It’s 4:26 a.m. and my alarm goes off for the first time. I hit the snooze and doze off. It buzzes again at 4:31 and the war of voices in my head begins. “Get up and get to the gym,” says one voice. “Stay in bed,” says another. “You ate like a pig yesterday,” the first voice reminds me. “Relax, go after work,” says the mediator. “You might have to work late,” says the logical one.
Eventually I remember that in order to accomplish my personal mission, I need to be productive and healthy. That memory, and the promise of a triple-strength cup of Taster’s Choice French Roast coffee, gets me up and into the gym at 5:30 a.m. five days a week.
Just as my personal mission gets me up and moving in the morning, a good mission will get an organization — and its marketing — focused and moving. Companies with the most succinct and outward-focused missions have some of the best marketing, and are typically more successful than their competitors. Not surprisingly, they are usually the market leaders.
Bad Mission Statements
Most mission statements are horrible. They’re filled with empty platitudes that were tweaked by dozens of managers, the HR director or the CEO’s favorite consultant. They talk about the “ultimate customer experience.” Or they contain a vow to be “…the best solution in the eyes of our customers, employees and shareholders.” You can commence rolling your own eyes now.
Good Mission Statements
The best mission statements involve something you’re interested in and good at doing. But yours must be centered on benefiting and creating lasting value for someone other than you and your organization. For example:
- “To organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.” (Google)
- “To save people money so they can live better.” (Walmart)
- “To spice up everyday life.” (Chili’s Grill and Bar)
- “To help extraordinary organizations achieve important goals.” (Farris Marketing).
Missions Make You Strong
Dr. Alex Lickerman, author of The Undefeated Mind, says “Having a mission to which you’re committed will make you strong.” Lickerman believes that if you keep focused on your mission, short-term set backs will have far less impact. But you need a mission that you believe in your heart is more important than anything else. That’s why picking a great mission is so crucial.
Missions In Marketing
Mission statements can be part of an organization’s marketing identity. They help employees and customers understand the reason it exists. A good mission statement can become the rallying cry of stakeholders and supporters. Share it with the market and prospects, and use it as your guiding star.
We helped our client Meridian Community Care develop a very powerful and challenging mission statement. Meridian’s mission is “To Eliminate Addiction.”
Everything they do and say is built around this mission. The mission statement fits, complements and justifies their tag line: “Saving Lives. Serving Communities.” And finally, their ad campaign explains how they achieve their goal using a combination of prevention, education, treatment and counseling — collectively known as “The Power of Care.”
What’s Your Mission?
“Life can be pulled by goals just as surely as it can be pushed by drives,” said Viktor Frankl. A good mission statement can pull your organization forward and drive your marketing there as well. Get busy on your mission statement. You’ll have a better organization — and much better marketing.