The Golden Circle Define Your Why Being Authentic Tuna Traffic

Imagine you’re meeting a prospective client: Do you lead by telling them what your company does, how you do it, or why you do it? Most people start with the “what,” but we recommend adopting a different approach called the Golden Circle. The Golden Circle framework says to do the opposite—define your “why” first. Read on to learn simple steps to define your brand authentically and how we at Tuna Traffic can help you dive deeper through our Discovery Workshops.

What Is the Golden Circle?

Simon Sinek, an author and inspirational speaker, developed the Golden Circle framework. It shows three concentric circles labeled “what,” “how,” and “why.” Usually, brands showcase their work by talking about what they have first and working inward to why it should matter to the client: “Here’s what we are offering, how we do it, and why you should care.”

However, Sinek found that working from the outside toward the inside is the opposite way humans are designed to connect. The neuroscience behind his Golden Circle theory says that people respond best if messages communicate with the parts of the brain that control emotions, behavior, and decision making. The “why” and “how” link to feelings and behavior, so to grab your audience, you should begin at the center of the circle by explaining your why.

  • The Golden Circle and You

This framework, developed by Simon Sinek, appeals to your audience through emotional messages. Your business or brand can do this in three easy steps: define your “why,” explain the “how,” and show the “what.” Usually brands talk about what they have first, but that’s not as attention grabbing.

How do you start talking about the authentic “why” behind your business or brand? Here’s what you need to know, what we have done at Tuna Traffic, and how we can help you—in three easy steps:

1. Define Your “Why”

Your “why” is about your purpose as a company. It’s your reason to exist, your motivation, and your beliefs. Your “why” also ties into your values.

Ask yourself: Why are you in your field? Why do you want to work with clients and customers day after day? Tuna Traffic can help connect your authentic “why” with key customer insights to grow your business—that’s where our Discovery Workshops come in. Our Discovery Workshops provide the tools, discussion, and analysis necessary to identify and align technology and marketing actions with your goals.

Let us help you define your “why.”

The Tuna Traffic “why”: Our why hinges on three core values—courage, care, and community. Our name highlights our collaborative approach, since it’s modeled on how tuna (the fish) swim together in schools. “Complex work requires a team. At Tuna Traffic, we use a cross-functional team to respond to work. If you don’t engage team brains, you won’t have enough brainpower to do the work,” says Doug Shimp, CEO and VP of Practice Development. His other favorite phrase is “no head works alone,” meaning that Tunas work together to allow creativity to expand and quality to increase.

Once you know your own “why,” the next step is to keep identifying aspects that set you apart. You can complete the Golden Circle framework by moving out from the center “why” and answering “how” and “what.”

You can complete the Golden Circle framework by moving out from the center “why” and answering “how” and “what.”

2. Explain the “How”

Your “how” explains what you do differently or exceptionally. It’s your process and the specific actions you take to realize your “why.”

Ask yourself: How do you differentiate your business from your competition? How is your product or service better? Think about what hallmarks you can emphasize to help tell your “how” in the catchiest way. If you’re looking for ways to leverage your marketing or to gain perspective, let us share new answers through our business enhancement strategies.

The Tuna Traffic “how”: We’re different from other fish in the sea—meaning traditional marketing agencies or professional services companies. Our cross-functional team uses an efficient process that lets us share deliverables in two-week cycles, called Sprints. For us, feedback is a two-way street to foster a communicative, collaborative, focused partnership. Our team of Tunas acts as your marketing department and builds a deep understanding of your business to accomplish work faster and better.

3. Show the “What”

Your “what” means your products or services and the outcomes you see from them. What products do you have that your competitors don’t? What services make you stand out? This may be the easiest part of your plan to identify, since it’s often where the sales team starts its pitches. Remember that you need the deeper story first but still want to wow your customers or clients with what you can offer. The “what” is proof of your success.

Ask yourself: What has made your authenticity pay off—meaning, what are the results? Having your portfolio, testimonials, or case studies available to share with prospective clients is a great way to showcase why your brand rises above.

The Tuna Traffic “what”: Our “what” is being a digital marketing firm focused on delivering collaborative marketing, agile development, and strategic results. That collaborative focus is what drove the development of our Discovery Workshops, where we partner with you every step of the way.

At Tuna Traffic, we also feature our successes online with a portfolio and testimonials, so prospective clients can see what has worked. Case studies showcase how we helped create content, modernize logos, revamp websites, and more across a variety of industries.

Stay Golden

Now that you know the Golden Circle framework, you can focus on your “why” first, then work backward to your “how” and your “what.” Aim to explain your purpose, then your process, and finish with your results.

Do you know your “why”? If you’re not sure, don’t worry—Tuna Traffic can help you define your “why” through a Discovery Workshop. We’ll help you grow your brand by being authentically you.


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Jennifer loves asking the right questions to write content that engages and delights audiences. As a content writer and content strategist, her journalism and public relations background translates smoothly to Tuna Traffic’s client projects. Her time writing and editing for universities and nonprofits also gives her a unique outlook. Her Tuna blogs include AI Video For Marketing: Make Artificial Intelligence Work For You and The Golden Circle: Authentically Define Your Brand in 3 Steps. When she’s not writing, Jennifer likes baking gluten-free treats with her family and watching college football.