“People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it.”
The most inspirational and innovative companies in the world discovered their customers do not buy their products because of specifications or features. Instead, customers buy their products because they believe in the values of the company.
Sinek articulates his point in the Golden Circle; a series of three concentric circle. In the centre, is Why?, followed by How?, ending with What? as the outermost circle. The majority of companies, the ones that do not inspire customers, think and operate from the outside in. They focus on creating products and services that meet certain specifications or outperform the competition. These companies exist only to make money. Neither the management, nor the employees, know why the company exists or its core values. Without this, customers have nothing to rally around and struggle to establish a connection to the company.
Inspirational companies, on the other hand, start from the inside out. They first define their worldview. They identify their cause and mission and use that as a foundation to architect the rest of their company.
The irony is that even though the framework seems simple, it can be extremely challenging. Many of us coming from science, engineering, or technical backgrounds find it easy to think of products first. Answering the question Why? first is almost unnatural.
The goal or purpose of the business. What it believes at its very core. This is the single idea that every other decision is evaluated against.
The reason why the company exists. Not for financial reasons such as making money because there are so many ways to make money in the world.
The actions the business takes to transform the belief into reality. These are internal to the business, but are evident to the customers buying their products.
The specific products and services offered by the company.