Do you know how to apply the Golden Circle?

Do you know how to apply the Golden Circle?

Do you know how to apply the Golden Circle?

The concept of Golden Circle became known when Simon Sinek first published his book “Starts With Why”. Ever since many marketing professionals have been using the author’s methodology.

Let’s take a look at the following example: imagine there are 2 brands of automobiles with similar vehicles, with the same characteristics and both available in the market. However, one of these brands sells more than the other, although cars are similar. The question is: Why? How? What? This is exactly the idea on which the Golden Circle is based: the first question (why?) is at the core of the circle, followed by “how” and “what” exactly in this order. The “why” expresses the reason why that product was created, the “how” characterises the major differentiation factor from competition and the “what” is concerned to what the brand does, what its products, services and functionalities. Thus, Sinek proposes entrepreneurs to change the way they perceive business. Before focusing on “what and “how” you should start with “why”. Ask these questions to yourself: why does your brand exist? What’s the purpose? What’s the cause? What’s the dream? That is exactly what will differentiate your brand from others.

Sinek says the explanation for the Golden Circle is biologic, i.e. the cross-section of the brain possesses layers, just like the Golden Circle. The neocortex, namely the outer layer, is the area responsible for the language, for rational and analytical thought. Represents the “what?” at the Golden Circle. While the limbic system, located more internally, is not related to language but with feelings and our behaviour towards decision-making.

To explain the Golden Circle in practice, Sinek used some classic examples such as Apple’s at the TED Talks conference:

“If Apple were like most other companies, a marketing message from them would be: “We make great computers. They’re beautifully designed, simple to use and user-friendly. Wanna buy one?” This is how most people communicate. This is how most marketing works and most sales are done. This is how we usually communicate. We tell what we do, how different or better we are and we expect a certain kind of behaviour, a purchase, a vote, something like that”, said Sinek. He added that “In everything we do, we believe in challenging the status quo. We believe in thinking differently. The way we challenge the status quo is by making our products beautifully designed, simple to use, and user-friendly. And we happen to make great computers. Wanna buy one?”.

All of this to say that people feel much more motivated to buy this way. So, what happened? There was only an inversion in the order of factors. For that reason, he came up with one of the best sentences shared all over the world: “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it”.

MA Marketing Course Leader
London School of Design and Marketing

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