Moving from Why to How

by | Apr 19, 2018

How Do You Do?

Last week we discussed the need to discover What Is Your Why. As we discussed, your “Why” helps determine many parts of your brand—your drive, purpose, position, and more. Once you focus in on your brand’s “Why,” what comes next? That is where your “How” comes into play. If you worked through our worksheet “My Brand’s Why” you should be able to identify your brand’s core beliefs. By cementing your Why and combining it with your How, which serves as the basis for your plan, you’re able to start to create a plan to expand and act upon your brand’s purpose. This is where you need to start to focus on the tactical.

Let’s look some of the questions asked previously and see how we transition them from the Why to the How:

How will you remember why you’re doing this?(Previously: Why are you doing this?)

We mentioned previously that people start their brand(s) for various reasons. We highlighted how the founders of Ben and Jerry’s wanted to start a business together. Others may start their business because they have an epiphany. Whatever your reason, how will you go about remembering the reason you are doing this? How will you remember the need you identified as being important enough to share?

How do you show you care?(Previously: Why do I Care?)

Often when we start to work on our brand we can become overwhelmed or, worse, tired. You need to remind yourself of your passion for your brand. If you become tired or overwhelmed it becomes way too easy to lose focus. Passion and focus are the life-blood of your brand. You need to wake up every day, ready to “Make the Donuts.” Much like Fred the Baker from the Dunkin’ Donuts ad campaign that ran for 15 years, you need to realize the importance of getting up every day, no matter how tired you might be, and get the job done.

How are you going to start?(Previously: Why am I doing this now?)

You have determined the timeframe that is best for your brand; perhaps it’s today, perhaps it’s coming up. James Dyson, who we mentioned, took five years to work on his cyclonic vacuum before he launched. While it may have taken five years to launch, he started working in 1978 to get the product right. Even if you’re waiting to officially “launch,” how will you start?

How will you earn trust?(Previously: Why will our customers trust us?)

Trust is something that is vital to the success of any brand. As you already know by this point, when you work to implement your brand’s Why, you begin to have purpose. People are looking to interact with brands that have purpose; customers are looking for brands they can relate to. By focusing on trust, your customers will come to feel they can relate to you. Trust is an extremely import part of any brand’s relationship with their customers. In Reader’s Digest’s 2017 Trusted Brand® Survey1 they highlight how important trust is. Eighty-One percent of participants said they stick with a brand they trust the most. Developing a plan that includes how you will earn trust will help you find and retain trust.

How will you prove the world is better because of your brand?(Previously: Why will the world be better because of my brand?)

Making an impact on the world can seem intimidating and almost unattainable. Focusing on how your brand improves the world is another way to connect to customers. Often referred to as having a “purpose-driven brand,” you move into a holistic approach for your brand. Purpose-driven brands tend to connect with customers on an emotional, social, and philosophical level. Customers tend to identify with your brand because of what it stands for and how it engages in activities that resonate well with your view of the world. In 2012 Edelman’s Goodpurpose Study2, among other things, found that 73 percent of consumers would switch brands if a different brand of similar quality supported a good cause. Keep in mind it’s OK to focus on changing your customer’s world first and then expand to other ways to give back.

How will you track success?(Previously: Why will my brand succeed?)

How will your brand reach milestones that you set for your brand? How will you know when it is time to set new milestones that you can achieve? If a part of your brand’s success is tied to a certain number of users, what do you do when that number is reached? In 2007 Apple unveiled the original iPhone. During the keynote presentation during the unveiling, Steve Jobs said that they hoped in 2008 to simply take 1% mobile phone market share—which at the time would equal ten million units of the mobile phone marketplace. Some said it was an aggressive goal, but in the first quarter of 2008, Apple surpassed this goal by securing 5.3% of the market3. Do you think that Apple really only wanted to get one percent of the market? I don’t think so, yet they allowed themselves to set a smaller goal that industry analysts originally thought was overreaching. Once they hit their initial goal they kept going, aiming for new milestones.

How will success impact things?(Previously: Why must it succeed?)

Achieving your milestones directly goes into helping to motivate your company and reinforce your brand’s purpose. Your customers, tribe, family, and community will all benefit from your brand’s success. We tend to pass our success along to those involved with our brands. As your brand succeeds you will find that your earliest adopters grow with you. They transition to being brand ambassadors. Brand ambassadors and loyal fans will miss your brand if it ever went away.

How will you avoid failure?(Previously: Why will my brand fail?)

There are many reasons that a brand can fail. Not remaining focused, being dishonest, overconfidence or ego, not being client conscious, and more. Outlining the parts of your brand that can lead to your brand’s failure allows you plan how you won’t fall into these traps. With so many ways to fail it may seem daunting to know which areas to focus plans on. Start first with the area you worked out on your Why worksheet. Remain vigilant to the other possible things that can cause your brand to fail.

How will you ensure your brand won’t fail?(Previously: Why will I not let it fail?)

With everything you have done to outline your Whys and transitioning them to your Hows, this one is still a personal question. To handle this one thing, you may find it helpful to develop a personal mantra. Successful brands don’t use another person’s mantra as their own. They come to a self-realization that allows them to stay true to themselves and remind them of who they want to be. To develop a mantra you can look to others for theirs, such as Jeff Bezos: “I knew that if I failed I wouldn’t regret that, but I knew the one thing I might regret is not trying.” Don’t re-hash someone else’s mantra, though—find your own.

As you come up with a plan to strengthen your brand, you need to check the Hows against your Whys to ensure that they stay in line with each other. Once you create a plan that goes against your established Whys, your brand will have taken its first step towards potential failure. Remember that your Whys define who or what your brand is at its core. Your Hows are your plan to share who or what your brand stands for with the world.

Terms Used:

Brand Purpose: The reason for a brand’s existence. Purpose is about what you do and not just what you say. Brand purpose moves beyond a brand’s promise or its potential. It establishes why a brand exists beyond just the idea of making money.

Purpose-Driven Brand: A brand that strives to make meaningful social change a part of their core. Purpose-driven brands place the Why of their business front and center. They carry their Why through every way they conduct their business.

Brand Ambassador: Any person, internal or external, who is passionate and speaks highly of your brand. An ambassador will stand up for your brand, they will promote its virtues even before the product is available to the masses.

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