A good mission statement is the most fundamental element of your ecommerce business.
It’s the pillar for why you exist and influences your decision making. It’s the best tool to connect with your audience and reach your full potential, and the benefits extend beyond marketing. Vision and mission statements are internal motivators, too, giving team members a cause to rally behind.
Though most small businesses know the importance of vision and mission statements, many struggle to write one. That’s normal! It’s not easy to create a clear summary of your company’s goals and values.
In this guide, you’ll learn the basics of mission and vision statements, with real-world examples from top brands, and tips for writing your own today.
Discover your mission ⭐
What is a mission statement?
A mission statement is usually part of your business plan when you start a business. It identifies your company’s purpose and is a way to publicly share why your company exists. Crafting your mission statement helps you unify your business and avoid potential business mistakes by keeping you on track.
Your mission statement should:
- State what your company does. You don’t need to be fancy, simply state whatever it is your retail business produces or provides.
- State how your company does what it does. This does not need to be a detailed description of how you operate your business. You can describe how your business works in more general terms and incorporate one or more of your core values.
- State why your company does what it does. Think about why you started your business in the first place—share your passion for starting your company.
A clear mission statement tells potential and existing customers what to expect from you and can provide your employees with direction, inspiration, and focus.
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Mission statement versus vision statement: what’s the difference?
A vision statement articulates where you aspire to be once you achieve your mission. Often, it describes where you want certain people or the world to be as a result of your mission. Vision statements convey a long-term goal, generally a time range of five to 10 years, or beyond.
Your mission statement is essentially an action-oriented vision statement, declaring the who, what, and why of your retail business. Your mission statement can be the roadmap for your vision statement.
It’s vital for both your mission and vision statements to be concise so you communicate the reasons your business exists.
Learn more: 11 Steps for How to Start a Business in 2022
17 best mission statement examples
Now that you have an idea of what makes well-crafted mission statements, let’s look at examples of retailers with high-quality mission statements.
Mission statement: Build the cooler we’d use every day if it existed.
Yeti’s mission statement is effective because it focuses on its landmark product—premier coolers—and highlights the value it brings to customers. This statement tells customers the product is going to solve their problems, because the founders state how they were frustrated by unreliable coolers and outdoor accessories.
Mission statement: To create inclusive clothing and accessories that enable you to show your pride all year round while giving back to our community.
Passionfruit’s mission recognizes a truth for the LGBTQ+ community and allies alike. This statement is useful because it promotes the idea that pride is not a one-day event but an everyday expression of oneself.
Passionfruit’s statement focuses on allowing people to express themselves through clothing and apparel. It reminds customers the brand is aligned with LGBTQ+ values and promises to support the community by giving back.
3. Old Guys Rule
Mission statement: To embrace a new breed of guys who have incredible energy, a passion for life, wisdom gained from years of experience and the time to spend doing the activities they enjoy. Old Guys Rule should be worn as a badge of honor for a life well spent but not nearly over.
Old Guys Rule’s mission statement stands out because it focuses on its target audience. The brand embraces its customers’ strengths of wisdom and experience, with the goal of being a most-loved apparel brand. It makes you feel proud of your age and accomplishments, rather than feeling bad about “getting old.”
What’s more, many elements in this mission statement are empowering. So when Old Guys Rule says it should be worn as “a badge of honor,” customers feel excited to wear its clothes and be proud of who they are.
4. Ride Rich
Mission statement: To breathe new life into the motorcycle streetwear scene. We are a brand that acknowledges those individual riders who ride for freedom, not for ego.
In Ride Rich’s mission statement, the brand challenges the status quo for motorcycle riders. This statement captures a specific rider: the “individuals who ride for freedom.” It’s a great mission statement because it describes how it goes about its business. If you want creative streetwear based on art, music, and experiences that everyday riders encounter, Ride Rich is your brand.
Another thing to love about this statement is the exclusive language. Ride Rich uses relatable terms such as “two-wheel therapy” and “keep it 100” to connect with its target market. It also discusses different riding styles to not alienate certain groups. Ride Rich wraps up with a positive note that’s punchy and inspiring for potential customers.
5. The Spoiled Mama
Mission statement: The Spoiled Mama knows great skin never goes out of style. That’s why we’ve combined Mother Nature with science to give new moms (and their little humans) the best skin care available. Our collection addresses the most common needs of pregnant, postpartum, and breastfeeding mothers, so you can enjoy being a Mama … without all the drama.
This mission statement from The Spoiled Mama has one clear goal: give new moms and their kids the best skin care around. Its statement ties in with the brand’s philosophy of finding sisterhood in motherhood and helping mothers take care of themselves and their babies.
In many ways, The Spoiled Mama’s mission statement builds community. Whether you’re newly pregnant or breastfeeding, you know The Spoiled Mama is a place you can turn to for skin care, strength, and support.
Mission statement: To accelerate the world’s transition to renewable energy.
Tesla’s mission statement is significant because it speaks to the brand’s commitment to the environment and changing the automobile industry. It also makes customers feel like allies in this endeavor.
Tesla uses inspirational language in both its mission and vision statements. By focusing on sustainability, the brand resonates with customers and employees who genuinely care about the environment. It also gives them a platform to expand into other solutions, like energy storage and solar.
Mission statement: Bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete* in the world. (*If you have a body, you are an athlete.)
Nike’s mission statement is a classic. It’s effective because it puts the company’s priorities out in the open. The asterisk next to “athlete” leads to a footnote stating, “If you have a body, you are an athlete.” This shows customers that anyone can use Nike’s products.
The idea of being able to become an athlete, no matter who you are, underlines the brand’s commitment to offering a huge selection of sportswear products. It stands out because people need the motivation to achieve their goals, and Nike reaffirms its dedication to helping them improve.
Mission statement: To inspire and nurture the human spirit—one person, one cup, and one neighborhood at a time.
This mission statement is short, sweet, and to the point. It doesn’t use big words or sentences to express its goals. It communicates exactly what Starbucks wants to be and for whom. The statement makes it about more than just coffee—it’s about creating a culture of warmth and inclusivity, where everyone feels welcomed and at home.
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Mission statement: Spread ideas.
TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to spreading ideas in the form of short, powerful talks known as TED Talks. Its mission statement is concise but represents the brand’s larger goal to welcome “people from every discipline and culture who seek a deeper understanding of the world.” TED is building a free library of knowledge both online and in-person, composed of the world’s greatest thinkers, to inspire people to engage and share ideas with each other.
Mission statement: To connect the world’s professionals to make them more productive and successful.
LinkedIn is a social media site centered around connecting professionals. Its goal is to make it easier for professionals to network and refer each other, so everyone can be more successful.
This mission statement is perfect for the brand. It’s brief, clear, and uses active words. It also expresses its deep commitment to professionals using the platform. The company’s goals are to help people create and maintain relationships that will help them grow in their careers.
Mission statement: Empower every person and organization on the planet to achieve more.
Microsoft’s mission statement is inclusive and shows its focus is on helping all people. The company expresses its values by taking the well-being of Its employees seriously. It does this by giving all employees free health care and other lifestyle and well-being benefits. It also has company initiatives promoting innovation, diversity, and corporate responsibility.
This mission statement shows Microsoft is more than just a software company. It’s a member of society that wishes to help others better themselves and, through that, better the world.
Mission statement: Amazon is guided by four principles: customer obsession rather than competitor focus, passion for invention, commitment to operational excellence, and long-term thinking. Amazon strives to be Earth’s most customer-centric company, Earth’s best employer, and Earth’s safest place to work.
On its Who We Are page, Amazon makes it clear that it’s all about its customers. In its effort to bring the best to its customers at the lowest price, it formed partnerships with companies around the world. This is what’s given it that competitive advantage that’s made it the global powerhouse it is today.
Mission statement: To continue our dedication to providing a unique range of products, exceptional customer service, and great experiences.
Nordstrom’s aim is to only offer its customers the best—the best products, the best service, the best experience possible. Its mission statement perfectly describes its company spirit of going above and beyond. It also states how Nordstrom is not just a simple retailer like Walmart. It is and always has been a high-end business that prides itself on offering its customers the exceptional.
Mission statement: To save our home planet.
Patagonia specializes in creating clothing and gear for outdoor enthusiasts. Its mission statement is as simple as you can get. Five words and one sentiment—save our planet. And it makes sense why this would be important for it: Its entire company is built around encouraging people to explore the outdoors, and people can’t do that if our planet dies.
Patagonia actually used to have the mission statement “To build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis.” Then, in late 2019, the brand chose a new mission statement focusing on more than just sustainability, and instead aiming to actively save our planet. It even shut down all its stores and offices in September of that same year so its employees could strike alongside youth climate activists.
Mission statement: Dedication to the highest quality of customer service delivered with a sense of warmth, friendliness, individual pride, and company spirit.
Southwest is an airline that has always focused on creating a fun, friendly, inclusive atmosphere for its customers and employees. When it first launched, it created a love-themed marketing campaign. Its emblem is a heart, and its ticker symbol on the stock market is LUV.
Southwest’s mission statement perfectly captures the company spirit of care. Regional director James Ashworth said it best: “We believe if we take good care of our employees, they will take good care of our customers. And that commitment drives our culture.”
Mission statement: To transform the cereal industry by building a new category of nutritious and flavorful cereal.
Magic Spoon is a company bringing back all those nostalgic cereal flavors of your childhood, only healthier. Its cereals are low carb, high protein, and practically sugarless.
Magic Spoon’s clear mission statement shows it’s looking to the future. More than offering a simple product, its aim is to revolutionize the cereal industry. It wants to marry health with childhood joy—and from its mission statement to its packaging, the company’s goal is clear.
Mission statement: To help your beloved fur-babies have the greatest sleep possible.
Pupnaps is an Australian company that creates products designed to help comfort pets who suffer from anxiety. It specializes in a scientifically designed pet bed proven to have a calming effect for anxious pups.
Its mission statement shows they care about your dog. On its website, it includes information on dog anxiety and how it affects your pup’s health. And it even offers a quiz to help you pick out the best bed for your dog.
How to write a mission statement
1. Be brief
You can use the eight-words-or-less rule when creating your mission statement.
Keeping it simple makes it easier to convey the goal and purpose of your business in a way that’s easy to understand, making your mission statement more effective and memorable.
A short mission statement is also easier to include on business cards and marketing materials.
2. Be unique
When you’re drafting your mission statement, it’s crucial to keep in mind what makes your company different. Why is your retail business unique and special compared to others who sell similar quality products? Share your specific story rather than being general to the point that any other company could use your mission statement as its own.
3. Know your target audience
When you’re crafting your mission statement, always keep your target audience in mind. Your messaging needs to match the wants and needs of these potential customers.
4. Create expectations
Retailers with strong mission statements lean into their target audience’s expectations.
For example, Shopify says its mission is to “make commerce better for everyone, so businesses can focus on what they do best: building and selling their products.” This statement creates the expectation in Shopify merchants that they’ll build successful online businesses using the platform.
5. Be realistic
Don’t fall into the trap of making your mission statement so elaborate that you lose touch with what your business can realistically achieve. Stay grounded in how your retail business serves customers right now. You can use forthcoming and inspirational language in your vision statement.
6. Be memorable
Think about the terminology and keywords or phrases you can use in your mission statement to make it unforgettable. You don’t need readers to be able to recite your entire mission statement, but make it catchy so people begin to associate prime aspects of your mission statement with your company.
7. Keep it positive
Mission statements are all about how your retail business solves a problem, fills a need, or makes an aspect of life easier for your target customer. It’s essential to avoid negative language in your mission statement.
Dr. Barbara Fredrickson, a leading researcher in the science of happiness and positivity, suggests that positive emotions open people up. Positivity can change perspectives and your understanding of possibilities.
8. Use active verbs
Your mission statement should make readers feel like something is happening now versus in the past.
For example, write, “[Your company name] makes [your products] to enhance your quality of life,” rather than writing, “These [your products] are made by [your company name] to improve your life.”
Active verbs convey a stronger message about your retail business and how you’re solving a problem or filling a need for your audience.
9. Make it adaptable
Once you’ve created a strong mission statement, it’s something you can always turn back to for direction and motivation as you scale your business.
Use key phrases for marketing campaigns and when you’re developing new products.
Write your company’s mission statement today
Whether you’re writing a personal mission statement or one for your business, there’s no doubt it’s a winning strategy for achieving your goals. Using the sample mission statements above, you’re well on your way to crafting a great vision for your business.
All in all, writing a mission statement is easy with the right knowledge, tools, and a little bit of time. If you’re short on time, you can use a free mission statement generator to create one for you.
Illustration by Pete Ryan
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Mission statement FAQ
How do I write a mission statement?
- Keep your mission statement short and sweet.
- Consider long-term goals and expectations.
- Don’t limit yourself.
- Use active verbs.
- Find out what your team thinks about your mission statement.
- Make it adaptable.
What is a good mission statement?
What are three parts of a mission statement?
According to Chris Bart, a leading expert in helping organizations develop mission and vision statements, three essential parts of a mission statement are:
- Key market: the target audience.
- Contribution: the product or service.
- Distinction: what makes the product unique and why customers should buy it over another.
What are examples of a mission statement?
- Nike: Bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete* in the world. (*If you have a body, you are an athlete.)
- Starbucks: To inspire and nurture the human spirit–one person, one cup, and one neighborhood at a time.
- Tesla: To create the most compelling car company of the 21st century by driving the world’s transition to electric vehicles.
- TED: Spread ideas.