“Why?” is a compelling question. Arguably, there is nothing more humble than asking someone “why?” unless, of course, it’s coming from a toddler. You see, “why?” removes all pretence, all expectation that you have the answers, and places all of the power into the hands of the person asking the question. Toddlers are typically more curious than most adults and, as many reading this will know, are not afraid to ask “why?” to anything and everything, irrespective of how complex or simple it might be.
It’s no surprise that asking why gives you far deeper clarity, so the real question is, why do we not ask “why?” more often? Why do we assume we already have the answers and instead constrain ourselves to the limits of who, what, where and when? It’s time for you to ask yourself, “why?”.
Here’s why you must start asking and addressing your “why?”.
Many of you will have heard the adage that people buy from people they know. Whilst this is true in principle, consumers don’t shop with every brand they know. Think about it, how many brands do you know? Hundreds, maybe even thousands. Now, how many of those same brands have you bought from? Suddenly, we’ve reduced that number to a mere fraction. People buy from people they like. So, the narrative that once was you should tell the world what you do so that they know who you are is slowly changing as more and more businesses begin to realise the importance of telling people why they do what you do. Sharing your why allows consumers to invest in what you do, emotionally to begin with, and then financially. But this process does not happen in reverse.
But how does telling people your “why?” get them to like you?
To answer this, I want you to take a minute to think about the people you like. Why do you like them? The most common answers that are likely to prevail are as follows:
They share the same interests as me.
They share the same values and beliefs as me.
They have favorable characteristics.
They “just get me”.
Often, the reason we like the people we like dives much deeper than what they do or how they do it. There’s no shortage of people who can complement us or make us feel good (what they do), and there’s no shortage of people who can be nice to you (how they do it), but the people who make truly good friends, the ones that believe in you, and that you believe in, the ones that “just get you” are few and far between. That is because not everyone shares your why; the same is true about the businesses we buy from.
Simon Sinek wrote an incredible book titled “start with why”, which is where the inspiration for writing this piece derived. In the book, he talks about the importance of starting with your why and not focusing solely on what you do and how you do it. But why is this important, and how does it affect your business?
Well, you see, how and what are functional. Hi, I’m Bob; I sell great quality video production services by using great quality video equipment and listening to what my consumers want. It really gets you going, doesn’t it? “Why?” is inspirational. Bellyflop live and breathe to tell stories. We’ve all been there listening to one of Grandad’s infamous tales whilst he has the entire room effortlessly in the palm of his hand. We pride ourselves on empowering businesses to tell their story through video because, after all, it’s stories that bring us together. Quite the difference, right? If Martin Luther King told his “Why?” with “I have a plan”, do you think his life would have been perhaps a little different? “I have a dream” gave people the opportunity to believe in what he was trying to achieve. Two hundred fifty thousand people didn’t sit back and hear Martin Luther-King’s speech; they stood and dreamt with him… because he started with “why?”.
Think about your business and your competitors. You all have access to the same resources, the same talent and the same agencies, so how do you set yourself apart? How do some companies massively outperform others? As Simon Sinek stated wonderfully, “People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it. The goal is not to do business with anybody who needs what you have; the goal is to do business with people who believe what you believe”. To find those who believe what you believe, it makes sense that we have to think about your “why?”, your beliefs and your values and communicate those with the people actively listening to your brand. But here’s the catch… you have to know your “why?”. This doesn’t mean to make a profit; this doesn’t mean to “make consumers happy” those are very superficial responses that won’t resonate with anyone listening. To connect with those listening to your brand, you must take some time to dissect and understand why you do what you do. This message should be engrained in your business through your branding, mission statement, people you hire, and marketing.
How to communicate your why
So, you know why you do what you do, but how do you communicate that message to your consumers? One of the most effective ways to do this is through your brand’s marketing. Most of you reading this will probably think, “but my company already invests in marketing,” or “we already have our marketing team”. Whilst that’s a great start, look at some recent posts your company has produced. Do they read something like “we use the best materials to make our products, and they’re sold at a great price” or perhaps “we offer the highest quality services and great prices”… if so, then I’m afraid you’re doing it wrong.
None of those examples uses your company’s “why?” to engage your audience. Take Bellyflop, for instance; we endeavour to make our marketing resonate with people. “We’ve all been there, listening to Grandad’s famous story whilst he has the entire room in the palm of his hand. That’s the magic of stories; they bring us together. Here at Bellyflop, we want to give your business that same power. We strive to empower your business to tell your story through bespoke and professional marketing support and video production. Open a new chapter with Bellyflop today.” Pretty different, right? That’s the power of communicating your “why?”.
It takes time and a great understanding of your company to put this into practice, and that’s why we’ve created a Strategy Template designed to help you, or your team understand your business’s “why?” and develop a unified and effective marketing strategy. Fill in the template as you go, and by the end of the document, you’ll have a detailed strategy you can act upon. It really is as simple as that.
If you’re ready to tell your story through video, we’re ready and waiting for you. Get in touch here, and let us help you tell your story.