Marketing basics – on features and benefits

Marketing question - feature or benefit?

Is it a feature or a benefit?

Your clients couldn’t care less about what you offer them.

A bold statement.

None the less, it’s true.

They care about how they can benefit from what you have to offer them.

See the difference?


Benefits and features are two different things

Far too many companies focus inwards, that is, they have a focus on what they have to offer.

People don’t care about that.

People care about themselves. How they can benefit. They can benefit by taking advantage of what you offer, true, but focusing exclusively on what that offer is doesn’t cut it.

What’s the difference?


Features are properties

A feature is a property your product or service has. It lets clients know exactly what to expect from what is bought.

Let’s take the example of a mobile phone. 3G would be a feature. A 4” touchscreen would be a feature. Weight of only a 100 grams would be a feature.

Features are important.

Features are not enough.


Benefits are benefits

A benefit can be described as what a product or service can do for you. A benefit is not physical.

Let’s again take the example of a mobile phone. While having 3G is a feature, easy access to the Internet and being always connected to the office via mails etc is a benefit.

A 4” touchscreen is a feature, while looking cool playing the latest version of angry birds is a benefit.

Weight of only a 100 grams is a feature, but feeling ahead of the pack with the lightest mobile phone in the world is a benefit.

See the difference?


How to know the difference?

It can be difficult to distinguish between a feature and a benefit, but a good rule of thumb is:

If you can see it and touch it, it’s a feature. If it affects the product, it’s a feature. If it affects the user, it’s a benefit.

A feature is what you buy. A benefit is why you buy it.


Interested in more info? Check out this article on features vs benefits from Copyblogger’s free marketing course.

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