SME Assistance

What’s the difference between Features and Benefits?

If you’re not careful in creating your marketing copy, you may inadvertently end up with features laden descriptions of your products or services. This can be unfortunate, in that most clients and customers will base buying decisions on the benefits they perceive the product or service to provide, not its features. Most of us have been well-trained in telling people what they’ll get when they buy a product/service…how ‘it’ works…not what it means to them to buy it…what ‘it’ will give them if they own ‘it.’

Think of the feature as the description and the benefit as the result. Then re- write your feature statements into benefit statements. You’ll save prospective buyers the trouble of trying to do it themselves…which they generally won’t.

Consider the following example pairings of feature and benefit statements:

Feature: We’re open until 10 every night.
Benefit: Because we’re open late every night, you can shop at your convenience and don’t have to take time off work

Feature: Our day care center provides age-appropriate stimulation
Benefit: Because your child will be stimulated using age-rated activities and certified daycare workers, their mental development will be accelerated. We care about your child’s progress.

Feature: We use only high quality woods and adhesives in building our furniture.
Benefit: Because we use only the best in making our custom furniture…your purchase will be a one-time, long-term investment that’ll outlast you.

Feature: Our bookstore features comfortable chairs throughout the store 
Benefit: Because we provide comfortable chairs throughout our bookstore, you can relax and read snippets before you buy the book. Know what you’re buying and you’ll enjoy your investment that much more.

Feature: I have over 20 years experience selling houses in the neighbourhood 
Benefit: Because I have over 20 years experience selling homes in your neighbourhood, your house will be sold quickly, for the highest amount possible, letting you focus on other important things. Let me take the stress out of selling your home.

If you don’t believe in the power of ‘benefit-selling,” re-read the five feature statements above; then compare them to the five benefit statements. Which one in each case stirred or compelled you more?