In our previous post, we introduced the power of framing communication– spinning your messaging to make it more effective and relevant for the specific audience you’re targeting. Since our frame of reference dictates what we pay attention to, how we feel, and what actions we take, controlling how you frame your communication will control your customers’ subsequent experience.  Now we’re discussing the follow through on pre-framing with reframing.

Ideally, you want to set the stage by pre-framing your communication with customers: anticipating and re-working their perception of your brand to facilitate the best possible experience.

But there are going to be times when you will find yourself on the defense or in a position where you have to re-frame the focus of your communication from a negative to a positive.

Look at This Way

Re-framing is the art of changing someone’s perspective by attaching a different meaning to an object or situation, usually with the aim of getting them to adopt your point of view. This can be an incredibly effective marketing technique to distinguish your product or services from the competition or transform a seeming liability into an asset.

Let’s say, for example, that you’re promoting a new line of athletic running tights. You’ve chosen the color blue as a way to stand out from other brands, even though black is still the preferred color. You know your target audience consists of young to middle-aged, fit women who value fashion and style as much as quality and function. So how do you re-frame the color blue as a desired attribute when most women still prefer the versatility and slimming effect of black leggings?

One way would be to re-frame the more popular color black as “status quo and mediocre.” You could create an ad with a woman leading the pack- her strong legs dressed in blue whizzing by a sea of black limbs, thus inspiring a sense of strength and beauty through individuality.

You can also use re-framing to avoid directly competing with a company that might have a perceived advantage over you, shifting the focus to your strengths. For example, if your main competitor has been around for decades and offers a lower rate for their services, you could commend them for finding a formula that works for a certain population. Then you launch into how your approach was created for a select clientele who desire a highly-skilled, personalized experience using cutting edge technology.

The Art of Persuasion

The concept of re-framing may seem simple, but just like any communication technique, it requires skill and a bit of finesse. You have to be confident and knowledgeable about what you are selling. And above all, you have to establish trust and rapport with your customers, which requires a clear understanding of their needs, desires, and motivating factors.

Join us in our upcoming blog post for more ways to master communication with the framing effect.

“Powerful and elegant reframing occurs when we reclassify a piece of behavior, experience, or emotion in such a way that it makes even more sense, and leads to much more effective thinking, feeling, and acting.”

                                                                                                                                           – Greg Woodley  


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