Mission Statement Blunders and How to Fix Them

“Belong anywhere.”- Airbnb

Airbnb’s simple mission statement is designed to tell consumers what their main goal is for travelers. It is only two words long but it says that they are striving to make it possible for anyone to belong anywhere in the world. The statement is short and could elaborate on what they do to help you belong anywhere, however it is still effective at pulling in the reader.

There are mission statements that inspire and there are poorly executed ones. Getting the right mix between speaking to your consumers needs and what you do is imperative. Below are some examples of reason why mission statements fail to communicate or drive engagement.

Mission Statements Should Speak to Your Consumer, Not Your Ego

“To help make every brand more inspiring, and the world more intelligent,” – Avery Dennison

The above mission statement does not take the chance to tell the reader what their company does for the consumer. It just strokes the ego of the writer and company, saying that their company makes the world more intelligent without telling why.

Avery Dennison is a manufacturing company who is well known for their label makers and printable labels. The first part of their mission statement tells a bit about what they do in that they help brands stand out, however the second part of their mission statement is unclear in its accuracy.
How does label making make the world a more intelligent place? It may be that people can print information on labels. That Avery is in the business of helping brands and people inform others. If that is the message it is poorly executed.

 

How to fix it:

Talk to your target market- Avery Dennison sells their labels and label makers in stores and B2B clients, they need a statement that speaks to both demographics. They may want to lean more towards their business clients, due to their customers mostly purchasing from third parties (i.e. big box stores).

Tell your customers how they benefit from your expertise- Avery’s expertise is in printables so they should focus on how to portray how their labels and other printables make life easier for businesses and consumers.

Reworked Mission Statement: “Inspiring brands and people to create informative messaging”

The message now speaks to the consumers about how their products can work for them.

Your New Mission: Simplify

“Springboard for the Arts is an economic and community development organization for artists and by artists. Our work is about building stronger communities, neighborhoods, and economies, and we believe that artists are an important leverage point in that work. Springboard for the Arts’ mission is to cultivate vibrant communities by connecting artists with the skills, information, and services they need to make a living and a life.” –
Springboard for the Arts

 

You all know what the big issue is with this statement, it is way too long. They jam packed their mission statement with every cause they are trying to uplift and combat. There is a huge need for simplification and figuring out their core message.

With Springboard for the Arts being a non-profit that contributes to multiple communities and niches in the area, it is understandably difficult to say everything they do in one sentence. However you want your community to know who you are, what you do, and why you do it in a very short and concise way.

How to Fix it:

Curate

The words used within the existing mission statement are all informative, but a majority are repetitive and unnecessary to the target market. The last sentence in particular is truly what speaks about what they do for the community.

Reworked Mission Statement: “To cultivate vibrant communities by connecting artists with the skills, information, and services they need to make a life.”

The statement is condensed to the end sentence and reworked to talk more about the life aspect instead of “making a living.” This tells consumers that this organization is committed to helping them, as artists, create a life for their families.

These are two of the most common issues companies face when creating their mission statements. You can avoid them by narrowing down your target market, and stepping into their shoes to see what you can provide them. Your consumer is your biggest advocate, make sure your mission statement reflects your loyalty to building the best products and services for them.

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For more mission statement flops visit Inc. Magazine’s The 9 Worst Mission Statements of All Time.