Finding Your Why

Branding Begins with WHY

Branding your business is a complex process no matter what your business does. Since its meteoric rise in popularity, CrossFit affiliates now have the additional branding challenge of setting themselves apart from the dozens or even hundreds of other boxes in their area. The good news is that your box IS different - there is undoubtedly something you are doing, a specialty, approach or trainer that sets you apart, or at least there will be. Figuring out your "Why" first will help you define those differences and is a critical first step to successfully branding your business and setting yourself apart.

What's Your Why?

The idea of starting your branding discussions with why, then how, then what was laid out in the popular book, Start With Why by Simon Sinek, but even before this book, many branding and marketing specialists were essentially using this method.

Without knowing why you exist, it’s hard to convince other people to get on board. Having a strong answer to why you’re here and being able to explain that answer confidently to potential clients will go a long way in drawing people in and feeling comfortable. You must become your biggest advocate and fan.

The answer to your why will then drive everything else, from your logo to your website copy to how you interact with your followers on social media. A “start with why” intro may sound something like this:

We believe in pushing the limits of human potential. We do this through building community and high-intensity training at our CrossFit Gym.

“Pushing the limits of human potential” is the why; “through building community” is the how and “our CrossFit Gym” is the what.


What to do with your Why

Once you have your why answer figured out, it should be referenced during every decision you make as a brand. Does the logo align with your why by visually representing the limits of human potential and the importance of community? Does your social media presence align with your why by way of Instagram, Facebook or Twitter posts that support and inspire people to push their limits by building community? Your why statement becomes the cornerstone of your box and should be used liberally in your branding so you, your team and your clientele never forget why they’re there.

CrossFit's Why 

Although your specific box is going to have its own unique why statement, it’s important to keep the overall "CrossFit Why" in mind when defining your own.

“Forging Elite Fitness” is by nature an exclusive practice that is not for the faint of heart. In today’s a-gym-on-every-street-corner fitness world, exclusivity is often looked down on, but in intense physical fitness circles, it’s not just OK, it’s absolutely necessary. CrossFit as a brand, and your box specifically, is not going to be for everyone and that’s fine. You are better off focusing on your perfect client than watering down your why to meet everyone’s needs. (We will talk more about your “muse member” in future blog posts, so keep checking back!)

A Why Case Study: Ark Elements

Ark Elements is a paleo food delivery service in Portland, Oregon. We began working with Ark before they even had a name. The first step was to establish their why:

To explore true health and move humanity towards a more sustainable way of living.

This statement led us to their name, visual brand, the copy for their website and other marketing collateral, and it continues to inspire their Instagram feed and how they interact with their followers. The why helped to answer so many other secondary and tertiary questions. Always start with why.

Learn More About Why

If you’d like to learn more about the Start With Why process, please take the time to visit some of the links below for videos, website and articles on the process:

Simon Sinek’s Ted Talk on starting with Why

Do You Know Your Why? by Scott Scanlon