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Home » How to write a mission statement – with examples – Startups.co.uk

How to write a mission statement – with examples – Startups.co.uk

For those who have started – or want to start – a business, writing a mission statement is fundamental for helping yourself, your investors and your audience understand who you are as a brand.
In a nutshell, a company’s mission statement is used to define the purpose an organisation serves to its audience. It should be a bold, strong message that unifies your employees and motivates them to aim for a clear and ambitious target.
Your mission statement will set the tone for your entire operation – which is both a blessing and a curse. An authentic and inspiring declaration will bring a positive tone to your business. But if your statement is imitative or untruthful, you’ll quickly end up lost.
Startups has helped thousands of entrepreneurs to set up a business. Using our unique expertise – as well as knowledge and experience from the very best – we’ve pulled together the below guide to writing a mission statement. We’ve also included examples to give you a clearer idea of what you should, and shouldn’t include.
Mission statements define a company’s operations and objectives, two of the key things all entrepreneurs need to decide about their business when just getting started.
Having these will give you a purpose – hugely important for defining who your organisation is and what it wants to achieve. That strong sense of direction is beneficial not just for yourself, but also for your employees, partners, and audiences.
Paul Finch is the co-founder of Growth Studio, a global startup consultancy. Finch says “a mission statement, if written down and bought into by the entire company, [helps] you be consistent with the decisions you make and answer really fundamental ones.”
Ironically despite the huge benefits they can reap for businesses, the best mission statements should be kept short and to-the-point. They should encapsulate who your business is, and what it does, in the simplest way possible.
Overly-long mission statements only serve to confuse your messaging and audience. That’s why some of the world’s biggest organisations like Apple and Microsoft keep their mission statements to no more than one sentence.
Below, we’ve picked out some of the top examples to guide you through the process of writing a memorable, and impactful, mission statement:
Why does this mission statement work?
Monzo’s mission statement encompasses three key ideas:
How does the brand live up to it?
Monzo’s selling point is that it can give you complete control of your money through its online app, taking away painful admin and ensuring your ‘money works.’
What can your brand learn from it?
The chief lesson here is that Monzo sets its sights high. Nathan Levi is CMO of Crowdcube, an equity crowdfunding platform for entrepreneurs of startups and growing businesses. Levi says you shouldn’t be afraid to lay out a lofty target in your mission statement.
“Missions should be ambitious and inspire employees,” he elaborates. “There’s no point in having a mission that the whole company doesn’t get behind.
Why does this mission statement work?
It’s easy to grasp Tesco’s core purpose through this statement. In one line, the supermarket heavyweight shows itself to be:
The additional clause of ‘a little better every day’ tells us that Tesco is also dedicated to improvement and growth.
How does the brand live up to it?
Tesco is well-known for its Tesco Express convenience shops which are present on almost every high street in the UK, serving both their customers and their local communities.
Their website also says they are committed to becoming carbon neutral by 2035, and have already reduced their Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 52% since 2015.
What can your brand learn from it?
Christy Kulasingam, business strategist and Founder of Radbourne Consulting, says that being too generic is one of the most common mistakes made when writing a mission statement.
Tesco’s specific purposes – particularly its sustainable messaging – separates the chain from its competitors, ensuring its mission statement does not appear clichéd.
“If your organisation’s name or logo can be substituted,” says Kulasingman, “and the mission still stacks up for your competitors or your sector more broadly, you aren’t differentiated.”
Why does this mission statement work?
The idea of completion on, and delivery of, a project signifies that Kier prioritises action, and wants to win contracts. Meanwhile, the word ‘vital’ refers to its focus on public sector projects that will benefit the entire country.
Combined, Kier’s mission statement tells us that the company wins large-scale tenders as one of the top contractors in the country.
How does the brand live up to it?
Kier’s website shows the huge scale of its construction activities. The firm delivered 278 in 2021, with an average value of £10.3 million per project.
It also states that the company is fully-dedicated to its sustainability mission and is targeting becoming net zero for business operations and value chain carbon by 2045.
What can your brand learn from it?
Think of your mission statement as a business strategy, not just a general roadmap. Kier does this well. Its statement uses the verb ‘deliver’ to show it is action-based. Kier clearly knows how to achieve its intentions, rather than just detailing what they are.
Why does this mission statement work?
Positioning itself as an educational toy, LEGO tells us its purpose is to have a positive impact on those who play with its products.
The brick-laying business does this by referring to its child secondary audience as the ‘builders of tomorrow’, while also paying respect to its primary audience of parents whose children it can ‘inspire and develop’.
How does the brand live up to it?
As an international brand, LEGO definitely has a big enough market share to claim it can shape future generations.
It’s currently worth £7.86 billion, much of which comes from its adult LEGO sets for those who fell in love with the product as a child.
What can your brand learn from it?
While far from a sales pitch, a mission statement should still consider who its audience is.
Vicky Grammatikopoulou is founder of Vie Aesthetics, a provider of medical and cosmetic treatments. Grammatikopoulou advises business owners to think about how a third-party will perceive your statement.
“Mission statements can help both companies and employees connect with their community, customers, clients and business partners”, she tells Startups.
Woman designing a mission statement on at computer
Why does this mission statement work?
As an organisation that makes money from creating content, TED’s mission is to produce content that can be ‘spread’ wide, demonstrating its influence in mainstream media.
Simultaneously, the short, adjective-free description of ‘ideas’ shows it is an inclusive brand that doesn’t discriminate about what makes a good or bad idea.
How does the brand live up to it?
The TED name has become synonymous with video clips of 10-minute lectures that often go viral for their thought-provoking ideas.
What can your brand learn from it?
Less is more when it comes to mission statements. Keep it to a short phrase that encapsulates your main purpose – don’t worry about cramming everything in. The easier it is to remember, the more likely it is to stick in people’s minds.
Maria Levitov is co-founder and director at Snow Hill, an investor relations advisory. Levitov says that, when drafting, “try to adapt your mission statement for an impatient reader – everyone is increasingly short on time these days and attention spans are shortening accordingly.”
Why does this mission statement work?
Sustainability is the most obvious theme here. That Vinted wants buyers to make second-hand purchases emphasises the app as eco-friendly.
But Vinted doesn’t just put the onus on its customers to buy second-hand. Instead, it stresses its desire to make buying pre-used items an attractive offer for buyers.
That tells us the platform is dedicated to improving its product and supporting consumers to change their behaviour by making it easy to find ‘first choice’, high quality goods.
How does the brand live up to it?
Vinted has marked itself out from its ecommerce competitors with much lower listing fees. That means its products are a lot cheaper than other, first-hand marketplaces, driving more consumers to find cheap second-hand goods on the app.
What can your brand learn from it?
Keep your mission statement broad. Vinted is currently predominantly used as a clothes app in Europe. However, it doesn’t limit itself by using that descriptor.
Instead, Vinted opts to say ‘second-hand’ to give it more freedom to move into other sectors like furniture or books. It also goes for ‘worldwide’ to signify its growth objectives have no measurable boundaries.
Why does this mission statement work?
In a concise eleven words, LinkedIn tells readers exactly what it has to offer and why it’s different to the rest of the market. Although a social networking website, the word ‘productive’ highlights LinkedIn as a strictly professional site designed to help workers to network, unlike Facebook or Twitter.
That LinkedIn wants to connect “the world’s” professionals is also telling – the platform dominates globally, indicating the scale of its operations.
How does the brand live up to it?
LinkedIn currently has 830 million members in more than 200 countries and territories worldwide, making it the biggest professional networking platform in the world.
What can your brand learn from it?
Mission statements are more likely to be read internally than externally. LinkedIn is speaking to its employees, not its service users (referred to as ‘them’) in this example, ensuring a unified team front.
David Newns, serial entrepreneur and investor, stresses that a mission statement helps “your leadership team and wider team [know] exactly what the company is trying to do, so they can make sure that they use their time in the best way possible.”
Based on what we’ve learnt above, here are the Do’s and Don’ts of writing a mission statement:
Finally, remember that your business has to live up to your mission statement. Feel free to be ambitious, but make sure you are still able to follow through on your promise.
If you’ve inherited a mission statement, or you’re debating whether to update yours in light of the current economic challenges, you might be worried about the negative repercussions of making edits.
Perhaps your business has outgrown the statement. Or maybe you just think it needs to be realigned to reflect the changing demands of the market you are in. Can it be done?
Executive leader coach, Simon Konkader, says yes. “But”, he warns, “don’t take it lightly. If you start changing the statement every one, three, or five years then you will not attract the right investors or employees as they don’t perceive the company to have the right management board or direction.”
It’s the ultimate question for today’s business leaders: which came first, the mission statement of the company vision?
As your mission statement defines your company’s purpose today, your vision statement details where you aspire to be tomorrow.
Because of this, mission statements tend to put the emphasis on the audience, and how the business will serve their consumers day-to-day. Vision statements are your opportunity to look further into the future. Get out your crystal ball and try to think about where you want to be in five or ten years time.
For example, let’s go back to our first case study, LinkedIn. Its company vision is very different to its mission statement:
While the LinkedIn mission statement is definitely still bold, aiming to support its user base to progress further in their respective careers, the company’s vision goes bigger.
According to the LinkedIn vision, users aren’t just networking more, but also earning more. Meanwhile, its ‘professional’ user base has grown to become the global workforce, subtly demonstrating that LinkedIn wants to help anyone in a career, regardless of their sector or employer.

Helena “Len” Young is from Yorkshire and joined Startups in 2021 from a background in B2B communications. She has also previously written for a popular fintech startup.
Included in her topics of interest and expertise are tax legislation, the levelling up agenda, and organisational software including CRM and project management systems. As well as this, she is a big fan of the films of Peter Jackson.

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