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Blog - Who cares “what” you do?

Who cares “what” you do?

admin  ∼  January 28, 2013  ∼  Brands beliefs marketing inspire Apple advertising

Apple early adopters

It's not what you do that matters,
but 'why' you do it.

Why, because it’s in our nature to question things, follow tribal creeds and hunt in packs. So to be really successful takes integrity and a set of credible beliefs.

A strategist called Simon Sinek very simply distilled what I have always believed. Simon says, “People don’t care what you do, but they do care why you do it”. He explains why brands and people inspire us to buy into them and almost religiously follow them, become advocates for them and why they are so successful without really trying too hard.

He goes on to say that while you may “truly” have something “unique,” something that really sets you apart from every other widget maker, window installer, accountant or marketing provider etc, …and while you may even sell one or two, aside from you, who cares?

Unhappy Tivo logo

When TiVo launched in the US to a fanfare with their new technology that was going to revolutionise the way you watch TV, it was a commercial failure despite having millions poured into it’s marketing. Why? Because they didn’t engage with people, TiVo didn’t whip the early adopters into a frenzy, then use them as advocates for the brand, so in the end people didn’t know ‘why’ they needed it in their lives.

Here was something genuinely new and unique. It paused live TV, skipped commercials, rewound live TV and memorised your viewing habits without you even asking. Not surprisingly no one wanted it, because instead of telling the consumer ‘why’ they should want it and need it, they told them ‘what’ it did and in a Big Brother kind of way, it probably scared them in the process.

But what if they said, we believe in giving you total control of what you watch, when you want to watch it? You might be more inclined to say, “…sounds interesting, tell me more?” Why, because you could see it becoming a useful addition to your life and who doesn't want more control.

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

So as a marketeer, if you don’t know what motivates people to buy from you, then how do you know what to say, or do to attract more of them? ...Or even who to talk to for that matter?

You could try manipulating the market. In other words, reduce your price or offer a promotions of some sort, but this is just not sustainable and it doesn’t encourage loyalty. Alternatively, you could try to ‘inspire’ people to buy from you and if they believe the things you do, they’ll follow you and tell others about you.

So what inspires people?

Apple Invents Advertisement

Apple didn’t start with the premise that they’d just make some cool computers and other technology, instead they believed they could “create technology that is easier to use and which would make people’s lives easier”. How? By challenging conventional thinking and delivering a premium product, that wasn’t too technical for the end-user, designed and packaged with the customer in mind. “Who could argue with this and why wouldn’t you want one?

As a result the brand gained a following and unshakable belief in ‘what’ Apple produced from computers to mobile phones, music players and even an online music shop! Apple proves that “why you do what you do” and having a strong set of beliefs is infinitely more powerful than a whole host of bribes and incentives.

In fact that message is so powerful, that just imagine for a minute if Apple opened a bank that worked entirely from your iPhone (it’s got a secure chip that could hold the data needed), it can scan barcodes as you shop, so no need for cash and acknowledge secure payment by fingerprint scan. And the beauty is that it still fit their business and brand model. If I were a bank I’d be really worried by brands like Apple, or maybe be the first to go into business with them.

And brands like Apple, Microsoft, Dell and so on, are all essentially the same, with the same access to equally able employees, but there's something makes them all different. That something is their brand and “why they do what they do”.

Glevum Windows Advertisement
Click Image to read Glevum's story

But you don’t have to be a big brand like Apple to do this, it can work for anyone, even businesses that appear to be similar to many of their competitors. For example a window installer could go back to when they started and ‘why’ they created their business. And not just to make money, that’s just a result of ‘why’ you do what do! Okay, so that may have been part of the reason. But your beliefs are probably embedded in the service you deliver and quality of the products you use. Now you’ve just got to find a unique angle for that message that will inspire people, so they can get behind it and tell their friends.

And ‘why’ doesn’t just exist in the things your customers see, it extends to every part of your business and is the whole essence of your being and what your brand stands for. Because it’s no good having the best product in the market that will make my life easier, if your people and processes make it too complicated to buy, or just as difficult to get delivered. This devalues the integrity of your brand, so people end up not believing you when you say “why you do what you do.” ...And boy, do people love to shout about something that sucks!

This also extends to the kind of people you attract to work for you too. Because it’s much easier to recruit and keep people that really believe in “why you do what you do.” These people will work harder for you, stay with you longer and ensure that your business lives up to its ideals from your customers’ point of view too. Why? Because they believe in the same things they take ownership and because want to. Conversly, people who don’t believe in what you do, only work for the money and they soon move on to someone who'll pay them more.

Even glossiest advertising, the snazziest brochures, the stickiest websites, with the best SEO and social marketing experts, the finest designers and technology that money can buy, and the most persuasive salesman who’ll talk your customers through all the latest features and benefits. But if the consumer doesn’t understand “why you do what you do,” they won’t buy it, …they won’t buy into it, …and they certainly won’t tell others about it.

So you see, it’s not what you do that matters, it’s “why you do it.”



To find out more about what makes you so special and “why,” people might buy your brand, why not give me a call on 07990 466264 and ask for David Nute.

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