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!