Features and benefits: People tend to talk about that as if it’s easy. It’s not. But it’s super-important. When you really reach the benefits, you’re really reaching the customer and distinguishing yourself from all the poor marketing out there.
Here are some tips to find the benefits, and a link to a really great — and free — book.
But the very first thing I want you to know is:
Writing benefits is hard!
Even with years of practice, I have to ask myself if what I just wrote is truly a customer benefit. Often, it’s a feature masquerading as a benefit.
A feature is what it does and how well it does it. A benefit is why the feature matters — how it solves the customer’s problem or delights the customer. Benefits are “what’s in it for me?”
The reason it’s hard is that we think we are logical and sensible, that we want features. But we don’t — features tell but invariably, benefits sell.
How to find the benefits
A great way to find the benefit is to ask:
When you’re looking at a feature or benefit, ask, from the user’s perspective, “So what?” Why does the customer care? Then when you answer the “so what” question, ask it again. Continue until there is no answer.
You have a portable medical gadget and the product manager tells you it uses less power than any other. Here’s the dialog:
Feature: Lower power
Uses less battery
You have to charge less often
Goes all day without recharging!
This time, you have a portable exercise monitor. Again, the product manager tells you it uses less power than any other. But the dialog goes differently:
Uses less battery
Batteries are smaller
Our exercise monitor fits in your shirt pocket — you will forget it’s there!
Same feature, different context means different benefits
Notice how the same feature might be a completely different benefit. In all cases, benefits are what connect with customers.
Writing with benefits is not easy and for most of us, not automatic. It’s a discipline. Want to master it? Here’s a quick read:
and download the free book, “Write Benefits to Seduce Buyers” offered there.
It’s an easy read, just a dozen pages, and it will make you a better marketing writer. Your writing reach customers better and need less editing. That will make you and your team more productive. (See what I did there?)