The Importance of Features and Benefits

When it comes to marketing a product or service, there is quite a difference between Features and Benefits. “Features tell and Benefits sell” is a slogan that is often heard from marketing professionals.

Features Tell, Benefits Sell

Features refer to the characteristics that your product or service has or does. For a cell phone features might include size of the screen, storage capacity or a rear camera.

Benefits are the reasons customers buy the product or service. The cell phone storage capacity might have a benefit of a large number of videos or pictures that can be stored. While Features contain unemotional facts, Benefits can establish an emotional connection with your customers that motivate them to take action. Benefits tell your customers “what’s in it for them.”

The uniqueness of a product or service can set it apart from the competition. Given that Benefits are ultimately more important to your customers than features, it is imperative that the benefits of your products or services are well understood, and communicated throughout all of your promotional efforts.

Many business owners make the mistake of providing a long list of features while ignoring the benefits. By describing features instead of benefits, customers may not make the emotional connection of why they should buy.

Translating Features into Benefits

I like to examine each one of the product features and translate them into benefits. To do this I take a sheet of paper and draw a line down the middle. On the Left side I list all of the features I can think of, and on the right side I write out how that feature benefits the customer. Remember to think about “What’s in it for me?”

Think of following as you determine your benefits.

• This (product or service) helps my customer do what? (Benefit goes here)
• What this means to my customer is? (Benefit goes here)

Understanding that customers buy Benefits, it may be time to review your marketing materials and website to see how well your Benefits are being communicated. Examine your list of Features and Benefits, and you might just find one that can that can set up apart from your competition.

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