Benefits vs. Features and Understanding the Difference and the Role they Play

Whenever you’re starting any kind of marketing campaign understanding the customer is a key component.  Who are you reaching out to? What demographics are you trying to target and all that stuff.  Once you have those things figured out you need to think long and hard about the features and benefits of your product or service.  Now you may ask yourself — aren’t these the same?  Simply put, they are not.  A feature is the physical description of the product or service.  A benefit is a value associated with that product or service.  Here is an example: Dick & Jane’s cookies are round (feature) and they remind you of the warm cookies your mom used to make on a cold winter day (benefit).  See the difference – subtle but an important distinction.

Most businesses are very good about letting the customer know what the features of their product or services are, but combining a feature with a benefit is a one two punch that makes a big difference in how it is perceived by the audience.  With the ever increasing role technology plays in our everyday lives — smart phones have become a staple.  If we look at the Apple iPhone we could share with them that the iPhone screen is 4.7” but it will make them see their favorite apps with such superlative quality it will change their lives forever.  So do you see how this feature combined with a benefit will have a profound impact on the message?

If you are feeling stumped, here are a few questions you should ask yourself:  Will this keep me safe?  Will it make me happy?  Will it make me more attractive?  All these questions you should be asking yourself when thinking how can I market my product or service and the results may even surprise you!  You can even list features and benefits side-by-side and have fun with it.  List what comes to mind and refine it later.  This will give you the best results when you are trying to market your product or service.

You can develop an entire marketing campaign on a benefit and if done successfully it will become part of your brand, and in turn give your product or service an added value.  Value is king when marketing your product or service — the higher the value the higher the price and the better for your bottom-line!  Remember when it comes to features and benefits it is important to understand the difference between them and how to use them to make the most out of your marketing efforts!