There has been a lot of discussion in marketing and business about being an authentic brand, and finding your “Why”. But why bother? What is the point of all this marketing mumbo-jumbo? Isn’t the point of being in business to make money, have freedom and autonomy to make your own decisions? Haven’t businesses existed for years without talking about their why?
To answer the questions above, in a simple sentence, if you don’t know why you exist, then there is good chance your business won’t exist in 5 years time.
What do I mean by “Finding Your Why”?
The concept of finding your why was created by Simon Sinek, who simplified the process with a diagram called the Golden Circle – What, How & Why.
Everyone in business knows what they do, some know how they do it (their USP, or differentiation), but most don’t know why they do it, their authentic purpose. By why, I don’t mean to make a profit as that is a result. When you know what your “why” is, your business can grow and flourish. The reason for this is that people don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it. The easiest way to explain this is too look at some great brands.
Examples of Great Brands Who Know Their Why.
Think of any great brand in the world, and you can be sure they know their why. Think of Disney, Nike, Virgin, Apple, Facebook, or even closer to home brands such as Lorna Jane, Bendigo Bank or Thank-You. All these brands live and breathe their why, which is why they are succeeding.
Virgin: Their why is creating products that are needed in the market where you pay only for what you need/use. How they are different is by creating simple, fun, easy to use products with exceptional service. Their what is almost unlimited. Richard Brands has created Virgin music, Virgin Arilines, Virgin Credit Cards, Virgin Mobile, Virgin Gyms.. the list is endless. This just goes to show that when you know your why, you can grow your business in any direction.
Disney: Their why is to make world a more magical place, how they do it is through beautifully illustrated stories, but what they actually do is make movies, have books, theme parks and stores. In any of these places, you feel the brand authentically as it is a magical place to be.
Apple: Their how is to create innovative products, how they are different is by making their products beautifully designed and simple to user, but what they actually make is computers, MP3 players, phones, watches and more.
Lorna Jane: Their why is to help people live their best active life, and how they do this is through their philosophy for Move, Nourish, Believe. This has led them to create a successful activewear business, but also publish recipe books, inspiration books, have gyms and healthy cafes.
There are hundreds of other brands out there who I could discuss, but what makes these special is that they have heaps of competition out there. There is hundreds of movies, telcos, airlines, fitness companies out there – but the reason why these brands are succeeding as they know their why and are authentic.
Authenticity and What Happens When You Forget Your Why…
People by nature want to trust and believe in you and your product, and are drawn to brands that live what they believe. That is why people make gut decisions, as they are trusting based on a feeling. Authentic brands are great at living their why. However, if any of these brands go against their why, their consumers get incredibly angry.
For example, when Apple remove the headphone jack from their phone, many brand followers became angry as they felt they had been failed by the brand. Why? Well Apple wasn’t being authentic. They weren’t following their why of creating innovation.
Lorna Jane similarly found themselves in the media last year over claims relating to hiring fit-models and encouraging staff members to lose weight and skip meals. Why did people get angry? It appeared that the brand wasn’t following their why of helping people live their best active life, regardless of the truth behind the allegations.
Authentic Brands Succeed.
As you can see from some of the examples above, profits don’t drive behaviours for consumers. Authentic brands that know and live their why succeed.
Need Help Finding Your Why?
Feeling inspired and eager to help finding your why? Talk to Buzz Consulting today. We love help people discover their purpose beyond making a a profit and start creating a work life they feel the don’t a vacation from.