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If you’re a marketer, you’re probably aware of the work of Simon Sinek. His book Start With Why is a favorite among C-Suite inhabitants and branding geeks. And Sinek’s related TED Talk is one the most-watched videos in the TED library of videos. At the heart of his WHY movement is the idea that people don’t buy into what you do, they buy into why you do it.

Simon’s Golden Circle suggests that most businesses can tell you WHAT they do (outer circle) and HOW they do it (middle circle), but most companies struggle to explain WHY they do what they do (center). They’re unable to articulate the heart and soul behind what they do. So, in order to resonate with people, it’s pretty important to be able to articulate your “WHY.”
I contend that, behind every great “WHY”—there must be a “BECAUSE” to bring it to life and sustain it. Yes, BECAUSE.
Think of it this way. Your “WHY” is the inspiration behind your brand and your “BECAUSE” is the motivation that makes it actionable. Let me explain with an example.
Airbnb’s “WHY” could be “To make people around the world feel like they belong anywhere.” Now, how many “BECAUSE” statements could you come up with to bring your “WHY” to life?

Airbnb because…

…I’d rather feel like a local than a tourist.
…hotels can be an expensive hassle.
…I want a one-of-a-kind experience, something you could never experience staying in a hotel..
…I like doing my own thing.
…tourists can be seen as annoying.
…tourist traps suck.
…I like insider status and being “in-the-know.”
…I hate being treated like a number.
…hotel concierges don’t know the really cool places to go.
Do you see how these “BECAUSE” statements start to build out Airbnb’s “WHY” story and give it color and flavor? Recently, while working with a large tech client in Dallas, TX, we brainstormed “BECAUSE” statements as a team and landed on a dozen killer statements that immediately informed the brand strategy we were building and energized the client’s “WHY.”
So, here’s the deal. If you don’t know about Simon Sinek and his Golden Circle model, get on it. Figure out how to define and articulate your brand’s WHY and you’re on your way to creating something special. But remember, behind every great “WHY” is an equally great “BECAUSE” that motivates people to take action.
If you want to hear more about how to build inspiring brand stories that move people to action, download our free ebook, SHOUT is a stain remover not a selling strategy.

By Gary Kopervas

Gary is a self-proclaimed “creative misfit” in that he doesn’t fit neatly into any one compartment or department. He’s an insight spotter, brand strategist, writer, content creator, creative facilitator, product innovator and a nationally syndicated cartoonist.

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