Your guiding beliefs should be simple, authentic, and customer focused.
We’ve selected 15 companies that exemplify these characteristics: Airbnb, Amazon, Facebook, Google, Harley-Davidson, IKEA, Invisible Children, Jamba Juice, Southwest Airlines, Squarespace, Starbucks, Target, Tesla, Toyota, and Warby Parker. (You can click on a company name to jump to their section in this guide.)
No matter your industry or company structure, you too can benefit from writing thoughtful mission, vision and value statements for your company. We hope these examples will inspire you!
As you read each example, imagine you’re an employee.
- What mission motivates you?
- What vision excites you?
- What values resonate with you?
Airbnb’s mission speaks to a timeless and universal human need: belonging. Simultaneously, the mission offers specifics that focus the brand: local, authentic, diverse, inclusive and sustainable.
Airbnb’s mission of helping people belong can transcend centuries. By looking beyond its present business model toward a larger purpose, Airbnb provides future company leaders with a purpose that they can use to make decisions even when the business environment eventually changes.
To create a world where people can belong through healthy travel that is local, authentic, diverse, inclusive and sustainable.
Tapping into the universal human yearning to belong—the desire to feel welcomed, respected, and appreciated for who you are, no matter where you might be.
- Be a host
- Champion the mission
- Be a cereal entrepreneur
- Embrace the adventure
Read more about Airbnb’s values.
“Customer obsession” is Amazon’s first value. This probably isn’t surprising to anyone who uses Amazon’s services. Everything from their user interfaces, to their customer service, to the new products they develop, is designed to provide a delightful customer experience with (as their mission puts it) the “utmost convenience.”
We strive to offer our customers the lowest possible prices, the best available selection, and the utmost convenience.
To be Earth’s most customer-centric company, where customers can find and discover anything they might want to buy online.
- Customer obsession
- Invent and simplify
- Are right, a lot
- Learn and be curious
- Hire and develop the best
- Insist on the highest standards
- Think big
- Bias for action
- Earn trust
- Dive deep
- Have backbone; disagree and commit
- Deliver results
Read more about Amazon’s values.
What companies should we acquire? What investments should we make? What investments should we not make? Facebook’s leadership uses their mission statement to make all of these decisions.
Whether you look at the thriving social network Instagram, or Facebook’s investments in instant messaging and virtual reality, each of Facebooks’ projects are designed to “bring the world closer together.”
To give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together.
People use Facebook to stay connected with friends and family, to discover what’s going on in the world, and to share and express what matters to them.
- Focus on impact
- Move fast
- Be bold
- Be open
- Build social value
Read more about Facebook’s values.
Google’s leadership team solved a challenge that not many companies face. Google owned 90% market share in its main business (online search). This massive success made it hard to grow without investing in projects outside of its mission and vision.
Larry Page decided to restructure Google by creating a holding company, Alphabet, and making Google a company within this larger structure.
With Alphabet, Page is now free to invest in innovations like driverless vehicles, robots, smart home devices, renewable energy, and disease fighting technology. Meanwhile, Alphabet’s largest company (Google) is still able to hold onto the identity and purpose that made it the leader in the online search market.
To organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.
To provide access to the world’s information in one click.
- Focus on the user and all else will follow.
- It’s best to do one thing really, really well.
- Fast is better than slow.
- Democracy on the web works.
- You don’t need to be at your desk to need an answer.
- You can make money without doing evil.
- There’s always more information out there.
- The need for information crosses all borders.
- You can be serious without a suit.
- Great just isn’t good enough.
Read more about Google’s values.
Good mission and vision statements look outward to focus on customers, rather than inward to focus on shareholders. Harley could have said that its mission was to increase shareholder value by selling motorcycles. Instead, Harley’s leadership made “dream fulfillment” the key to their mission.
Harley’s customer-focused mission statement gives the company’s leadership team permission and direction to invest in strengthening motorcycling culture. This, in turn, helps retain old customers and attract new ones.
Another important benefit of Harley’s mission is its impact on employee morale. Telling your employees that they are “fulfilling dreams” is far more motivational than telling employees that they’re “selling great products.” Harley’s mission inspires employees by showing them what Harley motorcycles mean to their customers and proving that their work has a positive impact on the world.
We fulfill dreams through the experiences of motorcycling, by providing to motorcyclists and to the general public an expanding line of motorcycles and branded products and services in selected market segments.
To continuously improve our mutually beneficial relationships with stakeholders.
- Tell the truth.
- Be fair.
- Keep your promises.
- Respect the individual.
- Encourage intellectual curiosity.
Read more about Harley-Davidson’s values.
How should your furniture company design, transport, store, and sell your products? A mission statement can provide a unifying answer to all of these questions.
IKEA declared in its mission statement that products must be well designed, functional, and affordable. They executed on this by working with world class designers, developing a modern furniture aesthetic, stressing ergonomics, making smart-home devices, saving costs with innovations like flat-packed furniture, placing stores in out-of-town locations, and letting customers pick up their own furniture from in-store warehouses.
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.
To create a better everyday life for many people.
- Leadership by example
- Constant desire for renewal
- Togetherness and enthusiasm
- Striving to meet reality
- Humbleness and willpower
- Daring to be different
- Accept and delegate responsibility
- Constantly being “on the way”
Read more about IKEA’s values.
Invisible Children places their values directly on their website’s homepage. Each value is accompanied with a 2-4 sentence explanation. These explanations show how the organization views their values as essential to accomplishing Invisible Children’s mission.
To end violence and exploitation facing our world’s most isolated and vulnerable communities.
A world that celebrates the intrinsic value and interconnection of all life and works together to protect it.
Read more about Invisible Children’s values.
Every company must strike a balance between providing direction and leaving room for growth.
Jamba Juice found such a balance in their mission statement. Rather than stipulating that the company sell smoothies in stores, Jamba’s mission welcomes opportunities to sell inside and outside of stores. Because so many products could “inspire and simplify healthy living,” Jamba also leaves room to sell foods beyond just smoothies.
To be the leading healthy lifestyle brand offering consumers great tasting and differentiated products inside and outside our stores.
To inspire and simplify healthy living.
- Have FUN!
- Act with INTEGRITY!
- BELIEVE in yourself and Jamba!
- Achieve EXCELLENCE in everything you do!
- Deliver great RESULTS!
Read more about Jamba Juice’s values.
Southwest differentiates itself from other airlines with warmth and friendliness, which is places at the center of its mission statement.
Southwest’s vision shows its commitment to customers (“most loved”), employees (“most flown”), and shareholders (“most profitable”).
Southwest supplemented these with values that guide employees in spirit (“Live the Southwest Way”) and in the serious responsibilities of operating a commercial airline (“Work the Southwest Way”).
Dedication to the highest quality of customer service delivered with a sense of warmth, friendliness, individual pride, and company spirit.
To become the world’s most loved, most flown, and most profitable airline.
Live the Southwest Way:
- Warrior Spirit
- Servant’s Heart
- Fun-LUVing Attitude
Work the Southwest Way:
- Safety and Reliability
- Friendly Customer Service
- Low Costs
Read more about Southwest’s values.
Squarespace has a broad mission and focused vision befitting a startup.
As Squarespace grows, its likely their leaders will expand the company’s vision so that they can develop products and services that compliment their web publishing platform. For now though, Squarespace accurately defines who they are and what they’re aiming to accomplish.
To provide creative tools that power the future of the web.
To provide a simple, stylish web publishing platform.
- Be your own customer
- Empower individuals
- Design is not a luxury
- Good work takes time
- Optimize towards ideals
Read more about Squarespace’s values.
Starbucks faced a public relations crisis in the summer of 2018 when a store manager asked a group of black visitors to leave, believing that the visitors didn’t intend to buy anything.
Starbucks recognized that the incident was in direct contradiction to their stated mission of “nurturing the human spirit” and their values of “creating a culture of warmth and belonging.”
Starbucks quickly took action. Their CEO apologized in person to the visitors and made up for their humiliation by offering them money and a free college education. Finally, Starbucks made a bold promise that their restaurants would be free and open to anyone regardless of whether they bought drinks or food.
Since then, Starbucks sales and stock have increased. This outcome shows how adhering to your company’s mission and brand values can drive customer loyalty and enthusiasm. When Starbucks stuck to their mission and values, even to the point of adopting an unusual restaurant policy, customers noticed and showed their appreciation with continued patronage.
To inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time.
To establish Starbucks as the premier purveyor of the finest coffee in the world while maintaining our uncompromising principles while we grow.
- Creating a culture of warmth and belonging, where everyone is welcome.
- Acting with courage, challenging the status quo and finding new ways to grow our company and each other.
- Being present, connecting with transparency, dignity and respect.
- Delivering our very best in all we do, holding ourselves accountable for results.
Read more about Starbucks’ values.
Your mission should indicate what makes your company special, why someone might choose you over your competitors.
Target’s mission hints at this with its focus on “innovation” and “exceptional experiences.”
Target customers often say that they love the experience of shopping at Target more than the experience of shopping at Walmart. Target markets this difference with their brand promise, “Expect more. Pay less.” They deliver on their promise with better service, warmer lighting, more finished interiors, inviting store layouts, and even smoother shopping carts.
To make Target your preferred shopping destination in all channels by delivering outstanding value, continuous innovation and exceptional experiences—consistently fulfilling our Expect More. Pay Less.® brand promise.
We fulfill the needs and fuel the potential of our guests.
- Great shopping, anytime, anywhere
- Celebrating diversity & inclusion
- Design for all
- Community support & engagement
- More for your money
- A fun and rewarding place to work
Read more about Target’s values.
Tesla’s mission tackles perhaps the greatest challenge of the 21st century—removing the world’s dependence on fossil fuel in order to protect the environment for generations to come.
Tesla’s vision states that the company is working to accomplish this mission by “driving the transition to electric vehicles.”
Together, these two sentences (and the action that Tesla takes to fulfill their promises) have proven so powerful that hundreds of thousands of customers have bought substantially pricey vehicles and become brand evangelists.
Elon Musk’s enthusiasm for his company’s mission is so infectious that Tesla car owners regularly offer to volunteer at Tesla delivery centers to help the company move its products faster.
To accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy.
To create the most compelling car company of the 21st century by driving the world’s transition to electric vehicles.
- Built around the driver
- A clean start
- Committed to electric
- Sparking the evolution
Read more about Tesla’s mission.
Toyota fulfills its mission statement with extreme quality control and exceptional customer service.
Many Toyota owners swear that they will only buy Toyota cars, showing that Toyota is on the path toward its vision of being “the most respected car company in America.”
To attract and attain customers with high-valued products and services and the most satisfying ownership experience in America.
To be the most successful and respected car company in America.
- We believe everyday’s an opportunity to improve.
- We believe that if you can dream it you can do it.
- We believe a better tomorrow starts today.
- We believe in respecting others.
- We believe in trying to make a difference.
- We believe in working together.
- We believe good things stand the test of time.
- We believe in going the extra mile.
Read more about Toyota’s values.
Warby Parker exemplifies how a for-profit company can also strive to accomplish good in the world. With its vision to “give everyone the right to see,” Warby Parker endears itself to customers, employees, and investors.
To offer designer eyewear at a revolutionary price, while leading the way for socially conscious businesses.
To give everyone the right to see.
- Treat customers the way we’d like to be treated.
- Create an environment where employees can think big, have fun, and do good.
- Get out there.
- Green is good.
Read more about Warby Parker’s values.