Are intentions as critical as all that? “Why” is the foundation for all exchanges of any kind. One may offer you a glass of tap water from your house. But suppose a large green being with three eyes offers you a glass of water. Your first question is “Why is this being offered?” Any offer is preceded by a “Why.” You won’t even drink from your own faucet unless you have trust in the source.
But Chuck, what about new and exciting products?
Like a Tesla? You have to trust that it’s supported. If you don’t trust the seller to support your purchase, then “he can’t give them away.” If I have a battery powered car with unlimited power recharging stations to offer you for free, or ask you to pay $100,000, is your top concern the battery? Perhaps. But before you hand over any money, or even take it for free, you’re going to answer the question in you head “Why is this guy doing this?” Before any exchange happens, you will answer why first, in every case.
When your mother sells you something, you buy it. (This assumes you have a swell relationship with her.) The price can be high, or the price can be low. It can be useful to you or not. It may just be her opinion. If possible, you’ll buy it.
The neighbor couple stops by with their kids in scout uniforms. The child holds up a custom made ashtray for you with your name on it. It’s gray/green, misshapen, and you don’t smoke, but it has your name on it. They are fundraising for the scouts. This is sweet Marketing.
But tf we don’t trust them FIRST, they can’t sell us a bar of gold.
A man steps out of a car as you are walking down the street. He is about your age, the same race; he looks a bit like your cousin, and he waves friendly and smiles. He says, “Excuse me, but I am interested in that overcoat and hat you are wearing. Would you exchange these car keys for those items? It’s a newer model Tesla, but I am in need of a hat and overcoat like you are wearing.” Do you exchange with him?
Why start with why? Your co-worker asks you to sponsor them in an upcoming charity race. They offer you the opportunity to buy “the miles that they run.” Is this a good buy?
Each of these examples illustrates that Trust-In-The-Sellers-Motives rules every exchange. If you trust the seller enough, you will buy anything they offer. Conversely, if you don’t trust the seller, there is nothing they can say that will convince you.
Suppose you have a great, amazing product. Will the reason or the “Why” have any influence at all?
Suppose your co-worker sells you “miles” they are going to run, or your friends sells you on a ride to the hospital with perhaps a “Thank You” in exchange. Would you give your kidney to a stranger at no cost to them? Perhaps we would.
If the “why” is too weak…then I will not buy your motive or what you are offering.
But if the “why” is strong I’ll buy your motives plus anything you offer, no matter what.
But “why” is always the first question answered, in every case.
This is what marketing and sales and industry and commerce is all about my friends. You need to figure out WHY people want to buy something. If you figure out WHY people want something, they will appreciate that you care about their needs first, and will buy from you. (THEY might feel guilty about buying expensive shoes, so giving shoes to charity is filling their need to feel less guilty)
If you think only about your product and the profit you can make from it, they will dump you in the trash and not think about you or anything you offer again.
Simon Sinek spells this out in his best-selling book “Start with Why.” I might have titled it “Why We Should Start With Why” but I’m no expert on publishing. He says in his book that ‘why’ has to do with a brand’s higher level purpose. A main point in his lecture is that “People don’t buy WHAT you sell. They buy WHY you sell it.”
“IBM” is selling the finest empty PC shell on the market also for $25.
It has “2015” stamped on the shell. It is lightweight and soundproof. But they expect you to buy all the components, and they tell you it will need a new operating system each year.
So you buy the cassette because you believe in person selling and why they are selling. The tape drive is not all that useful, but you believe in the goals of Steve & Steve.
Suppose you are bored and looking for something to do. Your son offers you his “Doctor X-ray” comic book. A strange man offers you 50 grams of heroin. The heroin is the better value. Which do you take and why?
If you have a bad feeling about the salesman, you will not consider his offer no matter what they are selling. Moms have been teaching kids this long before Simon Sinek was born. The motive is evaluated first.
If all the motives are considered equal, then the offer is evaluated further. All thoughts in a person’s mind begin with “why.”
“Netflix has always been in the “entertainment-delivery” business. They refocused on their core and took steps to make it happen. Apple has always been in the “polished-and-smooth-alternative-to-the-IBM/RadioShack” route. Companies that focus on their root cause for existing thrive. Most forget their “Why” they are in business” and for this reason alone, businesses fail.
Chuck, suppose you are madly in love with the salesperson, but the product is pretty much a commodity. Do you assume people will buy your product at a higher price based on your people dong the selling? This could happen, but it’s not a long-term strategy.
Oh, but it is a long-term strategy! The purpose of branding is exactly that. There are AMAZING ingredients for hamburgers in the grocery store. In the parking lot is a hamburger restaurant selling burgers for ten times as much. What about preparation? O.K. My grocery store sells hot, cooked chicken with sides in the Deli, but the chain chicken store from Kentucky is still doing well. People do pay more for reputation.
An amazing product may convince the consumer that the company has their best interest at heart. If the buyer is convinced, they will buy, sight unseen. I sent a check for a motor home to the seller who lives on swampland in Florida. (We love our RV, by the way) It had taken a fair amount of conversation before I sent him a check. If you trust the seller, you’ll buy tap water in a bottle using real money from your pocket……for tap water. We are suckers for anyone we trust, and we’ll buy anything from them. If we don’t trust them FIRST, they can’t sell us a bar of gold.
What you are offering is critical, after “why” you are offering it has been accepted by the customer. If they think you are “Shady” or don’t have good intentions, then a WALL has been erected that can’t be breached. The will not even look at what you offer if there is not trust in your intentions first.
If you are in a “bad” part of town where you do not TRUST the people around you, then you might not even look them in the face. The wall of distrust of the altruistic nature of the other party has been established. No commerce can take place until after the Trust in the others intentions has been established.
Why start with why? No commerce can take place until after the Trust in the others intentions has been established.
In conclusion I offer these Public Service Announcements:
If some lady tries to sell you her ex-husbands Harley-Davidson on Craigslist, please don’t send her the money first.
If somebody offers a “Rent-To-Own” house for sale, don’t send them the money first.
These are valuable, true life examples of the importance of “Why?”
Posted in Branding, Start With WHY by Chuck
I always wondered how branding success works and sharing what I’ve learned is enjoyable.
- Begin with “Why” you are offering what you are offering.
People always want to know “Why” you are communicating with them so tell them your intentions up front.
- Tell them “How” you intend to do what you have in mind for your offer.
The how is controlled by the WHY.
- Finally….tell them WHAT you have in mind as an offer.
Let’s pick a random topic…..housing.
– I’d like to feel useful and provide a needed product and service.
– It’s very hot or cold or wet today and people may want something to help.
– I’ve built some great shelter…..want some?
What are the advantages of this process?
You want to be useful and make a valuable product. But notice the rest of the formula is flexible. The first line is your core principal. What follows the core principal can change according to conditions. You might switch to another product someday.
If you base your brand on your core principals then your brand never changes! So I’ve just described the secret to good branding. “Apple Computers” felt the need to change their brand to “Apple” because computers were not their core. The “Apple Way of Doing Things” was the actual brand. “Disney” properties are managed in a “Disney way.” Disney properties are not cartoons.
A Brand….is a frame of mind.
Posted in Start With WHY by Chuck
- Make lasting relationships where you are.
Quality is one thing, and quantity is another. We should attempt
to make lasting relationships that have an impact on others.
A short conversation can have a lasting effect, but a lasting
relationship is more likely to change your life. Live in the moment,
but plan for the long term.
- Be appreciative.
There are five languages of appreciation, and each person has a
favorite way to be appreciated. First notice the color of each
person’s eyes (This works). Then discover what style of
appreciation is their chosen language.
- Pursue your dreams.
Takes steps toward a goal that helps you realize your dreams
every day. Success in small things breeds success in big things.
Take small steps and reward your progress.
- Practice what you love.
Be happy doing things that you love and do them often, and
do them well. Success breeds success.
- Share your abundance with others.
Include others in your quest for happiness and be contagious.
People will be pleased when you are doing what you love.
- Avoid materialism.
Sure we all need to stay warm and dry. But focus on experiences
more than multiple homes. It’s not unusual for people to
sell their second home when they discover that twice as much
maintenance doesn’t bring them the happy experiences they
had in mind.
- Live the life you want.
What others expect may not be the final word on how you
should live. Be happy in your journey toward happiness and not
a slave to what others expect of you.
Posted in Start With WHY by Chuck
Effective branding is critical to success. There are lots of ideas around out there about branding, what it is, what it means, and what it does. Nailing jello to the wall is easier than nailing down one definition for branding.
Good, effective business branding ends up being an emotional tie to a set of experiences. Emotions explode in a part of the brain that is separate from the area that forms words. Have you ever been sad and unable to put the reason into words? Have you ever been happy and unable to explain it? How about in love? Emotions are in a separate part of the brain from words.
Imagine if all love songs covered the same ground. Lucky for the music industry emotions have difficulty translating into language. We know we over-think things. We refer to the “head” as the problem there. But emotions seem outside of the mind, so we put them in other places, like “you broke my heart” or ” I have a gut instinct about that guy.”
Good, effective branding grows around a group of experiences that have conveyed an emotion. One secondary emotion is passion. That’s why many good businesses thrive based on passion. Passion is not the most base of emotions but is usually is a result of a more primary emotion like love.
Let’s cover “Love” for a moment here. There is “I love my wife”, there is “I love my sister”, ” I love pizza”, “love for strangers” and lust. Those are five of the variations of love. Marketing will use different versions as needed. Sex sells, but the other four do as well.
A good brand will convey that one or more of those is in play in your business. I should tell you that a visible love for money will not go over well with your clients. They already assume that you are just in it for the money. The goal of good branding is to convey your love for something other than the customers cash. There is nothing wrong with having a desire to stay in business and provide for your family and even be providing jobs for people. But that message is not one that people want to hear.
What they want to feel is that your passion for helping others is your number one concern. Make it your #1 concern, and you will go much farther in a business. Define your brand (as best as you can in words) for your benefit. But know that your TRUE Brand is the ACTIONS that result. Your words will ring hollow if you mess this up.
Your ACTIONS are the true definition of your Brand.
There is nothing more off-putting to people than to go to “Friendlies Super-Mart” and be treated poorly by a grumpy employee. If your brand is “Friendly” you best be sure that “friendly” describes the person the public sees. Th”Friendly” is much easier if the CEO is the leader on this. Having a grumpy boss is hard for everyone. Every person in the organization is part of the brand. If someone is having a grumpy day, they either get the support they need or they voluntarily stay home.
The “Brand” of a company is the actions they take, every day, every minute. Ask any customer or client. They will tell you what your brand is and if it doesn’t match your intended brand, you are in trouble.
Posted in Branding, Start With WHY and tagged branding by Chuck