Who are you Wearing?

For entertainment buffs like myself, January and February are all about awards season. The New Year welcomes a series of red carpet events including the Golden Globes, SAG Awards, the Grammys and the Oscars. Awards season is a creative showcase for actors, directors and film critics. Watching the drama and excitement unfold as the actors and actresses glide effortlessly down the red carpet in sunny Los Angeles is a welcomed escape from winter days with sub-zero temperatures.

If you are familiar with awards season, you know that there is one question no one who walks the red carpet can escape: “Who are you wearing?” As an audiologist, I started to wonder how the same question might apply to the hearing industry. When it comes to hearing aids, is who you wear just as important as what you wear?

How do consumers decide which companies and products to support when the options seem unlimited? If you are like most, you probably consult with friends, read online reviews, sift through detailed product information and ask for input on social media sites before making your decision.  

Fast and easy access to the Internet affords consumers the luxury of learning about the goods, services and companies they support. Access to consumer satisfaction surveys and product reviews are a click away. The data is available to everyone. It is easy to access from just about anywhere, right at your fingertips on your smartphone or tablet.

As the trend toward accessible information continues, informed consumers seem to want more. For manufacturers, that means consumers want to know more than just what you make, or what you do; they want to know why you do it.

As online research gains popularity, industry analysts have taken notice. One analyst, Simon Sinek, believes, “People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it.”

After spending years examining the differences between average companies and exceptional ones, Sinek found a simple yet consistent pattern. Exceptional leaders and organizations think differently. Inspired organizations think and act from the inside out. It is no longer enough for manufacturers to provide superior products. Companies must be willing to open their doors to reveal why they do what they do.

One company focused on Why is TOMS. Founder Blake Mycoskie designed his business to give back. The company operates under a simple, “One for One” philosophy. For every pair of shoes that is purchased, the company donates another to a person in need. The company that started with humble beginnings and a simple philosophy has grown tremendously since it began in 2006. In only nine years, TOMS has given more than 35 million pairs of new shoes away to children in need.

As I opened my browser to read more about the humanitarian company, I was struck by what I found. The website greeted me with a quick one question survey asking simply if I agreed with the following statement, “I love companies that give back and use business to improve lives.” Of course I agree. Imagine for a minute how making the conscious choice to support businesses that share your Why could change the world.

At Starkey Hearing Technologies, answering our Why is easy. Our founder and CEO William F. Austin began the Starkey Hearing Foundation in 1984. The Foundation brings the gift of hearing to those in need here in the United States and around the world. The work of the Foundation is supported by sponsors, hearing healthcare professionals and the consumers who purchase and wear our hearing aids. A portion of each product sold by Starkey Hearing Technologies is donated to the Starkey Hearing Foundation to help people around the world receive the gift of hearing. To date, the Starkey Hearing Foundation has given over 1 million hearing aids to those in need around the world.

If you would like additional information on how you can help support the work of the Starkey Hearing Foundation you can learn more here

By Beth McCormick