Executive coach and public speaker Gerry Valentine’s piece for Forbes on the importance of an inspiring mission statement (“Want To Make Your Company Resilient? Start With An Inspiring Mission”) is a reminder of just how subtle the differences are between a mission statement and a brand promise statement.
They are different, however.
The Makings of a Mission Statement
To understand what goes into a mission statement, consider the following examples:
“Build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis.” — Patagonia
“To empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.” – Microsoft
As the article explains, a mission statement describes what a company hopes to accomplish in the world and the value that it delivers. It’s what inspires and motivates employees to come to work every day and makes them resilient in the face of obstacles and challenges.
A mission statement is, by definition, internally focused.
The Brand Promise Statement: Similarities and Differences
In comparison, most people assume that a brand promise statement is externally focused, and it is. But an effective brand promise covers much more than the customer experience.
Here at the Galvanizing Group, we define the brand promise statement as “a clear and concise statement of how a brand connects with its audience.” This is immediately followed by, “it also guides the actions of a company and its employees.”
After all, a company’s ability to keep its brand promise depends entirely on its employees—and whether they have the skills, abilities and desire to deliver an experience that customers expect while fulfilling the company’s higher purpose.
The author of the aforementioned article rightly observes that “a strong mission is a beacon to attract the right people.” A strong brand promise statement can do the same, too.