8 February 2019

Get to the heart of your ‘why’

What’s your purpose? It’s the ultimate question and, while it sounds simple, it can prove very tricky to answer.

Start with why!

One of our favourite ways to uncover your brand purpose is to use Simon Sinek’s Start With Why theory. With over 41million views of Sinek’s TED Talk explaining the theory, it’s clearly resonating with people across the globe.

Based on the theory of the Golden Circle, Sinek talks about how every organisation functions on three levels:

  1. What we do
  2. How we do it
  3. Why we do it

 

Here’s how Apple fits into the Golden Circle framework:

What: We make computers.

How: Our products are beautifully designed and easy to use.

Why: We believe in challenging the status quo and doing things differently.

Uncovering your why

Many organisations define their brand purpose as their ‘what’ or ‘how’, but the ‘why’ is essential when it comes to inspiring customers and employees.

To uncover your ‘why’, try answering these five questions:

  1. Why are we here?
  2. Who are we here for?
  3. What makes us different?
  4. What do we value the most?
  5. What do we do, and how do we do it?

 

These questions should help you to define your purpose as a business – for yourself, your team and your customers. Another simple way to refine your purpose is to fill in the blanks of this statement:

 

“We [blank], so that [blank].”

You can evolve this statement as you go, but it’s a handy way to start getting things down on paper.

The ‘five whys’

Another way to define your purpose is to use the ‘five whys’. To use this technique, start with a simple ‘what we do’ statement. Next, ask the question ‘why’ of your statement. (For example, if your ‘what we do’ statement is ‘we bake cakes’, ask yourself why what drives you to do this every day.) Then, rewrite your ‘what’ statement to include the answer to your ‘why’ question. Repeat this process four more times, and you should be left with a more meaningful purpose statement.

The Synergy ‘why’

We practice what we preach here at Synergy, so we spent some time thinking about our own reason for being. Here’s our ‘why’:

 

“We believe in the power of people. People have the power to imagine, inspire, encourage, drive and create change in the world.”

There are plenty of different ways to discover and define your ‘why’, so pick the route that feels right for you. There’s just one golden rule we’d always recommend you follow, and that’s: create your purpose in collaboration with your people.

When your purpose is something everyone involved can understand and get behind, your brand will come to life in a more meaningful, impactful way. Plus: if you don’t discuss your purpose statement with the people that matter to your business, how can you be sure you’ve really uncovered your true ‘why’?

Nine out of 10 CEOs say that they have a clearly defined purpose for their business, which helps to ‘shape their strategies, culture and deliver success in difficult and uncertain times’.

Where next?

If you want to reap the benefits of defining your purpose but aren’t sure where to start, why not get in touch? Our ‘Start with why’ workshops have already helped a wide range of brands to define themselves – so if you need a helping hand, get in touch.

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