Change your lens

How reframing questions can help your business connect better with your core customers on a psycho-logical level and solve problems differently

We tend to think we know the reason we do the things we do, we think we are quite rational and logical in our decision making, however, as Rory Sutherland outlines in his book Alchemy: the surprising power of ideas that don’t make sense what we are actually doing, is making psycho-logical decisions.

Psycho-logical decisions are those that are primarily mental or emotional, and not in fact based on typical logic at all. By changing our lens on problem solving, we are able to look at psycho-logical solutions that appeal to our audience and business offering.

Pretend you are a painter or photographer, looking at a scene to capture. You may choose to shift your gaze around to capture a different angle or impression. This can change the message, the scene, the meaning entirely, just by looking from a different perspective.

This process is also an important part of agile brand strategy. Marty Neumeier discusses this in his book, Scramble. We look at an assumption from a reversed position, which allows a change in perspective and possibly, a creative business solution.

Recently, when conducting a discovery workshop, a client outlined the assumption that the building industry held about Architects. That  being, Architects are “stuffy and impractical”. My client wanted to work closely with the building industry as they were pivoting the company. If we were to reverse this assumption, we could say Architects are “open-minded and considered in their decision making”. The task then would be to establish ways we can demonstrate this through our brand communications. We might choose to develop key branding assets that reflect this message.

As Sutherland outlines in his book, Uber looked at their customers pain points from a different perspective. They knew people were still going to have to get from point A to point B, however asked the questions, what could support Uber customers decision to use them over a traditional cab? Uber looked at what frustrated users most, the waiting. Everyone despises the wait time for a cab, the uncertainty that is coupled with waiting. Uber developed a map feature in the app which gave control over the wait time. It didn’t change the wait time, but it did help people feel more in control and thus, more likely to use Uber over the traditional cab competitor.

Your exercise:

  1. Think of your core customers main “pain point”. Is it an assumption about your business, your industry, your profession?
  2. Write it down.
  3. Now flip it around. Reverse the assumption, change it around to think of it from a different perspective, in a different light, using a different lens. Brainstorm all the ideas that come from this.
  4. Do you have a new angle you can build on and work with?

Reframing the problem helps to dig deeper into why you are doing the thing in the first place.

Photo by Joel Fulgencio on Unsplash

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