Today, Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook, announced to the world he’s gay. The Internet was ablazed with kudos as well as disappointments. Professionals and pundits questioned why the chief of the world’s largest brand would take such a risky action and we say, “Why not?”
Apple has always been a company with meaning and purpose. From the beginning, Steve Jobs talked about seeing things differently and breaking conventional wisdom and dogmas. This is most eloquently stated in the “Here’s to the Crazy Ones” speech by Apple:
Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.
The most relevant and profitable brands in the world make us feel something. They do that because they have a desire to change something in this world. For consumers, we want to become a part of this purpose. Brands that make meaning are usually more profitable than their competitors because they have purpose. They answered the WHY they are in business before they discuss WHAT they are and HOW they will solve your problems.
Of course we love the products they make, but what we love most about these brands with purpose is the change they are making. Purpose is an incredibly powerful thing. It tells your story, it builds your teams and it defines your culture. It provides the strength for your team to fight the impossible and it gives a reason for your customers to stay loyal to it. With purpose and meaning, your customers are more likely to forgive your occasional faux pas.
This is one of our favorite TED Talks by Simon Sinek on how great leaders inspire action. You can also apply this to business: how great brands inspire action. Simon Sinek has a simple but powerful model for inspirational leadership all starting with a golden circle and the question “Why?”
His examples include Apple, Martin Luther King, and the Wright brothers. Fascinated by the leaders who make impact in the world, companies and politicians with the capacity to inspire, Simon Sinek has discovered some remarkable patterns in how they think, act and communicate. He wrote Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action to explore his idea of the Golden Circle, what he calls “a naturally occurring pattern, grounded in the biology of human decision making, that explains why we are inspired by some people, leaders, messages and organizations over others.”
Let’s build one of these purpose-driven brands. You know, those rare brands we all fall in love with. The crazy ones that don’t just make something, but change something as well.
#yay #lovetimcook #applerocks #makemeaning
We are marketing enthusiasts and we help brands tell their stories that resonate. When your message has meaning to your customers, you will become a much more successful business. Talk to us today.