How do you boil down the entirety of your brand’s goals and impact into a few short sentences?
This is where your brand mission comes in. Your brand mission will be a cornerstone in every other aspect of your branding process. And it will help your audience understand the purpose of your brand and what it aims to accomplish.
Let’s learn more about mission statements, why they’re important, and how to draft one.
What is a brand mission statement?
A brand mission statement clearly communicates a brand’s purpose, objectives and how it plans to serve its audience. It is action-oriented and gives readers an idea of what your business does and what impact it wants to make. This statement may shift over time as the company grows and redefines its goals.
Asana’s mission statement is a great example of how a brand mission can be broad yet specific to the company’s goals.
Its mission is “to help humanity thrive by enabling the world’s teams to work together effortlessly.”
The message gets straight to the point and is descriptive enough that defines what Asana stands for. The brand missions incorporates the larger impact the brand wants to make as well as the more practical role it plays in its user’s lives.
Brand mission vs. other elements your brand
It can be easy to confuse the brand mission with other parts of your branding, like brand voice and brand identity. While they are related, each of these elements plays a different role in shaping your brand. Here’s how:
- Brand mission: The mission statement aims to create an emotional connection with your audience. It describes the brand’s purpose and why it exists.
- Brand voice: Your brand voice is the style in which your brand talks to your audience. The voice you use to communicate says a lot about your brand. Some brands take on a very authoritative and professional voice, while others tend to be more playful, humorous or sarcastic. Your brand voice should reflect your audience and the way you want your brand to be perceived.
- Brand identity: Brand identity tends to define the visual elements of your brand. Easily identifiable details such as your brand colors, fonts or general aesthetic will make up your brand identity.
Many brands create a style guide or brand guide that illustrates every aspect of their brand. Style guides includes their mission and vision statements, brand voice and brand identity.
Mission statements vs. vision statements
Whereas your mission statement defines your brand’s goals, objectives and approach, the vision statement describes the long-term impact you want to make with your mission.
More simply stated: the mission describes what your brand aims to achieve and how you will achieve it. The vision statement defines where you want those achievements to lead in the future.
Ikea’s mission and vision statements give people good insight into the purpose of their brand and the impact they want to make in the world.
Below are Ikea’s mission and vision statements:
- Mission statement: 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.
- Vision statement: Create a better everyday life for many people.
Why are mission statements important?
Defining a clear mission for your brand will help you identify your target audience. Once you have a clearly defined mission statement, you can tie everything your brand does to that mission. It can act as a perfect elevator pitch when presenting your brand to a new audience. It can also be an excellent barometer for determining whether new projects align with your overall brand mission.
Your mission statement should be a defining factor for both your audience and your employees. A brand mission statement should also be a framework that your employees can follow when making decisions or speaking on behalf of the organization. Lastly, the mission statement can be an important factor to present to potential partners and investors and easily convey the value that your brand brings.
Creating your brand mission statement
Defining something as integral as a mission statement can seem like a daunting task if you’re just starting.
A great first step is to research some of the mission statements of other brands in your industry. Of course, your mission statement should be authentic and representative of your brand. But you can draw inspiration from how other brands have defined their missions.
Next, make a list of your brand’s goals and the impact you hope to make to your audience, and in the world. Your mission statement should also reflect your long-term goals. Even though you can adjust the statement as your goals shift, you should write your brand mission with longevity in mind. It should reflect the larger purpose of the brand and stay relevant for at least 2-3 years.
Here are a few questions to ask during the process of crafting a brand mission statement:
- In what ways does the brand add value to its audience?
- What is the larger impact you want to achieve by offering this help?
- Are these goals actionable and realistic?
- Can the brand embody this mission in every aspect of the organization?
Keep it concise
Your mission statement doesn’t need to be long. A few concise sentences will suffice. You can have a longer and more robust internal business plan for employees. But the mission statement you share with the public should be succinct.
TED’s mission statement is exactly two words: Spread Ideas.
It’s a perfect representation of their brand that is known for sharing short yet highly valuable content for virtually anyone. Their mission statement gets straight to the point and is perfectly on-brand with what they stand for as a company.
Make it a team effort
When crafting a brand mission, it helps to have people from all areas of your organization involved in the process. Your social media team is likely well-positioned to help refine the brand mission and implement it into social media content. When you have the first draft of a mission statement ready, gather feedback from employees. Their feedback is valuable in understanding whether your mission carries itself internally. Employee feedback may be able to highlight gaps between the mission itself and the internal culture of your brand.
How to embody your brand mission in all aspects of your organization
Historically, brands have avoided taking controversial stands in politics and other sensitive topics. Today, people are looking more closely at which brands align with their values. Consumers are becoming more critical of which brands they advocate for.
According to our research, 53% of consumers feel more connected to brands whose values align with their own.
Brand authenticity, especially on social media, is more important than ever. If your brand mission is not authentic and aligned with your actions, your audience will notice.
Recently, many brands have made public statements of support and adjusted their missions to include initiatives on racial injustices and representing diversity. On the surface, these statements seemed well-intentioned. But consumers realized that, in some cases, these statements didn’t reflect in the organization’s actions.
With the level of resources and information available to the public, performative support on social media is not enough. Consumers want to see how a brand’s actions back up the statements they make.
When creating a mission statement, brands need to make sure that they’re ready to embody that statement fully. That means observing how they can make changes in all aspects of their organization, both internally and in the public eye.
Your brand mission needs to be reflected in all aspects of your organization. This includes your hiring process, internal communication practices, marketing and everywhere in between.
Even though you want to get your mission statement right, it’s important to remember that you can always adjust it. The statement should be broad enough to reflect the brand’s long term mission, but that doesn’t mean it can’t change. As a brand changes and sets new goals, the mission statement can shift to reflect that growth and change. It’s a good idea to revisit the mission statement every 2-3 years to make sure it still aligns with the brand’s goals and purpose.
As the social media landscape changes, consumers will continue to push brands to have more intentional missions. To learn more about how to adapt your brand to be more socially conscious, check out this edition of our #BrandsGetReal series, highlighting how brands can create change in the era of the conscious consumer.