Find your Why: An Exercise in Brand Strategy

Dear business owner, why are you really doing this? No seriously. If someone walked up to you at a coffee shop today and asked you why you started your business, what would you say?

Some very honest answers that might come to mind:

“To make extra money”

“To quit my job and be my own boss”

“Because it just sounded fun”

But is that really what made you decide to start your business? I would bet there’s a much deeper reason underneath the surface, aka: your brand’s why. That’s what I want to help you discover, and I’m going to walk you through a quick brand strategy exercise that will help you define your why.

Before we dive in…

Why is knowing my “why” so important?

Simply put: to find your motivation.

Knowing what motivates you to wake up every day and serve your clients or customers is vital to owning your brand. “Why did you start your business” is one of the very first questions I ask all my design clients, because it’s the first step in understanding who you are as a brand.

Your “why” influences your brand’s beliefs, values, and vision. It connects with your audience and unites your team members under a common goal.

Communicating your why can even inspire people to take action, driving sales and setting your business apart. Leadership expert Simon Sinek gave one of the most popular TED Talks of all time on this concept of starting with “why.” In his talk (which I highly recommend watching all the way through), he presents the Golden Circle to help visualize how some companies are able to inspire their audience, while others fail.

The ones who succeed craft their message from the inside out – starting with why.

Simon Sinek's Golden Circle used in Brand Strategy

So now that we understand the importance of this concept, let’s get on with the brand strategy exercise.

How do I find my why?

Keep asking “why?”

Groundbreaking, isn’t it?

Think back to my first question: “Why did you start your business?” Take the first thing that comes to your head (no matter how superficial or shallow it might sound to you), and ask, “why?”

Then ask again.

Keep asking why, digging a little deeper each time.

I’ll give you a personal example.

My Story of Why

I was unhappy in my post-grad marketing job. I hated being in that gray, windowless cubicle from 9-5 every week day. So, at surface level, I decided to start Homeward Creative Co.® because I wanted to leave my corporate job and be my own boss.

Going a level deeper, I wanted to make a living by helping other entrepreneurs grow their businesses by providing beautiful, quality design work.

But even deeper than that, what I really wanted deep down was flexibility for my future family. I was a newlywed at the time, and I knew I wanted to have kids in the future. I wanted a job that I not only LOVED doing, but one that would allow me to manage my own schedule, live my life, and be with my family whenever I needed to be.

That had to become my “why.”

Making a living by serving fellow entrepreneurs is amazing, and not a bad reason to get into business at all! But if things got tough, would that reason alone keep me going? If things in my business got so hard that I wanted to quit, I (personally) would need a deeper “why” to drive me forward.

Here’s your homework:

Think deeper. Sit down with a pen and paper and go through this brand strategy exercise. Ask yourself why you decided to start your business. Then, keep asking why.

Soon, you’ll be able to define your why and use it to improve your brand messaging and start connecting with your dream clients on a deeper level!

Are you ready to dive deeper into your business and finally have the brand identity of your dreams?

Ever feel like your branding is all over the place? This workbook walks you through a step-by-step process for discovering what makes your business stand out and creating a vision board that reflects your unique brand style.

How to Discover your Brand Style

free download