Benefits vs. Features-How to tell the difference?

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This lesson is about “Benefits vs. Features-How to tell the difference?”Master Class 1 Module 3 Lesson 1

HOW DO YOU GET BUYERS INTERESTED?

Does it seem like people are harder to please these days?

• When you start telling people about all the cool things your product does they lose interest…fast….

Where are you going wrong?

PEOPLE CHOOSE BENEFITS OVER FEATURES

Understanding the difference between benefits and features is important because people decide to buy based on benefits.

• Your marketing message will be more effective if it speaks to the benefits a potential customer will receive instead of the features.

THEY BUY RESULTS

Consider, this old marketing adage credited to former Harvard professor Theodore Levitt that “people don’t buy the drill; they buy the hole the drill makes.”

• In other words, people buy the results, not the features of the tool.

OVERVIEW

In this lesson, you’ll improve the quality of your connections with potential customers by listing the valuable benefits and solutions your products or services offer.

• You’ll generate a detailed list of benefits so you can include these in your marketing messages and enhance your branding.

THIS LESSON’S OBJECTIVES

Over the course of this lesson you’ll:

  • List the features of your products and services.
  • Describe how these features provide benefits and solutions to your potential customers.
  • And practice creating some clear messages around the benefits you offer instead of just a list of product features
YOU CAN DO THIS!

Each lesson includes the three styles for adult learners with:

• An Audio File

• A Written Transcript

• And a Practice Guide that gives you “hands-on” training customized to your own business.

WHAT IS A FEATURE?

It’s very common for business owners to struggle with the difference between the features and benefits.

So what is a feature?

  • It could be argued that if business owners care about them, they are probably features.
  • And if customers care about them, they are probably benefits.

Here’s an example:

EXAMPLE: CONVENIENCE STORE

My convenience store is going to be open 24 hours a day.

  • I include that in all my messaging.

It’s important to me because:

• I have to staff the store 24 hours a day.

• I have to worry more about security for both my customers and employees.

• I’ve decided to be open 24 hours a day so I can increase my revenue.

WHO DOES IT MATTER TO?

But as much as I care about being open 24 hours a day, this is a feature of my store, not a benefit.

A benefit would be that customers can buy what they want, when want it because of the 24 hour availability feature.

WHAT DOES IT HAVE OR DO?

A feature is a statement about what the product or service has or does. For example:

• How it works

• What it looks like

• When it’s available

• And technical specifications

FEATURES DO MATTER

A feature will generally not motivate someone to buy.

  • But that doesn’t mean that features aren’t important.

They can still serve an important purpose for helping customers compare the options available for a variety of products or services.

Here’s an example:

EXAMPLE: BACKPACK SELECTION

You sell backpacks and you’ve convinced a potential customer of the benefits of getting a backpack from you.

You may want to include a comparison of features of the various backpacks you offer including:

  • Weight
  • Size
  • Capacity
  • And colors

These features may help narrow the choice of which backpack to buy after a potential customer is convinced of the benefits of purchasing a backpack.

LIST YOUR FEATURES

Go to this lesson’s practice guide and make a list of the features that describe your products or services.

WHAT IS A BENEFIT?

Once you’ve identified some of the features of your product or service, let’s look at the benefits those features provide to potential customers.

WHAT’S IN IT FOR THE CUSTOMER?

What makes a benefit?

The rule of thumb is that a benefit answers the question:

What’s in it for me?” in the mind of a potential customer.

Here’s an example:

EXAMPLE: DIGITAL CAMERA

I sell a digital camera with a feature that is shoots up to 10 megapixels.

What’s in it for the customer?” is that they can capture sharper, more true-to-life memories using this camera.

FOCUS ON GETTING RESULTS

Benefits focus on results that are valued by the customer.

They solve a problem or create an experience in the minds of the buyer.

Let’s look at an example that starts from the customer side:

I WANT TO FEEL CLOSER

The result I want is to feel closer to my grandchildren.

The problem is that they live across the country and I don’t get to see them very often.

They have sent pictures and I want to experience seeing their smiling faces every day when I drink my coffee.

EXAMPLE: PICTURE FRAMES

I go to the local gift store. They have two picture frames for sale:

• The first one talks about how durable the frame is.

• The second frame has pictures of happy families in the spot where my pictures will go and includes a quick hanging hook.

It’s easy for me to select the second frame because it gives the results I care about: Getting closer to my family…quicker.

I don’t care about how durable the frame is in this context.

WHICH MEANS THAT…

Another way to determine benefits is add the phrase “which means that” at the end of each feature.

Here’s an example:

EXAMPLE: GARDENING BOOTS

You sell gardening boots.

The features are that they are made out of durable, waterproof materials.

Apply the phrase “which means that” to capture the benefits.

Here goes:

Our boots are made from durable, waterproof materials which means that your feet stay dry and warm…even in the roughest weather

The benefit to the customer is that their feet are comfortable.

TIME TO MAKE IT REAL!

Go to your practice guide and brainstorm the benefits related to your product or service features.

Look at each feature and then ask yourself:

  • What problem does this feature solve?
  • What is the result of using this feature?
  • This feature means that…

Create 3-4 short clear messages about the benefits to use in your marketing communication.

NEXT LESSON

Now that you’ve practiced differentiating between features and benefits, let’s expand your understanding of benefits in our next lesson: “Solving Problems-What’s in it for me?”

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