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Features vs Benefits = Proof vs Promise

People may not be able to describe you specific features they need, but they always can tell you what benefits they are seeking.

How to sell the benefits, not the features? Features are as important as benefits because they give the proof behind the promise you’re making. A feature is a part of your product or service, while a benefit is a positive impact the feature has on your client. You can discover the benefits by asking “why do you love this product or service?”. The features are the ‘facts’ of the product, while the benefits provide a more compelling description.


Examples of market benefits:

  • Reliability: doesn’t break and cause problems, solves a problem, conserves resources.
  • Easy installation: rapid time to launch.

Words such as “quality” and “value” are not benefits. They are functions.

Perceptual Map


Once you find your unique, differentiated, and defensible position, you can focus on the product and/or service features to support how you provide those benefits better than the competition does.

Connection with customers on an emotional level drives higher brand engagement.

Benefits answer your customer’s question:  “Why should I care what you have?” Rather than saying your customer what you provide, you’re telling them how your offer is going to have a positive, valuable impact on their life.

A benefit is a combination of the effect it has on your customer and how they feel because of this.

3-step approach to identifying the benefits:

  1. What does it have or do?
  2. What effect does this have on my customer’s life?
  3. Does this cause a positive emotion or eliminate a negative emotion (or both)?
Features versus Benefits

“This is what you can experience [benefits / emotions] with our product, and here is how we do this for you [features]”

For example: “We promise you best-fitting, most-flattering jeans so you can feel great wherever you wear them. How? By providing more than X combinations of leg and waist lengths to guarantee a fit as unique as you.”

A great copywriting exercise to do is to first break down the features, effects and emotions of your product, and then combine them to write copy that combines a powerful 1-2 punch of emotionally compelling benefits, and rock-solid features.


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