The Why is What We Do

Experience. Engagement. Interaction. All three of these words could be used to describe our decision, as consumers, to try a new product, remain loyal to a company or ditch a certain brand. The pattern of behavior has been happening for years, but few have been able to pinpoint what really drives our decision-making when it comes to the vast marketplace of goods and services and the equally, ever-expanding ways brands can communicate with us.

In 2009, Simon Sinek presented a Ted Talk on how great leaders inspire action. His model of “Golden Circles” digs deep down to one word: “Why”. Even though his talk focuses at leadership, the same thoughts can be applied to organizations. Sinek says, “Every organization on the planet knows what they do. Some organizations know how they do it… Very few people or organizations know why they do it.”

Encompassed in the Why is an organization’s purpose, cause, the reason they get out of bed in the morning and the reason why other people care. People are attracted to companies they perceive think and value the same things that they do more than anything else.

If you really think about it, I bet you can name an organization you have bought into recently. Earlier this year, I joined Iron Tribe, a fitness program that offers personalized workouts in a group class setting. After a couple months in, a friend asked what set it apart and why it worth the price. I flippantly responded, “The people,” before backpedaling lest she get the feeling that I joined for social hour. I tried again, describing how I enjoyed the personal training aspect while still being around others. I have learned new movements and received much-needed corrections. As a runner, I could count on one hand how many times I picked up a barbell in my life, and now I’m able to tell you the difference between a Push Press and a Push Jerk – although my enjoyment of both is still a couple months down the road. As I continued to talk, I realized that my first answer was right – the dedicated coaches, the supportive members and the new friendships made each play a huge factor. It is the Why – as in why I find it acceptable to roll out of bed at 4:30 a.m. for class – that has driven this choice over other gyms that may offer comparable results.

So how is Why conveyed? Enter a skilled marketing, public relations or branding professional, who knows that throwing information, deals or a blatant call-to-action won’t be successful. They can help your company convey what sets you apart through a variety of tactics – whether it’s a human interest story on what your company is doing to help in the nonprofit sector, instead of simply stating the company is involved in the community; an ad campaign about finding your home instead of a CTA asking you to buy your home today from one of their agents; an event that showcases all that a mountain-living community has to offer without the sales pitch at the end. It all comes back to creating an experience that is both brand authentic and that connects with people like you and me. Companies who communicate the what and the how may see some results, but companies who communicate the Why enjoy the long-term yields that loyalty and word-of-mouth marketing over the long-term.

As you sit down to think about your company’s, product’s, or service’s next marketing strategy, think about the Why behind what makes you you. Your intended goals and outcomes are automatically, then, on surer footing.

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