Marketing Messaging that Starts with “Why”

Marketing implores us to constantly reevaluate the different ways of communicating the benefits of a product or service. And while creativity is always a process, BCS has recently been discussing Simon Sinek’s famous TED Talk. The episode “How Great Leaders Inspire Action” is a mainstay on the top 25 TED Talks of all time. Although it’s from 2009, we believe it offers insights that are applicable to developing marketing messaging.

“People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.”

In order to create communicate a message that elicits an emotional response from potential customers, you have to go beneath the surface level. Whether people are conscious of it or not, they’re often making purchasing decisions using their gut-instinct.

Most people want to believe that their spending is dictated by objective reasoning. And while factors such as “quality” and “need” certainly factor into decisions —  “what the company is all about” influences the choice. For example, in the same way in which people select clothing reflective of their interests, they identify and align with the ethos of a company.

“When You Start with Why, There’s No Need for Sleazy Sales Tactics”

So how can companies apply “starting with why” to marketing efforts (and otherwise)? The first step is an honest exploration of why the company does what it does. It’s not so much a mission statement, as it is a glimpse into the human motivation behind a company. And using different ways of expressing these motivations to customers can change the perception of a company for the better.

When you start with why, it forces companies to stop communicating purely in terms of sales, specials and numbers. In turn, it allows companies to start communicating like people —  making it easier for their intended audience to connect. And the more connected the audience feels, the longer the consumer relationship will last.

 

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