Know-What vs. Know-How

I remember back in the 80s’, ‘Know-How’ was the phrase all major brands (LG, Samsung, Hyundai etc as I grew up in Korea) used to tout as their key selling point for all of their consumer products.

Fast forward 40 years later, we are being told that we live in a knowledge economy. I wondered about that. Unless knowledge in that context is synthesized lived experience enhanced by information, I don’t know how being knowledgeable alone would help anyone in this economy. There seems to be a focus on knowing, but knowing is only half of the success equation.

These days, knowledge is very cheap to obtain. As a result, lots of people have plenty of ‘know-what’. They can talk knowledgeably about so many different subjects. But unless that knowledge is applied in a practical and consistent manner, the success they get from everything they’ve learned may only extend to nods of approval at networking events.

I feel like I need to take all these people obsessed about ‘knowing’ and show them some cheezy TV commercials from the 80s praising the ‘know-hows’ of their respective industries. All jokes on cheezy commercials aside, I cannot count how many times I hear ‘oh, I read that book/article/post — gained knowledge — but I didn’t do anything about that.’

More often than not, doers and practitioners of ‘know-how’ may not be the most knowledgeable people. What they have in abundance is practised practical knowledge from continuously working on their craft (in the broadest possible sense).

If you’re reading this, chances are good that you’re an expert in your field. Even in the areas of branding and marketing, given the vast amount of information freely available online, you’d know enough. If that were to be true, how much of ‘know-what’ versus ‘know-how’ do you have?

If you’re lopsided towards ‘know-what’, it might just be the time to start doing.

What would be one thing you could be doing to increase your know-how in order to help those you seek to serve?




Hi, my name is Songy, your Personal Brand Coach & Photographer. I help you create a brand that represents who you are and what you do so that you can grow your business. I’ve moved well away from thoughts of having the ‘wrong’ personality or being an introvert, and now I’m helping everyone who is not comfortable being visible to become visible and flourish in the marketplace. My clients love my direct, no-nonsense approach, my off-beat sense of humour and my caring nature. Connect with me by signing up to receive my weekly marketing insights and personal branding secrets.

Your face. Your story. Your brand.

A personal brand playbook for professionals

You may also like

Related Posts

Scroll to Top