Turn Customers Into Fans: Start with the Why


To Earn The Trust Of Your Customers You Have To Explain The “Why”

Marketers have become really good at explaining product features.

Go to any number of eCommerce websites or B2B vendor websites and you’ll find scores of product and service descriptions. The focus is usually on features such as:

  • Intel Core i7 Processor
  • Breathable mesh upper
  • Spring-back lumbar support

These features are great, but people don’t really know what’s in it for them. People want to know why those features are important.

Selling The Why Vs. Selling The What

People aren’t always looking for the “how” or the “what” in the solution. At least not right away.

Apple is an example of a company that does a great job with selling the why. When you think about Apple you typically don’t think about one product. You think about why Apple creates products, which is to challenge the status quo and make life easier and more enjoyable. Some of Apple’s slogans were:

Think Different
iThink, therefore iMac.
Small is Beautiful

These slogans were why Apple was in business. They wanted to challenge the status quo by thinking differently. They wanted to buck the trends and do small while everyone else was doing big.

People were attracted to why Apple was in business. Apple was driven to do things differently. The products they created were proof of their drive and that’s why people purchase Apple products.

If you look at their latest page for the MacBook Air you see the headline: All the power you want. All day long.


Again, the MacBook Air is proof that Apple is driven to be different. They’re looking at people that say you can’t use your laptop all-day and responding with, “Why not?”. The new Air is proof that you can.

Business Value Vs. Product Value

Taking this concept to the next level is defining what your business value is vs. your product value.

Customers today are looking for more from companies. They want to know why you do what you do. They want to know the value you provide to them and to others from the company perspective. It’s no longer about having one product that solves a need.

People were originally drawn to Apple’s products because the company was seen as different and revolutionary. Apple had the goal to make things easy for anyone to use all while making life easier, more enjoyable and more beautiful. People were able to purchase great products, but they saw the business value and that meant more than individual product value.

Another way of looking at your business value is to examine your vision statement.

Apple’s visions statement was to challenge the status quo. They wanted to think differently and they wanted their customers to think different.

Bill Gates of Microsoft had the vision of a computer in every home.

The Creative Commons organization has a vision for universal access to research and education or a full participation culture.

When people read your vision statement they make your vision their own. They look at Apple and realize that they want to be different. They connect with the brand and thus purchase Apple’s products, whatever they are.

Why Should You Exist?

Your customers care why you do things. The challenge is communicating why you exist to those target customers. Start with the why and end with the what.

A drink company might start with their vision to combine nutrition and taste. The result is a drink that tastes great, but doesn’t include sugar or synthetic additives.

A software company might start with the vision to give people more time with family and friends. The result is software that automates repetitive tasks like paying bills, scheduling events and running errands.

Start with the reason why you’re in business. Be clear about what you can do for the world. That is how you earn trust and earn more customers.

The Sales Cycle and Earning Trust

In marketing, we like to focus on the sales funnel or the sales cycle. However you define it, there is a process customers go through when making a purchasing decision.

Companies that look at the entire sales cycle as an opportunity to build trust have the most to gain in terms of earning new customers. At the early stage of the funnel you can build trust by sharing information and examples of who you are and why you’re in business. Once a customer knows about your brand and your product you can share comparison information about how you stack up against the competition. This transparency is very effective for building trust.

Finally, you complete the trust building process by communicating the biggest reason why your target customer should purchase from you. This is the problem you solve for the customer.

It’s not about features and specs. It’s about connecting with people that share your beliefs and your vision.

When you make this connection you turn customers into fans, and that audience is the most powerful marketing tool you can have as a company.

These fans will do anything to spread your vision and your company will grow.

Customers want to know why you’re in business. It’s not even about the product. The product is just the proof that you do actually care about why you’re in business.

Start turning your customers into fans.

About the author

Jeremy Choi

I’m a husband, father, entrepreneur, mentor, and an irredeemable golf addict. Possibly like you, my big hairy audacious goal (vision) is to make a positive dent in this world. I write about creating better leaders, workers, and people. I also write about my experiences in all aspects of my life. These ideas are my experiences living & learning through my own core values; integrity, authenticity, leadership, inspire, and health.


  • Great information, Jeremy. I am in the process of sending out letters to condo managers and will incorporate the ‘why’ focus in that letter. I am about to book that week in Vegas with the anticipated profits from your article! Thanks. Ross