Financial marketing


“Why?” is not enough

9th May 2018

Whilst being strongly differentiated, game-changing businesses also tend to exhibit a number of remarkably similar characteristics. They tend to be purpose-driven, performance-oriented and principles-led.

They have discovered their “Why?”, in other words they have managed to distil the underlying purpose or cause that lights up their team and inspires them to build customer value.

Much has been written in the last few years about the “Why?” principle behind successful businesses and how they can command exceptional levels of customer loyalty and employee advocacy as a result.

Simon Sinek, for example, has written a number of best-selling books on the subject, including ‘Start with Why’ and ‘Find Your Why’ and his TED Talk is a simple but powerful model as to how leaders can inspire action by posing the question, “Why?”.

We started our subsidiary, Brand Workshop to help businesses to develop a crystal clear and compelling shared vision in an actionable framework. What we recognised early on may surprise you.

Asking the question “Why?” is not enough.

There are a number of reasons for that statement:
1. It is not the first question
2. It is not the only question
3. It does not necessarily result in the right answer.

1. It is not the first question
Creating a purpose without the benefit of customer context is like trying to create a brand in a vacuum. You have to know exactly “Who” you are talking to precisely, beyond just their demographics (age, gender, geography). You really need to know who they are on the inside. A is for Audience and B is for Brand in that order. We forget that at our peril.

2. It is not the only question
Rudyard Kipling famously wrote:
I keep six honest serving-men,
They taught me all I knew;
Their names are What and Why and When
And How and Where and Who.

Purpose is critical. However, purpose without a plan, i.e. neglecting to define “Who”, “What”, “How”, “Where” and “When” is not a solid foundation on which to build your brand or business future. It is also inherently logical that by creating a greater variety and depth of questioning, you will yield richer and more insightful answers, something that is an essential part of any exploratory process.

3. It does not necessarily result in the right answer.
How do you know if you have asked the right “Why”?
What questions should you be asking here?: “Why are we in business?”, “Why do we get up in the morning?” or “Why should our customers care?”. Or is it a combination of all of these?
What validation tools should you employ to ensure you make the right choices?
How are your value propositions aligned with your purpose?
How can you create a compelling elevator pitch that ignites your customers and your team and plot a cohesive roadmap that will deliver your vision?

The reality is that it’s practically impossible to define the responses to these questions without the benefit of external perspective and facilitation.

Book Your Brand Workshop Today

Experience a day of inspiration and insight with Brand Workshop.

We will help you develop personas for your Who – your stakeholders.

Next, we will guide you through a process to discover and articulate the Why of your business – your Core Essence.

Then, we will help you distil your How – your Brand Pillars, Brand Vocabulary, Tone of Voice and Elevator Pitch.

Together, we will explore What you do – your Unique Value Propositions – perfectly aligned with your Core Essence and Brand Values.

Finally, we will summarise the outputs of our session in an actionable Roadmap in 24 hours from the workshop.

To book your Brand Workshop, contact Mike Symes at or call 020 7464 4401

Click here for more information.