Discovering your why when marketing your business should always be step one. It’s the foundation upon which you can build your entire brand—because people don’t create a business without a reason. They create a business because they are passionate about providing something to their audience or solving a problem. This is especially important for your marketing strategy because when you fully understand what drives you and your company, you can explain it to others. Marketing is primarily storytelling, and you need a story to share with your audience. So, when you’re discovering your why, especially as you inform your marketing direction, where do you start? If you’re a bibliophile, we recommend these five books to find the true drive behind your company’s efforts. For the nonprofit organizations that live on fundraising, your why is essential. People give their time and their money because they feel good about where those resources are going, and they want to make a difference. By discovering the heart of your organization and telling that story in the strongest way possible, you can insight passion in others and boost your fundraising goals. In Steven Shattuck’s book, Robots Make Bad Fundraisers: How Nonprofits Can Maintain the Heart in the Digital Age, he ventures to answer an important question: Has technology actually gotten in the way of building a personal connection with our supporters? He would argue that, yes, the more digital our world becomes, the less our hearts are in it, and the further we stray from our purpose. We rely on these technologies to fuel our growth, but, in reality, they are allowing us to lose focus, and we aren’t telling the passionate story of purpose these organizations were founded on. This nonprofit-focused marketing book actually has an interesting lesson to teach us all, even in the for-profit sector—how to keep the donors you have, inspire new donors to give, and maintain your team members’ sanity. A business’s purpose always circles back around to the most important person: the customer. We build these businesses because we want to help our audience overcome a challenge or feel a certain way. It’s only right, then, that we keep our customer at the heart of the brand story. Miri Rodriguez’s book, Brand Storytelling: Put Customers at the Heart of Your Brand Story, helps us do just that. Rodriguez guides the reader to use storytelling to trigger the emotions that humans are driven by. She explains how to analyze, pull apart, and rebuild your brand’s story in a way that focuses the business as the “sidekick,” putting the control in the customer’s hands, allowing them to be the key influencer. “Great marketers don’t use consumers to solve their company’s problem; they use marketing to solve other people’s problems,” says Seth Goldin, Author of This is Marketing: You Can’t Be Seen Until You Learn To See. This book description could stop here, as that’s the perfect way to describe what it means to discover the reason behind why you do what you do. Goldin draws upon his many years in marketing to explain how marketers can make the world a better place through powerful marketing elements: empathy, generosity, and emotional labor. He walks the reader through identifying their viable audience, drawing on the signals to position their offering, building trust, telling a meaningful story, and giving people what they need to achieve their goals. At the end of the day, that’s what it’s all about. Right? Does your message matter if your audience isn’t listening? In his book Building a StoryBrand: Clarify Your Message So Customers Will Listen, author Donald Miller shares his method for connecting with customers—helping them understand the benefits of using a brand’s products, ideas, or services. By simplifying your brand message, your audience will grasp it more quickly and be motivated to move forward. Miller helps readers do this through seven universal story points that all humans respond to. When building our messages, we must keep our messages clear and engaging. And where does that message begin? You guessed it: your why. Your understanding of your purpose allows you to build a clear message. Miller can help you get there. We search for our why because we want to matter to our customers. That moment when you think, “I have this great service. Why is no one taking advantage of it?” It’s because you know how great it is, and your audience doesn’t. In her book, Marketing: A Love Story: How to Matter to Your Customers, Bernadette Jiwa explains that we “have no shortage of ideas, but we struggle to tell the story of how they are going to be useful in the world.” We couldn’t agree more. By posing a series of thought-provoking questions, Jiwa helps the reader dive into what about their brand will resonate and how to craft a message that will matter. Are you looking to take your marketing to the next level? Contact Green Apple Strategy today to schedule a consultation.