Main character energy is a term I see popping up more and more. For a long time, it amused me. How can we all be the main character of the story? The more I saw the phrase, whether it be on Tik Tok or in an Instagram caption, the more I realized what it actually means: humans have a desire to be the most important person in the room. We care about our lives, our stories. We are the main character in the little world we’ve created for ourselves.

Something in our psychology is begging for a because or a why. As the main character in our own stories, we value how or why products can connect to our lives and make them feel better or easier.

When it comes to selling a product or service, we can apply this concept to our marketing messages. Any company can talk about the features and perks of their product or service, but that can become a snooze fest really quick. What people care about is the value that this investment will bring them in the long run. They need to be able to easily envision themselves reaping the product or service benefits.

As a business owner, you might feel a little silly at first laying out all the why’s behind your product features. It’s easy to assume that the customers would “just get it.” It is quite the opposite – customers are busy and distracted, so why leave it to chance that they’ll connect the dots? Most of the time, people aren’t aware they have a problem or need until you make them aware that it can be a problem or inconvenience if they don’t have it!

Here are some ways of thinking about Features Vs. Benefits:

Features First: Benefits First:
Tells customers “what” Tells customers “why”
Short-term perks mindset Long-term benefits mindset
Product- / Service- / Company- focused Customer- / Solutions- focused
Sounds “salesy” Sounds like we value their lives
Doesn’t help create an emotional relation to the product Creates a bigger-picture view as to how this can make their life easier or better
Customer MAY want the features Customer realizes they NEED those benefits
Customer attitudes: indifferent, not tuned in, low interest Customer attitudes: intrigued, envisions solutions to problem, great interest

Example: Instead of saying “fast-cooking” to describe your Instapot, say something like “less cook time, more family time.” This subtle change makes the customer feel like the hero (or main character) of the story, instead of the product or service you are trying to sell.

The bottom line: Don’t assume your customers will understand right away why your product features are great. Clearly tell them WHY in compelling, relatable benefits. Connect the dots for your customers!