Every business in existence knows what they do – or what product they offer and the associated features and benefits. Every dealership knows what they do best – which is obviously, sell cars. Successful dealerships equip their team with key players that know how to sell cars. But very few know why they sell cars, and the ones that do are empowered with this magical element I like to call the “why factor.”
What is the why factor? The why factor is a set of indestructible beliefs. It is how a business inspires to the point of eternal success. The why factor occurs when a threshold is crossed that transforms a brand into an essential lifestyle component. It is the point at which the brand itself becomes synonymous with the experience it provides.
The why factor is what makes baseball America’s pastime and not just a sport. You don’t have to be a diehard fan to enjoy a baseball game. It’s the atmosphere - the sights, the sounds, the smells, the contests - the experience the ballpark offers that makes it an exciting event for the whole family.
I’ll admit, compared to other pro sports, baseball is relatively slow-paced. But regardless, people love going to baseball games. Why? Because there is something memorable that comes to life within the stadium. The ballpark experience has become a vibrant aspect of our culture.
Apple, like baseball, has also become a part of our culture due to their unique marketing plays. The question becomes, what does Apple have that competing brands lack? I’ll give you a hint. It starts with why and ends with factor. It’s the why factor alone that has made Apple more successful than Dell. Their business model takes the traditional, “outside-in” approach and reverses it from “What-How-Why” to “Why-How-What.”
Leadership guru, author and acclaimed TED Talks speaker, Simon Sinek has created his own diagram that demonstrates the why factor, which he refers to as “The Golden Circle” shown below. Sinek says, “The inspired leaders, the inspired organizations, regardless of their size, regardless of their industry, all think, act, and communicate from the inside out.”