How to tell if your business matters to people

Posted on Posted in blog articles, springfieldtimes
Photo courtesy of Mihai Andoni (

A key question I ask brands is “Why does your business matter to people?” This is a values question that unlocks the mystery of why our client started in the first place.

Many business owners struggle with this question. They think they have to be all things to all people. They think they need the biggest audience for their message. And then they end up creating a message that’s a mile wide and an inch deep because it neglects the “why.” This often results is cost-focused customers who are a poor fit for your company, leaving you with the fading memory of the excitement you had when you first started. But here’s the cool thing: getting back to “why” can help you fall back in love with your business and benefit from the financial success that comes with it.

Its starts with a simple task: find out why you matter. It clarifies why people choose you over the business down the street that does exactly what you do (or so it seems) by asking “what’s that thing that makes your customers care if you disappear tomorrow?”

Here’s my suggestion: don’t answer this question yourself. Instead, find a way to get that information from your customers. And make it a little more personal than a questionnaire. Customers have to be able to talk about why those things are important to them, and they need to be able to do it in their own words.

The point is finding out how to advertise based on what matters to people.

But it’s not just for advertising’s sake. When you’re focusing on making people’s lives better, it immediately gives more importance to the work you do. And what’s cooler than watching your employees make your customers’ lives better and feel good about the work they’re doing?

Because nobody ever goes into business just for the money, no matter what they tell you. There’s always a “why” that goes with it, and makes every business distinct and special. Find the why and you can confidently tell the world how your business makes life a little better.