| Newsroom

Improve the Stickability of Your Message with Framing

Like a picture frame makes an image stand out for the viewer, framing a message makes communication stand out for the receiver.

Whether introducing a new service, selling a product or delivering a presentation, your message will be more receptive if it is framed in a way that makes it more acceptable to the audience.

Marketing legend Seth Godin says marketing is most effective ‘when you talk to a group that shares a worldview and also talks about it’1.

It’s not easy to change people’s attitudes and behaviours.

This is because when confronted with a new idea, a person will interpret it through the filters of their values and beliefs, and in the context of their experiences.

If the idea matches their worldview, the message is more likely to take hold. This is because people are more receptive to a message if it validates their existing perspective.

While individuals have their own specific beliefs and values, Godin says that there is a nearly universal worldview that people like to be in sync with their peers.

This is consistent with influence expert Dr Robert Cialdini’s law of social proof (one of the six laws of influence) — the notion that people will do what they see others doing because they feel validated and safe2.

In their book ‘The Small Big’3, influence experts Steve Martin, Noah Goldstein and Robert Cialdini provide further evidence of this behaviour, demonstrating that the effectiveness of a proposition or request can be significantly improved by making a small shift in your message that similar others are already behaving in desirable ways.

The following are some useful frames to consider when developing a key message for your next marketing campaign, project launch, coaching conversation or any other communication.

Values/beliefs frame – frame an idea by attaching it to a pre-existing value or belief.

If, for example, you want to promote a new child care centre, frame the message in a way that appeals to the target markets’ worldview about preferences for children’s play, learning and nutrition.

Timeline frame – frame an idea by linking the past, present and future.

This style of framing is particularly effective when providing context to a decision, project or issue.

For instance, by explaining how the past circumstances have led to the current challenges and what is being done to improve the situation for the future.

Middling frame – frame an idea in the context of a spectrum of choices, with the middle choice being the desired, plausible option.

This style of framing is effective when offering a choice of different services or programs, for example.

Framing your message will increase its resonance and enhance the outcome of your marketing activities.


1Godin, S. All Marketers Tell Stories, Portfolio/Penguin, 2009.

2Cialdini, R. Influence – The Psychology of Persuasion, HarperCollins, 2007.

3Martin, S., Goldstein, N.J and Cialdini R. The Small Big, Profile Books, 2015.


©Ros Weadman 2024    If you would like help crafting your personal brand vision, contact Ros Weadman at www.rosweadman.com.