To empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.
To entertain, inform and inspire people around the globe through the power of unparalleled storytelling.
To accelerate the world's transition to sustainable energy.
To drive Southeast Asia forward by creating economic empowerment for everyone.
All of these statements have one thing in common – they’re examples of mission statements. The first belongs to Microsoft, the second Disney, the third Tesla, and the last Grab.
What is a mission statement?
A mission statement articulates your brand’s purpose and business objectives, and can cover your values, your customers, and your approach. The purpose of a mission statement is to be your guiding light for decision-making while helping you connect better with your target audience.
Consumers love purpose-driven businesses. A global study found that people are 4 to 6 times more likely to purchase from, trust, recommend, and protect a brand that has a strong purpose. Mission statements are not confined to large corporations – smaller businesses, including ecommerce brands, can also benefit tremendously from having a mission statement. Writing a mission statement should be a key part of your business planning and market segmentation strategies, especially when building your brand.
A well-crafted mission statement can be a lightning rod for the business, acting as a strategic and motivational focus, informing marketing and business efforts while creating a sense of unity amongst your team.
What is the difference between vision and mission?
Vision refers to the overarching goal of the business. A vision statement usually covers much longer-term or macro goals compared to mission statements.
The mission is more action-oriented. A mission statement details how the business intends to achieve its vision.
In other words: your vision defines your desired outcome for the future, but your mission defines what you’re doing about it today.
So what comes first, vision or mission? Neither – purpose should come first, and the mission and vision statements should extend from that purpose. Instead of looking at them as first vs. second, a better way would be macro vs. micro.
For example, IKEA’s vision (macro/why) is “to create a better everyday life for the many people," and their mission (micro/how) is “to 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."
TED’s vision (macro/why) is to welcome “people from every discipline and culture who seek a deeper understanding of the world," and their mission (micro/how) is simply to "spread ideas."
How to write a strong mission statement for your brand
Writing a good mission statement can be daunting if you don’t know where to start. If you’re struggling to pin down a clear summary of your business goals and values, here are some questions to ask yourself for a clearer idea of your brand's purpose and mission, with examples to illustrate.
1. What does your business do?
This should be the easiest part – as an ecommerce brand, you sell products.
Your business could sell:
- Baby food
- Pet supplies
2. Who are you doing it for?
Who is your target audience? Whose pain points are you looking to solve? Who do you intend to market your business to?
This is a critical step in writing your mission statement and building your overall business strategy. Defining your ideal target customer and drawing up a proper customer profile will help you better understand how to convince and convert your target audience into loyal, paying customers.
Your target audience could be:
- Women with broad feet who are having difficulties finding shoes their size that are both comfortable and stylish
- Parents who are looking for affordable, healthy, and natural alternatives to existing baby food brands
- Pet owners who are looking for unique or niche products for their pets that are not readily available in other local stores or retailers
- Individuals who live alone and want to enjoy fresh produce regularly but are too busy to go to the grocery store
3. How will you do it?
This does not refer to the details of your business operations. Instead, this "how" is about how your business will appeal to your target audience and succeed in the market.
This is usually tied very closely to your brand’s value proposition, and examples include:
- By providing high-quality products
- By innovating to create new products
- By committing to sustainable practices
- By encouraging fun or creativity
- By being transparent with your customers
- By providing superior customer service
You can also develop core values for your brand or business in a similar vein that help guide your decision-making process.
For example, Grab's core values are Heart, Hunger, Honor, and Humility, while Singapore Airlines' core values are Excellence, Safety, Customer Focus, Care, Integrity, and Teamwork. You can already see how the two brand's core values would have a genuine impact on how the respective businesses are managed and operated.
4. Why are you doing it?
This is about figuring out what’s important to you and the passion behind your brand. You can think back to why you started your business in the first place, what inspires you on a day-to-day basis, or what sort of issues in the community you’re dedicated to addressing.
Even if you’re not a social entrepreneur, your ecommerce brand can still have a cause. For example:
- To encourage women of all shapes and sizes to feel confident and experiment with their style
- To empower busy parents with real, minimally processed baby foods that are convenient and affordable
- To provide pet owners with designer pet furniture that complements and enhances the aesthetics of their home
- To inspire healthier eating by making it easier for people to access real whole foods
Combining the answer to all of the above will help you write a strong mission statement that provides the driving force behind your business. Once you have it, it’s simply a matter of tweaking and rewording your mission in a way that is brief, has a clear direction, and is memorable.
FAQs about mission statements
What is a vision and mission in business?
Both vision and mission statements are articulations of a brand's purpose and encompass who its target audience is, what products or services the business is selling, and its unique value proposition.
For example, the NUS Business School’s vision is “To be the leading business school in Asia, globally recognized for excellence in education and research," while their mission is "To advance knowledge and develop leaders so as to serve business and society."
What is the purpose of a mission statement?
Additionally, a mission statement services to communicate the purpose of your brand to customers and stakeholders alike while developing a measurable goal to gauge the success of your strategy in achieving that purpose.
What should be included in a mission statement?
- Key market: In what market does your business compete, and who is your target audience?
- Contribution: What product or service are you selling?
- Distinction: What makes your product or service unique, or what value are you providing to customers so that they choose to buy from you over other retailers?
How do I write my own mission statement?
- Be brief: Use eight words or less if possible
- Be unique: Consider what makes your company different
- Be memorable: Choose the right words that resonate with your audience, and make it catchy or inspirational if possible
- Keep it positive: Your mission statement should highlight how you’re solving a problem, filling a need, or making things better
- Use active language: Active verbs always convey a stronger message
Build a Shopify business that fulfills your vision and mission
Much like in the case of business planning, writing a vision and mission statement for your brand is about helping you identify a strong purpose for your business while outlining a clear direction for future developments or decision-making.
While the who, what, and why of your mission statement must come from you, Shopify can help you with the how.
If you’re looking to provide stellar customer service, there are many customer support apps on the Shopify App Store you can choose from, including chatbots and help center support. Want to engage better with your audience? Integrate our Shopify channel apps and interact with customers across all your channels like TikTok, Facebook, or Pinterest on a single platform.
Whatever your vision or mission may be, Shopify is here to help you achieve it.
Build a more sustainable ecommerce business today — Start your 14-day free trial on Shopify. No credit card required.