Anyone know WHY your brand matters?

Oct 22, 2020 7:34 pm


Hello Content Creators!

Over the past couple years (and especially lately) I've been sending impassioned emails to someone close to me, explaining in great detail why I believe what I believe.

The topic happens to be politics, but stick with me...I won't get into that.

The point is, I'm sharing pages-long missives about why I'll be voting a certain way, and imploring them to explain why they disagree with me.

Mostly, I get single sentence responses amounting to nothing more than "I guess we'll just disagree."

Frustrating, sure. But more importantly...

It's a missed opportunity to connect

As it stands, I don't know why they feel the way they do.

So, I have zero reason to consider their beliefs. Zero reason to consider their side of the story.

Why? Because they haven't explained their "why" to me.

Yes, I happen to also be reading Simon Sinek's Start With Why right now. In it, he explains that you, as a person or brand or company, can explain the what and the how all day long. But unless people know the "why" behind it, they probably won't care enough to switch brands, try your product, or change their beliefs. (Check out Simon's TED Talk, too)

Let's see a Content Marketing Example

Imagine you see messaging from a brand that says one of the following common "marketing" claims:

  • We're better
  • We're cheaper
  • We have more features

I bet you gloss right over them because there's no "why" to support those claims. On they're own, they carry no meaning. Here's how we could improve each one:

BETTER: We're better because we don't cut corners to save a buck, and we pay our employees a living wage so they can fully enjoy their time away from work, and we've modified our manufacturing to be carbon neutral. You can buy from us knowing that your product will last longer, work better and contribute to a better society.

CHEAPER: We're less expensive not because it's lower quality, but because we've refined our process to eliminate waste and middlemen to bring you the same high quality products as our competitors but at a lower price.

MORE FEATURES: We didn't just add more features so we had more bullet points on our packaging. We talked to our customers and learned what they wanted and needed to improve their performance and created a product that met their needs with the features and options that matter.

Now, your customers have a WHY that they can get behind, turning them into loyal fans who believe in your cause.

Sounds good, but do we REALLY need a "why"?

Humans are funny. Absent information, we make up our own. We often assume the worst. I can tell you right now that, with regards to my email recipient, I have a lot of thoughts about them that I wish I didn't.

Because why wouldn't they explain why they feel a certain way unless it's bad or embarrassing? Or maybe they're just lazy. I don't know, so my mind fills in the holes based on my experiences. Conspiracy theories gain ground because some crazy person attempts to explain things that aren't being explained.

So, don't let customers fill in the holes for your brand. Explain WHY you're doing what you're doing so that YOU control the narrative.

A recent content project


This one's not mine, but it's good.

Actually, it's great!

Specialized Bicycles certainly has the budget to do big things, and this is a great example of that, but pay attention to why this video works. You don't need a huge budget to tell a cool story.

Their Stumpjumper EVO promo video has nothing to do with the bike's tech, details or features. It's all about emotion. Promoting the idea that we're in the Golden Age of Mountain Biking.

Sure, there's epic cinematography, an amazing custom built trail, and impressive special effects. But all of that is simply to draw you into the story and never distracts from it.

The result is a video that had people messaging us to say how awesome it was. A video that pumped out plenty of good vibes for a brand that's sometimes criticized for being too big, overly corporate, or unfairly competitive. Most importantly, a video that makes you want to check out the new Stumpjumper...and go ride!

(Did you get this email from a friend? Click here to get your own!)

Cool Stuff I've Found


This week, it's a blend of useful + delicious...

Uncharted Supply Co UL First Aid Kit - I usually bring a small first aid kit with me on mountain bike rides, but rarely on the road. That's mainly because my smallest kit is too big for a jersey pocket. But Uncharted's perfectly pocketable Triage Kit is lightweight, water resistant, and has just enough stuff to deal with minor cuts, scrapes and emergencies while you call for help.

Truff Hot Sauce - Holy moly this stuff is amazing! I usually send out bottles of my local favorite, A La Brava, to friends and peers as a thanks. Occasionally, I get a bottle back. The latest is Truff, courtesy of Jen & Jordan Harbinger, and it blew my socks off! It's unlike any other hot sauce I've ever tried, with a subtle sweetness and truffle undertone that gives it a very unique & delicious flavor.

Peanut Butter Mixer - If you buy organic peanut butter that's just peanuts, you've probably dealt with oil separation. This Mess-Free Peanut Butter Mixer will change your life. Pro tip #1 - poke a little hole in the jar's paper/foil seal and stir before opening. Pro tip #2 - Costco organic peanut butter...seriously.

Because why not?


Tyler Benedict

PS - Why not forward this to a marketing friend that might enjoy it? Thanks!

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