Science of People - Logo

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter

Why do you buy things? Because you like them? Because you need them?

I would argue that you buy things that appeal to you. And this happens because of marketing, branding and priming.

Let’s take an incredible example: Manuka honey. Manuka honey is 8X more expensive than the typical “honey bear” honey. Why?

There must be some catch. Actually, there is no catch, but there is some clever marketing at play.

In this article I’m going to explain why Manuka honey has been so successful selling at such a high price point. Then I’m going to take it one step further and explain how you can apply these principles in your business ventures, and in your personal life as well!

Buying First Impressions

Manuka’s marketing is all about the first impression. This is about unique packaging and presentation. With consumer goods, so much of the purchasing decision happens right on the spot. So let’s evaluate what you might think when you first see the different honey brands.

First, the famous honey bear. This product comes in a fun, cute, bear-shaped package. It is simple and fun, and represents what honey is to a lot of people—a sweet treat that they can put on sandwiches, crackers, baked goods, or whatever they like!

Normal honey brand billybee from the grocery store

The Manuka honey jar, on the other hand, almost doesn’t look like food at all. What do you think it looks like?

The Manuka honey jar, which looks like a medicine container

It kind of looks like a pill jar, right? It looks scientific. Even the label is plastered with scientific jargon. Then, there’s a picture of a flower that makes it look natural, and it’s covered in reassuring phrases like “pure,” “health,” and “100%.”

All of this makes you associate this product not with honey, but with medicine. And guess what, that’s exactly what Manuka wants. Manuka isn’t going for the typical “honey-as-a-sweet-treat” angle (like the honey bear). They’re marketing it as an all-natural cure, and the reason is quite simple: people will pay a lot more for medicine than they will for a treat!


Framing is a marketing technique where a product’s presentation influences how that product is perceived. Manuka is framing their honey as a cure. Their marketing message is that their honey is beneficial for allergies, acne, and wounds, and they are illustrating that by packaging their honey in a way you would typically associate with medicine. 

Framing teaches people how to treat you and your product or service.

Manuka is showing you how they want you to see, treat, and use their product. They have a plan for their product, and they are going after consumers who will respond to that plan. This framing allows them to show people exactly how they are supposed to treat Manuka honey—like medicine which should be savored—and the result is that the consumer is willing to pay more.

Price Anchoring/Placement

Another clever way that Manuka increases their product’s perceived value is with its in-store placement. 

Manuka doesn’t put their honey in the condiment section of the grocery store. They don’t want it to be a condiment, because a condiment is a side dish to a bigger meal. Instead, they put it in the “allergy” section, next to all the expensive allergy medications. This achieves what is called price anchoring.

Price anchoring is when you establish a price point for a certain product, which then becomes the consumer’s expectation of what they are willing to pay for that product. Manuka honey may look expensive next to a mustard bottle, but next to allergy medicine, it’s a cheap alternative!

There is simply too much information in a typical grocery store for us to process it all. We don’t know exactly what every product is supposed to cost, so a lot of our decision- making is based on these mini -comparisons for almost everything we buy. 

Consumer Behavior

As a result of the techniques I mentioned above, Manuka honey purchasers treat this honey differently. They savor it, and they treat it more as a medicine than a treat. Their behavior shows you exactly how successful Manuka has been in their framing. 

They want consumers to think of their product as a medicine, and it works.


How can you use this marketing technique?

Here’s your takeaway:

No matter what you are selling, you need to show people how you want them to treat you or your product. You can use framing in many aspects of your life—in business, in selling, and even in your personal life.

Let’s look at how we can take advantage of this marketing technique in various settings.

In Business

If you’re an entrepreneur, signal to your audience how they should see your product. Draw similarities for them. If you want your customers or clients to treat your product like a comparable brand, then emulate what that brand does. 

If you don’t make these comparisons for people, then they’re going to make their own comparisons. Focus on simplifying their choices and using your packaging and your presentation to show them why your product or service demands their consideration. 

In Your Personal Life

You can use this technique to solve a problem in your personal and social life too! If you want to be treated well, dress well, and show up to events where people you respect show up.

Show people how they should treat you. 

If you want that promotion, dress like someone who already has it. Step up your game.

In your personal life, if you want a serious relationship, ditch the bars and nightclubs and go to places like museums, classes, or conferences.  

The key benefit here is that you are telling people how to treat you. If you respect yourself, you command that respect in return. 


I started this article by showing you why Manuka honey’s marketing strategy has been so successful, but the real lesson here is far deeper than that. 

You can take these lessons in marketing framing and apply them to almost anything,. wWhether it be your business, your networking, or even your personal life. You know what you want, and you know how you should be treated, so show that to people. No one can read your mind, so you may as well make it easy for them! 

If you want to check out even more on this topic, I have other “Why You Like It” videos that you can watch on  my YouTube Channel!  

How to Deal with Difficult People at Work

Do you have a difficult boss? Colleague? Client? Learn how to transform your difficult relationship.
I’ll show you my science-based approach to building a strong, productive relationship with even the most difficult people.

Get our latest insights and advice delivered to your inbox.

It’s a privilege to be in your inbox. We promise only to send the good stuff.

Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.