Why Communicating Your Why is So Important

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Michiko Morales

Companies working in the tech industry know they rock – whether it’s a hot startup with an entirely new way of solving a persistent problem or a well-established company providing innovative tech products to a multitude of industries. But sometimes, that what-gets-you-out-of-bed-every-morning mission can get lost in the shuffle.

A Ted Talk by author and motivational speaker Simon Sinek, called “Start With Why,” takes a deep dive into not the what and how of successful companies, but the why. Sinek argues that customers aren’t motivated to buy a product or service because of its features, functions or benefits, but because of the why behind it – precisely the problem it solves. He notes that companies that don’t know their why can’t begin to define the what and how of what they do. As Sinek puts it, “people don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.”

One of the best examples of a company communicating its why is Apple. Steve Jobs never pitched a product by saying, ‘We make great computers. That’s why you should buy one.” Apple has been so successful over the years because the company communicates not their what but their why in everything they do: “We see things differently. The way we think differently is by making things that are simple to use and beautiful.”

The tech media landscape is an incredibly crowded one where competition for attention is exceptionally fierce. Having a compelling why is one way to stand out.

So, where to start?

Defining Your Why

Facts and figures aren’t memorable. Stories and experiences are. That’s why you need to use storytelling as much as possible to bring humanity to your company and help your employees understand the relevance of your strategy.

What problem exists and how are you solving it? What innovative technology, unconventional process or unique offering sets your company apart from its competitors? What is your vision for the future and how does your product or service make that future feasible? What real-life examples illustrate your progress as a company and the challenges you’ve encountered and overcome along the way? Successful tech companies with a clear purpose should be able to answer these fundamental questions.

Urge your employees to share their stories as well. Ask them to pinpoint the why behind their technology to craft a clear, concise and consistent message that resonates with people’s experiences.

Make Your Why Stand Out in Your Messaging

Tech companies that are entering new markets are defining a space and disrupting the world in a way no other company has done before. It’s essential to be able to communicate your story compellingly.

Once the why is agreed upon by all of your internal stakeholders, communicate your company’s why by crafting thoughtful and inspiring corporate messaging. A good messaging document that details all the thinking behind your company and its products and services serves as a constant reminder to everyone within your company. It also ensures the why is communicated consistently externally. Including your why as part of your company boilerplate also helps put your purpose in front of as many eyes as possible. Your why should be at the core of all of your communications.

Amplify It Everywhere

So, you’ve asked the right questions and shaped messaging around the company’s purpose. The final step is to amplify the company’s vision by sharing it externally – in press announcements, social media postings, website copy and advertisements, among other forms. It also should be the central idea in all story pitches to members of the news media.

Why “Why” Really Matters

What separates a run-of-the-mill tech company from a successful one boils down to the ability to answer one question: What’s your why? Having a purpose – and a purpose-driven business mindset – creates work that has meaning. Purpose humanizes an otherwise bottom-line-focused business. It connects employees on an emotional level and galvanizes them to work for more than just a paycheck. It attracts new clients while keeping existing clients loyal and satisfied. It makes everything mean something.

For more information on how Gabriel Marketing Group can help transform your organization’s mission, focus your communications strategy and increase your reach, contact us today for a consultation!

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Leah Nurik