When you have a business, coming up with a mission statement offers a number of benefits.
One is that it helps reinforce the direction you take your company as you move forward, which can directly impact its future. Having a mission statement also enables your employees and consumers to easily see what values and ideologies you hold near and dear, which tells them what they can expect when working for or interacting with you.
Admittedly, coming up with a mission statement that steers your business in the right direction while also portraying what you’re about isn’t always easy. After all, how do you boil down everything your company stands for and all that it strives to do into one or two sentences at most?
If this is where you are, if you’re struggling with creating your own mission statement—or if you already have one, but would like to update it so it’s more powerful—sometimes it helps to look at other business’s statements and see what they say.
The goal with this approach is to pick a business that seems to understand what it takes to continue to grow year after year, exciting consumers to come back for more, and one company that falls into this category is Disney.
A Closer Look at The Walt Disney Company
Market Watch reports that, in 2018, The Walt Disney Company earned $59.47 billion in revenues. This is up from $54.94 billion the year before, a trend that has continued for at least the past five years.
What does this ever-growing company’s mission statement say? According to its website:
The mission of The Walt Disney Company is to entertain, inform and inspire people around the globe through the power of unparalleled storytelling, reflecting the iconic brands, creative minds and innovative technologies that make ours the world’s premier entertainment company.
How does this one sentence compel the company to move forward in a way that raises revenues annually while also attracting and retaining loyal consumers along the way? Answering this question involves breaking this statement down to its most integral parts.
Dissecting Disney’s Mission Statement
The first thing that Disney’s mission statement does is shares what it sets out to do, or what people can expect from this company, and that is to “entertain, inform and inspire.” If you’ve ever seen a Disney movie, you already know that it hits each of these areas with every new release.
But let’s say you’d never seen a Disney film. Before you head to the theater, you go to their website to check them out. In that very first line, you’ll gain a pretty clear image of what you’ll likely experience during the show: entertainment that will educate you while also creating hope and motivation at the same time.
The next part of Disney’s mission statement talks about who the company intends to impact, and that is “people around the globe.” This tells you that not only does Disney want to have a huge presence in the American market, but it also wants to be well-known in other countries as well.
If you are an employee of Disney, this means that you will likely not only address topics important within the United States, but “across the pond” too. This opens you to present story lines that could impact multiple cultures around the world, or to discuss the effects a particular film could have on different demographics.
Alternatively, if you are a consumer, this section of the mission statement tells you that, if Disney succeeds, you will likely be able to see this company’s films no matter where you live, work, or travel to. This is huge if you take your family with you, giving them a taste of home in new lands.
A couple more of the powerhouse phrases contained within Disney’s mission statement are “unparalleled storytelling” and “the world’s premier entertainment company.” Both of these give you the idea that this company is many steps ahead of the rest, providing higher quality entertainment through its ability to tell stories in a way that no other in the industry can.
Additional phrases that give Disney’s mission statement even more punch are “iconic brands,” “creative minds,” and “innovative technologies.” When put together, these three sets of words tell you that this company will continue to deliver the same type of experience you’ve come to know and love with Disney, but in new and constantly evolving ways.
Applying the Lessons Learned
Certainly, you can’t just copy Disney’s mission statement and use it for your own business. One, that would be wrong and two, unless you’re in the film industry, it isn’t going to work anyway. That said, you can apply the lessons you’ve learned by taking Disney’s mission statement and breaking it down into smaller, more bite-sized pieces and apply these same approaches to your own statement.
So, when creating your company’s mission statement, think about:
- Exactly what consumers can expect from your company;
- Which demographics you intend to impact most; and
- How big you want your business to grow.
Next, come up with a few powerhouse words and phrases that will elicit the emotion you want others to get when they think about your company. Consider how the words you select will impact your employees and your consumers.
Put all of these together and you will have your own action-inspiring mission statement. A mission statement that drives your company in the right direction while also picking up the right passengers (both as employees and consumers) along the way.