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Why Frames matter

A frame is a way of seeing that tells you what’s important. It’s a way of ordering the world and making it understandable; it highlights some things and hides others. A company’s frame about how people live will inevitably need to shift over time because culture and behavior are moving targets. We find that they often need to be honed, fleshed-out, and sometimes completely rebuilt to align with real lives.

Reframes can become a lightning rod in a company, leading to a completely new portfolio of products and services or causing a sharp turn in strategic direction. Reframe examples from Point Forward’s work include:

-  By making diapers more like clothing and celebrating the child’s developmental growth, Huggies Pull-ups reframed diapers from “manage bodily waste for babies” to “reduce parents’ anxiety around successful toilet training for toddlers.”

-  Expanding the symbolic meaning of pickup trucks from traditional masculinity (hard work, strength, independence) to include new masculine values (authenticity, flexibility, and helpfulness).

-  Evolving the 12-pack of soft drinks from “easy to purchase at the store” to “easy to consume at home because it fits into the fridge.”