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The Before and After Positioning Trick

Monday 21st February 2022

When working with clients, particularly app developers, I often talk about creating an effective "frame of reference" for customers to relate to. Sometimes all a potential customer needs is a way to interpret what we're trying to tell them. In other words, how can we give them a reference point that will, hopefully, generate that ah-ha moment of clarity about how you can help.

We can sling great copy all over our site, but sometimes you just need to hit someone, metaphorically, in the face with something clean and simple. One of the most effective ways to create a "frame of reference" is the before and after example.

Put simply, you highlight how life was "before" your product or service and right next to it showcase the transformation that happens "after" your product or service is used.

Here's a simple example for a fictitious Shopify app that automates sending orders to multiple vendors.


  • A team member needs to create individual spreadsheets for each vendor and email them personally at the close of business
  • The manual process leaves a lot of room for human error, which causes increases in returns
  • A team member has to consistently work late to ship the order sheets out in time for next day dispatch


  • Each vendor automatically receives their list of automatically generated orders at midnight
  • Using the app massively reduces the opportunity for human errors to be made
  • Team members no longer have to work overtime resulting in reduced labour costs and happier employees

You can equally apply this to a service your agency offers. It won't work for every occasion but is a nice and simple option to keep in the toolbox.

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