As I walked past the way too crowded Apple store in Santa Monica a few months ago, I was struck yet again by the amazing popularity of Apple products and had a crazy thought. Actually, a relatively ridiculous thought.
Imagine if Apple announced that they were releasing in a week the most technologically advanced coffee cup ever seen. But, tomorrow at midnight at the Apple Store in Santa Monica, they would have it for advanced sale for one hour only. How many people would show up and wait in line?
So just for fun, I asked some of my clients to answer that question. Not one person EVER said less than one thousand. In fact, some estimated in the tens of thousands. But why? The “announcement” never mentions price nor features. It really only has three salient pieces of information…technologically advanced, coffee cup and Apple – a company that has never manufactured a coffee cup for sale in the past.
Simon Sinek, in his recent book on leadership “Start With Why,” posits that Apple’s “WHY,” which includes challenging the status quo as well as empowering the individual, is the reason thousands will line up for a coffee cup – or virtually any other item – from Apple. People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it. If a customer believes in the “WHY” of a company, they will believe a company can deliver upon that WHY in any area in which the WHY is applicable.
Does your company have a “WHY” that gives it the opportunity to grow and expand by leveraging it’s true value proposition into newrevenues? While Sinek cites examples from large companies like Wal-Mart and Toyota, the principles of WHY apply very effectively to small and mid-sizedcompanies, too. In fact, one of my clients applied their newfound “WHY” to their business and doubled their revenues in less than three years – all during the recession!
You can access Simon Sinek’s TED talk below: