In a new blog series, we profile unique companies that have created a compelling buzz through innovative techniques. These are the types of companies that energize customers, staff and everyone involved.

Simon (Sinek) say it is all about the why – why do you do what you do?

One company that seems to have the answer to this question is Johnny Cupcakes. If you are not aware of who Johnny Cupcakes is, you might think that the company sells, well, cupcakes.

The intriguing part about Johnny Cupcakes is that the company is much larger than what it sells, which is t-shirts and other basic clothing garments designed by founder Johnny Earl. Johnny began selling his self-made designs out of a suitcase while touring with his band in 2002. His designs were so well received that he had to quit the gig and begin touring full-time.

So what makes Johnny Cupcakes so special?

If you look at the t-shirt designs, your first reaction might very well be like mine: cool, but nothing too special. Beyond that, all Johnny Cupcakes stores are designed to look like a bakery, giving the store a unique flavor. Interesting, but not enough to understand the Johnny Cupcakes phenomenon.

In order to really understand what makes Johnny Cupcakes so adored by its customers, you have to look beneath the surface.

Look at the founder Johnny. He strove to create much more than a t-shirt company. In an interview with Limite Magazine, he talks about his idol, Walt Disney.

“Walt Disney as a person, he created more than a brand, but a whole experience.”

This insight reveals exactly what Johnny strives to do – not create t-shirts, or a brand, but a whole experience for the customer.

Johnny believes in doing what you love. His insights are in such high demand that he has embarked on a wildly popular lecture series across the U.S. He is a self-trained entrepreneur who turned Johnny Cupcakes into the multi-million-dollar brand it is today – and he does it with the help of his mom.

If you watch this video, you will see the adornment of the fans. Many stood contently in line overnight to buy Johnny Cupcakes gear. It is clear from the look on their faces that they are buying much more than a t-shirt. When they put on one of his t-shirts each morning they become inspired to go out and chase their own dreams. How’s that for creating an experience.

As for the why part of the equation, it appears to me that Johnny does it because he loves it and he wants to inspire others to do what they love too.

Sounds great. Next time I get a little hungry for inspiration, it might be time to get myself a Cupcake.

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