Reframe the Value

 -  3 min read

Think of that apartment you saw on Craigslist. The one with the cozy bedroom/living space and the charming kitchen that’s just steps to public transit. It all seemed so positive at first, but you’ve been around the block a few times, so you know exactly what it all means: a miniscule studio with a galley kitchen that is nowhere near a train line.

The person listing that apartment, they of the slightly dodgy intentions, was attempting to reframe the value around that living space. And for a while, for apartments, these reframing tactics surely worked. But today those buzzwords scream out like dog whistles, telling the discerning renter to stay far, far away.

We can most certainly reframe the value in a positive manner. There’s value to reframing the value, as it forces people to consider something from a completely new angle—and often changes their mind about that thing in the process.

Finland doesn’t get a lot press, positive or negative. One thing it’s known for is having the world’s coldest capital, Helsinki. The city recently ran a tongue-in-cheek reframing campaign calling Helsinki a service platform in an effort to attract top international tech talent. Instead of a population, Helsinki has “over 640,000 daily users.” The mayor is referred to as the “CEO.” Anyone considering using the platform (i.e., visiting the city) is urged to sign up for a “demo.”

It’s a surprising turn from a city best known for its oppressive lack of sunlight during winter (that’s a “carefully considered feature” according to the campaign, not a bug). It turns a traditional marketing campaign on its head. It’s lighthearted, playful, and does two crucial things: It never loses sight of its target audience (tech professionals) and it doesn’t tell white lies (we’re all in on the joke—unlike in that apartment posting).

Surprise is good for people. It stops us in our tracks and forces us to shift our perspective of something. Reframing the value of something is a simple way to do this. Consider your target audience and craft a campaign that reframes the value of what you offer. Insider language will help to establish that we’re all on the same page—and all on the level. Unlike those deceitful apartment listers.

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