In 2001, Apple launched its iPod, the mp3 song player that changed the way we listened to music. Steve Jobs introduced the iPod as, "1000 songs in your pocket". Had he emphasized more on the feature stating, “We are presenting iPod - the largest storage, mp3 digital media song player", it wouldn't address the "Why', and it wouldn't have caught the imagination of the consumers the way it did. The pitch rightly positioned the benefit, making the product a huge success. More than 400 million iPods sold and transformed Apple into one of the most valuable companies in the world.
How to reposition features as benefits?
So far, we understood the importance of prioritizing benefits over features. Now, we will see how to transform features into benefits.
'Talk' to your customers through your writing
“If you’re trying to persuade people to do something, or buy something, it seems to me you should use their language, the language they use every day, the language in which they think. We try to write in the vernacular” - David Ogilvy.
The father of advertising, David Ogilvy was one of the most successful advertisers during the 60s. His notions regarding marketing and advertising played an incredible role in promoting big brands, and are relevant to this date. He emphasized that understanding your customer pain points helps you to talk the way your customers talk. When you identify their problems, you can easily draft content that is more relatable to them. It addresses their needs. When you tailor your content to your customer's pain points, you wouldn't have to chase after them, they will come to you. To identify their challenges, here are some platforms you could explore:
Market survey - By surveying your target customers, you directly interact with them to find out what is lacking and how you can slide in the gap.
Review sites - Your own user community site and other relevant review sites like Yelp, Trip Advisor, and Am track customer complaints.
Social media - Social media is a powerful tool to draw public’s attention. Perform social listening to check if there are any customer complaints about your competitors.
Keeping a tab on some of the platforms mentioned above will help you to understand your customer pain points and lets you optimize the sales pitch that best resonates with them. Gathering this data is only the first step. Deep analysis into niche areas using these data points enables you to profile and pitch to your customers better.
Ask so what
To 'talk' to your customers through your writing, just ask, "So what?", a simple yet powerful question that flips your features into benefits. This strategy aids in simplifying the content and answers the purpose of the product. Let’s see some of the examples:
Mp3 song player with 5 gigabytes storage
1000 songs in your pocket
SEO page optimization
Rank first in google
Portable wireless BlueTooth speaker
Carry the speaker anywhere you go
1.5 ton, 3 Star spilt AC
Bring Antarctica to your room
Analog, water-resistant watch
Be playful without removing your watch
When your content passes the 'so-what' test, it indicates that your draft is customer-friendly and focused. Feature or benefit is not the dispute. Both should be used wisely to craft a selling content.