Consider Customer Motivations

Consider Customer Motivations

Simon Sinek’s idea of “Start with the Why” is something that you must consider about your customers. Watch this TED video:

The Huffington Post does a wonderful job describing Simon Sinek’s idea on why so many people showed up to watch Martin Luther King’s famous “I have a dream.” speech:

The details of how to achieve civil rights or what needed to be done were debatable, and different groups tried different strategies. Violence was employed by some, appeasement by others. Regardless of how or what was being done, there was one thing everyone had in common—WHY they were doing it. It was not just Martin Luther King’s unflappable conviction that was able to stir a population, but his ability to put his WHY into words. Dr. King had a gift. He talked about what he believed. And his words had the power to inspire:

“I believe.”

“I believe.”

“I believe.”

People heard his beliefs and his words touched them deep inside. Those who believed what he believed took that cause and made it their own. And they told people what they believed. And those people told others what they believed. Some organized to get that belief out more efficiently.

And in the summer of 1963, a quarter of a million people showed up to hear Dr. King deliver his “I Have a Dream” speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.

But how many people showed up for Dr. King?


They showed up for themselves. It was what they believed. It was what they saw as an opportunity to help America become a better version of itself. It was they who wanted to live in a country that reflected their own values and beliefs that inspired them to get on a bus to travel for eight hours to stand in the Washington sun in the middle of August to hear Dr. King speak. Being in Washington was simply one of the things they did to prove what they believed. S*howing up that day was one of the WHATs to their own WHY.* This was a cause and it was their cause.

[Emphasis mine]

Zero people showed up for Martin Luther King. It was for themselves, it was for the shared belief, the shared dream. It made them feel good.

When discussing Tribal Fan the other night, we assembled a list of things that fans do to show their passion and love for their teams.


  1. Go to games.
  2. Tailgate.
  3. Comment on blog posts.
  4. Buy apparel and memorabilia.
  5. Read sporting news.

But, they don’t do this for the team. These fans have much in common with those who showed up to watch MLK’s speech. They do this for themselves. They do it to prove how much of a fan they are.

Before building a product or starting a movement, you must consider your WHY and your customers’ WHY.

Photo Credit: Life-Engineering

You might also enjoy:

  1. Steve Jobs Lesson on Marketing and Beliefs
  2. Sports Fans and Identities
  3. Announcing Tribal Fan

You should follow me on Twitter: @jprichardson


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