Framing Your Message Properly

I recently found myself at the Shoppes at Carlsbad staring at a beautiful, partially-clad young woman.

She was in a 3-foot-wide photograph behind a huge window. Completing the display was a 3-inch-wide picture frame. Given the brand, location, and subject, the presentation should’ve been flawless.

It wasn’t. The top portion of the frame was broken, with half falling over the photograph. This meant that thousands of potential shoppers received an impression of a company that doesn’t quite have its act together, rather than a gorgeous presentation of an upscale brand.

I know it makes me sound crusty to continuously complain about marketing mistakes. One can even try to justify typographical errors and bad graphics.

But this window was broken before it started. Nobody got their fingers on it once the presentation was completed, and it was either right … or not.

This one was not.

So call me cantankerous if you will, but this window was (as they say in Harry Potter’s world) an unforgiveable curse. You simply don’t put a broken presentation out to tout your message. EVER!

Okay, if the presentation was showing a before and after for a picture frame shop, then the broken frame would make sense. However, this store was selling lingerie to well-to-do customers, so the assumption must be that broken picture frame was a mistake.

Mom always told me we get one chance to make a first impression, and this mall’s staff obviously forgot that lesson. Because someone was lazy or rushed, that particular store’s image now needs some repair.

And the subtle message everyone gets from that picture window is that this company is broken. Or that their quality control is lacking. Or that maybe the last 20 years of marketing they’ve done to build up an impression of global quality was misleading.

Think about that: decades investing many millions of dollars to associate this company with expensive quality. Say their name and most people think “sexy” And in a moment they’ve damaged their reputation for countless prospective customers.

It’s something to consider as you’re examining your own marketing materials, and especially when you have a sub-contractor developing materials on your behalf.

Like Ronald Reagan said; “Trust, but verify.” Because there’s nothing sexy about a shoddy marketing display.

With that said, I wish you a week of profitable marketing.

Learn to better frame your marketing at