I love branding.

I believe it is one of the most important investments you can make as a business and on a personal level.

It’s your company’s personality. It’s your reputation. It’s the aspect of your product that connects with consumers emotionally. It’s how you make them feel and it’s what separates you from the competition.

The best businesses in the world don’t peddle their products like a door to door salesperson. They build brands that sell for them.

They don’t just list out all of the features that make their product revolutionary. They build an experience around the product that represents the company’s greater mission.

It’s the groundbreaking concept Simon Senik discusses in his viral Ted Talk. His hypothesis – people don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.

To explain his theory, he starts with an important question.

“Why is Apple so innovative? Year after year, after year, after year, they’re more innovative than all their competition. And yet, they’re just a computer company. They’re just like everyone else. They have the same access to the same talent, the same agencies, the same consultants, the same media. Then why is it that they seem to have something different? ”

His answer to this loaded question is the simple picture below.

Why Branding Is Important

He calls it the Golden Circle. And the overall concept is pretty straightforward.

Most people and businesses market what they do but not why they do it.

What does your business do? We sell apparel.

How does your business do it? We design the shirts, have them manufactured, and sell them online.

Why does your business do it? …

What do you do? I am a social media marketer.

How do you do it? I use social media to help businesses connect with customers.

Why do you do it?…

Everyone knows what they do and how they do it and then communicate this to their target audience. And that’s not to say you can’t see success with this approach. Plenty of companies operate this way and acquire customers.

But the individuals and organizations that become landmarks of society, industry, and history don’t just sell what they do, they inspire by selling why they do it and have a product or movement that coincides with that belief.

This is why he uses Apple as an example.

They created a brand that stands for pushing the limits. Everything they do challenges our normal and moves society into a new era through technological innovation and design. They connect with us on an emotional level conveying the belief that anyone with passion for an idea or purpose can change the world for the better.

They just so happened to sell computers, then mp3 players, then phones, then watches, then wireless earbuds. The list can go on and on but you get the point.

Just listen to Steve Jobs talk about this and try not to get goosebumps as you see how clear selling the why instead of the what is for developing your business.

In comparison, back in 2003, Dell tried to launch its own mp3 player after seeing the success of the iPod. It was a total flop. They are a computer company just like Apple, yet they could not inspire action as they attempted to push their brand into new verticals.

People buy the why, not the what. People buy the brand, not the product. People follow the purpose, not the person.

I have thought about this TED Talk a lot over the past year as I have worked to build my business.

For my consulting business, I know what I do. I provide digital marketing services to companies to help them sell their products or services online. But a lot of people do that and do it well. If that is all my pitch was, then I would be the same as the vast majority of other businesses in the industry.

My goal is to build a brand that business owners can connect with on a personal level and I will do that through this website your reading now.

For my brand, my why is simple.

Learning how to market on the internet and social media drastically changed my life for the better. Because of this, my mission is to show people and businesses how to take advantage of the single most revolutionary opportunity generator in the history of humankind.

It’s a lot stronger than my “what” and something that motivates me to my core every single day.

What’s your why?