Q&A: Benefits vs. Features?

Business on Main

Q: I always hear marketing gurus talk about the differences between “benefits” and “features” when promoting your business. Can you explain exactly what the difference is and why it’s important?

A: Features are convenient or innovative aspects of a product or service that drive its creation and introduction to the marketplace. But selling customers on the benefits of those features is what drives sales.Features are the facts of what you sell, such as size, price, color or category. Benefits are what customers gain from a purchase, like saving time or money. When you market benefits, the emotional transaction counts as much as the financial one. For instance, let’s say an appliance store puts refrigerators on sale: The features sell: This week only! Brand-name refrigerators now 35 percent off! Your choice of silver, white and beige — includes energy-efficient freezers.The benefits sell: Save on top-of-the-line refrigerators. Convenient upper-level freezers eliminate bending. Energy-efficient cooling systems cut utility bills by 10 percent. Adjustable shelves make storage easy. We deliver free and cart away your old model. Sale ends Saturday!Which store would you buy from?To motivate customers, identify the advantages that come from buying your products. Sell the benefits, not the features.

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