Mission failure – damn you and your mission statement


Mission statement meeting

How mission statements are born

People are on the web for information about how your product or service is a better choice than the competition. Mission statements do not accomplish that.

And they should never, EVER, be on your homepage. The homepage is the place to engage your customer.  You may not get another chance. The way to engage them is not with a two paragraph block of weak corporate-speak.

For one thing, mission statements are often boiled down via group-think into the blandest, most general statement possible.  Let’s look at a few, so we can see why a mission statement is so worthless:

Bad

Here’s one from a division of Winthrop University: “The mission for the Division of Computing and Information Technology is to provide the appropriate technological infrastructure to support teaching, research and service, and to provide high-quality, efficient, and effective technological support service to all academic and administrative functions at Winthrop University.”

So, the mission of the IT division is to provide technological infrastructure?  Thank god for the mission statement, or I would have been totally confused as to the purpose of the IT department.  I thought they were there to provide nourishing meals for students.

Does this group even need a mission statement?  How many hours of meeting time were wasted hammering this out?  And if they need one, does it need to be on their landing page?

Worse

Here’s another one, for ASI Systems Integration: “ASI is committed to delivering quality Technology Solutions and Professional Outsourcing Services that provide true value to our clients, enabling them to achieve their desired goals and initiatives.”

Problem 1: this is in the center of the homepage, where you could be guiding me through important information about your products.  Maybe customer testimonials or an idea of what this company actually does and offers. You could even attempt to engage me with a video or a live chat about your services.

Instead, I get a meaningless statement that tells me that you offer “quality technology solutions.” Was I expecting a low-quality solution?  This statement says nothing.  

Also, you provide “true value to our clients.” Compared to what? Can you give me an example of this value?

The mission also tells me that they enable customers “to achieve their desired goals and initiatives.” Can you be a little more vague? What kind of goals?  Can you help me win the lottery? Can my ad agency score a big new account with your services?

Worst of all

I had to throw this one in there too.  Not only does this page have a mission statement on the front page, but this guy also claims to be a web designer. 

My New Mission Statement

All of this research has inspired me to write a new corporate-speak mission statement for my website.  Here goes:

It is Ryan Johnson’s mission to provide Unparalleled Service and Top Quality to my clients, providing Innovative Products and Environmental Reponsibility.

Through Innovative Research and Quality Customer Service, I will provide Unequaled Value and Cutting-Edge Solutions that help clients Achieve Their Goals.

Hey that’s pretty catchy.  I think I’ll put it on my home page.

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