The most successful businesses have a defined “Why.” “Why” doesn’t mean making a profit or gaining exposure. Instead, it’s a purpose, belief or cause that is the life force of your business. 

In 2010, Simon Sinek presented the Golden Circle model in his viral TedTalk. The Golden Circle is formulated to differentiate your brand’s value proposition and prevent failure. The model consists of three concentric circles, with “Why” at the center. 

Sinek explains that very few businesses have a defined “Why,” but the ones that do stand out among the rest. By building from a defined purpose or cause with an emotional backing, these businesses are able to communicate with their audience’s limbic brain – the portion that inspires trust and loyalty. 

Once the “Why” is ironed out, businesses can then move to figuring out their “How” and their “What.” Once these are all discovered, in that order, the Golden Circle is completed. 

How can you best define your “Why” for your business? 

Discover your business purpose 

Have you ever asked yourself the question, “Why does my business exist?” It may sound like a simple question when you first hear it, but the reality is many business owners don’t have a clear purpose behind what they do. 


Discovering your purpose isn’t just finding a value you slightly care about and then crafting a generic statement. In order to make your business stand out in the long run, you have to look deep within and find something that motivates you every day. 


To define your “Why,” set aside a generous chunk of time to place your company in its current state and future goals on a timeline. Start at the end, visualizing your business in the future. Then, think back to the beginning when your business was first being born. Finally, look to the present. Once you’re done, examine common themes, ideas and missions that have guided your business journey. 


Learn your business purpose archetype 

After constructing your timeline, the next step is determining your purpose archetype. 


The Red Goldfish Project found that brands typically fall into one of eight purpose archetypes: The Protector, The Liberator, The Designer, The Guide, The Advocate, The Challenger, The Unifier or The Master.


For example, Apple, one of the most well-known brands in the world, is driven by the purpose to “make tools for the mind that advance humankind.” From this purpose, Apple falls within The Designer archetype, which is centered around empowering users through the creation of revolutionary products. 


To explore the Red Goldfish Project and discover your purpose archetype, learn more here


Identify your interests and passions

A business is only as good as its employees. This is the same for the “Why.” In order for it to work effectively, each individual involved in the business must be guided by the same purpose. 


You can’t force other people to conform to your values or to be motivated by the same things. This means you must find a common ground. In order to do this, you have to come together and discuss your interests and passions. 


Set aside time as a team to make a list of things that interest you or that you’re passionate about. After giving yourself and your team ample time to make lists, share them as a group. Along the way, identify similarities and differences that your business can build from. 


A great way to do this exercise is by using a Miro board, so that everyone can contribute simultaneously. 


Be consistent with your business purpose

If you want your purpose to speak volumes, consistency is key. 


Consistency  means steadiness in how you display yourself, your business decisions and how you act on a day-to-day basis. While a defined purpose creates trust, consistency generates loyalty. 


However, consistency doesn’t have to be confining. Continue innovating and exploring with your business, and feel free to return these exercises to continue iterating on your “Why.” 


For more information

Defining your “Why” can be an arduous task, but it’s crucial to long-term business success. 

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the process or are looking for support in the processes outlined above, contact 1893 Brand Studio. Our outstanding  team of marketing and branding experts is ready to make your work even easier.