It’s been nearly ten years since Simon Sinek’s finding “The Why” conversation became all the rage. It is an often misunderstood concept, and the roots are actually in advertising.
The interesting thing is when you look at the way the advertising business works, the “Why” is never “Why are we in business?”, or “Why should the client’s product exist?”
We know why we, or our clients, are in business. We know we/they exist: To make money, via selling toothpaste, artisanal toast, real estate, marketing services, or whatever. Or if not via selling something, then by making a tangible and valuable difference in the ecology we chose to inhabit- NGOs, nonprofits, etc, etc. Again, whatever.
That’s not the hard question. The hard question is always, “Why should anyone care?”
Seriously. Why is this interesting?
Sure, Nike and Apple make it look easy, but most of us fail spectacularly (which is why 90% of ads are immediately forgotten).
But if you can find what that reason is, however abstract, Congratulations! You now have a real purpose. You now have a real “Why”.
This means your employees have a reason to get up in the morning. This means your customers have a reason to stick with you during the tough times.
Which means, you actually have a bonafide story.
The ”Why should you care” is your story. You don’t have a proper narrative without it.