Change time frames to increase value


I like discussing marketing that I see out in the wild. It’s helpful to train myself to see what other marketers are doing, so I can constantly get new ideas and improve.

I especially like learning from examples because it makes abstract concepts a lot more concrete.

This little box that I’m holding here at Target provides an excellent lesson in framing an offer. What do you want people to compare you to? What do you want them to focus on? How do you want to shift their thinking so that the only way to solve their problem is to buy your product?

There’s not much messaging on this box. It’s pretty minimal, which focuses your attention on the killer line of messaging at the bottom.

That’s right, this product removes 14 years of stains

Here’s how the customer usually views teeth whitening kits, and how their view changes with this new messaging.

Before: “My teeth are decently white now, but they could be whiter. I used a whitening kit last year, and my teeth have gotten a little stained since then. I spent $25 on that kit - shouldn’t the results last longer than this?”

After: “Wow, I could remove 14 years of stains with this product. All the built up stains over the years have made my teeth less white. If I could use this for one week and undo over a decade of damage, this is totally worth it.”

All of a sudden, $25 is a steal. 

Now you might be thinking, “Yeah it’s compelling. But how is this special? Wouldn’t all marketers use this messaging?”

Actually no.

Here is the messaging that most teeth whitening strips use and what Crest probably used before their new smarter messaging. 

Below is real copy from Rembrandt and Walgreen’s brand whitening strips:

Enamel safe whitening in 2 weeks

Noticeably whitens tough surface stains like coffee and wine

Protects against the build-up of future stains

No mess Dry Touch wraps

Once a day formula

Visibly whiter teeth in 3 days

Enamel safe

Blah, blah, blah. All of these are standard features and benefits. 

Crest Whitestrips completely skips past all of this. They don’t even play this features game that everyone is scrambling to offer.

Instead, they used one simple, powerful line to frame the offer.

They change the customer’s evaluation of the product timeline from 1 year (or whenever they last whitened their teeth) to 14 years. The value of the product suddenly expands and the cost seems small by comparison.

By framing your offer differently, you can completely change what a customer thinks about when they are evaluating your product. Powerful tool.