Get the mission statement off your website

24 11 2007

Do you read the corporate mission and vision statements on websites or in corporate promotional material?

I don’t.

In fact, I find them to be insincere, ambiguous and completely useless to the customer, and most of the time useless to the company itself.

So why do many corporate websites include them?

Does someone in the sales and marketing department believe that customers find this information important or believable?

Objectives, goals, mission and vision are important in an organization.  They define where we are going, and help in making decisions about how to get there.

You don’t need a mission or vision statement to be successful.You will need to make certain everyone in the company knows where they are going and are focused and motivated on getting there.

Customers will see the results.

You don’t have to tell them what you are trying to do.



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4 responses

25 11 2007
Frank Uncovers Excellence in Leadership » Mission Statements

[…] Lee Iwan thinks there shouldn’t be any: In fact, I find them to be insincere, ambiguous and completely useless to the customer, and most of … […]

26 11 2007
shamrin

Having just designed (but not implemented yet) a new company website which includes our mission statement I am feeling quite defensive and compelled to respond (or since this is the internet maybe I’ll just lash out).

I’m not sure it matters but I wrote a new mission statement for us, working to get buy-in from the staff (which turned out to be easier that getting it from the executives actually). I’m planning on putting it on the website because:

1) It is a statement that reflects our values, it’s what we think we are about and how we intend to do our business. I think our prospects want to know this.
2) It is a public statement about (what you rightfully describe) as a private matter but by declaring it to the world, I hope that our staff and management feel more compelled to live up to it. The smaller the audience, the more internal I keep it, the less likely we are to be self-critical about whether we are really doing it.

Now, since these mission statements are often platitudinous, they probably don’t often drive behaviour or impress customers, but a good one might do both. At least I hope so.

Convinced?

26 11 2007
Lee Iwan

Shamrin,

Appreciate your comments, thank you.

If you strongly feel the mission statement is important for your customers or your own organization, then you should absolutely use it and promote it.

It is how you want the company to be perceived.

Your response highlights some important areas that most companies avoid or neglect when creating a mission and vision statement.

1. Your mission statement was “sold to” all levels of the company. Shared goals and objectives will result in an organization that responds quickly and with focus.

2. Publishing this “internal” statement for customers and suppliers creates expectations. You are creating a challenge for your organization, more than a compromise with the customer. I think this is why most mission statements are published, excellent intentions, but do they work?

We want our potential customers to know what we stand for, what we believe, in order to create a commercial relationship.

Is this best done with a mission statement or through our products and services?

Could the same vision, committment and compromise be achieved with a promise or guarantee to the customer? 100% satisfaction or your money back, on-time delivery or it’s free, 365 day full guarantee?

You’ve hit the nail on the head with your comment ” Now, since these mission statements are often platitudinous, they probably don’t often drive behavior or impress customers, but a good one might do both.”

As consumers we have become jaded toward advertising and marketing that promises “new and improved” and gives us the same old thing.

If the company mission statement reflects a burning passion, an absolute “no fail” objective, embraced by one and all at all levels of the organization, with budgets and committed resources, it might provide some comfort to a customer. Not by reading it, but by seeing it in action.

Take the example of Dominos´s Pizza.

Their mission statement says ” Exceptional People On A Mission To Be The Best Pizza Delivery Company In The World.”

Doesn’t convince me to purchase a pizza (you might argue it’s not a great mission statement). It just isn’t a statement that is important to a customer.

Products and services are what reaches the consumer and convinces us to buy or use the company. Coordinated image of the company, strong distribution system, tasty uniform product, ease of ordering, 30 minute delivery or the pizza is free.

Ultimately the level of service, product quality, attention and overall relationship between the organization and the client, and perceived value is what customers will feel and respond to.

20 03 2008
Au Pair

very nice web site. My English is not so good, so I do not understandt it well, but it seems very good. Thanks

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