“What do you do?” That’s a question you probably get asked a lot. And it’s easy to answer, but that answer doesn’t tell a complete story. In fact, it doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface.
“Why do you do what you do?” You may not get this question very often. It’s more difficult to answer, but that answer is much more valuable. And when you apply that question to a brand or business, great things can come of it.
Getting to the bottom of why you and your business exist will help to develop stronger, longer lasting connections with customers.
This blog will help clarify why defining why is so crucial to getting on the road to success. It’ll also help you get to the bottom of your why.
Why You Should Ask Why
There are really two reasons you should ask yourself why.
First, it doesn’t matter whether you’re managing a Fortune 500 company, starting up a new business, or kick-starting a new marketing initiative, defining your brand’s why early on will alleviate a lot of headaches down the road.
The why will guide planning, decision-making, and execution of all business ventures and opportunities. If you find yourself doing something that doesn’t align with the why, then it probably won’t work for your business.
Secondly, and maybe more importantly, people are more likely to buy from a brand with a well expressed why that they can connect to. Simon Sinek, an author, motivational speaker, and a marketing consultant, did a Ted Talk a few years back that explains his theory that, “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.” In short, he says that people aren’t necessarily investing in your product, they’re buying what you stand for and how you represent yourself.
What Motivates Us
Your motivator doesn’t have to be a dramatic, emotionally captivating narrative. It just has to be sincere. Consumers can spot a scam from a mile away, and if your motivator appears to be disingenuous, they will turn and run the other way.
Start thinking about how you want to change the status quo. Maybe you want to improve the quality of life for your consumers or you want to bring economic development to your community. Whatever it is, it has to be authentic.
Before we move on, we need to make one thing clear. Money is not a motivator. It’s an outcome. If you’re doing something just to get paid, then you’re doing it for the wrong reason.
Who You Are Not
Before you begin thinking about who you are, it might be easiest to start with who you are not. For this, you can look around at some of your competitors and outline the things that separate your brand from them. Maybe you’re not a conglomerate and you can offer a more personalized service, or maybe your competitors use deceptive tactics like hidden fees, and that’s not a practice you partake in. Write everything down that makes you stand out from the crowd.
Who You Are
Consider what value you bring to your consumers, and how you get there. Do you provide an option that no other competitor does? Do you go through a 6-step quality inspection on all products and services? What are you doing differently that elevates you above the rest?
Next, ask yourself how your brand challenges the status quo. How is your process different than the competition? Have you changed the landscape within your industry? People will take interest if you’re doing something game-changing to improve their experience.
When you’re answering some of these questions, think about it from a consumer’s perspective. What can a customer learn about you that will encourage them to choose you from a competitor?
Who You Want To Be
This is where you can start thinking ahead about the things you hope to accomplish in the future. Outlining these will not only help you achieve your goals, but you can start to realize which items should be prioritized, which are more realistic, and which can be put on hold.
Moreover, you may have noticed there were a few things that came up while you were answering the questions above. Jot those down so you don’t forget, and you’ll have something to work toward. You may have to decide if you want to make these goals public. Sometimes consumers are interested in a company’s aspirations, other times they’re jus not relevant. Use your discretion to decide whether your customers would be interested in your goals.