Surfing through the web you come across a new company. The bold logo along with a mission statement that reads, ” For the people”. Confusing! Yes. In this article, let’s know What are the Bad Mission Statements?
What if you scroll down and find another new logo with the mission, ” Handling your finance, with finesse”. Pretty, to the point giving you the idea of what it does.
This is what a mission statement does to any company, give it the shape and inform others on what happens inside the company with maximum transparency.
So, what makes a mission statement bad. An unclear and indirect overview of the company along with zero information about what the company does and what the employees seek as their motivation makes for a bad mission statement.
Articulating a mission statement is as easy as summing up the “about us” in a single sentence that informs the users about what they will be dealing with when in association with your company. As easy as it sounds, this can sometimes be tricky.
Many companies have great finance structures, plans, and many other aspects that make the company stand strong in the market. Yet, they underestimate the very piece of work that will improve their reach – the mission statement.
Want to put together a fabulous mission statement that makes people stop the vigorous scroll. Stay tuned with the article and we will tell you about how a good and bad mission statement differs, and a few tricks to avoid bad mission statements.
What does a mission statement mean?
Let’s begin with the basics. The mission statement as defined by Google and other sources is, “A short sentence that describes what the company does and why the path is taken. This holds as a messenger for customers, shareholders, employers, and everyone that are going to be associated with the company”.
To put it in simpler words mission statements are the personality of the company. It is the sentence that would motivate the consumers and the investors of the company to know what motivates the company to strive in the market and grow their name as an individual. If the logo is the face that attracts people the mission statement is the personality that makes them stay for longer.
A company often finds condensing words into a mission statement as a deluge task and ends up articulating the statement without any effort to align the statement according to motives, values, and aims. And this very ignorance calls for a bad mission statement.
GOOD and BAD mission statements – what differs?
As mentioned a mission statement motivate customers to your brands. Don’t believe it! Go through the examples and tell us at the end what would you prefer over in each scenario.
- Does a Longer sentence make a better statement?
“To inspire humanity both in the air and on the ground.” – JetBlue
“McDonald’s brand mission is to be our customers’ favorite place and way to eat and drink.” The statement continues with “Our worldwide operations are aligned around a worldwide strategy called the Plan to Win, which points on an exceptional customer experience–People, Products, Place, Price, and Promotion.” – McDonald’s.
How many of you read the second mission entirely?
I doubt if you went beyond drinks. You probably have heard about both the companies above. JetBlue has a rather straightforward and precise statement that gives its mission. On the contrary, McDonald’s mission is lengthy and it could have survived with its mission being confined to eat and drink.
A mission statement thus needs to be hardly 29 words long that avoids every unnecessary detail that robs the essence of the company. The rest of the information is always welcomed in the Vision and About us section.
- Forming proper sentences….
“Build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis.” – Patagonia
“The Home Depot is in the home improvement and the cumulative goal is to provide the highest level of customer service, the widest selection of products, and competitive prices.” – Home Depot.
Are proper sentences, including is, an, the, our, and other filler words necessary for a good mission statement?
Patagonia uses definite pauses without including the filler words to grasp the attention and convey the mission of the company. Home Depot on the other hand has every filler word possible and covers just the idea of what every other company operating on home improvement involves.
Filler words are not necessary, Goal is.
- Let’s be vague and confuse our customers?
“To give customers the most impressive shopping experience possible.” – Nordstrom
“Be the best in the eyes of every person associated with us”
Companies love being on the good side of the customers and why not that’s the entire point right. But, what about telling them what you are good at. The first statement from Nordstrom is rather to the point including what it does and what it wants for its customer defining its strengths in the market.
However, the latter lacks clarity. We get it you want to be the best and customers are your priority, but in what! What do you sell, why do you sell it, what is our benefit, what should the employee focus on.
Be to the point, we would love to know about you.
- True or False?
“Spread ideas.” – TED
“Our mission is to operate the best specialty retail business in America, regardless of the product we sell. To say that our mission exists independent of the product we sell is to demean the importance and the distinction of being booksellers.” – Barnes & Noble
What is a company says, we love serving our customers, but, we have a time-bound for the same. Ok, something is seriously disturbing about the mission here. The same follows for the above-mentioned examples. TED has two words to describe it spread ideas, basically, every idea that it feels worth sharing. Nothing too daunting to understand. Barnes & Noble’s on the other hand contradicts the statement is made in the first go.
Are you going to believe someone who contradicts himself? No.
Avoid contradicting, state the truth and improve every time you change.
- We don’t need a mission statement?
Going through all this hassle to get a compelling one-line mission statement might sound dubious for a few companies and they would rather go for no mission statement at all. Well, is this a solution?
Of course Not!
We would say it is rather a better option to mend your mission statement every time you change your motto or add something new to your existing system. Not having a mission statement altogether is not going to make sense in the long run.
Dell followed the very path of going from a No mission statement to one of the best mission statements in the market. Trust us, this is going to make a significant difference.
Do include a mission statement, and keep iterating it.
All banter aside. You might ask how should we make our statements powerful. Let us walk the steps together.
How to write a powerful mission statement?
- Values you possess
Values are the key for any company. Nobody wants a brand that sells its values to earn profits, and we stand strong to this virtue. Involve the values that set you apart in the market.
For example: As an environment-friendly beverage company, add the value of organic, health, nature, in your statement. Don’t use plastic cups to serve.
- Why you are the one
Every competitor in your field of business probably has the same underlying market strategy or business expansion plans. The thing that will set you apart is how you convenience the employees as well as customers how you are different and the one.
For example, the motto could involve “ Handcrafting every product to match the taste of every individual, and a promise to have the same integrity”.
- Truth laced with the fact.
Be honest. Don’t bluff ideas into your product. No, it’s not going to give you a trip to heaven or cure the disease in few days. Lace your statements to facts and keep the statement reasonable.
For example, The beverage is not going to cure anxiety, just state how it relaxes you and makes you feel good.
- Be specific.
Enough emphasis cannot be placed on this point. Be specific. You are in a business and not here to give inspirational quotes to start the day. Stick to your purpose and tie things to your business.
- Be open to change.
However precise and long term you find your statement to understand change is the constant. Business and companies evolve their strategies and plan to make things better as the day passes. The same holds for your mission statement as well. Iterate it, revise it. A heuristic approach- learn and mend on the way is surely going to leverage the quality of the work and bring about better changes in the way the mission is presented.
Lastly, don’t underestimate the single line that is going to reach the customer. It is going to be the one to set you apart and caricature the company in the eyes of the people. A bad statement throws a fireball of confusion, this can be fatal. Take appropriate time and give your efforts in the development of the statement. Think as a third person who isn’t aware of anything about the company and then frame your statement.
Get the olio of right words, aim, goal, and values and see the magic.