Why are some companies successful and some are not? Their core principles and values ​​play an important role. Companies that are able to convey value connect emotionally with (potential) customers, resulting in short-term brand preference and long-term brand loyalty.

To put it more easily, people do not buy into what you do but buy into why you do it. This is not only the case for products and services: future staff members choose the company they want to work for on the basis of a strong authentic story rather than pure job content. Renowned TED-talker and author of “Find Your Why” Simon Sinek illustrates this effect with the Golden Circle.

The ‘Golden Circle’ maps out very effectively why certain companies stand out from others. The model actually consists of three circles, representing the what, how and why of organisations and companies.

Golden Circle

The Golden Circle: WHY

The WHY defines the raison d’être of any company or organisation. What is the reason of existence and what motivates your company? Why do you do what you do? Merely making a profit will not do as an answer. There must be something bigger behind it, a goal to pursue, something people can believe in.

For example:

  • IKEA states “Our mission is to make living affordable for everyone”, a message that people can relate to and makes them choose IKEA for more than just saving money
  • Meunyckenhof says “Together we take care of the vulnerable elderly so that they can (re)experience happiness every day”
  • Bol.com wants to make their customers happy

The Golden Circle: HOW

The HOW refers to the process. It details the activities a company must perform in order to realise its WHY, its raison d’être. In this circle, the distinctive character or Unique Selling Proposition (USP) is discussed. Why are we different from others? What do we do differently from others?

For example:

  • IKEA uses a production and logistics process that strives for efficiency and results in continuous price reductions. As its proprietary process, it makes up the distinctive character of IKEA and shows they work unlike any other company.
  • Meunyckenhof lists important keywords like a positive attitude, listening and organisation in it HOW
  • Bol.com’s HOW translates to ‘connected and easy’.

The Golden Circle: WHAT

The WHAT is the result of your company’s business operations. It exemplifies the fulfilment of your target groups’ needs through their purchase or use of your business goods or services.

For example:

  • IKEA’s functional furniture with a beautiful design at an affordable price is its result and end product. It is the result of a functional process that is driven by a desire to make living affordable for everyone.
  • Meunyckenhof offers total care for elderly residents.
  • Bol.com is an online department store with an outstanding customer satisfaction.

Get cracking yourself!

To communicate an inspiring message, it is best to work from the inside out. Companies and organisations that inspire and create long-term trust and loyalty all successfully interpreted The Golden Circle. They started at the core, with the WHY, and work their way out.

Most companies, however, only know what they do and not why they do it. They use the ‘outside in’ method, starting with what they do and try to work their way in, often unsuccessfully, representing such a missed opportunity.

Have you determined your value proposition already? comma is your best partner and will guide you along in our ‘The Golden Circle’s WHY’ workshop. And that is not all, we also offer customer journey workshops. Get in touch with our brand strategists via info@brandstrategists.be.