Have you been framed?

Is it ok to smoke while praying? You would probably so 'no'. So is it ok to pray while smoking? Almost everyone would say it is ok to pray while enjoying a cigarette. Why do we see one as bad and one as ok when it's the same two simultaneous acts being performed? The two questions have been framed to affect your perception of what is happening.

How we frame a question, or even a request can dramatically affect the perception of an event, and therefore change the opinion of or recollection of it. Sometimes even a single word can alter the perception.

Politicians will frame their latest policy to sound like the perfect answer to everything, yet the opposition will frame it as a disaster that benefits no-one.

Marketers use framing to posit thoughts and feelings in the customer's mind and emotions. Using words like 'luxurious' instead of 'expensive' and 'economical' in place of 'cheap' reframes the product price tag as a benefit, not a burden. Diet products suggest a 'healthier, happier you', gyms will talk about 'the ultimate way to achieving your fitness goals', and insurance products will promise 'guaranteed peace of mind'.

The now infamous Brexit Bus slogan said that 'we send the EU £350 million a week - let's fund the NHS instead'. It never said that we would give that £350 million to the NHS it merely suggested it by how it was framed, and yet it was widely perceived that the NHS would be the recipient of a vast amount of money if we voted to leave.

Framing is a powerful technique that can be used to influence customer perception and behaviour. Words can create a positive association in the minds of customers and help them to decide whether to purchase or not.

Words matter. Use them wisely. Have you been framed?

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