So, your buyer has become aware of his/her need/want/problem. They've been talking with their friends, looking for expert advice, and generally socializing their need.
As they process all of that information, they hone in on the mechanism that will make or break your ability to get through to them. That device is the problem frame.
Narrowing Down the Possibilities
For many needs/wants/problems, there are a variety of ways that each can be satisfied.
Let's take the example of a United States buyer who needs to replace his/her car. To start, he/she has 10 U.S. brands to choose from. Each of these brands offers numerous product lines. Each product in the line has plenty of different configurations. And this is before you add the 9 international car manufacturers with their product lines and configurations.
To keep the selection process manageable, buyers frame their need. That frame is their way of narrowing down the world of solutions to a smaller set.
How buyers narrow down that set of possibilities - frame - is critically important to you.
Frames define the scope of the buyer's solution search.
So, You Want to be Included
In selecting their frame, your product will either be included or excluded for consideration by the buyer.
In our car example above, say the buyer frames his/her need as
I want to buy a new Toyota.
If you are GM, what is the chance that you are going to get the time of day from the prospect while in his/her buying process? Close to zero unless something unexpected happens to cause the buyer to revisit his/her frame.
Unexpected things do happen. Look at the runaway car issues Toyota recently has faced. But can you really count on a major gaff by a competitor to give you entrée into the buyer's process? To put it another way, if you are GM, you would have to wait another 40 years before that will happen again.
How Do You Ensure Visibility
So, if being included in the buyer's frame is so important, how can you ensure that your product is included in the buyer's frame?
Help the buyer frame their need.
This takes us back to the awareness stage in the buyer's process. In order to help the buyer frame their need, your product needs to be found in at least one of the places the buyer is going to use to socialize their need.
You want to be the leading source of information about the buyer's need. You want to become the trusted advisor. You want to subtly help the buyer choose a frame that will include your product.
Car manufacturers spend millions of dollars a year creating frames. They do it with branding. Think of Volvo. Safety comes to mind. Think of BMW. Ultimate driving experience comes to mind. Because of the myriad of car options available in the marketplace, car manufacturers invest in branding to align with framed needs.
Not all of us have thousands to invest in our brand. But in this Internet age, you don't necessarily need to.
What you do need to do is ensure that your products can be found. Once found, you need to be the best at helping the buyer understand the way to frame his/her need.