The power of ‘why’ in branding

3 minute read

Lisa Prescott

In this insight piece, we take a look into the power of 'why' and why it should be at the core of your brand strategy.

Brands face an ongoing challenge to stand out, connect, and create loyalty among consumers. There are many ways of achieving this, however, one particular way is sometimes overlooked: the power of ‘why’. Understanding and articulating your brand’s purpose—its ‘why’—can transform your business, resonate deeply with your audience, and create a solid foundation for your brand’s identity.

The essence of ‘why’.

Simon Sinek, in his best-selling book Start With Why, states people don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it. It’s a simple idea and one which many brands around the globe have adopted. This idea suggests that a brand’s purpose goes beyond the products and services it sells – it’s about the vision and values that drive the company. Essentially, your ‘why’ is the reason for your existence and the emotional foundation on which the brand should be built on.

Building authentic connections.

When a brand communicates its ‘why’, it’s engaging directly with the emotions of its audience. People aren’t just looking for products to buy, they’re wanting to buy from brands that align with their personal values and views. By sharing your ‘why’, you are inviting consumers to join you which in turn creates a sense of community and loyalty.

A good example is Apple’s ‘why’, which focusses on challenging the status quo and to think differently. This powerful ‘why’ has created passionate brand ambassadors and distinguished them as the best at what they do.

Guiding decision-making.

A clear ‘why’ serves as a compass for decision-making within the company. It provides a consistent framework for making choices, from new product development to marketing strategies. Ensuring all actions are aligned with the brand’s core purpose, creating an authentic brand experience.

An example of a brand who uses their ‘why’ to guide all decision making is Tesla. Their ‘why’—to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy—guides everything from their innovative electric vehicles to their efforts in solar energy and battery technology. This focus not only attracts their target audience and engages with the eco- conscious consumer but also drives innovation and consistency in their offerings.

Differentiation in a crowded market.

Having a strong ‘why’ differentiates your brand from competitors. It’s no longer enough to compete on features and benefits alone; consumers are bombarded with choices. A compelling ‘why’ cuts through the noise, giving your brand a unique voice and a distinct position in the minds of consumers.

Cultivating brand loyalty.

When consumers believe in your ‘why’, they become more than customers—they become advocates. This loyalty is built on shared values and a deeper emotional connection. Loyal customers are more likely to engage with your brand, recommend it to others, and stand by it in times of crisis.

How to discover your brand’s ‘why’.

We work with clients to help them identify their ‘why’, during our strategic brand planning sessions we’ll often review the following:

  • Reflect on origins: revisit the founding story of the brand. Why was it created? What problem did it aim to solve? The answers often reveal the core purpose.
  • Engage with the team: involve employees in the process. Their insights can help uncover the driving passion behind the brand.
  • Listen to your customers: pay attention to why your loyal customers choose your brand. Their perspectives can provide valuable clues to your ‘why’.
  • Clarify your values: identify the core values that your brand stands for. These values are integral to your ‘why’.

The power of ‘why’ in branding is undeniable. It humanises your brand, fosters authentic connections, guides decision-making, and differentiates your business in a crowded market. By discovering your ‘why’, you unlock the potential to build a brand that not only thrives but also inspires and uplifts.

If you want to discover your brand’s ‘why’, then contact our specialist branding team to see how we can help.

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