About your Why

Selling your why . . . it matters!

Nike  . . . Do they mention the running shoe in their ads?  The sole? The cushioning? The shoe lace?  No.

Nike promotes athletes who aspire to be the greatest, the fastest and the first to cross the blue tape. And their advertising is gripping, pulsating and infectious.

In their advertising, little, if anything, is mentioned about their HOW and WHAT.

Let’s apply the Nike philosophy to another industry.   In doing so, it will in many cases demonstrate how too many of us are focused on the question of what rather than having a firm focus on why!

Service industries:

If you work in the service industry, maybe an accounting firm or a legal practice, it would be a sure bet to assume your advertising material (website) has a clear focus on the what we do and how we do it concepts.  For example, those practising in commercial property might have something that says:

We do property law.  We have a team of qualified experts accredited in retail, commercial and industrial property development. 

As a consumer of legal services, I expect a legal practice to have experts in their chosen fields. So I am not too inspired by what I see on that commercial property site. So I move to the next one only to be confronted with the same information, the same what and the same how.  “We do property law and how do we do it? We do it with our accredited experts!” Yawn!

So where is the difference between the two sites? Where is the sizzle? Where is the why? How do the two differentiate themselves from the other? From the outside looking in, they don’t! So how does John Smith Citizen make a decision? The what and how provide him with little to know help.

Calling all business owners . . .  start selling your why! Companies like Nike and Apple do it beautifully! They do it well not because of their massive advertising budgets, they do it well because they have thought about their why.  Their brand represents their why, their consumers respect their why and so their brand just keeps revolving in the public’s psyche.  Revolving to the point of their why being an institutional belief, similar to a religious creed or a political manifesto.

So, it all gets back to your why. Your why permeates through everything you do on a day to day basis – from the front desk through to those in front of your clients.  Your why is your point of difference. Your why is the very thing that makes you do what you do.  It is the essence of what the paying public buy from you.  Think less about your what. Think less about your how. They are functional attributes that we expect you to get right.

Think more about why and start selling it.  Overnight your business will be recognised for its unique pitch amongst its competitors.  People will quickly understand what you represent and stand for.

So in the words of a company that has gone about selling their why with true style and with sensational results – JUST DO IT!

High Impact!

To get clear on your why you need to see it written before you.  Words bring about clarity; certainty of purpose; a high degree of transparency which inevitably leads to much authenticity.

By describing the essence of your why, your words will attract those you want to do business with.

Words have a high impact if used correctly.  They conjure a subjective yet conscious belief in and around your brand.  They produce an emotional response that can make your audience highly motivated; curious; aroused and trusting toward you and your offering.

So it makes perfect sense to spend some time working on the wording around your why.  This time will influence the mood, temperament and personality of those you transact with on a day to day basis.  It should see you working more with those who best suit your why, and working less with people who are best suited to seeking your services from another provider.

Words, if used correctly, allow you to send a clear and uncomplicated message.  Words – embrace and engage with them today to crystalise your why and to ensure a high impact with your target audience.


Simon Sinek asks why?

Simon codifies the question with his Golden Circle based on three principles.  From the outside in, we have a layer of ‘What?’ The second layer is ‘How?’ The inner most layer, the most important layer is ‘Why?’  A three step process – simple!

Most businesses, most people start with their ‘what?’ What do we do? What do we make? What do we offer? What do we serve?  Invariably all their competitors are looking at the same set of  ’what?’

But people buy your why! What and how are secondary – functional attributes that we expect you to get right. They provide little in the way of a point of difference if dealt with in isolation to your why.

So the challenge, your daily challenge is to think about your why.  Why do you do what you do? People embrace your why!   They want it; they love it and they share it.

Your why puts the love in what you serve.  Like a chef cooking up a feast – others can serve food, but only a chef in true sync with his why can put love on a plate.  A little part of the chef’s why is with every dish, consumed in every bite.

So why do you plate your what?  Never stop asking.  It holds every answer, every solution and is sure to bring much success.