How to go beyond your product’s benefits

If you concentrate on the benefits of your products, rather than the features, you’ve already given yourself a big advantage. But how can you turn that up to 11? Is there a way of going even further?

Indeed there is. First, make the usual two-column table listing the main features of your blue widget, and next to each, the benefits which that feature brings. Now add a third column and ask yourself: “how will that feature and benefit make the customer feel?”

I know, it sounds a bit woolly, but bear with me, because it might change your mind about which features/benefits are the most important. A benefit like ‘it saves money over the long term’ sounds pretty attractive. But if it’s not their money, how will that make customers feel? I’d suggest that in many cases, the answer is ‘stressed’, as they hope that the savings do eventually transpire.

On the other hand, a feature like ‘it produces good-looking performance reports’ might seem rather uninspiring, as would its benefit, which will be something like ‘it allows you to show management what’s been achieved’. But how will that make customers feel? The answer could be: ‘relieved’. Which as we all know, is the opposite of stressed, and much more attractive.

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