Why Not to Put Your Mission Statement on Your Website

I know, you love your mission statement. You worked hard on it. You studied it. Your team had several meetings with several revisions just getting it right. You made it mean something to you and your employees. It is beautiful.

Your Mission Statement Should Not Be on Your Website

But that is why you should not put your mission statement on your website. It means something to you and your team and not your customers. Honestly, when was the last time you read another company’s mission statement and said to yourself, “Yes, that is the company for me! They must really understand my needs. They must really understand customer service.” Okay, well, unless you are a banker looking to give a loan, but in most cases your customers do not  care.

Your Mission Statement is Old School

What was once a way of communicating trust and credibility in your store or business is now an ineffective way of connecting and engaging with online users or audiences.

First, your company might represent a service that can be a dime-a-dozen. Much like web designers, we have to set ourselves apart. Let you know what makes us unique. A typical, online mission statement does not do that.

Second, saying that you ‘insist on superior customer service,’ ‘quality products,’ or ‘implement the critical initiatives’ is so ambiguous. As a consumer, I’ve heard these terms so often they mean nothing to me. I want to know how you achieve superior customer service, what  makes your quality product better from your competitor, and what the heck you mean by ‘critical initiatives.’ Here is an example of a typical mission statement:

To combine aggressive strategic marketing with quality products and services at competitive prices to provide the best insurance value for consumers.

Uh, what?

A mission statement on a website says, “We love us and therefore so should you!”

Here is Starbuck’s mission statement: http://www.starbucks.com/about-us/company-information/mission-statement

Notice how the entire page uses Us, We, and Our; for example, “Our coffee..” “We’re passionate…,” “..we are fully engaged, we connect..”  This is great, as I mentioned earlier, for your banker and investors but not for your customers. Consumers care about themselves and their own problems or pleasure in this case. If you really, really want to let your customers read your mission statement, make a separate web page on your website and let your users decide. Then tell a story.

So Add it to your About Us page

Here is an example of a specific mission statement: “With this blog, the Lion Brand Notebook, we’re hoping to connect with you in another way, bringing you regular updates on what’s happening inside Lion Brand, taking you with us when we travel, and sharing our discoveries about what’s happening in the yarn world with you.

But they took it a step further and created an About us page that really spoke to their customers and explained their purpose: http://www.lionbrand.com/aboutus.html

This web page is specific and introduces their history and their uniqueness, “You can count on the fact that the next breakthrough in yarns will come from Lion Brand!” Instead of a ‘quality product’ they produce breakthrough yarns.

So keep your internal mission statement out of your website and rewrite it so it makes sense to your customers. Try to be interesting. I don’t care if you are a A/C repair guy, a lawyer, or corporate president, we all have a story. What is yours?

 

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Christina Hawkins

1 Comment

  1. […] remind many clients not to put their mission statement on their homepage. It is not about you. It is about your customers. Start there.Ask yourself why they need you or […]

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