What is a Mission Statement?

Cite this article as:"What is a Mission Statement?," in The Business Professor, updated April 3, 2020, last accessed October 25, 2020, https://thebusinessprofessor.com/lesson/what-is-a-mission-statement/.

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What is a Mission Statement?

A mission statement tells what a business does, how it does it, and from whom. It can be thought of as the organization’s raison d’être or reason for existing. In summary, it is a strategy statement developed from the perspective of the companies stakeholders. Carrying out this mission should lead the company toward its vision.

Let’s break down the mission statement a bit further. First, let’s address what the company does. It should summarize the company’s operations; rather, it should summarize the customer’s need or want that is fulfilled. For example, Netflix would not say that it delivers movies. It would say something like, “we provide on-demand original and popular third-party video entertainment to individuals through common digital devices.” The point is to try and capture the reason that the customer decides to purchase that company’s value offering. Here the value proposition is the original and third-party popular video entertainment. Is the customer’s need or want a matter of quality, convenience, ease of use, emotional, etc?

Next, let’s answer how the company delivers that value proposition. This is a more technical aspect. In the above Netflix example, the statement indicates that it delivers the value proposition through a digital platform consisting of commonly-used devices. This statement encompasses the medium and logistics for what the company does.

Lastly, for whom does the business operate? This statement employs the company’s marketing research to identify the target market (and potentially any secondary markets) served by the value proposition. In the case of Netflix, the customers are individual video aficionados. Some companies will extend the statement to include not just the customer but all immediate stakeholders or the community at large.

Done correctly, the mission statement will clarify the purpose and primary, measurable objectives of the organization.

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