I was introduced to the WHY, WHAT, HOW model a few years ago, and was reminded about it while I was on a marketing course very recently with a good group of friends from The New Entrepreneurs Foundation (an amazing programme I joined after University).
I believe that in any business this is the best place to start. This model suggests starting from the inside out in every aspect of decision making, by starting with the WHY. Why are you doing what you are doing? Once you have determined that, everything you talk about after makes so much sense, to you and everyone around you.
For example, let's talk about branding. This could be something you are doing at the very early stages of development if you are starting out, or you could be a large business who has gone off track and you're needing to go back to your core and rebrand or reposition your business. Branding is just as much the way your brand looks on the outside (product/website/logo/social), to how it looks on the inside (employees,customer service,emails). Therefore, everybody in an organisation needs to fully understand why the business exists, so that the end person (the customer) understands too. Once they understand, you've hit gold.
Why - this is your purpose. What value do you add to your customer? Why are they coming to you, or why should they come to you? Why do you exist? IMPORTANT: THIS IS NOT "TO MAKE MONEY". Making money is important, but this cannot be your reason for existing. Your reason for existing is customer centered. Your customer does not want to buy from you so that you make money. FACT.
- Do you make their life easier?
- Do you make their life more exciting?
- Do you make their life happier?
- Do you make them feel good?
- Do you make them healthier?
There are so many possible WHYS, but this is extremely personal to your business and something I would suggest spending good time thinking about. Once you've figured it out, share this with everyone. It deserves centre stage on your website, your communications, and should be embedded in your product/service.
How - this is the means you have do fulfil your why. This is the route it takes for you to get your WHAT to your WHY.
What - Every organisation on the planet knows what they do; if you are product based business, this would be your product. If you are a service based business, this could be your main offering (e.g. a consultancy, events organiser etc.etc.etc.), or piece of software.
The how and what are easy. The important thing is starting with WHY in all aspects. Branding is one example, but it can be translated into every aspect of business decision making. If you start with the why, it's easier to set goals, build teams, engage customers, and ultimately head in the right direction.