to guide every decision and inspire all stakeholders. More than just words on paper, a strong mission animates your company’s DNA.

While frameworks can help, the best statements arise from deep introspection. Consider your founding principles, customer passions, and collective aspirations. Distill these into a clear message all can embrace. Above all, let your mission be authentic. The genuine expression of your reason for being.

A living mission will continue evolving alongside your journey. Periodic review ensures ongoing relevance in a changing world. Most importantly, fulfill your declaration through every action. In this way, your mission empowers extraordinary things and strengthens your role for years.


How long should a mission statement be?

Mission statements typically range from one to three sentences and do not exceed the 100-word count limit. However, some of the best mission statements are only a single sentence.

Keep this in mind the next time you craft your mission statement to be simple, crisp, and straightforward.

Can a company change its mission statement?

If the company feels that the current mission statement no longer resembles the idea the company stands for, it can go ahead and change it.

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