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Why “so what” is so useful

We all know it’s better to describe benefits rather than features in everything more promotional than a datasheet. Easy to say, but harder to do, judging from most of the promotional material I see. So here’s a way in which you can test every statement you make in your marketing copy: say “so what?” to each. And keep doing it. Why? Because it’s exactly how your prospective customers will be thinking.

“Our new blue widget is just 5mm long”
“So what?”
“Well, it’s the smallest we’ve ever made”
“So what?”
“Well, it means you can save space in your design”
“So what?”
“Well, you can produce a more compact unit”
“So what?”
“Well, a lighter unit means increased efficiency”
“So what?”
“Well, your customers are demanding lower running costs”

The feature? Your new blue widget is just 5mm long. The benefit? Your customers will be able to meet their customers’ demands for lower running costs.

That’s more like it.

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