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Unleashing the Power of 'Why' –Farquharson/Tedesco

October 2012

Why is Apple so wildly successful? Business leadership expert Simon Sinek has a theory, which he puts forth in his crazy-popular TED talk.

Most businesses, Sinek says, focus first on what they do, then on how they do it and lastly why they do it (if they get to the why at all). Apple takes the exact opposite approach:

STEP 1—Lead with Why—Everything Apple does is done to challenge the status quo.

STEP 2—Explain How—Apple makes products that are beautifully designed, simple to use and user-friendly.

STEP 3—Close with the What—Apple just happens to make computers. Want to buy one?

Doesn't this bring a tear to your eye? It does to us, a pair of grizzled printing industry authors. Apple creates market differentiation, influences public perception and helps ensure that every Apple product, every Apple store and every Apple marketing campaign are all working towards one memorable, admirable goal: thinking differently. It's so simple! And compelling!

Why don't printing companies talk about themselves that way? We give lip service to being a "communications provider" or a "business partner" for our customers. But how well—and how frequently—does this really come across in your company's messaging?

Embrace the power of leading with "why." You may find it's the best differentiator your printing company has. Maybe the only one you need.

People Don't Buy What You Do—They Buy "Why" You Do It. Your customers buy a heck of a lot more than ink on paper. They buy a good night's sleep, a solution to their problems and the security of working with your brand. These things have little to do with your "what," but chances are they're tied closely to your "why."

Good salespeople understand this. Imagine two print reps in a prospect's office. They've both been asked to describe why they deserve the prospect's business. Salesperson A has chosen to lead with a "what" message. Salesperson B? He's focusing on "why."

 

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