Simon Says, ‘Start With Why’

For about a year now, I have been working with a branding company called Belief out of Seattle on a couple different projects. They are an amazing company and do such great work!

One of our projects deals with analyzing various companies with their advertisements and online presence, and then rate them with our scale. This was inspired from a man named Simon Sinek, author of ‘Start With Why’; a business book analyzing companies’ missions and leaders who inspire people to take action.

Sinek talks about how many people know what they do for a living but very little know why they do what they do.

Sometimes, the same goes for companies.

“Why is not about money or profit-those are results. Why is the thing that inspires us and inspires those around us,” said Sinek.

In a TED talk he did a little while ago, he talked about that an inspiring company looks like. When employees are surrounded by people who believe what the company believes, then you got the right people on the bus! But also, he talked about how great leaders inspire us.

Sinek created this formula called ‘The Golden Circle’ that consists of three rings: What, How, and Why.

Most people start thinking with the ‘what’ and go into the circle with ‘how’.

However, there are more successful companies out there that start with ‘why’ with their ads and campaigns, then there are companies that start with ‘what’.

To give you an example of an ad staring with ‘what’, say you are a car company that has an ad like this:

“Here is our new car. It has great gas mileage and runs smoothly. Want to buy one?”

Now, here is one that starts with ‘why’:

“We believe good transportation needs to be safe and reliable. We believe in thinking differently. The way we are different is that we create a car with great gas mileage, and an engine that runs smoothly for all your projects. We just happen to make awesome cars.”

Which one seems more appealing?

Starting with ‘why you need this product’ and seeing a company believe in their ads, their PR, to me, is inspiring me more to go out and buy their product, compared to ‘this is our product= what’.

There is obviously more to be said about this topic, but Sinek’s book is an awesome read and his TED talk is a great watch!

TED talk:


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