Launching Your Brand Mission Statement: Your Quick Guide

Category

Branding

Read Time

14 min

Published

22 October, 2020

In this blog we’re going to show you how to define your brand mission, and come up with a Brand Mission Statement.

Consider this question:

“Why do you do what you do?”

If someone asks you this question about your brand, and it makes you panic, it’s clear you need to create and refine your brand mission statement.

Alternatively, if you start reeling off a 5 minute script, it’s also time to go back to the drawing board. Your brand mission statement shouldn’t be your brand’s life story.

Brand Strategy Made Simple

Developing a brand strategy is no easy task. It's something we've seen people struggle with time and time again. W...

In it’s most simplest form, your brand mission is why you do what you do, and your brand mission statement is a one or two-sentence statement that tells people the answer to this.

Essentially, it should be short and snappy.

A banging brand mission statement will help to connect your customers to your brand values. It can be made a big deal out of, but it doesn’t have to be mission impossible to get there!

But if you’re struggling, then keep reading this blog as we’re walking you through the process step-by-step.

1 2 3 lets go graffiti

What Is Your Brand Mission?

Your brand mission instantly articulates “where are we aiming to be” but without all the ‘5 year plan’ crap. It’s a concise round up of your brand.

Brand missions aren’t just for big brands with hundreds of employees. Although they are absolutely essential for businesses of that size, even if you’re a one person team , it’s important for you to have a brief, simple declaration that clearly communicates to people:

  • What you do
  • The benefit or value of the service you offer
  • The vision you have for your brand.

Your brand mission takes your brand values and compresses them into one, easy to digest sentence, without the fluff.

Think of your brand values.

List them out on a piece of paper, and then put them together in the same sentence. This is a brand mission, and what we’re going to get to by the end of this post.

It’s what you set out to do, what you’re aiming for, and what you envision sticking to in the future.

You might hear this being referred to as your brand vision, and also your brand purpose. They all end up at the same point, they all answer the question “Why do you do what you do? And where are you aiming to be?”
tesla charging

Brand Mission Statement Example

Telsa are a great example of a company with a super strong brand mission statement.

Tesla’s founder and CEO, Elon Musk, has missions on the more imaginative end of the scale than your average company, like … putting humans on Mars. He’s stated that he won’t be happy until we’ve ‘escaped’ earth and colonised Mars.

Big vision from the electric vehicle mogul.

Tesla wants their mission to make such an impact that they have dedicated a page on their website explaining all about it, but the statement remains simple.

“To accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy.”

The language they have chosen to use in this statement is commanding, forward thinking, and visionary.

Let’s take a closer look at the words they have used;

  • Accelerate – This has connotations of speed, power, taking things up a notch. An important and clever part of their brand mission statement, as the first car they brought out was a high end, electric sports car. Without ‘accelerate’, their brand mission would have got lost, and the connotations linked with the word ‘sustainable’ would have taken over and given a totally different impression of the brand.
  • Transition – Elon Musk is determined, through Tesla, to change the way we live and the world as we know it.
  • Sustainable – Tesla’s USP is the fact they are an electric car, providing a more environmentally friendly mode of transport to help save our planet. Sustainable also has connotations of ‘safe’, which is the main thing you want in a car.

It says everything you need to know about Tesla.

And that’s exactly how you want your brand mission statement to be. Succinct, yet powerful.

Brand Mission vs Other Brand Elements

It can be easy for your brand mission to get confused with other parts of your brand.

This includes your brand voice and brand identity as both of these play a huge part of shaping your brand. However, it’s important to make a very clear distinction between these three things, which we’re outlining below:

  • Brand mission – As we’ve covered at the beginning of this post, your brand mission is your ‘why’. It should clearly communicate why your brand exists and the purpose it aims to serve.
  • Brand voice – This is the way you communicate with your audience through your brand and messaging. It relates to the language you use and your communication style (i.e, serious, humorous, empathetic).
  • Brand identity – Visual elements often make up your brand identity such as colours, fonts, and your logo which are all easily identifiable.

Brand Mission vs Brand Vision

As well as the elements listed above, your brand mission can also be easily confused with your brand vision.

Essentially they both get you to the same place: identifying why you exist.

However to try and clear up any ambiguity, we have outlined a definition of both brand mission and brand vision below.

While your mission statement outlines the goals, objectives, and approach of your brand, the vision statement articulates the impact you hope to make long-term through your mission.

In simple terms, the brand mission outlines what your brand aims to do and how, while the brand vision statement envisions the future results of those accomplishments.

Ikea’s brand mission and brand vision statements provide a clear example of this.

Ikea brand mission: 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.

Ikea brand vision: Create a better everyday life for many people.

Why Do You Need a Brand Mission Statement?

Your brand mission statement communicates your answer to the question ‘What are we aiming for?”.

Remember:

Your brand mission isn’t just for your customers, it also tells your staff what your values are and is a guiding message for the service that they’re going to provide.

One of the most important things is ensuring that your brand mission statement is easy to understand so that anyone reading it, know exactly what it is that you do.

Coming up with a brand mission can feel daunting as though you’re being put on the spot.

It can be easy to get worked up over what is essentially one sentence, sure, it’s an important one, but you know what your brand is, and what you set out to do.

We’re here to show you a simple way of how to get there.

But whatever you do, don’t underestimate this little sentence.

People seek out their dream job opportunities in companies whose values align with their own. Do you want your brand to be somebody’s dream job? If so, tell them why it should be!

person writing on notepad with crumpled paper around

How Do You Make a Brand Mission Statement?

Creating a pretentious brand mission statement because you think it will make you sound better, isn’t going to do you any favours.

Always keep in mind that you should:

  • Be honest
  • Be true to yourself and your brand
  • Stick to your word

If you are providing a luxury service, shout it from the rooftops!

“We produce exclusive items to enhance your life”

However if your service and prices are more humble, go with just that.

“We provide an affordable service that people can rely on”

Sure, these seem like pretty straightforward statements, but at least you’re being honest and transparent with people. You’re telling them what to expect, and you’re not overpromising anything.

That said, let’s get started with the basics. Your brand mission needs to cover the answers to the following questions.

  • Who do you serve?
  • Why do you care?
  • What do you provide?
  • What benefits do you give clients?
  • What do you offer that’s different to competitors?

Remember, this doesn’t have to be a dissertation. A short and snappy brand mission does the job a lot better than a paragraph that rambles on.

You want this statement to make an impact. Don’t worry that it doesn’t detail every single cool thing that your business does in one go, there’s plenty of other ways you can communicate those things. Your Brand Mission is there to say what you’re all about.

Still struggling? Let’s look at each of these in more detail.

Who Do You Serve?

It’s important you think about your target audience as your brand mission statement needs to appeal to them.

To get this right, ask questions such as:

What characteristics do they have? What are their wants and needs? What are their challenges and painpoints?

By thinking about each of these elements and getting them down on paper, you can be sure to craft a brand mission statement that speaks to your customers.

If you’re unsure about how to define your ideal audience, the pointers below might help:

infographic showing questions to ask when deciding on target audience

Why Do You Care?

Don’t worry, we’re not asking for an in depth, profound sentiment.

A simple explanation of why you’ve chosen to work in the area you do, will be just fine.

For instance, if you care about the environment and this is reflected in your business, then delve into the passion and commitment driving your sustainability initiatives.

By integrating this into your brand mission, you not only emphasise your dedication to a cause but also create a distinctive identity that resonates with consumers who share similar values.

Similarly, if your business is driven by a commitment to making a positive impact on society, highlight how your products or services contribute to the greater good.

Whether it’s through community engagement or ethical business practices, highlighting your dedication to social responsibility adds depth to your brand mission.

Whatever your business stands for, make this clear in your brand mission statement and set your brand apart from othets.

What Do You Provide?

For this point, you can either focus on your personal expertise, or the service that your company provides.

If you’re a one man band or a small team, don’t panic – this is actually a great point to focus on!

You provide a personal service and the customer will always be dealing directly with the person on the job, and also the person in charge.

Clients can rest assured that they are not just a number, but are receiving a a more hands-on, attentive approach. This not only builds trust but also sets you apart from larger competitors.

However if this is the case, just make sure you don’t solely focus on “we are a one person company” – remember to leave yourself room for future growth!

This demonstrates your scalability to clients and also positions your brand as being ready to evolve in response to their needs.

Balancing personalised service with an eye towards future growth ensures that your brand resonates both in the immediate and long-term context.

What Benefits Do You Give Clients?

What problems do you help customers with when they use your service?

If you were a fast food restaurant, go a bit deeper than “our burgers taste great”.

You should be thinking more along the lines of “you won’t be hungry and we’ll satisfy your cravings for some good ol’ grease!”

You need to think of the emotions they feel before the problem, and then after you’ve come along and solved it for them. Your Brand Story will help you define what emotions your service sparks in people.

Take the key beats from your Brand Story, as these emotive words should feed into your brand mission statement.

What Do You Offer That’s Different to Competitors?

First things first, you need to spend some time focussing on your USP; understanding what you do differently and what sets you apart is the heart of this point.

But of course, to showcase your USP, you need to take a look at what your competitors are offering (and what they’re not) otherwise, how will you know?

Revisit the insights from your competitor analysis, identifying not only what they excel at but also the aspects where they may have fallen short when it comes to customer needs.

By understanding your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses, it gives you a strategic advantage when articulating your own USP.

Go back to your findings from your competitor analysis, and work from there.

women writing in white notepad

Your Quick Guide to Creating Your Brand Mission Statement

Now you should have quite a bit down on paper to work with, and have made some headway with what you’re trying to get across.

Refine the points you’ve just made by highlighting a key word or phrase from each point.

For example, using the sections from above:

  • If you have identified Marketing Managers as your target audience, then Marketing Managers would be the words to use from the ‘who do you serve’ section.
  • If you care about the planet and provide an eco-friendly service, sustainable, would be the word to use from the ‘why do you care’ section.
  • If you’re a small team and you pride yourself on a one-to-one approach, personalised service would be the words to use from the ‘what do you provide’ section.
  • If you’ve identified that you serve up great tasting burgers that satisfy cravings, great taste would be the words to use from the ‘what benefits do you give clients’ section.
  • If you’re cheaper than other companies in your industry offering the same thing, competitive pricing would be the words to use from the ‘what do you offer that’s different’ section.

Essentially, you need to use the information you’ve gathered from the 5 key considerations above to build out your brand mission statement, as this helps you craft something that is concise, tailored to your audience, and designed to make an impact.

Tips for Writing a Great Brand Mission Statement

As discussed above, writing your brand mission statement can feel challenging, but we’ve compiled 5 top tips to hopefully make the process a little easier.

Be Concise and Clear

A great brand mission statement is concise and easily understandable so avoid complex language and jargon. Clearly communicate the core purpose and values of your brand in a way that resonates with your target audience.

Focus on Core Values

Centre your mission statement around the core values that your brand stands for. Identify the principles that set your brand apart and express them in a way that reflects your brand’s identity.

Consider Your Audience

Tailor your mission statement to resonate with your target audience by taking the time to understand their needs, aspirations, and values. A brand mission statement that speaks directly to your audience creates a stronger emotional connection.

Highlight Unique Selling Proposition (USP)

Incorporate your Unique Selling Proposition (USP) into your brand mission statement. Clearly communicate what sets your brand apart from from others in this industry wether it’s innovation, excellent customer service, or a unique approach.

Inspire and Motivate

A great brand mission statement should inspire and motivate your customers and employees. Use language that instills a sense of purpose and vision as when people are inspired by your mission, it creates a positive culture and reinforces commitment to your brand’s goals.

a rocket flying over a pile of books

Launching Your Brand Mission Statement: Your Quick Guide

After creating your mission statement, read it aloud to yourself a few times. Does it feel right? Does it communicate what you want to say accurately? Have friends and family read it. Read it to the dog. Do they get it?

Get ready to be hit with some constructive criticism. If they’re looking a bit confused and some extra explanation is needed to get across what you are trying to say, be prepared to go back to the drawing board and refine it once again before finalising.

Remember, your brand mission needs to be understood by everyone who reads it, not just everyone who works in your industry.

From these steps you should now be left with a short n’ snappy Brand Mission Statement, ensuring anyone who needs to know about your brand, gets it in one. We go more in depth in our downloadable resource Brand Strategy Made Simple.

Have you created your Brand Mission Statement using our guide?

Hey I'm Tony, Founder and Director of Canny Creative. I eat, sleep and bleed Canny to be honest. I'm an absolute workaholic (and yes, I know that's not a good thing!).

Read here