When you are writing the content for your website, blog or sales page, understanding the difference between a feature and a benefits really matters. That’s because benefits sell whilst features tell.
So what’s the difference between a feature and a benefit?…
Well, a feature is all ME ME ME, describing the product. For example, “I have a squillion qualifications” or ‘it cost us 10 million pounds to develop this widget…but really, who cares? These are all features and whilst they may provide some proof that the damn thing will work and add a bit of street cred, that’s not what makes your prospect part with the money.
A benefit on the other hand is all about THEM THEM THEM, where the ‘THEM’ is the reader and what the product feature means for THEM. And benefits is what gets the ticker going.
Lets turn a feature into a benefit right now using these practical examples
There is a table currently on the market with a large plastic top which you pull up to your chair and then it can be sloped at an angle towards you, and it also has a rim to hold any spills. These are the features. A simple technique to work out the benefit is to write ‘which means’ after the feature and then finish the sentence….
- The wipe clean surface has a rim which means… your home is hygienic and your child is protected from spills
- The table top has a large surface area which means... it is great for playing with building bricks
Or for 10 million to develop…
- This super fandago car cost 10 million to develop which means…you have the best safety features for your family that money can buy
All fantastic benefits for a mum with a young child, but what if we change the target market? Being able to clean up porridge easily is unlikely to appeal to a seasoned jigsaw puzzle fan. But how about…
- The wipe clean surface has a rim which means… the puzzle stays put when you angle the table
- The table top has a large surface area which means… it will hold a 5,000 piece puzzle
- This car cost 10 million to develop which means…you can be sure that the best available technology is ensuring the smoothest ride possible so you never spill your puzzle going over a bump in the road again
The point is that the features are the same but the benefits have changed.
The Key To Getting The RIGHT Benefit Is To Understand Your Market – Precisely. No Guessing!
The comparison above of the mum and the puzzle fan is a no-brainer, but what about a nebulous service such as life-coaching? If you fail to tease out the precise problem for your market, then you will not hit on the ideal solution, or benefit, which means no profit. Bum.
For example, someone putting on weight because they fail to make time for exercise, is unlikely to think or feel the same as the person piling on the pounds through comfort eating. Even if your product provides the same solution for each
Unless you are spot on with the right trigger and benefit then neither prospect will bite on your offer.
So, before you can turn your features into benefits you have to understand exactly what your product means to your target audience, and this often comes down to market research and a whole lot of intuition.