An example of a bad mission statement is: "To create a shopping experience that pleases our customers; a workplace that creates opportunities and a great working environment for our associates; and a business that achieves financial success." Albertson's is a grocery store with a mission statement that fails to mention what the company does.
Poorly written statements are often too broad and lack description of the actual company. They may be too long, too ambitious and/or riddled with grammatical errors.
Overly broad mission statements, such as that of Albertson's, fail to tell people exactly what the business does in a single statement. Albertson's lumps what the company does into its vision instead of its mission statement by saying, "[Our vision is] to be known as the favorite neighborhood food and drug retailer in every market where we do business, with helpful associates, competitive prices and high quality, fresh products."
McDonald's, for another example, failed to run a simple grammar check. McDonald's mission statement includes the following sentence: "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." It should have read "… a global strategy called Plan to Win, which centers on an exceptional customer experience … ."
Mission statements that are too long distract the reader from the statement itself. Overly ambitious mission statements can be difficult for customers to grasp. It's best to keep the statement short and simple, advises Forbes magazine.