Designers know that a good brand thrives across a wide range of media, platforms, and conversations… but what makes a good brand great? A mission statement.
Mission statements clearly define what the organization is doing, and where it is headed. It is the anchor and direction that every single piece of your brand relies on. It is realistic, relatable, honest, and inspiring. As a public statement, your leaders, team members, and audience should be able to rally around your mission.
At verynice, we’ve developed a framework for our clients that can make this process a bit easier, recently published as part of our Give All project. Give All is a series of toolkits that makes every creative and strategic methodology we know open and available to the public.
So how do we write one?
The challenging thing about mission statements is the fact that every word matters. A good mission statement is informed by your impact, value proposition, expertise, and means of sustaining yourself. Let’s take a closer look at each of these.
Impact: First and foremost, mission statements give you the opportunity to think big! Consider the greater purpose of your organization. What will the world look like in 10 years, thanks to you? When crafting your mission statement, consider the type of impact you make, the people you are impacting, and the way in which you can keep track of your impact.
Value Proposition: Because mission statements are so public-facing, they can often serve as a great chance for you to brag a little. Consider your audience… how are you making their life easier? Remember, no matter how innovative you might be, you are in competition with someone. What is the most unique aspect of your organization or initiative?
Expertise: It’s quite challenging (if not impossible!) to achieve a mission without real, tangible expertise. When developing your mission statement, think about the expertise you have internally, as well as the types of partners you might work with to make this work possible. How can you celebrate these resources in your mission statement?
Sustainability: While not the typical highlight of a mission statement, it’s critical to keep sustainability in mind when developing your mission statement. This is especially the case because the mission serves as an anchor for everything you do. Who are your customers, and how can the statement inspire them to sustain you? What doors does this statement open?
After you’ve taken the time to reflect on each of the above components, you have what you need to craft a mission statement. At verynice, we typically start with a series of short statements, using the templates below as an exercise:
How To Write A Mission Statement
Our organization helps _______ achieve their greatest need, which is _______.
In doing so, our organization creates value for ourselves through _______.
This aligns with our organization’s values because _______.
To accomplish this goal, our organization must have a team, including _______.
We will attract this talent by _______.
Externally, our organization can collaborate with ____ to scale impact by ____.
This is mutually beneficial, as we will share the benefits, including ____.
In order to succeed meeting its goal, our organization needs ____.
Our organization may gain support from ____.
Our organization may even be able to sustain its goal by ____.
Obviously, the statement itself should not be too long. Instead, the template above aims to serve as a starting point. After you’ve populated this, it is time to wordsmith. Simplify the mission from 13 sentences to a single statement or 2-3 sentences maximum that encompasses the whole exercise in the best way you can. Don’t feel like you need to include everything. Really try to drill down on what’s most important. Cut the fluff, and always consider inviting other peers and colleagues to check your work.
Now it’s your turn! Remember to check out Give All for more help on Mission Statements, and other key considerations for your organization or initiative.