Buy in Comes from What?

Our Weekly 2 Minute Read

Edition 98 - May 17, 2020


“People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.” – Simon Sinek.

If you haven’t been introduced to Simon Sinek yet, he is definitely someone to plug into in your personal development especially if you are in a position of leadership.

He is a British-born American author, speaker and entrepreneur who has a remarkable vision for how the world should be like.

Sinek believes that fulfillment is a right and not a privilege. He believes it is not just for a chosen few to be able to love what they do and enjoy how they do it. He believes that everyone has the right to wake up every single morning to be inspired to go to work and be fulfilled by the work that they do.

In a famous TED talk, he explains the idea of the Golden Circle and how starting with “WHY” is that most important thing to figure out before going into business.

Once you figured out the why, the how and the what becomes easy.

When it comes to marketing, he explains that companies that only try to communicate how great their product is tend not to penetrate the first 15%-18% of the market which are the innovators and early adopters needed in order to create mass market acceptance of an idea. These first 15%-18% buy why the company does what they do according to the theory of diffusion of innovation. The rest of the 34%-68% are the early majority and late majority which is the mass market that buys based on if someone else has bought the product first. Price and how great the product is matters to the mass market. The last 16% are the laggards that buy because everyone else has bought it already or because of the technological obsolescence of their current product.

That is why to this day, we are very comfortable in buying an array of products such as computers, phones, televisions and music from Apple. It’s because the way in which Apple has communicated to us is through why first before the how and the what. The innovators and early adaptors who bought Apple trusted and believed in what the brand stood for which eventually tipped into the mass market. Once they gained the first 15%-18%, as Apple continues to deliver on the “How” and “What” makes their products great, they keep the trust of their customers and gained new ones.

When it comes to leadership and influence, helping people and companies discover their why helps the people and the company work with purpose and fulfillment. It’s not only just for a paycheck or the prestige, but for something that inspires them. If the company can help people with their whys, the success of the company is sustainable through the ups and downs. It eventually leads to better productivity and profitability of the company as well. The people in the company will be working not just because they have to, but because they want to. There is fulfillment and joy in what they do and how they do it because there is a purpose behind it. That is why starting with why is very important. At the end of the day, ”people don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.”

-Mike Ye