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Mission and values

How can founders leverage trends in customer consciousness to tap into the 'why' and 'how' a company does business?
LInkedin branded football table in an office
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In recent years, ‘purpose’ has become very high on the agenda of a lot of companies, both large and small.

There are many reasons for this, and one of the biggest factors has been customer demand. In other words, consumers are arguably more conscious than ever before in terms of: where their goods and services come from, how employees and supplies are treated, and the impact of the organisation on the planet.

In response to this trend, some companies have adopted a clear stance with regards to their purpose, and transparency around how they operate.

There’s a lot of different semantics here, however, two of the most common ways businesses express their identity to the world are: mission statements and value statements.

Put simply, a mission statement articulates why a company exists and what it is aiming to achieve (i.e. what problem(s) it addresses). It also tends to be focused more on “today”.

On the other hand, a value statement describes how a business conducts its activities (i.e. its core values and the company culture – how it treats people and organisations that it interacts with). A value statement is more aspirational than a mission statement, and relates to the future of the organisation – its aspirations.

Some example statements

LinkedIn: Mission Statement: connect the world’s professionals to make them more productive and successful. Value Statement: create economic opportunity for every member of the global workforce.

IKEA: Mission Statement: to offer a wide range of well-designed, functional home furnishing products at prices so low that as many people as possible will be able to afford them. Value Statement: to create a better everyday life for the many people.

bet365*: Mission Statement: bet365 is committed to Safer Gambling. We promote gambling as an enjoyable leisure activity and we believe that gambling can only remain this way if you stay in control and gamble responsibly. Value Statement: to be and continue to be the world’s favourite online sports betting company, offering a global industry leading approach to safer gambling. pdf

*An interesting side-note about the founder of bet365, Denise Coates and her family. They have been named as the largest UK taxpayers for the third year in a row, paying £481.7 million in 2022! source

Over to you

Have a go at creating your own mission and value statements and leave them below, or write down a company you’ve worked for.

Alternatively, you could also write down statements for companies you like or dislike.

© University of York
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