The most successful brands are born from a compelling story.
One of my favorite TED Talks of all time is by Simon Sinek on “How great leaders inspire action”. During his talk, he sheds light on a very interesting, yet often overlooked insight: “People Don’t Buy What You Do, They Buy Why You Do It”.
Simon Sinek posits that inspirational leadership and successful brands start with the golden circle.
Contrary to popular belief, companies should start by asking the question “Why?” (their story and core beliefs) instead of “What?” (their product or service). Indeed, if companies start with the “Why” and focus on their story first, they will win over the hearts of consumers.
Planet Smoothie is a great example of a company who identified it’s “why” from the get-go and whose success is largely contingent upon their desire to share their story.
Planet Smoothie was born in 1995 in Atlanta. The founder created Planet smoothie with the mission to revolutionize and “change the way the planet eats” with smoothies, supplements, snacks and smiles.
The How and What?
With the desire to live out their story, everything that Planet Smoothie does is ultimately informed and driven by their “why”. In order to achieve its mission of changing the way the planet eats, Planet Smoothie adopts the following measures:
By using natural and performance based ingredients that taste great
As Planet Smoothie endeavors to help people take a step in the right direction by bringing more natural, whole foods to our smoothies, they ensure they use the healthiest ingredients. Their LeanLeaf sweetener and yogurt are not just good – but good for you too.
Motivating and educating customers
In this day and age, people of every age are facing unique health challenges and seeking simple solutions. Planet Smoothie is committed to being a lifestyle partner for healthy living by motivating, educating and providing customers with nutritional knowledge.
Creating health supplements and snacks
Planet Smoothie has created supplements and healthy snacks to assist consumers to lead a healthy life.
Thus, Planet Smoothie’s desire to live out their story of transformation ultimately determines the way in which the company conducts business and informs what they do, and how they do it.
The Magic of Storytelling
With reference to the case of Planet Smoothie, we have already established that storytelling plays an essential role in effective branding, but why exactly is this so?
Storytelling provides meaning to consumers and gives them something to believe in. Planet Smoothie’s mission to “change the way the planet eats” is compelling and empowering; consumers are drawn to this mission not only because they want to be healthy, beyond that, the statement touches consumers on a psychological level. Our innate human desire is to feel a sense of importance. We feel a sense of importance when we believe we are contributing to society and we experience meaning when we live beyond ourselves. As such, Planet Smoothies’ mission speaks to consumers’ psychological desire. Consumers want to be a part of this tribe that is revolutionizing the way society eats; not only do consumers themselves benefit from it, they are also supporting the cause which benefits others too.
Moreover, a compelling story presents consumers with the opportunity to connect with the brand on an emotional level. Why are emotions central to marketing? According to a study on emotional buying published by the University of Florida, when it comes to purchasing, people are more heavily influenced by their emotions than logic.
Thus, when it comes to your brand, don’t focus solely on your product or service (what). Ask yourself, “what story do I have to tell?” and never lose sight of why your brand is here in the first place.