Simon Sinek’s missing W

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I’ve a bone to pick with Simon Sinek.  I’m not the first but the bone is significant; a hefty femur not a minor metatarsal, so I feel my vent is justified.

Simon’s chart-busting Ted Talk ‘Start with why’ has inspired thousands of business leaders to embrace their purpose – and that is all to the good.  It also frames strategy as How and What, which I’ve always found useful.

However there is one W missing from Simon’s model of the business universe.  One vital W word that if not addressed can send organisations off on a self-indulgent journey.

The missing W is for WHO.

Who are you delivering for?

Without the sharp focus of WHO any organisations can go astray.  The WHOs can be many and varied, from shareholders to employees, directors to distribution channel partners and, of course, the most important of all – the customer or end user groups for whatever service or product it is you provide.

These audiences or stakeholder groups are increasingly looking for purposeful organisations to work with. But they also need their service or product experience to be great.  If they are going to find you, your promotions and distribution need to align with their behaviour and interests and if they are going to buy from you, the price has to be right.

That’s why, as marketers at GoodSense, we obsess about the WHO and we do our best to make clients obsessive too.  Developing strong knowledge of your WHO and kindling a flaming empathy for them throughout your organisation is the marketing mother load – a rich vein of inspiration, improvement and success.

Who’s your WHO?

To find out more about one way we helped one social business client identify their priority audiences read the case study here

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