What is a Mission Statement

My first video blog, an edited transcript is below.

You have all heard of the furniture giant known as Ikea, I presume.

When you think of Ikea, what comes to mind? Home furnishings; DIY; a unique shopping experience; affordability… a lot of things will come to mind when you think of Ikea.

I would like to take a brief look at the Ikea mission statement. The first line reads as follows:

To create a better everyday living for the many people.

Notice: there is nothing in there about home furnishings, affordability, a unique shopping experience, or DIY.

“A better everyday experience for the many people”. That is their mission statement. Everything else that we mentioned is aftermath of that mission statement, it’s a consequence, it helps them achieve that mission.

Let’s break it down: starting at the end, it says “for the many people”. They are trying to appeal to a broad audience. … They are competing on price, yes, but they are also giving you a breadth of styles that will fit a lot of different personalities and needs. …

And they talk about improving the every day experience. It is more than just home furnishings. It’s about creating a comfortable home. … There is nothing more “every day” thank your home. Most of us spend at least a little bit of every day in our homes. To “create a better every day experience for the many people”, they are doing that through home furnishings, giving you access to the style that you want, and more.

Have you ever worked with a business owner who says something like: “I make pens, and people are going to buy them because people have to write”.

My first question would be: “have you every heard of a pencil?”.

It’s not enough to focus on the thing that you are producing, you have to know why you are doing it. … Because that is going to set the direction for how you do it. …

When we say Ikea we all create a distinct image in our heads, and it might be different to different people. But we do all have an image of that, and we all know what it means. And you don’t have to be Ikea: focus on your sphere of influence. You still want for people to react that way when they think of you. They know what you stand for, they know what you are about, and they know what to expect in working with you.

That’s the value of a strong mission statement: knowing who you are. Being more than just a product or service. That is going to build trust with your audience, it is going to help give you credibility. It is also going to help people buy from you.