When you have a product or service that you want to promote, you need to communicate effectively with your potential customers to get them to patronize you.
This is done by having a strong Why-How-What Statement, which can serve you in many ways. It can be the first paragraph on your website, your elevator pitch when you are networking, or your employees go-to answer when someone asks them, "What does your company do?"
It is clear, practical, succinct, and inspirational. It will sell your business without the unnecessary jargon or fluff usually associated with traditional positioning statements.
The first part, a why statement, is a concise statement that explains why your business exists. It is your purpose, your reason for being, and it should be at the heart of everything you do. A strong why statement can help you define your business, give it direction, and keep you focused on your goals.
Here are three reasons why you need a strong why statement for your business:
1. To inspire and motivate yourself and others
When you have a strong why statement, it inspires you to keep going when times get tough. It reminds you of your purpose and what you are trying to achieve. This motivation can be contagious and inspire your team and customers to feel the same way.
For example, Tesla’s why statement is “to accelerate the world's transition to sustainable energy.” This statement inspires not only their team but also their customers to work towards a more sustainable future.
2. To differentiate yourself from competitors
Having a strong why statement can help you stand out from your competitors. It gives you a unique selling proposition and shows customers why they should choose you over someone else. A strong why statement can help you build a loyal customer base and create a strong brand identity.
For example, Patagonia’s why statement is “We’re in business to save our home planet.” This statement is unique and sets them apart from other outdoor apparel companies. It appeals to customers who care about sustainability and the environment, which has helped them build a loyal customer base.
3. To guide decision-making
When you have a strong why statement, it can guide your decision-making process. It can help you stay true to your values and make decisions that align with your purpose. This can help you avoid making decisions that are not in the best interest of your business.
For example, Airbnb’s why statement is “Belong anywhere.” This statement guides their decision-making process, such as allowing hosts to rent out unique and diverse accommodations, which aligns with their mission of helping people feel like they belong anywhere they go.
With all of this said, it doesn't stop here. Your why statement only speaks about your philosophy, but you are not in business to be only a thinker. You must also do to be successful and sustainable.
This is where your how statement comes in. It is your unique selling proposition and answers the question, "How do you do what you do?"
For example, Apple makes beautifully-designed, easy-to-use products, while Nike creates high-performance athletic gear. Tesla produces electric cars, solar panels, and energy storage systems, while AirBnB connects travellers with unique, affordable accomodations around the world.
These are all how statements. They tell how they go about executing their why statement, not what their end product is. That information is the last portion of the three-pronged statement, and arguably the easiest to write.
The what portion simply communicates to workers and clients what kind of product or service you are selling.
If we use some of the examples from earlier, Apple makes computers, tablets, smart phones, and other electronic devices, while Nike sells sneakers, workout clothes, and sports accessories. Tesla sells electric vehicles and renewable energy solutions, while AirBnB offers a platform for people to rent out their homes, apartments, and spare rooms to travellers.
When you put them together, it would like something like this:
TED, the nonprofit media organization that posts international talks online for free distribution, W-H-W Statement would be:
Why - To spread ideas worth sharing.
How - By hosting conferences and creating videos of inspiring talks (that)
What - Offer a platform for people to share their ideas and stories with the world.
Wasn't that simple? And wasn't it effective?
A Why-How-What Statement can be a powerful tool to communicate your value proposition to your target audience. By using this format, you can clearly and succinctly convey why you exist, how you're different, and what you offer, which can help you connect with your audience and build a loyal following.
Are you ready to craft yours?
Take a shot at it and see how you do. If you are not satisfied, you can always contact us for help.