Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Features v benefits

We struggled a little with this at my last workshop so...

What are features and benefits?

- A feature is some distinguishing attribute of a product or service, such as ruggedness, speed, range of stock, payment options
- A benefit is the use or benefit of that feature from the customer’s perspective
- Your marketing and sales should focus on benefits, not features

How do you identify the relevant features and benefits?

- You start by identifying the relevant benefits from the customer’s point of view and then identify the attributes of your product or service that provide those benefits
- If you start with the features and then try to find benefits to match you may not end up with a compelling customer proposition
- A solid product development process starts with the benefits the customer seeks and creates a product with the required features
- Most businesses are the result of a long line of similar businesses and so the product development process here is evolution – but you still need to understand and articulate the benefits to the customer
- Sometimes customers don’t know that they will value the benefits of a particular feature – think SMS messaging or post-it notes – but the benefit is still what sells it

How do you separate and explain features and benefits?

- Use the phrase “...and that means...” as in
o “Product x is lighter than product y AND THAT MEANS you can get it into your carry-on luggage”. Here the benefit is not having to queue at the luggage carousel in arrivals

- Think about the outcome for the customer, not the actual thing you are selling them

o Product x has a 10-year guarantee AND THAT MEANS that you won’t have to worry about replacing it
o We carry all the leading brands AND THAT MEANS that you can be sure that you will find what you need and won’t have a wasted journey
o Service x is available at a time to suit you AND THAT MEANS you won’t have to take time off work to see us.

More straightforward advice here

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