A mission statement is a phrase, sentence or short paragraph that communicates the purpose of why your company does what it does. It’s a branding tool to inspire your partners, clients, and employees. It is often paired with a vision statement (what) and supplemented by your company values (how).
We asked experts for their best mission statement examples from their favorite companies.
1. Google: Organize the World’s Information
William Gadea, Creative Director and Founder, IdeaRocket LLC
I think the most audacious mission statement I’ve seen is Google’s:
To organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.
You could be cynical and add “… except that information which we need to monetize,” but I won’t be cynical. It still blows me away that practically all the world’s information is available in a device that can live in my pocket. If you had checked with me back in 1990, I would probably be more excited by that than flying cars (or whatever else we are yet to get).
Jeff Terpstra, President, Scott Allen Creative
We work with a lot of passionate nonprofits with inspiring mission statements. However, we actually created a mission statement for the Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired (ABVI).
I lost my sight, not my vision.
Our President’s mother lost her vision and gained back her independence with this organization, so it is very near and dear to our hearts. We’ve seen firsthand how ABVI’s education, tools, and support increases independence for those who are blind and visually impaired. ABVI’s prior messages were informative but lacked the heart of what they do.
The brand promise “I lost my sight, not my vision” communicates the passion behind their work. This message engages audiences through black and white, high-contrast visuals that are compliant for visually-impaired readers.
3. U.S. Army: Duty, Honor, Country
Paul A. Dillon, CMC, Dillon Consulting Services LLC
I was a U.S. Army officer who served in the Vietnam War. And I was a top executive at several accounting and consulting firms before I became a successful entrepreneur. Additionally, I’ve had top board positions at some major nonprofits and governmental committees and commissions.
Here is the best mission statement that I have ever read:
“Duty, Honor, Country” – the motto of an Army officer.
Simple words—but their meaning can have a profound impact on a business career. Companies would do well to have this type of simple mission statement.
4. Sony: Inspire and Fulfill Your Curiosity
Britt Armour, Digital Marketing Manager at Kibii
Many companies push their products and services by exhausting their messaging. Sony’s mission statement really sticks with me:
This mission statement encourages people to explore the brand for themselves. Sony is addressing a human characteristic that absolutely everyone can relate to: curiosity. I think this mission statement is smart and simple, leaving room for interpretation. It leaves their audience wondering what products they will release next and how it will impact their lives.
They are directly targeting innovators and early adopters, which is a powerful target market to go after as they have a lot of influence. People want to explore brands for themselves and find the value by experiencing it on their own terms.
Abigail Orencia, Writer, Fit Small Business
You may need to start with your vision—or “what” you want to accomplish—before creating your mission statement, which explains why. Both allow you to communicate your brand.
A good example is Tailor Brands, an online website that lets you build your own logo to support your mission. Their mission statement is:
Making Design Simple
6. Headframe Spirits: Every Drop Is Made with Respect
Russ Stoddard, Founder and President, Oliver Russell
I’ve long admired Courtney and John McKee, who founded Headframe Spirits in 2010 in Butte, Montana, or as the locals call it, Butte, America. Butte is an economically-depressed mining town, but the McKees have created an economic engine for their city, and to a large extent their state, by launching the company with a powerful give-back philosophy that honors Butte’s history and positioned locals firmly in their corner.
Headframe Spirits purpose statement is:
Every drop is made with respect.
Headframe embodies Made-in-America pride and respect for the manufacturing industry. They’re also a certified public benefit corporation, which I love.
7. IKEA: Create a Better Everyday Life
David Haass, COO, Elite Insurance Partners, LLC
The IKEA mission statement resonates with me because it fits into my personal and professional beliefs.
To create a better everyday life for the many people.
My goal is to help people every day create a better and healthier life—my employees, friends, family and my clients. I strive to make our work environment a positive one—one that my employees want to work in. One that, in some way or another, improves their lives.
8. TED: Spread Ideas
Andrew Selepak, PhD, College of Journalism and Communications, University of Florida
As an educator at the University of Florida, a company’s mission statement that resonates with me is the simple yet ambitious mission statement from TED:
Here’s how they explain what Spread Ideas means: “TED is a global community, welcoming people from every discipline and culture who seek a deeper understanding of the world. We believe passionately in the power of ideas to change attitudes, lives and, ultimately, the world.”
Each semester I lecture to my students about the value of knowledge to make us informed citizens, better consumers, and to feel connected with the world around us. This same idea is expressed in the TED mission statement. Their goal is to share information with the world to change the world. It is a noble and necessary thought, and motivated by the idea that greater access to knowledge can improve lives.
9. Mary Kay: Enrich Women’s Lives
Ken DeWitt, Owner, Business Coach & EOS Implementer, DeWitt LLC
One company whose mission statement I really admire is Mary Kay’s. It’s short, written in simple language, and comes from the heart.
Mary Kay’s mission is to enrich women’s lives.
Mission statements used to be long paragraphs that made people fall asleep. Now they’ve evolved. When I work with companies to develop their mission or core focus, we separate it into two elements. The first part is the company’s purpose, cause or passion. It’s the “why” of your business’ existence. The second piece is the niche or special skill that makes your company unique. When we do this, the mission or core focus becomes clear, and the company can then develop their plans for future growth.
10. Starbucks: Inspire and Nurture the Human Spirit
Linda Pophal, Owner/Consultant, Strategic Communications, LLC
I teach courses in the business school at a local university—University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire—and do strategic planning with clients where I focus a lot on the importance of mission statements to help guide corporate decisions/strategy.
Mission statements are supposed to simply be a statement of who the company serves and what it does. But it should also set the company apart from competitors/similar companies and indicate how it is different/better. From that standpoint, I really like the Starbucks mission statement:
Our mission: to inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time.
It tells who it serves: neighborhoods; what it does: cup = coffee; and also provides an indication of how it may be different from other coffee shops because of its desire to “inspire and nurture the human spirit.”
11. Tesla: Accelerate the World’s Transition to Sustainable Energy
Kevin Adkins, Founder/CEO, Kenmore Law Group
This mission statement is from Tesla Motors. It’s the opening line to a lengthy statement written by Elon Musk. I’ve found it to resonate with me for numerous reasons. For one, it sets the tone of the company, which is important for consumers and investors alike. More importantly, though, there is a clear goal in mind, one that benefits all of humanity.
Our goal is to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy.
It doesn’t only benefit the customers or the business, but everyone—even those who are not affiliated with Tesla. Sustainable energy for the world is a huge step that will push our societies further. A company that willingly wants to participate in and facilitate that process is rare.
That kind of thought process and global mindset is what I pursue and hope to achieve at my company, Kenmore Law Group. I believe our work in helping injured people is crucial to changing workplace conditions across the country.
12. Patagonia: Build the Best Product
Khobi Brooklyn, Partner, Atomic VC
Patagonia’s mission is concise and delivers a promise, an action, and a solution. Their mission is:
Build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis.
Through just one clear sentence, we know Patagonia’s values and what the brand is committed to. And, Patagonia has built a thriving business while staying committed to its core values every step of the way. [This is] authenticity at its finest.
13. Philips: Improving People’s Lives Through Meaningful Innovation
Diane Strohfus, Chief Human Resources Officer, Betterworks
One of my favorite mission statements is that of Philips:
Improving people’s lives through meaningful innovation.
It says something about a company when they not only desire to create a profitable and successful business, but through that innovation create opportunities and positive impact for their employees and society in general. When companies choose to inspire, motivate and enhance the human condition, our society becomes a better place.
14. McDonald’s: To Be Our Customers’ Favorite Place
Todd Jones aka the “Donutologist,” CEO, Cuzin’s Duzin
This mission statement resonates with me because at Cuzin’s Duzin Donuts, we’re not just selling donuts—we are selling an experience. Our Mini Donuts are made right in front of the customer. So we are engaging your sight (seeing them), your nose (smelling them), and your mouth (tasting them). It’s all experiential. I’m inspired that McDonald’s, as a billion-dollar company, gives clues on how to attain that status.
McDonald’s mission statement is:
To be our customers’ favorite place and way to eat and drink. Our worldwide operations are aligned around a global strategy called the Plan to Win, which centers on an exceptional customer experience – People, Products, Place, Price and Promotion. We are committed to continuously improving our operations and enhancing our customers’ experience.
15. Arc Benders: The World Needs Us to Change It
Sheridan Howie, Coordinator of Sustainability & Outreach, Lulu
The Arc Bender’s mission statement is not only encouraging, but it gets to the point of their purpose: to change the world. Their mission is:
Our mission is to inspire more people to change the world and to give them the tools they need to succeed. We exist because the world needs us to change it.
Rather than focus on the doom and gloom of society’s problems, the Arc Bender’s mission is positive and reassuring. It invites us to be a part of the change and know that Arc Benders will be there to support our journey.
16. Chobani: Accelerate Universal Wellness
Robert Tobin, Sr. Consultant/Partner, Motava
Chobani is committed to the planet and its people. Its mission statement says:
At Chobani, we believe that business can be a force for good, and that living our guiding mission of better food for more people extends far beyond our product. From cow comfort on dairy farms to responsible manufacturing practices to being active members of our communities where we live and work — we’re passionate about democratizing good and helping to accelerate universal wellness.
They inspire their employees to live a healthy and positive life. They also instituted a profit-sharing program where every full-time member of the company receives ownership and a stance to help continue the company to grow with new ideas—something all companies big and small should do to inspire employees.
17. Virgin: Disruption Is in Our DNA
David Alexander, Designer, Developer & Digital Marketer, Mazepress
My favorite mission statement is that of Virgin Group, which they refer to as their purpose. Why? Because Richard Branson really understands that it’s the people who make a good business, and his whole approach to using business as a force for good in the world is as admirable as mission statements get.
Disruption is in our DNA and we’ve made sure this is captured in our purpose, the reason Virgin exists.
Most importantly the emphasis is on “changing business for good.”
18. Walmart: Save People Money So They Can Live Better
Amanda Ponzar, Chief Marketing Executives, Community Health Charities
Walmart’s [mission statement] is pretty good:
We save people money so they can live better.
That sums it up. It’s not just about a good deal, especially for many families who need help making dollars stretch further; it’s about WHY saving money matters. And it’s about saving money on healthy food too; when Walmart makes a switch to offer low-cost fruits and vegetables in stores, it impacts millions of families. There’s more they can do, but it’s a start.
19. Malala Yousafzai: I Want to Serve the People
Personal Mission Statement Examples, BrandYourself
BrandYourself showcases four of their favorite personal mission statement examples. We like the one from a young Nobel Prize laureate and activist, Malala Yousafzai, who says,
I want to serve the people. And I want every girl, every child to be educated.
They state, “Malala’s personal mission statement examples are broad, but her actions as an advocate, author, and activist all clearly link back to these objectives. This is how to write a personal mission statement that easily lends itself to being shared publicly as it gets at a larger vision.”
20. University of Maryland: Consistent, Comprehensive and Cooperative
Mission Statements: HR, Society for Human Resource Management
The Society for Human Resource Management, SHRM, provides this best example of a mission statement from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. It’s an example of a mission statement specific to an HR department, reminding us that departments within a business can have their own mission.
The mission of the Department of Human Resources is to offer consistent, comprehensive, and cooperative services by a competent, courteous staff.
Additional, HR-specific mission statement examples can be found on the SHRM HR Knowledge Center.
21. Southwest Airlines: Providing Employees a Stable Work Environment
Jan Makela, Coaches Council Member, Forbes
Southwest Airlines mission statement reads:
Dedication to the highest quality of Customer Service delivered with a sense of warmth, friendliness, pride, and Company Spirit. We are committed to providing our Employees a stable work environment with equal opportunity for learning and personal growth.
Southwest believes in two things: customers and employees. Next time you fly Southwest, open the Southwest Magazine in the seat pocket in front of you. Near the front of magazine, there is a page written by a customer and why they fly Southwest. Next will be a page about an employee doing outstanding work and also active, perhaps in their community. How does this manifest itself?
Southwest is the only legacy U.S. airline never to go into bankruptcy and the only airline that has never laid off an employee. Post-9/11, Southwest was the only airline that did not lay off any employees. They struggled to stay profitable but they did it—true to their mission statement and core values.
22. Automattic: Never Stop Learning
Christopher Lloyd, Sr. Writer, Reputation Capital Media
Personally, I’ve always liked Automattic. They call it a creed rather than a mission statement:
I will never stop learning. I won’t just work on things that are assigned to me. I know there’s no such thing as a status quo. I will build our business sustainably through passionate and loyal customers. I will never pass up an opportunity to help out a colleague, and I’ll remember the days before I knew everything. I am more motivated by impact than money, and I know that Open Source is one of the most powerful ideas of our generation. I will communicate as much as possible because it’s the oxygen of a distributed company. I am in a marathon, not a sprint, and no matter how far away the goal is, the only way to get there is by putting one foot in front of another every day. Given time, there is no problem that’s insurmountable.
I like the fact that it stresses things like humility, acknowledging that learning is a process that should never end, and that there are times when we will be the helper and times when we are the one who needs help—and we should never be ashamed of or shrink from either role.
23. pawTree: Where Pets and Their People Thrive
Paige Dawson, President, MPD Ventures Company
Honestly, I love the pawTree mission statement:
To create a world filled with unconditional love where pets and their people thrive.
Each word is intentional, relevant, and authentic.
What intrigues me is the boldness with which pawTree brings “love” into every aspect of their business, something rarely talked about and even rarer, shown in business today. Adding “unconditional” expands this concept to be inclusive, accepting, and comforting.
Now, as a pet-focused company, you’d expect “pets” to be somewhere in the statement, though adding “and their people” brings in the family concept. Our pets are our family, and we are certainly bonded as “their people.”
Ending the statement with “thrive” is empowering; pawTree wants pets and people not to just live but to thrive…and in this case, it’s perfectly worded as pets “thrive” with their products. The people whose pets use the products “thrive” with happier, healthier pets, and the people who sell the products “thrive” with income as sales representatives.
24. Auctioneers: Finding the Value in Everything
Jim Woodhead, Owner, A for Agency
We have just redone the mission statement for family-owned Auctioneers as part of an upcoming brand and website refresh. They’re 150 years old and now the fourth generation of the family is taking over the day-to-day running of the company. We needed something that highlighted their unique character and proposition and that ensured that they stood out from the crowd. Their mission statement became:
Finding the value in everything
…which reflected their uniqueness and brand proposition. People think about auctioneers as finding the price of things, but by focusing on value, we shifted the focus to what an item means and the people who bring things for valuation and sale. It also placed emphasis on the team and colleagues in the business and how they can support the brand.
25. Nike: Inspiration and Innovation to Every Athlete
Amanda Moyer, Director Account Services, Market Mentors
Nike’s mission statement is:
Bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world. If you have a body, you are an athlete.
I like that it is short, sweet and to the point. It challenges the notion of what an “athlete” is, and makes the brand accessible to all. Too often, brands feel the need to cram a lot of jargon and lofty language into their mission statement. Much like their “Just do it” slogan, Nike distills the brand and its mission down to its essence.
26. Water.org: Safe Water and Sanitation
Nonprofit Mission Statement, Donorbox
Donorbox recognized that many nonprofits fail to create mission statements like their for-profit counterparts do. They set out to correct this with a blog post, and provided water.org’s mission statement as an example, saying, “This mission statement leaves no doubt at what the organization does and how.”
Water.org empowers families with access to safe water and sanitation through affordable financing.
27. Vail Valley Dental Care: Trusting Friendships
Mission Statements That Will Set You Apart, 99designs
Freelance website, 99designs, shared examples of mission statements rendered graphically by their freelance talent, like this one created by freelancer Denis Mesnikov to share the mission of Vail Valley Dental Care.
We hope these examples move you to create a compelling mission statement—one that inspires your customers, employees and business partners. If you’d like a template to help create your mission statement, read our article on how to create your mission statement in six steps.
Once you’ve got your mission statement, it’s a nice idea to create a logo or image that reflects your company mission. You can design your own with Tailor Brands, using their logo maker and branding tools. No design skills required.