In a previous post, I was telling you about the Feature vs. Benefits dilemma that many marketing people are still struggling with. Hopefully, you’re not one of them. But even if you know exactly what the difference between the two is, how can you make sure you’re writing out the right product benefits – the ones that really sell?
Here’s what works for me and I recommend you do:
- 1. First and foremost, make sure you understand the product and what its features do. How can you write about something if you don’t understand its meaning or purpose? Well, you can, but the result can only be… confusing. So have a chitchat with the product manager or developer, or service provider – i.e. your client – first, and ask all the questions you have to ask to understand what the product is all about: how it works, the audience it addresses, how it differs from every other similar product on the market and what does your client want to communicate to this audience.
- 2. List all the features that make up the respective product. Then take each one separately and start drawing the benefit out of it. Here’s how:
- 3. Ask the 3 WHYs. To make sure you get to the right benefit, you have to ask yourself at least three times “why is that important?” I’ll use the examples from the previous post to show you how this works:
Example 1. Feature: The app enables data transfer between phones. Why is that important? Because it automatically transfers your contact list and other files from your old to your new device. Why is that important? Because you don’t have to manually do that with every contact and every file on your phone, and lose precious time. Why is that important? Because this way, you save time and hassle with moving your mobile stuff to a new phone, so you can focus on other things.
Third time’s a charm! So the benefit: it saves you time and hassle, so you can focus on other things.
Example 2. Feature: Your bank has 2000 ATMs in your area >> your bank has at least one ATM near you >> you don’t waste time reaching one, or pay a fee for using another bank’s ATM >> benefit: you save time and money.
You can also draw the benefits out of the features by replacing the “Why is that important?” with “Which means…” like this: This app enables data transfer between phones, which means it transfers your data from your old to your new device, which means you don’t have to do that yourself with every piece of data and lose precious time, which means it saves you time and hassle, so you can focus on other things.
And one additional tip – put yourself in the prospective customer’s shoes and keep this in mind throughout the process: “What’s in it for me?”
In some cases, you will find that you can draw several benefits out of a single feature. But if you have any doubts as to which one you should choose, it must be because the chitchat you had with your client wasn’t really effective. So go back to tip #1 and clear this out with your client.
And that’s how you do it. Sounds simple, right? Well, simple is not the same as easy. 🙂
Any other formulas you use to write THE product benefits that will sell the product you’re promoting?