Ever had one of those a-ha moments when you come across something you just know is going to make your writing better?
It happened to me a few weeks ago while watching a TED talk. It was one of the most-watched videos on TED, given by Simon Sinek, Columbia University professor, leadership expert, and author of the book, Start with Why. Simon’s talk is called “How Great Leaders Inspire Action” and he discusses an idea that as a copywriter, you need to understand if you want to be at the top of your game.
So What Was My A-Ha Moment?
Well, it was the idea that there are some people and organizations that inspire us more than others. These people are usually the great leaders. Or, if they’re a company, the ones with the most loyal customers and biggest market share.
Simon poses the question on everybody’s lips, “What is it that they do differently? And how can I achieve similar results?”
His idea is actually quite simple. It’s all about how the brain is structured, and why most companies, when they are crafting their marketing message, simply get it the wrong way around because they target their messages to the wrong section of the brain.
Perhaps the perfect example a company targeting the correct section of the brain is Apple. He says of the computer manufacturer, “They’re just a computer company. They’re just like everyone else. They have the same access to the same talent, the same agencies, the same consultants, the same media. Then why is it they seem to have something different?”
According to Simon, the people and companies who get it right are the ones who send their message directly to the limbic brain, by starting with their purpose or values. In other words, their Why. And by doing this, they inspire us to buy their products, or give them our vote, or support their cause.
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