How to Differentiate Your Business Using the Power of WHY

 “Today, people want authenticity.

They want to know who you are and what you stand for.

They want to “feel” right about the decision to pick you and your products over any others.

They don’t want to be manipulated or misled and are tired of exaggerated claims and misrepresentations.”

~~ Excerpt from The WHY Engine

This is Part 2 of a 3-Part Series on how to differentiate your business (see links for Parts 1 & 3 below).

The most effective way to reach your ideal customer is to start with your WHY.

Steve Jobs and Apple show us how to differentiate a business with the power of WHY.

Most people think Apple succeeded because they created great products.


Apple became successful because they told us what they believe and in so doing attracted others who share that belief—their loyal clients keep buying Apple products almost compulsively.

Apple users don’t care how much they pay.
Other computer buyers price shop.

Let’s explore.

Steve Jobs’ WHY was to “Think Differently and Challenge the Status Quo.”

  • Jobs knew who he was.
  • Jobs knew what he brought to the world.
  • Jobs knew his WHY.

His ability to clearly articulate WHY he did what he did and what he believed, allowed him to build Apple into one of the largest companies in the world starting from his garage.

Apple is the perfect example of a business that represents the business owner’s WHY.
Everything Apple does is a reflection of what Steve Jobs believed.
Everything Apple does challenges the status quo.

But it’s not enough just to “do” your WHY, you must “express” your WHY.

By expressing his WHY Steve Jobs was able to not only attract passionate, loyal clients, he created something every business owner desperately needs—a passionate, loyal, talented team who works for the greater cause.

Clearly communicate your WHY to your staff – here’s why

These articles explain:

How to Create True Passion and Inspiration in Your Team

(Part 1) 10 Major Reasons WHY-Inspired Leaders Have Inspired Employees

As long as Apple embraced Steve Jobs’ WHY and spread the message, the company flourished.
Then, in 1985 Steve Jobs was ousted from the company and Apple began a painful downward spiral.

Apple lost its way until Jobs returned to Apple twelve years later in 1997.

By 1998, he’d cut Apple’s product offering from 350 to 10, a dramatic reduction, and the company again began focusing on Steve’s WHY of “Challenging the Status Quo”.
They expressed it in their marketing as “Think Different.”

If you watch Apple’s ad “The Crazy Ones” used to re-launch Apple in 1997 after Jobs returned, you’ll notice they didn’t talk about computers, processors, screens or functionality
(as most computer companies do).

Why didn’t they?

It’s simple. No-one cares “what” you do until they know WHY you do what you do and what you believe.
We all care far more about what you believe than your quality or service, which we hope are a given.

WHY you do what you do, is what makes you stand out, it’s what makes you different.

In Apple’s “The Crazy Ones” they instead talked about what they believe as a company because as already mentioned, that’s what people care about first.

If you believe what Apple believes then Apple is the right business for you.

In fact, Apple lived their WHY of “Challenging the Status Quo” so effectively that they challenged the status quo in stunning ways we’re familiar with:

  • The music industry with the iPod and iTunes
  • The mobile industry with the iPhone.

What can you do to differentiate your business?

a. Know WHY you do what you do
(most businesses don’t)

b. Clearly express to your customers WHY you do what you do
(most businesses don’t)

c. Clearly express your WHY to your staff so as to inspire them
(most businesses don’t)

This is Part 2 of a 3-Part Series on how to differentiate your business:

Part 1 – Are You Struggling to Differentiate Your Business?
Part 3 – A Little Known Opportunity to Differentiate Your Business

If you agree with Albert Einstein, perhaps you share his WHY.

Discover your WHY.
Live your WHY!

Contact Janet here to WHY-ify your business (and life!)

The WHY Engine – Ridgely Goldsborough, ESQ
Start with WHY – Simon Sinek

Related Reading:

Did Apple’s Products Make Them a Success or Did Something Else?

(Part 1) 10 Major Reasons WHY-Inspired Leaders Have Inspired EMPLOYEES

(Part 2) 10 Major Reasons WHY-Inspired Leaders Inspire Their CUSTOMERS

My name is Janet Poole and I believe there are better ways to delight your customers and inspire your staff.

I believe in meaningful conversation, knowing what really matters to you.

I believe an open mind is essential to a better life because there are always different and better ways of doing things.

I believe truth is a better way no matter how outrageous and despite its consequences because it sets you free.

I don’t believe in conforming. I believe in freedom and remembering to use your free will because many of us forget we have it and end up frustrated living below our potential.

I believe in saying yes to opportunities, doing something greater than yourself because it will thrill you; life ought to be an adventure, lived with courage.

I believe in laughing, delicious food and red wine.

I believe in being someone you can count on who will support you all the way into the results you want.

Better Ways. More Freedom.

Knowing your WHY is like turning on the lights to your behaviour. You gain instant clarity. It’s like being introduced to yourself. When you know your WHY, you begin to understand. When you know your WHY, you realise your unique gifts. When you know your WHY, you gain clarity and confidence. When you know your WHY you live with passion.

When you know your WHY you can take your business from good to great in a single day.

Know Your WHY logo