Nicole Öhlmann | How You Differentiate Yourself From Your Competitors
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How You Differentiate Yourself From Your Competitors

“People don’t buy what you do, people buy why you do it” says Simon Sinek. Some years ago the author and leadership expert did some research to find out what makes some companies and people more successful than others. He looked at leading companies and people like the Wright Brothers, Martin Luther Kind and Apple. And what he found out was, that these companies and people communicate differently than most other companies. Actually, they communicate exactly the other way around.

To explain his idea, Simon Sinek came up with a simple model, which he calls The Golden Circle. The Golden Circle is divided in three rings. The outer ring is stands for the ‘What’, the middle ring ‘How’ and the inner circle is denotes the ‘Why’.

Start with the WHY


This is what it means: Pretty much every company knows and communicates what they do. They sell women fair-trade cloth or biological food, offer courses in personal development or help you to find your dream partner. Most companies also know also how they do things. But very few know and communicate why they are doing what they are doing. Again “People don’t buy what you do, people buy why you do it”. This is even more true for purpose-driven companies, and it is crucial to communicate it in the right way.


If you have a close look at how successful companies and inspirational leaders communicate, you will discover that they communicate exactly opposite to anyone else. They always start with why the do what they do, then how they do it and at last what they do it.

One important remark: Your why should never be money. Don’t get me wrong, to run a successful business it is important to be good in the money game, but money should always be the result of a good business and never the purpose of it.

Simon Sinek has some great examples in his TED talk Start with the Why”. The quality is very bad, but what he has to say is absolutely inspiring. Check out the video below

Communicating your why will distinguish yourself from your competitors. Make sure to keep it short and easy to understand. I always advice my clients to place a short version of their why on the homepage and a longer and more elaborate version on the About page.

How can you (re)discover your WHY?


Deep in your heart, you probably know why you have a business. But sometimes thinks can be a bit fuzzy. During my sessions with clients I try to go back with them to the very beginning of their business. I ask: “Why did you started your company in the first place? “

Another thing I try to find out, is what are the things they love most about their work? What makes you get out of the bed in the morning? What do you belief in? Why do you think your work is important?

If you like to get to the bottom of things, book a free session with me, where we (re)discover your WHY. On top of this you will learn to communicate it to your (potential) clients. These sessions are available in English, Dutch and German. Check it out here.

What is your WHY? Try to finish the following sentence: I believe / I find … Let me know your full sentence in the comment box below. I am very curious and look forward to hear from you.

Nicole Öhlmann

I believe that the future belongs to purpose-driven and responsible companies. I want to help people that are crazy enough to think they can change their community or even the world. I want to help organizations that help people to life more happy, healthy and responsibly. More than 13 years of experience in the field of graphic design, website development and online communication put me in place to help those, who help others by connecting them to their (potential) clients.

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