How to Create a Brilliant Mission Statement
Your business mission statement must come before the content strategy. It’s where you ask why do we, as a business, exist? Your mission statement and your content strategy will go hand-in-hand. You may have one, but perhaps it isn’t properly defined.
In this article, I’m going to:
- Show you some examples of mission statements
- Show you how to write mission statements
The Maryland-based bottled organic tea company, started by Seth Goldman and Barry Nalebuff in 1998. Their mission statement is:
Honest Tea seeks to create and promote great-tasting, healthier, organic beverages. We strive to grow our business with the same honesty and integrity we use to craft our products, with sustainability and great taste for all.
The ready-to-assemble furniture retailer was started in 1943 in Sweden by 17-year-old Ingvar Kamprad. Their mission statement is:
At IKEA our vision is to create a better everyday life for the many people. Our business idea supports this vision by offering 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.
Keep your mission statement pinned to the wall in your office. Everyone who works for you needs to know what you are aiming to achieve. The content you are producing to market yourself needs to serve this mission statement too. It is a great filter for looking over your content and deciding which is needed and which isn’t. It streamlines your content.
Depending on your company, your statement may change over time, and this is fine. But this will also mean your content marketing will change too.
Most marketers have no mission statement or core strategy
Having a mission statement seems obvious, but most marketers don’t have one, or any real strategy behind the content they are creating. Content marketing is very very difficult without a clear definition of why you are doing what you’re doing.
How about putting your mission statement at the top of the About Us page on your website? Spread it to the places where your target audience can see it. Have it on the wall in your office so your team always remembers why you do what you do.
Writing Your Mission Statement
To work, your mission statement has to be all about your customers’ ‘pain points’. What’s keeping them up at night? What will you do for them? Not, what you will sell to them. A bad mission statement would be something like:
We want to make the most money in our industry by selling the most products to as many people as possible. We will do this by using the cheapest materials and selling them at high prices, as well as holding paid-for events and really pushing to sell more than last year.
These are your company objectives, and they are all about you. They don’t help your customers, they don’t appeal to them either and they are all about selling as opposed to about what you stand for. Creating your content around these points would be ridiculous.
As Joe Pulizzi says in his book Epic Content Marketing, your statement needs to clearly define:
- The core audience target
- What you will deliver to the audience
- The major audience take away
If we look back at the IKEA example again, their core audience target is ‘as many people as possible’, in other words, the everyday person. What they will deliver: ‘functional home furnishing products’ at ‘low prices’. Finally, the major audience takes away, or the outcome is ‘to create a better everyday life’.
Any content IKEA creates will abide by these principles. It will help their customers with their problems in relation to what IKEA offers. What the mission statement does, is make everything easier for you and them.