What’s your mission statement?

A mission statement defines what an organization is about or aspires to be about.  An organization’s culture, goals, and policies are derived from its mission statement.  Many organizations, corporations in particular, are in business to create value for shareholders.  Logically one would then assume that a corporations mission statement should reflect its goal to create value for shareholders.  In theory this makes sense, but in practice could a manager deny a consumers request based on the grounds that the request would diminish shareholder value without upsetting the consumer?  The book Loyalty Myths suggests that not all consumers, even loyal consumers, are profitable and that in fact  a firm may benefit from turning away conspicuous consumers.  However, the real challenge is converting a non-profitable consumer into a profitable consumer.  Providing superior value or added value to the consumer will assist in converting a consumer. 

Loyalty at its essence is about sticking with one another.  It means that organizations, such as firms, shareholders, and consumers, strongly intend to keep the relationship going and envision a future together.  Thus a firms mission should be to create value for shareholders by creating value for consumers. 

By contrasting two apparel firms mission statements it becomes clear that a firm can bring value to both shareholders and consumers.  First, Zappos appeases consumers by delivering “WOW through service” and appeases shareholders by pursuing “growth and learning” and  doing “more with less.”  In contrast, Foot Locker states its mission is to increase “value for our shareholders” by enhancing our base business,” generating positive cash flow,” and “redeploying excess cash.”

Which company would you want to invest in as a shareholder, buy from as a consumer, or work for as an employee?

Zappos Mission Statement: As we grow as a company, it has become more and more important to explicitly define the Zappos core values from which we develop our culture, our brand, and our business strategies. These are the ten core values that we live by:

  1. Deliver WOW Through Service
  2. Embrace and Drive Change
  3. Create Fun and A Little Weirdness
  4. Be Adventurous, Creative, and Open-Minded
  5. Pursue Growth and Learning
  6. Build Open and Honest Relationships With Communication
  7. Build a Positive Team and Family Spirit
  8. Do More With Less
  9. Be Passionate and Determined
  10. Be Humble

 Foot Locker Mission Statement: We remain committed to increasing value for our shareholders by:

  • Enhancing our base business
  • Expanding in the global marketplace
  • Pursuing new business opportunities
  • Generating positive cash flow
  • Redeploying excess cash

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