Simon Sinek

Communicating the ‘Why’

“People don’t buy what you do: they buy WHY you do it.” (Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone To Take Action by Simon Sinek).

The Golden Circle (©2013 Simon Sinek Inc)Simon Sinek’s Start With Why theory is encapsulated by his Golden Circle (© 2013 Simon Sinek Inc.).

You know ‘what’ your business does. You know ‘how’ your business does it. Hopefully one of these is different to what anyone else does or how anyone else does it, giving you your USP (Unique Selling Proposition).

But do you know ‘why’ you do it?

Why is the ‘why’ important? Because we are human beings. And what makes human beings unique is that we allow our emotions to dictate our decision-making.

There may be loads of rational reasons for picking one product or service over another, but it is the ones we create some sort of emotional connection with, that get our attention. That get our money.

Branding and marketing experts have been trying to persuade clients for decades that creating successful brands is about creating an emotional connection with your consumer.

Thankfully science is now backing up this theory. The latest catchphrase in the pursuit of getting ‘buy in’ from your target audience comes with a snazzy name; Neuromarketing.

Over the last decade, neuroscience research has shown that affection (emotions, feelings) plays a much more important role in decision-making than most people had thought.

Our brains process much of their sensory input subconsciously, generating affection toward or against objects. Signals that don’t generate positive or negative affection are filtered out (seen as unimportant) and never reach our conscious mind. So, avoid mediocrity.

As much as 95% of our decisions are made by the subconscious mind. As a result, the world’s largest and most sophisticated companies are applying the latest advances in neuroscience to create brands, products, package designs, marketing campaigns, store environments, and much more, that are designed to appeal to the emotional part of our brains.

And research backs up the science. The Institute of Practitioners in Advertising analysed data from the 1,400 case studies of successful advertising campaigns submitted to their IPA Effectiveness Award competition over three decades.

IPA ChartThis particular analysis compared the profitability boost of campaigns which relied primarily on emotional appeal vs. those which used rational persuasion and information. The chart shows the results. Campaigns with purely emotional content performed almost twice as well as those with only rational content, and those that were purely emotional did a little better those that mixed emotional and rational content.

Smaller businesses, with smaller budgets will have to work much harder to create the same emotional approach as the market leaders. Their name recognition is likely to be much lower and consumers may not even associate their company with its product category.

But, by creating a brand and thinking creatively, they should be able to segment the market to find a group of consumers that will respond to a different appeal.

Creating a brand is about giving your company, product or service a personality, which will help you make that emotional connection with your customers. But, branding isn’t about thrusting a personality on your business, it is about extracting one from it. Its DNA. Its ‘Why’.

Once you have discovered the ‘Why’ for your business, you need to communicate it in a way that will attract attention, raise awareness and create familiarity. In turn, this will increase recognition, improve sales and promote customer loyalty.

If you would like help discovering and communicating the ‘Why’ in your business, contact us.