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Marketing makes or breaks a brand. Companies run advertisements to get their name out there and increase sales, but it isn’t free, either. That’s why it’s imperative to not just spend money, but to invest in things that work and deliver the desired results. Here is an insightful tip to help your brand market in such a way that leads to consumer action.

In a TED talk by Simon Sinek, he discusses a pattern he discovered that great leaders use to inspire others. When one is inspired, actions are taken. Similarly, companies market in order to influence consumers to take action, but are we going about it in the correct way? Or, more importantly, the correct order?

Ideas are most commonly communicated from the outside in. For example, the information in an advertisement might be presented in this way: what it is this company does, how they do it, and why you should buy their product.

Let’s take a makeup ad for example. An advertisement would be more put together than this example; this is purely for reference sake. One might sound something like this:

We have the best mascara on the market. Our brush has twice as many bristles as our leading competitor. We believe in letting you be the most confident version of yourself, because we believe in you.

It sounds just the same as almost every other makeup company, right?

  • What? We have the best mascara on the market.
  • How? Our brush has twice as many bristles as our leading competitor.
  • Why? We believe in letting you be the most confident version of yourself, because we believe in you.

This is the way advertising is generally communicated to us. After time and time again, it becomes repetitious to our brains and it doesn’t drive consumer action. Our minds register that we’re trying to be sold and we tune it out. In this TED talk, Sinek emphasizes the different way our brain registers advertising that focuses from the inside, out.

Let’s look at the makeup advertisement, but we will reverse the order in which the information is presented.

We believe in letting you be the most confident version of yourself, because we believe in you. Our brushes have twice as many bristles as our leading competitors, making our mascara the best on the market.

The phrases are the exact same, but the order is crucial in the decision-making process of the consumer. Hearing the ‘what’ over and over can turn off our interests. In an insightful article by Lucy Handley, published on CNBC, it shares that roughly 65% of online advertisements get skipped after the first couple seconds! This statistic implies that the general public has become accustomed to 'being sold to', and the information is seen as boring and a waste of time, that's why such a large percentage of advertising is skipped so quickly. That first connection is crucial. Selling your why first helps consumers understand your purpose faster and causes a difference in the way people feel about your brand. If a woman hears that makeup ad for example, and the first thing she hears is, “We believe in letting you be the most confident version of yourself, because we believe in you”, she might think to herself, “that’s exactly what I believe about myself.” That immediate connection is something significant — she has found a brand that thinks the way she thinks, that believes in what she believes without even knowing what is being sold.

It's all about making valuable connections to consumers. Sinek emphasizes that “people don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it”. This is how customers become consistent consumers. They could go to anyone else who does exactly what you do, but people connect with and return to people who believe what they believe.

Sell your why; connect with those that think like you.

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