In a recent branding workshop with a client who is in the
beginning stages of building their business, we went through an exercise that explored
a simple but often overlooked approach to defining brand messaging, promise and
purpose. We asked the team to explain
WHY they do what they do. Not what they do, but WHY they do it.
Simon Sinek has a simple but powerful model for
inspirational leadership all starting with a golden circle and the question,
“Why?” His examples include Apple, Martin Luther King, and the Wright
brothers. This 18 minute video will compel you to understand why you do what
you do every day. And the answer is not – to make a profit.
Understanding your WHY, and marketing from the inside out
will help your customers connect better with you, and want to be a part of what
you do. As Simon said, “People don’t buy
what you do; people buy why you do it.”
This exercise made me think about how this translates to a
company’s approach to digital content. Digital platforms give you the power to tell
your story more than ever before, and sell your WHY.
Let’s take Starbucks as an example.
Why are they in business? They make coffee and
own coffee shops to inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup
and one neighborhood at a time. Their WHY is based on using coffee to inspire human connection. Their
online content and voice mirrors that WHY. Rarely do they tell you WHAT they
do, but they share content that helps explain their WHY. This type of content makes
those who share in that purpose want to purchase their coffee. Here’s a few examples:
If you can get people to believe in WHY you do what you do,
they will emotionally connect to your content. As you build out your digital
content, I remind you to keep a sense of WHY in every piece of content you
share. Find your brand purpose, and make it the centerpiece of your content.