Features are great, but they can be a bit overwhelming. Benefits are more tangible, so they resonate better with customers. They also help you tell your story – and that’s important for building trust.
Some of the mistakes entrepreneurs make in their marketing efforts are when they focus on showing only the features of their products and services and the features of their business.
However, potential customers don’t want to know the features. They want to know about the benefits that they will gain from your business. So, you will need to show benefits instead of features.
In reality, people don’t care what you or your company do. The only thing that they care about is what you can do for them. Benefits are simply answering the question: What’s In It For Me?
Here is a list of some basic steps you must accomplish to extract the benefits from the list of features that you already have.
Table of contents
1. Know Your Customers
Knowledge about your customers will need to be your primary focus as an entrepreneur. This knowledge is essential for your business success. You need to research your current and potential customers and find more information about their habits, desires, and problems. Talk with them about what they want and what they desire. You can use different surveys to get this knowledge. They are great, and you must use them regularly.
This principle means that you become familiar with your customers. It would help if you got to know them as people. Once you understand the people you’re trying to persuade, you can better determine which benefits they’re looking for.
Here are some things to remember when you think about your customer’s mindset:
- What do they want?
- What do they think?
- How do they feel?
- Do they want to be persuaded to buy?
When answering these questions, remember that they’re not all the same, and you need to understand your target audience to respond effectively. The answers to these questions can help you identify your product or service’s benefits.
2. Become Your Potential Customers for One Moment
It’s always interesting to see if you can put yourself in your potential customer’s shoes. To do this, think about how you would feel in their shoes and ask yourself if you’d ever buy from you.
When you know your current and prospective customers, you can use their position and point of view. It can be challenging, but try to think as though you are a buyer and answer the following questions:
- What is something that I want?
- For what, I am starving?
- What are my problems?
- How can I solve these problems with my products and services?
- What’s in it for me?
- Where would I find your company?
- What would my experience be like?
- What kind of images would I see?
- How would I get in touch with you?
- How would I get my money back if I wasn’t happy?
- Would I ever return?
3. Extract All Benefits from Features
You don’t have to be an expert to know that benefits are a much better way to market a product than features. For one thing, a feature is inherently more complicated than a benefit. You need to explain how it works; you have to explain how people will use it; you have to explain how it will impact their lives. You might have to explain why it will benefit your company, too. On the other hand, a benefit comes with no explanation of how it works or who will use it.
Remember that each feature has some benefits for potential customers. The main difference between feature and benefit is the way of expressing things.
One feature can have more benefits for one or more customers. Sometimes one feature can have benefits for some people and, on the other hand, not have benefits for others. Because of that, it is important to know what features for what type of individuals give benefits. When you know this, you can include these findings in your marketing weapons to improve your marketing campaigns. Here are some valuable bits of advice on how you can extract benefits from features:
- Make a list of all features that have your products, services, and your business.
- Make a table with three columns. In the first column, put all features. In the second column, write all benefits; in the third column, place associated people or customer segments associated with those benefits.
- Brainstorm all benefits for each feature and place the people associated with that benefits.
The business is more about them, not about you. Too many marketing campaigns start with:
- Our business will…
- We will…
- Our products…
- We offer…
Think about this instead of the previous:
- You will get…
- Your costs will decrease…
- You will save…
4. Rank All Benefits According to Their Importance to Your Potential Customers
It’s important to rank all the benefits of your product or service before deciding which one to highlight. In fact, some studies suggest that customers prefer products with fewer but more significant benefits over ones with more but more minor benefits. That’s because most people only focus on the benefits they care about but miss the ones they don’t care about.
Your business, products, and services probably have dozens of features and benefits. But, some benefits are more important than others. Some benefits are important for some types of customers and unimportant for another.
Because of that, you must rank the benefits based on their importance for the different types of customers or different market segments. In such a way, you will prepare a list of the most significant benefits you will express in various marketing campaigns for multiple market segments you target for your business.
5. Explain Narratively Your Most Important Benefits
One thing in this process that is often forgotten is how to communicate benefits with potential customers. Because of that, my recommendation is to make several narrative explanations for the most important benefits of the previous step. Some explanations will work well, but some will not give you the desired results. Your task as an entrepreneur is to measure and change the look and feel of this narrative explanation that you will include in your marketing campaigns.
In fact, the most persuasive sales messages don’t necessarily rely on logic. They’re made up of stories. These stories are designed to give the customer a feeling that the benefits of the product or service are better than anything else. You must start a story with a problem to successfully sell a product.
To persuade, you need to explain why what you offer to the potential customer benefits them. By doing this, you are essentially describing a solution and presenting it as a way of solving your customer’s problem. You can often come up with a description of your solution on the spot and describe it in just a few sentences. It would be best to keep the description short to fit into your allotted space. If you can’t do this in one sentence, it’s best to start with a long sentence and break it down.
For example, if you’re a retailer, people shopping online are more likely to see products as “more affordable” than “better quality.” Similarly, if you sell food, people will prioritize “healthier” over “easier on the stomach.”
So, before you start looking at the keywords that will help your brand get found, think about the end goal:
- What does it mean for your business?
- What problems can it solve for your customers?
- How can it help you achieve your business goals?
6. Use the Benefits Instead of Features with an Eye on Results
This is the last step in this process. Now you already have developed all the most significant benefits with several variations for communication purposes, and you can start using them in all your marketing campaigns in the future. However, this is a never-ending step because you must keep an eye on the results and make adjustments if there is a need for changes in some of the previous actions.
When you start using benefits instead of features, it is much easier to collect data and analyze the outcome of these processes. In such a way, you will begin continuously improving your marketing campaigns.
Use these six steps to extract all essential benefits, and start showing benefits instead of features to your customers.