According to Simon Sinek, pretty much everyone knows what they do. The majority also know how they do it. It's the rare few who actually know why they do it.
One example given in the book is that of a digital MP3 player. Apple didn't invent iPod technology, nor was the iPod necessarily the best portable audio player out there when it first became popular. But who has actually heard of the original, created by a brand called Creative Technology Ltd.? For that matter, who has heard of and used the comparable MP3 player created by Dell?
I don't know about everyone else, but when I think of Dell, I think of computers. I think of a product. But when I think Apple (no matter where my brand loyalty lies - that's a whole different issue), while I may still think of computers, what comes to mind isn't just a product; what comes to mind for me is a culture. Cultish, perhaps. Once again, different issue.
The biggest difference, according to Start With Why, is that one brand knows what they do and how they do it. The other brand also knows why they do what they do.
When you know why you do what you do (I know, I've overused that phrase), you can connect not only with your customers on a technical level, but also on a more personal philosophical level. If your clientele aligns with your ideals, they are likely to come back to your brand in the future, rather than the brand that sells perhaps a technically better product or service but whose ideals are vague or differently aligned.
Start with why, and the rest should fall into place.
That's just one of my takeaways from the book. If you have interest in business or leadership, I highly recommend the read.
Final review: ★★★★★