Forget the features – your customers are only interested in the benefits!

Fuel Marketing Blog ImageI spend a lot of time reading my clients’ marketing collateral including brochures, adverts, flyers and websites and sometimes I’m shocked by just how much of their copy is dedicated to talking about the features of their product/service, rather than the benefits.

What is a benefit?

Before I continue, let’s just establish the difference. A feature is simply a characteristic of a product or service. Whilst a benefit explains what the customer has to gain by using the product or service. If you are unsure whether your copy is focusing on the right thing and want some help, a handy trick you can use is to add the phrase “which means or so what” to the end of each feature.

To illustrate this, here are some great examples of features and benefits of a 4x4 vehicle.

  • Feature - Four wheel drive
  • Benefit - You are less likely to  get stuck in the snow
  • Feature - More miles per litre than competitors
  • Benefit  - You’ll save money on  fuel
  • Feature - Side-impact bars and 6 airbags
  • Benefit - Your family will be safe in an accident

Forget the owner’s manual

And from my point of view as a marketing consultant, marketing with features not only fails to provide the information your target audience really needs to make an informed choice, but it is also boring and in some cases even off-putting. Essentially I like to think that marketing with features is like making your target audience do all the work to figure out how your product or service will benefit them (rather like reading an owner’s manual). When your prospects have to work at making a buying decision, your conversion rates will be low.

Answer your customer’s questions

But you can avoid this problem altogether, and market with benefits instead! When you market with benefits instead of features, you answer your customers’ biggest questions, “So what?” and “What’s in it for me?” Below is a list of some common benefits. Think about your product/service and see whether any of the following would work for you?

  • Saves you money
  • Makes you more money
  • Saves you time
  • Reduces effort
  • Makes things faster
  • Eliminates fear
  • Grows their business
  • Is more convenient
  • Reduces stress
  • Increases confidence
  • Creates more opportunities
  • Makes you feel smarter
  • Positions you as an expert
  • Provides more freedom
  • Eliminates frustration or struggle

Now, I’m not saying that you should stop caring about features. You have to know and be able to state the features of your product or service before you can know and be able to state the benefits.

What problems will your product or service solve?

What I am saying is that as you plan your marketing and write your sales copy, you have to be able to state benefits in terms that entice your customers with all the problems your product or service is going to solve. Remember, always focus on benefits. Show customers how your product solves their problems or makes their lives better and they’ll line up to buy from you. 

For help in establishing your product or service’s features and benefits or for any other marketing help and support, contact Vicky at Fuel on 07766 566690 or email vicky@fuelmarketing.co.uk