The Answer To This One Simple Question Can Make Your Business Extraordinary

A few years ago I wrote a post for another blog about the power of an organization or a leader’s “why”.  In today’s flashy, busy world, it’s as an important a topic as ever.  So I’ve updated it a bit and re-posted it below.

Simon Sinek’s compelling video “Start with why – how great leaders inspire action” reminds us that leaders communicate best when they appeal first to why it’s important to do things instead of simply communicating the ‘what” and “how”.

Communicating a brand message works the same way.  The fundamental reason that you are in business is your “Why” and a meaningful “Why” (not based on profit) connects with people’s brains and emotions in a way that makes it easier for them to want your products and services.    An article in Driven puts it this way:

“Most of the time we don’t even realize that we’re asking why. Consider the typical retail ad:“We’ve got athletic shoes with a built-in activity tracker that will help you record your mileage, pulse, and speed during aerobic workouts.”

Great, it’s a smart shoe. So? Our subconscious tries to answer, “Why should I buy this?” No answer, no sale. Try this on for size instead:

“You are part of the Information Age. Shouldn’t your shoes be too? Join us. We’re miles ahead.”

Better? Here’s why:1) The main focus of the ad is on the consumer, not the product.2) The consumer is identified as being informed.3) The retailer is identified as being informative.4) A perfect match is realized and the sale occurs.

When sales are made from that ad copy, the consumers aren’t actually buying shoes. They are buying the belief that they are informed and forward-thinking athletes. They know why you are selling the product, and they can relate.”

Source:  Why are You in Business? – Driven

Put Core Values ” Into your Brand Message

The “Why” is deeply rooted in the core values of the founder or organizational leaders.   When internalized by all staff it becomes a powerful operational tool.

Link Every Business Element To the “Why”

When I consulted with clients on their strategic and marketing plans, I’d usually start with a discussion of the company’s core values.  This often seemed counter-intuitive to the hard – chargers, impatiently wanting to get on with creating the plan.  But developing a shared understanding of the organization’s core values always turned out to be one of the most important things the group would do.  Why? because core values tap into the emotions and the heart of the business, yet they’re rarely discussed.

It’s the same way with a brand message.  Good brand messages connect core values to products and services in a way that employees, clients, and customers can feel in their bones.  Business owners lose out when they don’t take the time to think about their “Why” and create a meaningful brand message.

As an example, consider the statement from Dr. Lenny Lomax, creator of LEVARE, a patented, all-natural pain reliever.

…we have made it our mission to develop innovative solutions to pressing public health problems, with a key emphasis on resolving the epidemic of prescription painkiller abuse and improving the general health and well-being of humanity“ Naturally”.

Can a “why” be any more clear than that?  Can you see how existing customers and prospects will instantly get the difference that LEVARE is in a very noisy, crowded pain relief market?

It’s hard work to create a clear brand message and have it flow through product and service delivery, customer service, sales and marketing, and human resources, but it’s worth it.  Here’s another perspective:

“When you visualize your client, what kind of emotions would you like for them to feel when thinking of your business? What kind of adjectives would you like for them to use to describe you?

Successful businesses have an impactful, recognizable brand that clearly communicates the emotions that want to convey to their clients. A brand can be created by any combination of factors, such as product design, mission (the “why we do what we do”), ethical standards, communication style, advertisements, etc.”

source: Creating a Visual Brand Identity through Graphic Design Standards

Walk into my client’s Garden Cafe, and you instantly get it: a charming slice of old Europe, filled with flowers, soft music, yummy foods, wines, and unique gifts for the home and garden.  Elegance, relaxation, and fun seem to come from every corner of the place and its people – it’s part of the DNA of the place, and it didn’t happen by accident.  It took years of consistently building on the owner’s “Why”: “To focus clients on the pure and lovely”.  She’s created many loyal fans – just from the consistency of the warm, inviting brand message, connected to her “Why”.

“People like to work with companies that they perceive as being honest about their core values. In fact, 80 percent of customers say that the authenticity of the organization is an important factor in their decision whether or not to become a loyal brand follower. When a brand broadcasts inconsistent messaging, it becomes more difficult for customers to know the genuine brand. Consistency helps to give the impression of an authentic message to which customers can relate”.

source: Consistent Brand Messaging is the Key to Your Customer’s Heart – Allegra Marketing Print Design – Franklin, TN

Get The Word Out

After defining your “Why” you may feel the need to make adjustments in the way you do business.  One of the common challenges is sharing the why in a way that attracts loyal customers, patients, and clients.  Here are  two helpful ideas to keep in mind:

Align Employees

Every employee must buy into the importance of living and breathing the brand message and understand how to reflect it in their job. Rewards systems should reinforce it.

Tell And Show

Tell the world, and show them that you mean it.  Every email, newsletter, advertisement, marketing document, blog post, video, speech, product, and service should reflect the “why”.

Here’s Simon Sinek’s 18-minute video that puts a lot more perspective on this topic.  It’s well worth watching all the way through.  The simple formula is: Your “Why” = Core Values = Successful Brand Message

Original article:

About The B2B Resource Team

Advertising, Marketing, Productivity, and Social Media That Works.  The B2B Resource Team helps give their clients a competitive edge in online marketing, AdWords and Facebook advertising, and workplace productivity  Sarasota, Florida,

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