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  • 1. Companies often list their vision and their mission statements on their sites. The difference between a mission statement and a vision statement is that a mission statement focuses on a company‟s present state while a vision statement focuses on a company‟s future. However, some companies tend to blend these statements. The following are some of the top technology-based company mission statements: Amazon: Amazon‟s vision is to be earth‟s most customer centric company; to build a place where people can come to find and discover anything they might want to buy online. (They list this as their mission as a combination mission/vision on their site). Apple: Apple is committed to bringing the best personal computing experience to students, educators, creative professionals and consumers around the world through its innovative hardware, software and Internet offerings. Dell: Dell‟s mission is to be the most successful computer company in the world at delivering the best customer experience in markets we serve. Facebook: Facebook‟s mission is to give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected. Google: Google‟s mission is to organize the world„s information and make it universally accessible and useful. Microsoft: Microsoft‟s mission is to enable people and businesses throughout the world to realize their full potential. Skype: Skype‟s mission is to be the fabric of real-time communication on the web. Twitter: Twitter lists its mission as “a work in progress” as it has yet to be fully developed. Yahoo!: Yahoo!‟s mission is to be the most essential global Internet service for consumers and businesses YouTube: YouTube‟s mission is to provide fast and easy video access and the ability to share videos frequently For each of the companies listed, I‟ve included comments on the quality of the statements, and how easy they were to find – this is important, because really, this sort of information should be front and centre. Any text in purple is a direct copy from the companies‟ Website and not my own writing – I‟ve even left in the spelling mistakes and typos. The Driving Principles of the Top 10 Global Brands APPLE I posted this mission statement up on an earlier blog BUT I could not find the mission statement today on Apple when I went looking for it again… it seems
  • 2. to have disappeared… Perhaps someone at Apple can tell me if this is the right and current one? Apple designs Macs, the best personal computers in the world, along with OS X, iLife, iWork, and professional software. Apple leads the digital music revolution with its iPods and iTunes online store. Apple reinvented the mobile phone with its revolutionary iPhone and App Store, and has recently introduced its magical iPad which is defining the future of mobile media and computing devices. As far as mission statements go, I find this boring. It doesn‟t talk about its people, it doesn‟t talk about its environmental aims (something important to Apple when you review its Website) and it makes no mention of its corporate responsibility around the world. It talks about the products it has already created and its leadership position, but it doesn‟t inspire the imagination about where it‟s going to take us next. This is a shame, and I definitely think Apple could do a much better job of it, because Apple certainly is inspiring. The Apple Mission Statement in particular is a highly searched term on my blog, so marketing folk are interested and looking for inspiration from the world‟s number one brand. IBM When looking for its mission statement, I came across its core valuesand how IBM went about recreating them – this is great information on the importance of involving everyone in the process to ensure buy-in. As such, I didn‟t find a mission statement per se, but this is what drives IBM world-wide: Today, shared values are more essential than ever before-for enterprises, for individuals and for the globally integrating society of the 21st Century.  Dedication to every clients success  Innovation that matters – for our company and the world  Trust and responsibility in all relationships These are the core values that serve as the foundation of IBM‟s culture and brand and the guide for each IBMer‟s work, decisions and relationships. PS: there is some pretty useful information on this link for anyone in marketing today. GOOGLE Google‟s is short and sweet, and many would define this as a vision statement Google‟s mission is to organize the world‟s information and make it universally accessible and useful.
  • 3. If you‟re wondering what drives Google as a core philosophy, here are the 10 things defined in the early days, which get tweaked occasionally as the company evolves. MCDONALDS Interestingly, I‟ve never looked at the McDonalds Website before, but the mission statement was easy to find, and if you‟re interested, the values follow on and can be found here. McDonald‟s brand mission is to be our customers‟ favorite place and way to eat. Our worldwide operations are aligned around a global strategy called the Plan to Win, which center on an exceptional customer experience – People, Products, Place, Price and Promotion. We are committed to continuously improving our operations and enhancing our customers‟ experience. In many ways, this includes the company‟s core drivers, but it lacks passion for me. On the „About McDonalds‟ page, they had this summary and I actually think this content forms the basis of a much better mission statement: At McDonald‟s, we strive to be more than just a restaurant – we‟re a first job for many, a community partner, a model for other restaurants around the world, and a company seeking new ways to fulfil our brand promise of Quality, Service, Cleanliness, and Value. MICROSOFT Easy to find and it looks like Microsoft has done a recent revamp of its messaging since the last time I checked in and blogged about it. Thenew mission statement I found is this: At Microsoft, our mission and values are to help people and businesses throughout the world realize their full potential. Great, but more of a vision statement don‟t you think? It‟s definitely not quantifiable, which is what a vision is? On this same page, Microsoft includes its values, which are good and probably closer to a mission statement: As a company, and as individuals, we value integrity, honesty, openness, personal excellence, constructive self-criticism, continual self-improvement, and mutual respect. We are committed to our customers and partners and have a passion for technology. We take on big challenges, and pride ourselves on seeing them through. We hold ourselves accountable to our customers, shareholders, partners, and employees by honoring our commitments, providing results, and striving for the highest quality. COCA-COLA
  • 4. Coca-Cola does the whole mission, vision, etc… in a different way again, but with such a massive global brand, and a vast product range, I figure it‟s not so easy to come up with a one line vision, and paragraph-length mission statement? This is how Coca-Cola positions its mission and vision. I‟d swap mission and vision if it was me, but easy to find this information on the Website. Our Mission Our Roadmap starts with our mission, which is enduring. It declares our purpose as a company and serves as the standard against which we weigh our actions and decisions.  To refresh the world…  To inspire moments of optimism and happiness…  To create value and make a difference Our Vision Our vision serves as the framework for our Roadmap and guides every aspect of our business by describing what we need to accomplish in order to continue achieving sustainable, quality growth.  People: Be a great place to work where people are inspired to be the best they can be.  Portfolio: Bring to the world a portfolio of quality beverage brands that anticipate and satisfy people‟s desires and needs.  Partners: Nurture a winning network of customers and suppliers, together we create mutual, enduring value.  Planet: Be a responsible citizen that makes a difference by helping build and support sustainable communities.  Profit: Maximize long-term return to shareowners while being mindful of our overall responsibilities.  Productivity: Be a highly effective, lean and fast-moving organization MARLBORO I wasn‟t able to find the Marlboro mission statement, because I had to register on the site as an over 18 year old to get access, BUT as I didn‟t have a PIN number (which looks relevant only to US residents). Therefore I had to go to parent company Philip Morris, which then meant going to its operating company, Altria. As an example of driving principles, this is definitely the most interesting of the group, because they face massive challenges with negative public opinion in relation to health concerns, and need to address
  • 5. them within the context of a mission statement. Definitely a good example for companies looking to define their mission in the context of similar challenges: Our Mission is to own and develop financially disciplined businesses that are leaders in responsibly providing adult tobacco and wine consumers with superior branded products. In pursuing our Mission, we have established the following goals for Altria Group and its subsidiary companies: Invest in Leadership We will invest in excellent people, leading brands and external stakeholders important to our businesses‟ success. Align With Society We will actively participate in resolving societal concerns that are relevant to our businesses. Satisfy Adult Consumers We will convert our deep understanding of adult tobacco and wine consumers into better and more creative products that satisfy their preferences. Create Substantial Value For Shareholders We will execute our business plans to create sustainable growth and generate substantial returns for shareholders. AT&T AT&T is relatively easy to find but I think they‟ve got their mission and vision confused. One is definitely not the other and both are mixed up in this statement. Today, our mission is to connect people with their world, everywhere they live and work, and do it better than anyone else. We‟re fulfilling this vision by creating new solutions for consumers and businesses and by driving innovation in the communications and entertainment industry. VERIZON I couldn‟t find a mission or vision statement for Verizon as I define them, but the Website claims a „Verizon Credo’ as its driving force. “The Verizon Credo guides us in every decision and shapes relationships with our customers, our suppliers and the communities we serve.” While a little different and much longer, it demonstrates focus and alignment. It‟s also the best example I could find for Verizon. Who We Are We have work because our customers value our high-quality communications services. We deliver superior customer experiences through our products and our actions. Everything we do we build on a strong network, systems and process
  • 6. foundation. The quality and reliability of the products we deliver are paramount. Customers pay us to provide them with services that they can rely on. We focus outward on the customer, not inward. We make it easy for customers to do business with us, by listening, anticipating and responding to their needs. We know our products and can explain them to customers. We focus on fundamental execution. We are accountable and we follow through with a sense of urgency. We know that having the highest ethical standards is a competitive advantage. We know teamwork enables us to serve our customers better and faster. We embrace diversity and personal development not only because it’s the right thing to do, but also because it’s smart business. We are driven not by ego but by accomplishments. We keep our commitments to each other and our customers. Our word is our contract. We respect and trust one another, communicating openly, candidly and directly since any other way is unfair and a waste of time. We voice our opinion and exercise constructive dissent, and then rally around the agreed-upon action with our full support. Any one of us can deliver a view or idea to anyone else, and listen to and value another‟s view regardless of title or level. Ideas live and die on their merits rather than where they were invented. We believe integrity is at the core of who we are. It establishes the trust that is critical to the relationships we have. We are committed to do the right thing and follow sound business practices in dealing with our customers, suppliers, owners and competitors. Our competitors are not enemies; they are challengers who drive us to improve. We are good corporate citizens and share our success with the community to make the world in which we work better than it was yesterday. We know that bigness is not our strength, best is our strength. Bureaucracy is an enemy. We fight every day to stay “small” and keep bureaucracy out. We are more agile than companies a fraction of our size, because we act fast and take risks every day. We see crisis and change as opportunities, not threats. We run to a crisis, not away. Change energizes us. We work hard, take action and take personal accountability for getting things done. Our actions produce measurable results.
  • 7. Everything we do is built on the strong foundation of our corporate values. We work 24×7 because our customers depend on us 24×7. We know our best was good for today. Tomorrow we‟ll do better. We Are VERIZON INTEGRITY • RESPECT • PERFORMANCE EXCELLENCE • ACCOUNTABILITY CHINA MOBILE The only non-US company in the Top 10 is China Mobile and unlike the others, it does not have the slick Website and punchy statements that go with it. I couldn‟t find anything resembling a mission statement or corporate values, and the only aspect that clarified its driving principles was under the corporate governance tab. Of course, the site in Mandarin might actually include this information, but I could only read the English version. Our goal has always been to enhance our corporate value, maintain our sustainable long-term development and generate greater returns for our shareholders. In order to better achieve the above objectives, we have established good corporate governance practices following the principles of integrity, transparency, openness and efficiency, and have implemented sound governance structure and measures. We have established and improved various policies, internal control system and other management mechanisms and procedure for the key participants involved in good corporate governance, including shareholders, board of directors and its committees, management and staff, internal auditors, external auditors and other stakeholders (including our customers, local communities, industry peers, regulatory authorities, etc.). We believe that corporate governance goes hand in hand with corporate culture. High standard of corporate governance is built on the basis of good corporate culture. Corporate governance principles and policies can only be applied effectively and consistently with a corporate culture that is premised on honesty and integrity. By upholding our core value of “Responsibility Makes Perfection”, we strive to achieve economic, social and environmental sustainability in a way that coordinates the present and the future while taking the interests of ourselves and our stakeholders into account. This is not unusual for a PRC company Website, and while the growth in this region is on a massive scale, there is still a long way to go in regards to the
  • 8. glossy marketing output of its US counterparts. They will get there in time I‟m sure. Conclusion As you can see, all of these companies go about defining their driving principles in different ways, but as global brand leaders we should expect it to be done with exceptional panache. Most have achieved it, but some have not, and for those looking for information on how to define a company‟s mission statement, I hope the homework I‟ve done here helps you. If you‟re defining your mission, vision or corporate values, you‟ve got to make them mean something, because every employee in the organisation needs to embrace them and approach their work with them as a core driving principle. I continue to believe they are that important.