What, How and Why? (Part Two)

In our previous article, we discussed the common factor amongst the most successful companies worldwide. From Coca Cola to Apple, these businesses successfully market themselves to their customers as well as the actual products they sell.

A strong brand will communicate so much more than the mere capabilities of their latest creations. Identity. Trust. Recognition. All of these sentiments and more are the cornerstone of brand loyalty, and are absolutely vital in ensuring your business stands out among the crowd. Why, exactly, is this so important?

Simon Sinek, a motivational speaker and the author of ‘Start With Why’, created the concept of the Golden Circle. This is based on the idea that every single organisation functions on three individual levels: 1) What we do 2) How we do it; and 3) Why we do it. When these three levels are aligned, it provides us with a cohesive foundation for understanding and trust.

The What and the How are without a doubt the easiest to articulate. It is not a complex task to describe the services you offer and how they are performed. The most successful brands, however, are experts at emphasising their Why.

Sir Richard Branson, best-known as the founder of Virgin Group, speaks from experience. With Branson’s net worth now estimated at a staggering $5 billion and over 400 companies to his name, he was famously quoted as saying that one should ‘Never go into business purely to make money. If that’s the motive, you’re better off doing nothing’. This brings us full-circle back to Sinek’s theory – to achieve success, you need to effectively communicate the reason your organisation exists, what you believe and, at the most basic level, why you do what you do.

Whether purchasing or investing, our emotions play a vast part in our decisions – however practical we may consider ourselves to be. This is all grounded in biology. The outside layer of the human brain, the Neocortex, corresponds with the What level of the Golden Circle and is the source of all rational and analytical thought and language. The How and Why, on the other hand, links to the far more complex Limbic structures deep within the brain. The Limbic brain is responsible for all human emotions, such as compassion and loyalty. This renders it an incredibly powerful instrument and, whether we are aware of it or not, is paramount in decision-making.

So, let us bring this back to your business and your customers. Would you describe your client base as repeat business or loyal business? It sounds like the same concept, but is in fact very different. Repeat business means that someone is willing to do business with you, but the reason for this choice lies in the price you offer or some other factor convenient to them – and they will likely look elsewhere if this convenience is no longer available. Loyal business, in contrast, is composed of consumers who prefer to work with you and your services despite any potential inconvenience such as dearer prices or travel distance. These consumers will prefer your brand over others, and will continue to do so. If your company has a loyal client base, the chances are you have delivered your Why effectively.

Struggling? At Mellstock, we often examine clients’ websites, brochures and publications from an objective point of view. Are you selling yourselves too? Are you clearly communicating your beliefs and identity? Is your company’s raison d’être clear? Are you actually engaging?

Find your Why. It will be worth it.


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