On last week’s finger lickin’ Frost Advisory I pontificated how it’s tempting to think that what we do defines who we are.  The carpenter is defined by his hammer; the accountant by his calculator, the radio station by its 40 minute music sweeps, and the semi-professional public address announcer by his ever so manly voice.

Simon Sinek suggests…

“People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it, and what you do serves as tangible proof of why you do it.”

Counter-intuitive perhaps, but let’s dig deeper.

“Those products and brands make us feel like we belong and we feel a kinship with others who buy the same things… Apple didn’t invent the lifestyle, nor does it sell a lifestyle.  Apple is simply one of the brands that those who live a certainly lifestyle are drawn to…”

That’s why remarkable radio stations like Z88.3 in Orlando and KSBJ in Houston can change their programming significantly during events like the recent hurricanes and not only have it make sense but even deepen the relationship with their listeners.  Z88.3 and KSBJ had firmly established their WHY.

However, “when an organization defines itself by WHAT it does, that’s all it will ever be able to do.”

That’s why KFC can’t make pizza, Bic can’t make disposable underwear, and Hooters can’t have an airline.  (Just threw in a little sex to see if you were paying attention).

So, here’s the practical workshop for your station:

What in your listener’s lifestyle draws her to your station?  (And this can’t be about you.)

“Products are not just symbols of what the (station) believes, they also serve as symbols of what loyal (listeners) believe.”

What does she believe?  (And this can’t be about you.)

Remember, in our format more than any other…

“It is the lifestyle that came first.”