Start With Why: Applying the Golden Circle to Your Marketing

In today’s world, where consumers are bombarded with marketing messages at every turn, it’s more important than ever to differentiate your brand and make an impact. Enter Simon Sinek’s Golden Circle, a powerful concept that can revolutionize your marketing strategy.

By starting with “why,” you can create meaningful connections with your target audience and achieve lasting success.

A diagram of the Golden Circle concept.

Understanding the Golden Circle

The Three Layers of the Golden Circle

  1. Why – Your Purpose: The core belief that drives your organization.
  2. How – Your Process: The unique methods and principles that bring your purpose to life.
  3. What – Your Product: The tangible output of your organization, such as products or services.

The Power of Starting with Why

By focusing on your purpose first, you create an emotional connection with your audience. People are drawn to brands that share their values and beliefs, leading to increased trust and loyalty.

Applying the Principles of the Golden Circle to Your Marketing

Define Your ‘Why’

To start with why you must first identify your purpose. Consider the following questions:

  • What core belief drives your organization?
  • Why does your organization exist?
  • What impact do you want to have on the world?

Once you have a clear understanding of your why you can begin to incorporate it into your marketing strategy.

✍️ Exercise: Find Your ‘Why’ 🎓

Discover your ‘why’ by completing the sentence ‘we believe…’ three times.

It must be a belief about the world or your customer’s life. Not about your company or products!

Example 1: (as a hair salon) you might say that you believe that having great hair elevates your entire experience of the day.


Example 2: (as a restaurant) you might say that you believe that a simple dinner can be where lifelong memories are made, in the right environment.

These beliefs will drive how you run your business and how you tell the world about it.

Communicate Your How

With your why firmly established, it’s time to focus on the how. This is where you differentiate yourself from the competition.

Showcasing Your Unique Process

Demonstrate the methods and principles that set your organization apart. Use case studies, testimonials, and behind-the-scenes content to give your audience a glimpse into your process.

Highlight Your What

The final layer of the Golden Circle is your product or service. Ensure that your marketing efforts showcase how your offerings align with your why and how.

Aligning Product Features with Your Purpose

Feature the aspects of your products or services that directly support your purpose. Emphasize the benefits that resonate with your audience’s values and beliefs.

Putting It All Together: Examples of Successful Golden Circle Marketing

To see the power of Start With Why: How to Apply the Principles of Simon Sinek’s Golden Circle to Your Marketing in action, consider these successful brands:

  1. Apple: Apple’s why is to challenge the status quo and empower people through technology. Their innovative products and customer-focused approach demonstrate their how, while their cutting-edge devices fulfil their what.
  2. Patagonia: Patagonia’s purpose is to protect the environment and promote sustainable practices. Their commitment to ethical production and environmental activism showcases their how, and their eco-friendly products embody their what.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How can I find my organization’s why?
  • Reflect on your core beliefs, values, and the impact you want to have on the world. Consult with stakeholders and consider conducting surveys to gather input.
  1. Can the Golden Circle be applied to small businesses or startups?
  • Absolutely! Regardless of the size or age of your organization, the Golden Circle can help you create a strong brand identity and connect with your audience on a deeper level.
  1. How do I maintain consistency with my why throughout my marketing efforts?
  • Ensure that all team members understand your why and incorporate it into their work. Consistently review and evaluate your marketing content to confirm that it aligns with your purpose.
  1. Is it possible to change my why over time?
  • While your core purpose should remain relatively stable, it’s natural for organizations to evolve as they grow and learn. Be open to refining your why to better reflect your current values and goals.


Start With Why: How to Apply the Principles of Simon Sinek’s Golden Circle to Your Marketing is a powerful approach that can transform your marketing strategy and create lasting connections with your audience. By focusing on your purpose, differentiating your process, and aligning your products or services with your why, you can stand out in a crowded market and build a loyal following.

Take the time to understand your organization’s why and apply the Golden Circle principles to your marketing efforts. As you embrace the power of starting with why, you’ll be on the path to lasting success and meaningful impact.

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