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Spoilers Ahead: The Secret to Connecting with Your Ideal Customer

By Melissa Rodier

A common thread in what we do at Woden is the fact that people don’t care about what you do — they care about why you do it. From an early age, we want to know why, sometimes to an almost annoying extreme. Later in life, we want to know why, to an almost cynical extreme. Humans are designed to question. It’s why we grow as a species. It’s why there’s innovation. It’s why we take the time to stop and watch a show or read a book (or read a blog).

It would be easy enough to sum up the ‘whats’ in life and save ourselves the hours and days and years spent consuming the world around us. Save the time bingeing, because what your favorite shows are can be summed up pretty quickly:

Westworld: People make robots. People use robots. Things go downhill, as they inevitably will.

Game of Thrones: Lots of people want to rule the world. There’s also snow zombie dudes in the North. Winter is coming. Almost everyone is going to die.

The Walking Dead: You’ve got zombies, you’ve got evil people; you’ve got survivors trying to survive the dead and undead monsters of humanity. Life is hard in the zombie apocalypse.

Every episode of Black Mirror: The world is filled with technology from five minutes in the future. That technology dehumanizes society in some way. Does technology improve humanity? (Spoiler: nope). Everything is the worst.

If you ever wanted to binge any of those shows, I just saved you seven days, twenty-one hours, and thirty minutes, according to Binge O’Clock. I could run through some books, too, and save you some more days of your life.

But I’ll save us all a lot of time and not do that, because most people don’t really care about the what. They care about why. They want to know why winter is coming. They want to know why they shouldn’t kill robots. They want to know why they should really be more afraid of evil people than monstrous zombies.

The same rule can be applied to brands.

Apple: expensive and pretty electronics

Toms: comfortable shoes

Google: a search engine and technological toolset

There’s your what. Now save yourself time, resources, sanity, and whatever else. You can get yourself a phone that’s cheaper than an iPhone, or a computer with more computing power than a Mac. You can find shoes that look nicer and feel more comfortable than Toms. You can use Bing or Outlook.

But these brands have moved us beyond their what. They have made a brand out of their why.

Apple believes in the value of being different; in sleek design and a spirit of innovation and independence that takes computing, phones, and technology out of the mundane and monotonous and into the unique and independent. Apple made computing into art. And displaying that logo allows the Apple consumer to show that they, too, value creativity and style.

Toms has a mission to make the world a better place. When you buy a pair of Toms, someone else is getting a pair too, free of charge. Wearing Toms shows you are a citizen of the world who wants their purchases to mean something. The Toms story is one about being the change you want to see in the world. The why of the Toms brand shows this. For the person wearing a pair of Toms, their footwear is a symbol of not only their style, but their global awareness.

Google’s why is all about creating tools to make the world easier to navigate. Google has dedicated itself to innovation and simplification in a number of areas, whether it’s the Google search engine, Gmail, or any of the multiple Alphabet company projects and moonshots. Google empowers people in using technology by making it streamlined, intuitive, and simple. Compared with a Yahoo address, a Gmail address indicates that the email address holder knows the right tools to use to communicate and connect in the most intuitive way.

The why of a great brand becomes its ultimate call to action. That why is the flag carried by consumers, allowing a brand to display a part of their personality every time they engage with that brand. Every brand has a what, but the why is what separates the runners up from the winners in the consumer game of thrones. And when you play the consumer game of thrones, you answer why or you become Bing.


Melissa Rodier is an associate at Woden. Whatever your storytelling needs may be, let Woden help. Download our free StorytellingBlueprint, or send us an email at to discuss how we can help tell your story.