Written by: Mary Thibault
Nowadays it feels like everywhere we go there’s an advertisement in sight. Companies are continuously promoting products and services to their niche markets via TV commercials, billboards, digital pop-ups, you name it. It’s a cluttered, competitive world out there. For as far as we can see, promoting and advertising your company will always feel like a survival of the fittest but a key differentiator will remain. (Cue drumroll) Your mission statement!
A mission statement is a short paragraph (4 sentences max) that serves as the “guiding light” for your financial services company. It keeps your internal team and clients aligned on the direction and purpose by narrowing in on the company’s ultimate goal. Mission statements help companies focus their strategy by defining boundaries within which to operate. It’s easy for a mission statement to become a bland, general, idealistic blur but as a small company just starting out, you have the upper hand. You have the flexibility to make your mission statement concise, and specific so your clients understand how you provide value to them. Don’t have a statement or looking to revise your current one? Here are five questions to consider:
- What do we do?
- Why do we serve our clients in the way that we do?
- Why did we start this business/what value are we bringing?
- Whom do we do it for?
- How do we do it?
Example #1: Sweetgreen
Sweetgreen has a mission statement that works. They address four core areas: what they do, who they work with, how they do it and whom they do it for. The company identifies their customer’s core values right away; health and community. They further distinguish their niche market by using keywords such as organic, ingredients, local, community, farmer, trust, passion, etc. In fact, the mission statement is so strong that they’ve found a way to make you feel good about purchasing and consuming their products. You feel good about buying something from Sweetgreen because the mission statement implies that your money is going back towards local farmers.
Example #2: Amazon
Another mission statement that works well is Amazon.com. Like Sweetgreen, they identify what they do right away along with how they do it and whom they do it for. To call out why they serve the clients the way they do, they’ve used keywords such as lowest prices, discover, and online. The phrase “To be Earth’s most customer-centric company …” and even using the word “anything” tips off that they’re a monstrous company and sets the bar pretty high for competitors. The reason I like this mission statement so much is that it’s short and sweet but every word they’ve chosen to include is intentional so there isn’t much fluff. Based on your knowledge, can you find a mission statement that you think is strong or could use as inspiration for your own?
Regardless of where you’re at in developing or revising your mission statement, here are five key takeaways to keep in mind:
- Your mission statement is the key differentiator for your financial services brand.
- It’s a short paragraph that serves as the guiding light of your company.
- Display your mission statement internally and externally for clients and staff.
- Ask yourself: what do we do, who do we do it for, why did we start this business.
- Identify strong mission statements of other companies (even outside of financial services) and use them as inspiration.
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