Everything that we create begins with a reason. So naturally, every brand that pursues the good food journey starts with a vision—a mission worth fulfilling.
Your goal and purpose as a brand is illuminated by your mission statement. A mission statement is a group of sentences, usually one or two, that describes, defines, and sets your brand apart from others in the same market. But these aren’t just sentences you craft following grammar and syntax.
Many mission statements make the mistake of living in the land of vague and generalized comments about striving for greatness. Your mission should be written to capture your essence as a brand. A strong mission statement becomes the driving factor behind your business and its success.
Every good food brand has a story to tell. Embed your mission into your narrative, and you’ll stay true to your core. Your product decisions and the next steps you embark upon as a brand will all follow trails forged by your mission statement.
In this episode, I talk about mission statements and how valuable they are for business. Take a peek into how your mission statements can be used as the core of your marketing materials and strategies.
Virginia Foodie Essentials:
- Mission statements define the driving factor behind the business. - Georgiana Dearing
- You need to make sure that your mission statement is written about you and only you, and that you can't substitute another business name in there and still have that sentence make sense. - Georgiana Dearing
- I believe that if we're going to change the way America grows food, we have to make sustainable farming profitable, and the way to do that is to make all of the channels that rely on sustainable farming profitable channels. - Georgiana Dearing
- Your options and ideas come up all the time, and when you are faced with a choice, you can always go back to your mission—your reason for being—and decide if the decision fits within your mission. - Georgiana Dearing
- [Storied Good’s About Page] is based on a mission statement, but it is very much couched in a language that draws the reader into the brand with the intention of making a connection. They've added some narrative to this to make it more personable and relatable. - Georgiana Dearing
- You want your mission statement to be all about you because it's what's driving you, and it's an internal document and not outward-facing. - Georgiana Dearing
Key Points From This Episode:
- Mission statements can be used as tools to leverage your brand’s marketing.
- A mission statement is a sentence or a group of sentences that describe your business in a very specific and unique way.
- Strong mission statements are the driving factor behind strong businesses.
- Mission statements are generally formalized and are internal documents of companies that are not meant to be used verbatim out in the public. From your mission statement, however, you can already formulate your brand’s mission, vision, and values.
- Mission statements need to be unique and specific to what you do as a brand. To be able to craft an effective mission statement, it should include answers to the following questions: who, makes, what, for whom, how, and why.
- Tillamook Cheese is a locally sourced brand from Orgegon that is now sold nationally. Their mission shows the path they took to get there.
- Recent good food brands featured in the podcast are mission-centric brands. We can use how they are marketing their mission into their brands as an example of how effectively a mission statement can carried out through marketing.
- Mission statements should be written in a declarative way.
- While mission statements should be unique and specific to your food brand, it should not be written in a way that is too narrow that there’s no room for your brand to grow.
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Note: We use AI transcription so there may be some inaccuracies
[00:00:00] Georgiana Dearing: This is supposed to help sort that decision o. Options and ideas come up all the time. And when you are faced with a choice, you can always go back to your mission and decide, does this decision fit within my mission?
[00:00:18] Georgiana Dearing: Welcome to the Virginia Foodie Podcast where we lift a lid on the craft food industry and tell the stories behind the good food, good people, and good brands that you know and love. If you've ever come across a yummy food brand and wondered how did they do that? How did they turn that recipe into a successful business?
[00:00:37] Georgiana Dearing: Then we've got some stories for you.
[00:00:43] Georgiana Dearing: Hey, foodies, welcome back to the podcast. I'm George Steering the Virginia Foodie, and I provide content marketing strategy and coaching for good food brands. And this is another Marketing Monday, and today's topic is mission-driven marketing in action. Last month I talked a little bit about the last 100 days and one of the steps in prepping yourself to think about your business.
[00:01:09] Georgiana Dearing: I talked about reviewing your mission and values, and I got a lot of questions about mission statements and values for business, and it occurred to me in some of my recent interviews that I have been working with some brands who are doing a really good job with using their mission in marketing. So I'm gonna talk a little bit about mission statement and how to craft one, and then I'm gonna show you some evidence of brands who are using their mission statement as the core for a lot of their marketing materials.
[00:01:43] Georgiana Dearing: So just for clarity's sake, what is a mission statement? Well, a mission statement is a sentence or a group of sentences that describes your business in a very specific and unique way. So it's a basic sentence structure with a subject of verb and object of the predicate and all those things we learned or used to learn anyway in English.
[00:02:05] Georgiana Dearing: And it's really written very specifically about your business mission statements in general, when you have a real solid mission statement, it's generally formalized and it's an internal document, and it's not really meant to be used verbatim out in the public. I mean, some people publish them to their site or put it in their.
[00:02:28] Georgiana Dearing: But most often you only see very specific mission statements that are written for companies on corporate investment sites where it's the driving factor behind the business, and there's not any other of that flowery connecting to the consumer marketing content around it, which is my area of e. But your mission is generally one to two sentences, and then if you've gone through a whole formalized practice, you're also probably gonna have values and your vision on this statement.
[00:03:02] Georgiana Dearing: And if you look at a written mission statement from a company and downloaded, it could feel really overwhelming because there's lots of words on a. But quite honestly, if you start with your mission statement, it's just one to two sentences and it is about your business specifically, and then your values are very simply three to five bullet points that are things that you value that are important to your reason for being in business.
[00:03:33] Georgiana Dearing: So very succinctly, a mission statement is gonna have a. Does what? Four statements. So there's like four points in there. Who is doing something to produce something and for whom? Right? Business is generally a transaction. It is time for money. Products for money, whatever. It's generally someone is doing something for a person.
[00:04:00] Georgiana Dearing: So a real simplified mission statement would be Patsy's provisions is dedicated to creating delicious, wholesome meals for people who love quality ingredients. That sounds like a great mission. Well, let's think about it for just a minute. Patsy's Provisions is dedicated to creating delicious, wholesome meals for people who love quality ingredients.
[00:04:24] Georgiana Dearing: That's a very generalized content. You could substitute any other brand name in there you could put. Blue Apron is dedicated to creating delicious, wholesome meals for people who love quality ingredient. Patsy's provisions. Actually, I should have said pastry pizza because that's who I was thinking of when I put this together, but Patsy's Provisions is probably a very small business.
[00:04:47] Georgiana Dearing: Local Blue Apron is big, and they're doing two very different things. Blue Apron is making a mail order service. Patsy's provisions is making, I don't know, she could be a re. So when I say that a mission statement is a sentence or group of sentences that describes your business in a specific and unique way, you need to make sure that your mission statement is written about you and only you, and that you can't substitute another business name in there and still have that sentence.
[00:05:19] Georgiana Dearing: Make sense. I see it so often where people say something very, very vague, delicious, wholesome meals for people who love quality ingredients, well, who doesn't love quality ingredients? You want it to be very, very specific for me or my business. I said in the very beginning of this podcast, what I do, I provide content marketing strategy, and coaching for good food brands.
[00:05:46] Georgiana Dearing: That's a statement that I say about myself. It's a great introduction to what I do. I probably should say something a little more formalized because in this industry, me, georgiana, Dearing, I am doing this thing. Marketing strategy and coaching or strategy and coaching happens with a lot of great providers.
[00:06:07] Georgiana Dearing: Ali Ball provides strategy and coaching for craft food brands. Ashley Sutterfield provides strategy and coaching. Sarah Devan provides strategy and coaching for craft food brands as well. She's in the financial space, so when I say I provide content marketing strategy and coaching to craft food brands, That narrows my workspace very specifically, but in my mission statement, it's a little more formalized.
[00:06:35] Georgiana Dearing: I'm not gonna read you the whole thing here, but when it comes to being more specific and unique, My mission statement says something like the Virginia foodie helps craft food brands create targeted, manageable, and repeatable marketing systems that grow sales. And that's because I brought in the other two parts to a mission statement, and that needs to include the how and the why.
[00:07:02] Georgiana Dearing: So who that's the business does. That's your action, what you're doing to make. What is what you're producing? So who does what? There's an action and a product. And four is your audience. Mines craft, food brands, very specifically good food brands. How is adjectives? So my adjectives are targeted, manageable, and repeatable.
[00:07:29] Georgiana Dearing: And why is, why that's the benefit or the result that your business hopes to produce. So who? The Virginia food. Helps create four craft food brands. This is a little tricky here cuz this is where in mind my helps create is broken by my target audience, which is craft food brands. The Virginia Foodie helps craft food brands.
[00:07:56] Georgiana Dearing: That is the consulting part of my existence and what is my product? I'm helping craft food brands create targeted, manageable, and repeatable marketing systems. So I'm helping craft food brands create their own marketing systems, and that's where that coaching comes in. That's where that training comes in.
[00:08:17] Georgiana Dearing: I'm not actually making the stuff for you. I am helping you make it your. So the Virginia foodie helps craft food brands create targeted, manageable and repeatable marketing systems that grow sales. Cuz the reason we're doing it is so that you can grow your sales. And that is kind of founded on my belief system, which I believe that if we're going to change the way America grows food, we have to make sustainable farming profit.
[00:08:46] Georgiana Dearing: And the way to do that is to make all of the channels that rely on that profitable channels. And my niche is you, the craft food. Let's take a look at a food mission statement, another food brand, and we can see in their marketing how they are using their mission to drive their content. Marketing. This one was a little tricky for me because as I said earlier, Most people do not publish their mission statement.
[00:09:17] Georgiana Dearing: It's generally a dry document because it's something that you refer back to to make sure that the decisions you're making are still on mission. This is that thing that is supposed to help support and sort that decision overwhelm. Options and ideas come up all the time. And when you are faced with a choice, you can always go back to your mission, your reason of being and decide.
[00:09:42] Georgiana Dearing: Does this decision fit within my mission? One of the brands that I was thinking about lately, because it can be a goal brand for the people that I work with is Tillamook Cheese. So Tillamook Cheese is a very, very regional, very locally sourced brand that is now sold nationally. Tillamook Cheese is produced in Oregon, and I am buying it now in my grocery store here in Winchester, Virginia, and also in Target.
[00:10:14] Georgiana Dearing: I can find their cheese and I kind of have a connection to them because I have a dear friend in Oregon and visited her and was able to visit the Tillamook factory out there because she's got a beach house nearby. Isn't that amazing? But I have this connection to Tillamook, and so it caught my eye when I saw it, and I did a little background research thinking about how did it end up at This very regional brand is on shelf in.
[00:10:41] Georgiana Dearing: And so backtracking to try and find their mission statement to talk to you about it today actually, Tillamook Cheese is the brand. The company is the Tillamook County Creamery Association, and so their public facing statement about their mission reads like this for more than 100 years. The Till County Creamery Association has been committed to producing the delicious high quality dairy products our fans know and love.
[00:11:12] Georgiana Dearing: We believe that everyone should have access to real food with simple ingredients. That's why we work hard every day to make premium products with high standards. So that's kind of lengthy. Two sentences there and it has their, what we do and their benefits are kind of split into two sentences. So let's pull it apart a little bit and we're gonna say who the business is till County Creamery Association.
[00:11:41] Georgiana Dearing: And what do they do? They are committed to producing what high quality dairy product. The Tillamook County Creamery Association is committed to producing high quality dairy products. Four. Now, this is a little bit parsing here, but they say our fans, and then later they say something about everyone. And so when you think about fans and everyone, the first thing is fans.
[00:12:07] Georgiana Dearing: Fans of what? Fans of dairy. Not every grocery consumer consumes dairy. They're not gonna talk to vegans, right? They're not gonna talk to the lactose intolerant. They are producing high quality dairy products for fans of dairy products, and then they also say everyone, which means that they are not a luxury product.
[00:12:31] Georgiana Dearing: Everyone is not a price point differentiator. They're trying to produce high quality dairy products for every fan of dairy products. If you like dairy, they want good quality dairy products. Okay? How are they gonna do it or they're gonna do it by being delicious? Everybody's delicious though, so that is not really unique, but real food, simple ingredients, premium and high standard.
[00:12:58] Georgiana Dearing: That's how they're gonna do it. They're going to use high standards to make premium products, real food, simple ingredients. That's very basic. That's how they're gonna do it. And why are they gonna do it? They're gonna do it because they believe everyone should have access to real food with simple ingredients.
[00:13:16] Georgiana Dearing: So they are trying to make their very high standards accessible for the general community. And that's a pretty powerful statement because if you go all the way back to the beginning, they've been doing this for over a hundred years, so I almost guarantee that it is a much more formalized document somewhere, because in the name of their company is a clue to who they are.
[00:13:38] Georgiana Dearing: And that is the Tila County Creamery, Associa. That's a group of farmers who have banded together to produce dairy products, and that used to be a much more common format. We used to have highs dairy. They came out of the Maryland region here, but it's very common that a band of farmers in a particular industry have put together sort of a product conglomerate.
[00:14:02] Georgiana Dearing: So they have to have some kind of organizing document because believe me, get a bunch of different business owners together and there's gonna be some debate. So their formal document is probably a lot drier than that, but it's pretty much based on that same theory. I've got another much more local brand than I can talk to you about, and that's because I talked to Sugar Bear Seaville, you know, in the last interview.
[00:14:26] Georgiana Dearing: And then right after that I talked to Martha Bakk out of Storied Goods. And both of those brands occurred to me that they are very much mission-centric brands. They are at different stages. But they are working at bringing their mission into all of their marketing. And so I'm gonna read you a statement from Story Goods website and then I'm gonna talk to you about what I believe.
[00:14:51] Georgiana Dearing: If she doesn't have it already, what I believe would be very close to what her mission statement is that is driving her business. On there about Page is where I found this. So Storied Goods is a small woman-owned company. Based in Roanoke, Virginia, we believe that sharing delicious drink and food together provides hope.
[00:15:13] Georgiana Dearing: In a complicated world, when we savor the time to share our stories with each other, we realize how much we have in common. Celebrating even the smallest moments brings joy. Storied goods, sugar cubes are made from the finest ingredient. To elevate your cocktails, your coffee, your tea, to new flavorful heights so that, again, that is based in a mission statement, but it is very much couched in language that draws the reader into the brand with the intention of making a connection.
[00:15:48] Georgiana Dearing: They've added some narrative to this to make it more personable and relatable. So if I did a little backtrack to figure out the who does what for whom and how they do it, and why I came up with this statement. And believe me, I just made this up. So forgive me, Martha, if you've got another one, I'd love to chat with you about it.
[00:16:09] Georgiana Dearing: But I made this up based on that, about. Storied Goods is a woman owned company dedicated to creating delicious drink and food products from the finest ingredients possible. We believe that celebrating even the smallest moments brings joy and that shared experiences unite communities and provide hope in a complicated world.
[00:16:30] Georgiana Dearing: That is much more declarative than what's on the about page, and that's intentional. You want your mission statement to be all about you because it's what's driving you and it's an internal document. Outward facing. If you just keep talking about yourself, people are not going to relate to you as well.
[00:16:49] Georgiana Dearing: So I just pulled these pieces and I did it very specifically because she speaks a lot about sugar cubes on her site because that's what she's producing right now. But she started her business as a granola company. She was called Storied Goods. So what you wanna do is make sure that you're not saying we make sugar cubes, because guess what?
[00:17:10] Georgiana Dearing: That's all you're gonna make. That means you're not gonna make simple syrup. That means you're not gonna make. Other tea or things that might be related products. So storied goods is dedicated to creating delicious drink and food products from the finest ingredients possible, and that's intentional.
[00:17:29] Georgiana Dearing: Leaves a door open to making a decision when it's time to grow. If you're too narrow and too specific, then there isn't room and you're gonna be constantly rewriting your mission statement. And guess what? It's okay to do that, but you don't wanna do it. Every year serves no purpose. You want your mission to be a guiding document for you.
[00:17:48] Georgiana Dearing: And so then her why is we believe that celebrating even the smallest moments brings joy and that shared experiences unite communities and provide hope in a complicated world. That is a very distinguishing factor about her brand, and that's the part that I can talk about in her marketing. That's the thing that you can see most evident in everything that she.
[00:18:12] Georgiana Dearing: So for just a brief second, let's do the highlights of the Who does what for How. Why Storied Goods is the Who Does is dedicated to creating drink and food products. Then the four, again, this audience, it doesn't say for people who love parties, but it is about communities who celebrate small moments, so celebrating communities.
[00:18:37] Georgiana Dearing: Storied goods is dedicated to creating drink and food products for communities who celebrate big and small moments. And how do they do it? Well, they do it by being a woman-owned company. Delicious is in there, but they do it by with the finest ingredients possible. And why do they do it? And that's that belief statement.
[00:18:58] Georgiana Dearing: We believe that celebrating even the smallest moments. Bring joy and that shared experiences unite communities to provide hope in a complicated world. And when you take a look at her marketing, you can see, do a scroll through her Instagram account and you'll see pictures of people having very small celebrations or very close moments.
[00:19:23] Georgiana Dearing: Lots of hugs being shared here. Lots of shared drink. And then there's also just like language posts, things that are speaking to telling stories. I mean, stories are in their name. So the implication in that mission is that shared experience, and you want to make sure that you're referencing back like your why now.
[00:19:45] Georgiana Dearing: There's also product shots there, and the thing that is interesting to me about her product shots is that every product shot is referencing that essence of her mission, celebrating small moments. Bringing people together. Every one of these images that you look at, there's sugar cubes tossed across a table with little baby's breast peeking in baby's breath is one of those cues that says there's a wedding or a party or a baby shower or something happening.
[00:20:17] Georgiana Dearing: There's lots of pictures of fizzy drinks and party coutre on the table. There's disco balls. There's candles. There's things that are saying, there's a celebration. Even as she's showing her product to you, you get the sense that just off camera, there's a group or one or two people who are celebrating having a party, or even a small moment like, yay, it's Tuesday.
[00:20:42] Georgiana Dearing: I made it through a crazy, crazy Monday. That is a really good example of a brand that I'm sure it's evolved over time that happens, and that's a brand who has got her mission figured out and she's beginning to enact it in all of the choices she makes. So if you haven't listened to the interview with her, give to Listen, because she's also made a big decision to move into co-packing, and that really is a decision that comes.
[00:21:14] Georgiana Dearing: Who is my brand and what do I want it to be, and where am I putting my energy? And when you get to the point where your energy is not being spent on the things that are central to your mission. Then you know that it's time to bring in a partner for something else. And for her, her choice was to go with co-packing.
[00:21:33] Georgiana Dearing: So give that one a listen, I think it's episode 64, and get the whole story behind story goods. But you'll see how much her mission is driving what she's doing. I've had another interview recently with Sugar Beer Seaville, and this is a nascent brand. I've been following her all year. I've had two interviews and we're seeing her evolve, and so even though you can start your company with a complete mission statement written out, and I've done that, I met with no earlier this year, and she is a cosmetic brand, but she literally had everything written out before she produced one item for her.
[00:22:14] Georgiana Dearing: I would say that that is the unicorn in the industry. Most people start out like sugar bear, whereas you have a sense of your mission, you have an idea of what you're doing. Like I want to use locally sourced ingredients and I want to grow my business in the Charlottesville region. That's a mission, but as you're in the trenches working your business, you may have your mission evolve a bit.
[00:22:38] Georgiana Dearing: I. I was in business nine years before I had a formal mission statement, and then once we got that pulled together, we actually made a list of values. And that values list is what I ended up using. When I did my employee reviews, we began to start incorporating our values into everything that the business did, but you don't necessarily have them from day.
[00:23:02] Georgiana Dearing: So Sugar Bear Seaville, she's definitely working with locally sourced ingredients and she wants to be entrenched in the Charlottesville community, and she has been doing that through her choices of ingredients. And she had this light bulb moment in the last quarter of what she wanted to tell in her marketing materials, in her communication about her brand.
[00:23:27] Georgiana Dearing: If you're just saying, buy my product, buy my product, buy my. Day in and day out, it's gonna wear people out. And so she was inspired by a picture that she took of a woman she knows in Charlottesville who was crossing a parking lot on her way to work in a local community charity. And it sparked something in her about.
[00:23:50] Georgiana Dearing: Let's talk about the people who are really bringing that sense of community to Charlottesville and highlight their stories through the channel of talking about her brand, because these things are important to her. And I thought that was great insight and it would resonate because that's that unique point of view that would draw people to your brand.
[00:24:14] Georgiana Dearing: So as she works through. She should probably work to have a mission statement that would help her make some decisions like, would my brand do this, or would my brand not do that? But it's year one, relax. You will get there as you try things out and as you evaluate, and that really is the key to good marketing systems.
[00:24:36] Georgiana Dearing: Is that you do something and then you measure it, and then you decide, are these results, what can I tweak? It's a lather, rinse, repeat operation. So those were my two insights today on mission-based marketing in action, and I do have a worksheet if you wanna try your hand at this on your own. I've also run workshops on building mission statements, and so if you think that your company is ready to write a formal mission statement or you're ready to revamp the mission statement as you.
[00:25:12] Georgiana Dearing: Do that litmus test, just pick another brand and plop it into your mission statement. And if it could be true for them as it is for you, then you're probably a little bit loosey-goosey on the details in your mission statement. So if you're ready to do either of those things, give me a direct message, DM me, email me george va foodie.com, reach out and I'm happy to have a chat with you.
[00:25:35] Georgiana Dearing: I always start any engagement with a free half hour consultation, so please go ahead. Reach out and if you're in my monthly coaching group, then you already get a free half hour every month with me. You just need to follow the link in the emails that come with the Marketing Made Easy coaching group and book a slot every third Monday from one to four.
[00:25:59] Georgiana Dearing: I leave Tom Open, and if you are a paid client of. You are welcome to jump on for a half hour. Let me guide you, answer your questions, or whatever you're trying to do. Plus, if you're in the Facebook group, you can ask questions there or have the private Slack channel. So anyway, I wish you the best of luck and happy Monday to you.
[00:26:20] Georgiana Dearing: And that's a wrap for today my foodie friends. Thanks for listening. And if you wanna learn more about how to grow your own food brand, then click on Grow My firstname.lastname@example.org. If you're a lover of local food, then be sure to follow us. We are. VA foodie on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Join the conversation and tell us about your adventures with good food, good people, and good brands.