I recently finished reading Simon Sinek’s Start with Why. Like many business-focused books these days, this one could probably have been shorter and accomplished the same thing, but it was definitely worth the read for anyone running a business today. In fact, the core of the book is as true for self-improvement as it is for business branding and growth.
Sineks says that the most successful organizations get to be that way because they have a highly developed sense of self. They know exactly what they’re trying to achieve every day and why. Even more than that though, they communicate those things clearly and in every manner possible. He leans heavily on the example of Apple. What makes Apple different than other computer companies? For Sinek, it’s because Apple conveys a deeply powerful ‘why’ to the world. Apple is out to change the world and make it better, more creative and just plain cooler (my words, not his).
As PR and communications pros, we agree with the principle here. You need to know why you’re in business before you can build a great one. If the answer to why isn’t meaningful – if it doesn’t connect to people at an instinctive level – then you won’t have a great brand. You may have a reasonably successful business, but not a great one.