You might be like me a regular watcher of the Ted Talks. If you have missed this one, I recommend you to watch the talk given by Simon Sinek in 2009.
The keynote talks about how we are inspired to follow those who lead because we want to, not because we are forced to. This illustrates what makes us feel a product is different than others and why we are fascinated by specific leaders.
Actually, Simon Sinek found out there is a pattern: all the great and inspiring leaders in organizations in the world think, act and communicate the exact same way. And this is the complete opposite of everyone else …
To illustrate this, there is a simple concept called the golden circle made of three cocentric circles: “Why”, “How”, “What”. This explains why some organizations are able to inspire … and some aren’t.
Most companies develop their key marketing messages communicating outside in, that’s what we call “Leading with What”. Here is an example:
- What do we do ? We make great computers …
- How do we do ? They are beautifully designed, simple to use, and user friendly. Wanna buy one ?
- Why do we do it ? we want to make profit; that’s what others do; that’s what the executive board decided; we don’t really know …
Leading companies actually communicate the other way around, they are “Leading with Why”. Let’s take an example:
- Why do we it? Everything we do, we believe in challenging the status quo. We believe in thinking differently.
- How do we do it? The way we challenge the status quo is by making our products beautifully designed, simple to use, and user friendly.
- What do we do it? We just happen to make great computers. Wanna buy one?
The first example (outside in) is how most B2B marketers communicate. We talk about what we have and how we’re different, and then expect from potential customers some sort of behavior change, such as a sales lead.
To shift their content from uninspiring to provocative and engaging, B2B marketers need to focus on what their companies care about, instead of what they have to offer. And the most astonishing part is that there is a biologic (not psychological) reason to that.
The human brain is broken into 3 major components as illustrated below:
- The neocortex is responsible for all our rational, analytics thoughts and language
- The limbic system is responsible of all of our feelings, trust, loyalty. It is also responsible for all human behavior, all decision making and has no capacity for language.
The way of communicating outside in influences the neocortex zone and doesn’t generate any behavior whereas when we communicate inside out, we first influence the limbinc system that is responsible for behavior.
The conclusion is that “People don’t buy what you do. They buy why you do it”. Take some time to watch the amazing video above, this will radically change the way you communicate on your products.