In the long run, the mission statement should support this position:
Clarity: The mission statement should be clear, enough to lead to action. The corporate dream must be presented in crystal clear manner preferably in a positive tone. For example SBI – with you all the way.
Broad and Enduring: The mission is a grand design of the firm’s future. It is a general statement of the firm’s intent, a kind of self image the firm intends to project from years to come. However, it should not be so narrow as to restrict the firm’s operations nor should it be too general to make itself meaningless. To make things clear, mission statements come into two forms: primary mission ( a general category of business to be engaged in ) and secondary mission (defining everything more specifically). TELCO for example is in the transportation business (primary business). It provides passenger car and truck products to a wide variety of customers and markets (secondary mission).
Identity and Image: The mission sets a firm apart from other firms of its style. Through this statement the firm wants to maintain its distinct image and character in terms of excellent quality and service latest technology and unique product offerings etc. For example, Asian Paints stresses, Leadership through Excellence; MTNL presents itself as the lifeline of Delhi and Mumbai; BPL puts emphasis on Entertainment at its best the Advertising Standards Council of India projects its image as the watchdog of the Indian Advertising Industry. Jaguar is too good to resist and Bajaj Auto offers Value for Money for years.
Realistic: Missions should be realistic and achievable of course by running that extra mile. Air India would be deluding itself if it adopted the mission to become the world’s favorite airline.
Specific: Missions should be specific. They must define the competitive scopes within which the company will operate, that is range of industries in which a company will operate (industrial goods, consumer goods, services); the range of product and applications the company will supply the range of core competencies that a company will master and leverage; the type of customers a company will serve; and the range of regions, countries in which a company will operate. The most important one on the above list is the one connecting mission with a company’s core competencies. McDonald’s could probably enter the solar energy business, but that would take advantage of its core competence – providing low cost food and fast service to large groups of customers.
The mission lays emphasis on the values the firm stands for, what it intends to do, so that it stands out in a crowd , what is unique about its offering how it strives to meet the needs of its customers employees suppliers and dealers. The statement of a company’s philosophy known as the company creed usually accompanies or appears within the mission statements to be useful, statements of company philosophy must give a realistic picture of what the company stands for.
Vision: The mission is an expression of the vision of the corporation; its leader or founder. A vision statement usually describes what the company wishes to become in the (long term) future. Whereas mission describes what an organization is and why it exists. For example, British Airways (BA) the world’s favorite airline vision focuses on employees and customers. The related mission emphasizes BA’s desire to be the world’s first truly global airline which in turn has generated a corporate strategy of carefully selected alliances. Mission statements are at their best when they are guided by an almost impossible dream (a vision) that guides the company’s fortunes for the next 10 to 20 years. The Walkman is a classic example. In the late 1970s Akio Morita was working on a pet project that would revolutionize the way people listened to music a portable cassette player he called the Walkman. Engineers at the company reiterated that there was little demand for such a product but Morita refused to part with his vision (Like Ratan Tata’s dream car project – Indica) By the 20th anniversary of the Walkman , Sony had sold over 250 million in nearly 100 different models!
Source: Strategic Management