Turn Your Features into Benefits and Your No-Sales into Profit
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One of the most common mistakes small businesses make in their advertising and
marketing is focusing on the features of their product or service
instead of its benefits.
Sometimes this happens because a small
business can't afford an ongoing relationship with an ad agency and ends up
doing their advertising and marketing in-house or on a sporadic basis. Other
times, it's just because they simply get bad advice.
Do you ever make this mistake? If so, don't feel bad...you're in good
company. Because even the most seasoned copywriters sometimes get "features"
and "benefits" mixed up - but there's really nothing hard about it. The simple
difference between the two is that "features" focus on the facts about the
product/service (like specifications), while "benefits" focus on the
customer's experience of the product/service (how it will make them feel).
For example, let's say you were selling orthodontic and cosmetic dentistry
services. Your features list might look something like this:
- Over 30 years in business
- Offers a broad range of orthodontic and cosmetic services
- Provides excellent customer service
To translate these features into benefits, you need to put yourself in your
customer's shoes. Think about why those features would be important to the
customer; how those features would make their lives better, richer, easier,
longer; what emotions those features would make them feel. Then we'd turn the
above features into benefits that would read something like this:
- You can trust us to take good care of your teeth
- We can make you feel great about your smile and yourself
- We care deeply about our patients and treat you with the utmost respect
Why is concentrating on features bad, and concentrating on
benefits good? Well, take another look at the features...lots of companies
can make those very same claims (i.e. experience, selection, customer
service). They do nothing to set you apart.
But look at the benefits section: These get to the core of what your
customer needs to hear in order to buy your product/service. Benefits
appeal to them on an emotional level...the level where most people make their
But before you start developing your sales message, here's one watch
Be sure to focus on one or two benefits. If you try to cram as much into
your message as you can, your customer will be confused, overwhelmed, and
won't get what you're trying to say anyway. Remember and repeat after me...the
simpler the message the better. Find your core message and sell the heck out
of it, but don't muddy up the waters with too much information.
Perhaps most importantly, focusing on the benefits makes your
advertising more about your customer, and your customer's desires.
And that's one powerful message.
(c) Copyright 2008, Donna Williams, BusinessBurrito.com. All rights
About the Author
Donna Williams is the founder and creator of BusinessBurrito.com - a website
dedicated to helping small businesses grow to their maximum potential. She is
also a 25-year advertising / marketing executive, creative director, writer, and
producer. Together, Donna and her husband currently own and co-own five small
businesses. You can read more of Donna's articles at her website
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Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2008-09-24 19:38:56 in Marketing Articles