How To Write a Great Mission Statement

Last updated on March 23, 2023 by Cameron Sheppard

Purpose is one of those subjects that is constantly debated by all kinds of people, up and down the social ladder: lazy schoolboys, 3 A.M. coffee junkies, introverted philosophers, and even the hotshot Wall Street businessmen.

But every business starts with a purpose, and how that purpose is made known to the public is through one of the mediums we see everywhere: a brand mission statement. In this article, I’ll detail the what, why, and how of mission statements. Let’s go.

Need a great mission statement?

I write mission statements for brands like yours, without the tricky how-to.

Why are mission statements important?

Mission statements serve as the backbone to the things your business does. For example, the nonprofit organization Habitat for Humanity has a mission to “put God’s love into action,” and bring people together “to build homes, communities, and hope.” This mission motivates its actions to help people put a roof over their heads, and in doing so they helped over 7.1 million people in 2022 alone.

But for the reader, a mission statement helps them know what sets your business apart from the competition. This plays a big part in industries where there are hundreds of other businesses that do what you do, such as lawn care.

What a mission statement should do

A mission statement should provide the reader a reason why your business exists. Take a sustainable plastic-free water bottle company, for example. Why it exists might be described like this:

For you, to keep your water cool;
For the ones who follow, to keep the Earth cool.

You should also let the reader know what sets you apart from the competition. What makes the sustainable water bottle company different might go something like this:

For every bottle purchased, we donate a percentage to climate change relief funds across the world. Plus, you can put your name on it!

Naming my own water bottle seems like a pretty cool idea, and it’s rare to find elsewhere. Maybe I would be convinced to purchase from this company.

Key ingredients of a good mission statement

When it comes to writing a good mission statement, there are four core values you should keep in mind:

  • Purpose: why does your company exist, and what does it seek to achieve?
  • Value: how does your target audience benefit from using your product or service?
  • Inspiration: make the reader want to be apart of your mission
  • Reasonability: the statement isn’t just made up to sound good

One business that illustrates these four values is PayPal (who has great branding by the way, if you want to learn more). Read the following mission statement from their Mission, Visions, & Values page:

“Our mission is to democratize financial services to ensure that everyone, regardless of background or economic standing, has access to affordable, convenient, and secure products and services to take control of their financial lives.”

Let’s analyze this statement by each core value:

  • Purpose: to make sure everyone has access to secure financial services
  • Value: target audience can take control of their financial lives
  • Inspiration: reader wants to be apart of their efforts to democratize financial services
  • Reasonability: PayPal’s services are easily accessible on all devices and in multiple countries

That’s how you do a good brand mission statement.

The do’s and don’ts of mission statements

When writing a mission statement, you basically have the freedom to write anything. However, there are some guidelines you should follow so nothing is left on the table:

  • Do keep it short. Mission statements should be clear and concise, and the reader shouldn’t have to spend more than around five seconds reading it. Keep it around 2-3 sentences long.
  • Do think in terms of scale. Mission statements should not be limited to one particular product or geographic location, because expanding is always the name of the game. Make it broad.
  • Do ask what others think. Ask your friends, family, coworkers, employees; whoever can provide an unbiased opinion of the mission statement.
  • Don’t go off topic. This is about your business and how you’re different, not about Chinese spy balloons.
  • Don’t ignore your target audience. Mission statements are a chance to speak directly to your target audience and tell them what they’re missing by not using your product or service.
  • Don’t stay in the past. Mission statements are OK to change. In fact, they should flow right along with your business down the river to success.

Final thoughts

I believe that everyone has a mission in life, and mine is to provide you with great written content to help you in all aspects of copywriting, branding, and web design. Have a good rest of your day.

Get tips like these delivered straight to your inbox

Once a week, nothing else.

Email address input field for the weekly newsletter signup form
Sign up for weekly newsletter button