Forming Your Brand’s Belief System
One of the most crucial elements when defining a foundation for a brand, is to understand your brand’s belief system, or, as some popularly call it – “The Why”.
People don’t buy WHAT you do, they buy WHY you do it. (Simon Sinek)
This article is focusing on how you can define your own brand’s WHY. Sometimes it is easier said than done.
What is your Why?
In 2013, Simon Sinek gave a TED talk that sums up, in a very easy and understandable way, the importance of identifying, and sticking to a belief system. If you did not already watch the TED talk, you can find it here. It takes about 20 minutes to watch.
Your why is never “I want to earn money”!
No, this is not your why! You can do anything to earn money. What we want to find out is why you do exactly what you are doing.
All your company’s decision makers to answer 1 question
To find your why, make all decision makers try finalising the following phrase:
BECAUSE WE BELIEVE IN …
Step 1 – List down all your companies “Why”s
You might end up with a list similar to the one below:
- Because we believe all companies have the right to quality expertise
- Because we believe it is time to save the ocean
- Because we believe only though innovation can we save humanity
The list may be much longer than the one above here. That’s okay!
Step 2 – Categorise your “Why”s
If you have more than 1 single “Why”, try making categories out of them. This will help you sort your thoughts.
|ABOUT THE ENVIRONMENT||Last Name||ABOUT INNOVATION|
|Because we believe it is time to save the environment||Because we believe all companies have the right to quality expertise||Because we believe only through innovation can we save humanity|
|Because we believe its urgent to act now||Because we believe innovation drives the economy|
Can I have more than one “Why”?
Yes, you can, however, often, when you think about it, there will be, in most cases, one overarching one.
Step 3 – Choose your “Why”
Of the listed reasons for your brand’s existence, choose the one that is most fitting.
NOTE! You need to be able to live up to it!
E.g. if you say that you are all about innovation, your company should be the one driving and leading innovation in your field, or at least, aspiring to be.
Your “Why” is just not something you say in nice marketing words, you actually have to believe it and work towards it. It defines what the company is as a whole and set the direction for every future actions and tasks of the company.
Step 4 – HOW DO YOU SOLVE YOUR WHY?
Now that you have chosen your WHY, it is time to determine the HOW! For example, if your WHY is “Because we believe that only through innovation can we save humanity”, and, you are an impact investor, your HOW might be any of the following:
- By empowering impact entrepreneurs to build companies
- By enabling innovative tech solutions see the light of day faster
- By investing solely in ideas that can actually save us
As you can see, your HOW, describes how you solve your WHY. It lays the basis of all actual services, products and offers that you can provide to different target audiences.
Step 5 – WHAT DO YOU DO?
After determining WHY and HOW. We can now define a number of “WHAT”s that can make sense for your brand.
To come back to our impact investors, a number of possibilities now presents themselves:
- A digital impact investment pitching platform
- Seminars around impact investment
- A match making platform for impact entrepreneurs to find co-founders
Today, maybe your company is only focusing on one WHAT for now.
Step 6 – SUMMARISE YOUR BRAND’S BELIEF SYSTEM
After going through this exercise, you now have identified your WHY, your HOW and your WHAT. This is your brand’s belief system. You can now write it down in this template.
In the end it might look like something like this: