Hi there, here are some leads for thinking about your why -


Why are you in business? Why does your business do what it does? Your business is more than just about bread and butter, it’s about meaning, purpose and passion. 

Defining your why is hard, but it is extremely useful. Clearly articulating what you are about helps engage your customers. Purpose gives identity, and identity gives continuity to all aspects of your business. Your why becomes a north star which helps direct your business communication, sales, and culture.

Aim - So, what we’re going to aim for is an A4 piece of paper which has written on it your ‘why’, your ‘value proposition’, your reasons to believe, and a positioning statement. I’ll give you some tasks to help you discern these, and explain them as we go. You can dig deeper than we do below, but it is a start.

DEfining your why


Here are two tasks that will help you discern your ‘why’. Before completing these, it is worth noting that ‘why I am in business’ could be answered with ‘profit, time, fun’. These are legitimate goals. However, what we’re looking for is the reason your business does what it does - that is, what value does it bring to the world? Why that business and not another? We’re looking for the reason that is self-transcending.

Task 1.

  1. What are your values? Write these down.
  2. Who do you want to emulate?
  3. If your business ended, what would you like to be remembered for?
  4. What are your business goals?
  5. Using the answers above, assemble these into a ‘why’ statement.
  6. Now, try it on. Does it fit? Does it describe why you do what you do? Would you be happy with it in 10 years time? If not, keep refining - what is it missing? What still needs said?

Our personal ‘whys’ and business ‘whys’ intermingle. The next task asks some more personal questions. Combine the answers with those above to help create your business why. 

Task 2. 

  • What makes you come alive?
  • What are your innate strengths?
  • Where do you add greatest value?
  • How will you measure your life?

Your Value Proposition


Your value proposition describes the value that you give to your customers. What benefits will they get from buying your product? It’s the main reason someone would buy from you and not a competitor. It should be easily grasped and remembered. It will turn into something that you can easily share with a customer.

1. Think from your customer’s perspective:

  • Who is he or she? What does s/he do and need?
  • What problems does s/he need to solve?
  • What improvements does s/he look for?
  • What does s/he value?

We sometimes think we know how customers think. So, if in doubt, ask:)

2. Think about your product:

  • How does the product, service or idea solve the problem or offer improvement?
  • What value and hard results does it offer the customer?

3. Create your value proposition

  • Using the answers above write from the customer’s perspective why they will by your product: ‘I buy x from y because….'
  • Now, turn this round into a customer facing statement.

Source: https://www.mindtools.com/CommSkll/ValueProposition.htm (I’ve adapted it from here, as they seem to merge value propositions and positioning statements)

Reasons to Believe


What reasons do you have that a customer should believe your propostion (experience, ingredients, etc.)? Write these down. Basically, this is about how you back up your promises above.

Positioning Statement


Lastly, a positioning statement is about how you want to be perceived amongst competitors. What do you do differently? What makes you stand out? It is made

This positioning statement is made up of the following components. 1. Type of company 2. your target market (It seems you need to refine your target market further) 3. Your relevant value proposition/differentiator, and 4. How you back this up. 

[Company Name] is the [1] that, more than any other [1], gives [2] [3]. It does this by [4].

It doesn’t have to fit this precise structure, so adapt the words and organisation as you need. Simply, it needs to contain who you are, why you stand out, what value you give to your client, who your client is, and how you back it up.

We haven’t thought too deeply about who your target audience is, but if you have time, this is another component to getting things spot on. Be specific - age range, shopping habits, sex, job titles, etc. 

Here is an example positioning statement:

Mulloo is a sweet company that, more than any other sweet company, gives professional, rock-climbing, women aged 65-70, fierce, teeth-cleansing sweet that provide them a sense of adventure and renewed youth. We do this by filling our sweeties with the hottest chillies in the world.

A good guide for developing a positioning statement is available here: https://milesherndon.com/blog/how-to-write-a-brand-positioning-statement

Let me know

I’d love to hear how you get on. Simply fill in your thoughts, questions, and results below. If you don’t want to share at this stage, no worries, and speak soon.