Branding from Why (and Why It Matters)

“The goal is not to do business with everybody who needs what you have. The goal is to do business with people who believe what you believe.” Simon Sinek


If you read our previous post, “What is “brand?” you know that brand is what your customers think, feel and experience when they hear your name, see your logo or interact with your people, products and services. It’s an emotional connection between a customer and a product or organization. Brand is living, breathing and constantly evolving – which is why it’s important to position your brand authentically.


We’ve made it our mission to reveal what lives inside the hearts of organizations and to help our clients authentically connect with customers to inspire lifelong loyalty. In other words, we brand from “Why?” 


The general concept behind branding from “why” derives from Simon Sinek’s TED Talk “Start With Why.”


According to Sinek, the fundamental difference between the “Apples” of the world and everyone else is that they start with “why.” To explain this concept, Sinek developed what he calls the “Golden Circle,” which has three layers:

1. Why – This is the core belief of the business. It’s why the business exists.

2. How – This is how the business fulfills that core belief.

3. What – This is what the company does to fulfill that core belief.


What Sinek found is that most companies start with “what” instead of “why” and never actually tell you why they do what they do. In fact, some companies can’t even answer that question.


To illustrate what it means to “start with why,” we look to Apple. Apple embraces its “why.” It is the core of their marketing efforts and the driving force behind their business decisions. Here’s what it might sounds like if Apple upheld the status quo and created a marketing message that started with “what:”


“We make great computers. They’re user friendly, beautifully designed and easy to use. Want to buy one?”


The statement is true, but it’s not compelling. Now, here’s how Apple actually positions itself:


“We believe in challenging the status quo. We believe in thinking differently. Our products are user friendly, beautifully designed and easy to use. We just happen to make great computers. Want to buy one?”


The difference is notable. Because Apple starts with “why” – because everything they do comes from the fundamental truth that lives inside the heart of their organization – they are able to connect with customers authentically to inspire lifelong loyalty. As Sinek describes, “People don’t buy what you do. They buy why you do it.”


We believe an authentic brand is not something you create. It’s something that naturally emerges from within an organization. It’s the reason your organization exists; your purpose that inspires you to do what you do.


When you work with us, you’ll find that we don’t just work for you; we become a part of your team. We get to know you on a deep level, so we’re not just creating a brand that we think looks or sounds good. Instead, we reveal the brand that’s already there; we reveal your “Why?”