The ideology behind why features tell, but benefits sell

The ideology behind why features tell, but benefits sell

Do you think there's any truth to this? Do features only tell, and benefits sell?  Well, let's see why we should focus on benefits rather than features as the great marketing wizards, David Ogilvy and Steve Jobs proved to be the best examples leveraging this method. 

Features vs Benefits

As you know, features describe the attributes of a product or a service. It answers the “What" - exploring the functionalities and persuading prospects about what it does. On the other hand, benefits sell the result. It explains the “Why" - focusing on the result 'that customers' yield.

When pitching a product, getting a little obsessed with the product's features, and explaining it in detail is natural. And we're not saying it's wrong to position the features that distinguish your product from your competitors. But before that, it's important to think about what end-users want. Everyone is looking for simple solutions that could solve problems, and make things better. Benefits convince the users to listen to your pitch, as it is more focused on providing them solutions to their business problems.

So, where does the feature description fit in your narrative? Once convincing your audience about the benefits, showcasing the features intrigues and engages them. Let's assume you are looking for better ways to store and automate your customer information. You find a descriptive blog suggesting efficient ways to manage your leads data. It also gives a footnote about how a CRM could solve your problem. Now that you've got the solution, you start to compare different CRM solutions and their features to see which best fits your business. It applies to your target audience as well. By first convincing your audience briefing the benefits and then leveraging the features closing a deal proves to be an agile method to win more sales.  

Feature and benefits of iPod

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
So what?
1000 songs in your pocket

SEO page optimization
So what?
Rank first in google
Portable wireless BlueTooth speaker
So what?
Carry the speaker anywhere you go
1.5 ton, 3 Star spilt AC
So what?
Bring Antarctica to your room
Analog, water-resistant watch
So what?
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. 

      • Sticky Posts

      • 10 simple e-commerce marketing tips to boost sales

        Congratulations! You've finally set up that e-commerce store you've been thinking about for a long time. Hopefully it wasn't too difficult. Even if it was, the effort will be totally worth it when you start seeing some orders come through. Now that the store is live, let's take a look at some marketing tips you can apply for sales growth. 1. Avoid cart abandonment If you've ever shopped online, you might have added a product to the cart but then decided not to purchase it. This is known as cart abandonment.
      • Marketing in a post COVID-19 world!

        Consumers across countries are increasingly spending more time on a wide variety of digital activities, right from online grocery shopping, to video conferencing, to tele-medicine. There is a good chance that you performed one or more of the following activities during this lockdown, thanks to COVID 19: Cooked a meal Made a TikTok Video Signed up for a remote learning session Consulted a doctor online (or ordered medicines online) Shopped for groceries online A study by Hunter, a food and beverage
      • Inbound Marketing 101: The Foundational Blocks of Inbound Marketing Strategy

        According to a behaviour survey, 68% of the buyers use sources such as blogs to evaluate the product even before considering it. Before buying a product, we do a lot of research to learn more about the product through communities, blogs, social media,
      • How Zylker doubled their webinar registrations!

        Webinars are good educational resources to gather qualified leads for your product. But what if your visitors are dropping off from your webinar landing page without signing up? What more could you do to convert visitors into registrants? This is the
      • The ideology behind why features tell, but benefits sell

        Do you think there's any truth to this? Do features only tell, and benefits sell?  Well, let's see why we should focus on benefits rather than features as the great marketing wizards, David Ogilvy and Steve Jobs proved to be the best examples leveraging