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Mission Statement(s) Clarity


Mission Statement(s) Clarity

24 November, 2023

It’s easy to imagine that everyone should understand our business pitch. We create brand values and mission statements, but all too often, these become vague sales tools for stating the obvious. “We’re professional… We’re innovative…”

I was at a seminar a few months ago. On a table discussion, we got to asking why, in a specific business, anyone on the factory floor would, or should, give a damn about the company’s mission when it didn’t relate to them personally. They come in, they do their job, they go home. Perhaps more than one statement was needed throughout the organisation, we surmised.

A significant challenge with mission statements, often seen in small businesses, is an agreement of what the organisation actually does and actually stands for in the first place. They used to call it “having a USP”, but it’s incredible how so many unique propositions look and sound exactly the same.

It leaves us in a place of ignorance if we’re not careful, assuming everyone understands what we do and what we stand for.

But, if we want to stand out, ambiguity is not our friend. We need complete clarity so that everyone sings from the same hymnsheet. A good mission statement is not there to sell but to help people understand – to create a connection that says, “Yep, I get that!”.

The next step to recognition is whether someone buys into your mission and if it aligns with how they see the world. After all, you can’t be all things to all people. And that’s okay; at least they know and can decide one way or the other.

A good mission statement (or statements) works with all stakeholders (not just the boss), including customers, suppliers, and staff at every level of your business. For example, I’m currently working with a charity where we have to appeal to service users, fundraisers, volunteers, corporates and grant-givers in nuanced ways, each requiring different information using very different language.

So, if your brand pitch often falls short, if you find people get confused about who you are and what you do, and if you find the customers you’re getting aren’t the ones you want; do some digging, talk to your stakeholders and work on better defining your special-ness. 

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