The Heart of your Brand Lies in the Answer to ‘Why’

Over the past couple of weeks, we’ve dug into the ‘brain’ of your brand story – the what, how, and whom statement where value propositions and keywords reign supreme. Today we talk why.

Anyone in marketing, branding, business, TED, Creative Mornings, etc. etc. etc. can probably tell you what the image below describes and who created it:

That’s right. The Simon Sinek Golden Circle. (Gold star for you!)

At the outermost layer, you have your what. What do you do? What do you offer? What do you promise? What do you tell people about yourself? What makes you stand apart. These statements help to create your context.

Inside that lives your how. It’s like you have lots of how answers. How do you deliver on your offerings? How do you stand apart? How do you equip your team and your tribe? These statements back up your positioning with some street cred and details.

And at the center of it all lies the heart of your brand. Your why. Being the great marketer and communicator he is, Sinek has done a brilliant job of crystallizing a complex, detailed concept into an elegantly simple diagram. What we’ll do here is to take a quick deep dive into that center portal to unpack how you go about answering this fundamental question.

What is Why

Why is a heart with two chambers – mission and vision. It’s what got you started in the first place. It’s what puts your feet on the floor in the morning, offers a touch point during the parts of the day when the work gets hard, and prompts the ‘we did it’ fist bump at the end of the day.

Sidebar – I hope sincerely you have a ready and confident answer to your question of why. Even if it’s rough, if you can say why you do what you do, it’s likely you’re fulfilled in your work. That’s a gift to you and to those with whom and for whom you’re striving.

How to Create your Vision and Mission

Do you understand the difference between vision and mission? Let’s start there. Vision is external facing. It’s the change you’re working to make in the world. Mission is internal facing – it’s what rallies your people to work together toward a shared goal.

Articulating those promises to yourself and others begins with a couple of fundamental questions:

  • Why do I do what I do?
  • What is the one thing I want or need to say consistently?
  • What do I hope others say about me?

If you have a vision and mission in place, make sure they’re serving you well. Begin by writing down your current vision and mission statements, then ask:

  • What’s right about this statement?
  • What needs to change?
  • Does it line up with the values I live out in my work every day?

Just like last week, treat these questions like a worksheet. Write them down. Then write down your answers to them. Getting your thoughts on paper (or screen) is the only way you’ll be able to let them marinate and really commit to the process of answering that most central question, why.

The process of articulating your offerings, values, differentiation, and purpose is best done with a little help from an informed, objective advisor. We’re delighted to help. (Our purpose is to help you tell a precise brand story that captures all the ways in which you are relevant, distinct, and sustainable.)

We’ll guide you through a deeper and more structured approach to building your strategic brand messaging that engages research best practices, brand strategy, and strong narrative techniques. You can reach out to our principal directly via rachelle@watchwordbrand.

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash