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The Golden Circle and Marketing | Please Excuse Me As I Fangirl Over Simon Sinek

Let's first start off by saying that if you haven't heard of Simon Sinek you should open a new tab and look up some of his YouTube videos right now!

Simon Sinek is a businessman and motivational speaker who focuses on people, innovative thinking and creative problem solving for the workplace. He has written many books, delivered thousands of talks and has inspired individuals all over the world.

His work has struck a chord with me because he believes in investing in people and through them, investing in your business. He has a ton of content out there (even a couple TED talks) and I encourage anyone and everyone to check him out. He'll change the way you think and approach your every day.

Okay now that you know a bit about the man behind the concept, I'm going to breakdown one of his major theories, "The Golden Circle."

The Golden Circle is the idea that companies who hone in on why they do something will find greater success and longevity than companies who focus on what they do.

There are three rings to the circle.

The outer ring is the WHAT.


The what is the easy part. What is it that you do? Whether it's a series of products or services, everyone has a what. Where most businesses fall is by only focussing on this ring instead of digging deeper.

By digging deeper you'll reach the next layer, the HOW.


This is your differentiating value proposition. How are you different than your competitors? Why would I choose your product or service over everyone else's? This is the selling point for your customer and the key to your current marketing.

This is a very important layer to your business as most of your decisions and game plans will be based around increasing the value added proposition to your customer.

However there is one more ring to the circle, the core. This is the realm that few companies ever get to but this is where Apple separates from Microsoft, Crossfit from P90x and Nike from Adidas. The final ring is the WHY.


We all have a reason that we start a business. Somewhere there is a passion that drives us through those crazy hours and sleepless nights. Something that pushes us to keep going, to muscle through the lows and keep looking up during the highs. This is your WHY.

And though this may seem like a deeply personal line of thinking, it is actually the way of thinking that will resonate with your customers the most.

Apple boasts of creativity, new age thinking and innovation and oh yeah, they sell computers. And they have loyal customers who will buy every accessory they make and some will even wait in line for hours to get a new iPhone.

By the same token Crossfit boasts community, mental and physical toughness and physique and oh yeah, you'll get a work out in too. It is their why that drives their community members to go across the country to watch their fellow Crossfit members compete in working out.

Nike showcases elite athleticism, cutting edge aesthetic and comfort and.... oh yeah they sell fitness clothing and equipment. Their consumers will spend sometimes 3 or 4 times the amount they would on generic apparel just to get the swoosh embroidered on the front.

All of these companies are building an audience, a community. One which will go out of its way to support the brands they deem worthy of their loyalty. People will buy what they believe in. They will buy what best represents themselves as individuals.


So what does all of this have to do with marketing?

I have a theory that American marketing is all based on the concept of, 'I wanna be that guy/girl.' Every car we drive, outfit we pick out, drink we order and book we read is to show the world the person we wish to be. Almost all of our purchases represent us in some way.

That being said, if you can focus in on your WHY, you can market your WHY.

And your WHY is what will get your customers to not only buy from you but to always go to you first and recommend you to like minded people.

You're NOT marketing to everyone... you're marketing to the people who will believe in your why.

Now hopefully you're working with some sort of marketing plan, if not check out how you can create one here. Revisit your plan and try to incorporate your why into how you plan on marketing. Maybe instead of that ad campaign you were going to run about the cost effectiveness of your sprinkler systems and friendly attitude of your staff you can instead run an ad that talks about an oasis in your backyard, highlighting serenity and being the master of your own kingdom. Which sounds more appealing to you?

Create a community of people who believe in your vision and in your WHY and you'll create a network of lifelong customers.

Links to Simon Sinek's genius:

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