My 3-year-old started preschool last week and asked me why she had to go.
“Because it will be fun, you’ll meet new friends.”
“But, I don’t want to!” (enter crazy high-pitched scream).
“Why” is her most common question to any observation. “Catalina, eat your carrots.”
“Because bunnies eat carrots.”
“Because it helps their teeth grow big and strong.”
You can see where this is going. Seventeen years into my branding practice I noticed that I am continuously solving the same question of “Why” for my clients.
Why do you make a difference? Why should we care? Why should I vote for you? Why does this make me so happy? Why is this my jam? (insert any Justin Timberlake or Aloe Blacc song).
Getting curious about your “Why” and how that applies to your brand and business is the #1 reason your business will be a success. Having a strong story, a compelling memorable idea, something that pulls at your heartstrings, or makes your head glow with wonder. That’s what will attract your dream customer or client.
The best part? Branding stems from human curiosity and connection. In our heart of hearts we want to be connected to one another. Creating a relationship with a person, or a product, movement or culture for that matter is the goal of humankind. Just like Aloe Blacc said, “Life is the game for everyone, and love is the prize.”
Let me give an example from a branding perspective. Consider this, Why do I buy $8 fresh pressed juice? Some people would balk at that price tag, sometimes I do. But at the heart of it, I buy fresh pressed juice because of the lifestyle I want to create and I want to treat my body with the best ingredients. My body is the vessel for my spirit. Plus, I totally fall for the January juice cleanses. It gives me the feeling of renewal, the experience of health. That’s my ROI. Consider what your personal ROI is and follow that dream. Make your “Why” valid in all aspects of your life and you’ll undoubtedly win the prize of love.
The story I create around that $8 bottle of juice piques my curiosity, motivates me to be a better me, and I buy the story, lifestyle and ROI. It’s my “Why.” If you want to see my other celebrity crush, (first is Seth Godin) Simon Sinek and his approach to Why, watch this TEDTalk.
Back to my daughter’s first day of school. After the tears, we arrived at school, and without even a backward glance she strutted right into the preschool doorways and marched herself right up the stairs not knowing what she was walking into but knowing Why.
My guess is it’s because mommy said so.
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