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07 January, 2014 - Source: BBD Perfect Storm

People buy why you make things not what you make. That's why you need to understand your brand's purpose.

There’s this bloke… He started fights, betrayed his family, killed a man and caused a woman to commit suicide. What do you think of him? Oh, one more thing, his name was Romeo and he did what he did for the love of a woman whom he cared for more than life itself.

It just goes to show the importance of the old acting question, “What’s my motivation?” because ultimately, why people do things matters more to us than what they do.

I think there are two reasons for this… Why is useful. Understanding why helps us make sense of the world; it explains the past and predicts the future. We ‘get’ it when we know why and that gives us a good confident feeling. Why is also personal. Motivations are about values, so they challenge us to reflect on who we are. They beg the question, ‘What would you have done?’ and so open up big interesting conversations with us at the heart. And everyone gets involved with that.

All of which is a preamble to asking if ‘why’ is so important, how come so many brands talk about what they do and not why they do it?

A customer who buys what your brand does, makes a one-off transaction. A customer who buys into why your brand does things is establishing the basis for a long-term relationship and is restating their core values…

There is rich conversation to be had about your brand’s purpose. And it helps people buy why you do things, not what you do. Which, as Romeo can testify, has got to be a good thing.

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