My features versus benefits post asking whether you are selling the steak or the sizzle is one that pops up quite a bit on my google analytics. It seems like every small business marketer has struggled at one time or another with trying to figure out what is a feature and what is a benefit.
Basically, features are facts about the product or service that you sell. They tend to be VERY important to the person who is the manufacturer or service provider but which are less sexy to someone who is buying it.
Benefits are what it will do for you. How it will affect your life or your profits. Benefits are why late night television infomercials work so well. We get sucked into the idea that by spending a couple of bucks we can learn to sell real estate for millions of dollars or dehydrate all of our groceries so that they will stay fresh for years.
I was sitting around watching TV the other day and a mini infomercial came on for the Mister Steamy, a gizmo that is used in your dryer. As I am always interested in good marketing, I took a peek.
The features were….
- It is a round ball
- There are about quarter inch nubs sticking off of it
- It is yellow
- It is used in the dryer
At no time did the pitch man mention any of those things. The entire commercial was devoted to selling the benefits of the product. Now I am a pretty savvy consumer but with these types of benefits I was intrigued….
- All my clothes would look new and pressed
- My sheets would come out hotel smooth
- My shirts would be magically ready to wear
- It softens clothes while you dry with no added expense of a dryer sheet
- If I needed a shirt in a hurry, I would have it in seconds without an iron
Those are some great benefits for me! Then when they doubled the offer for the same price, I almost bit. NOT because I thought it would work but because I WANTED all those time saving conveniences they said I could have to be true!
Great marketing will not fix a bad product. But if you are a small business owner with a great product or service to sell, please look at your sales sheets or website product page. Do you have features listed that are important to you or have you outlined all of the benefits to your customer?
If necessary, you can have your benefits at the top of the page and the features at the bottom so that once they are “sold” they can check out the details BUT they will never pour over all the specifications for your product until they believe that it can help them in some way!
There are no affiliate links in this post and I am sad to report that while mr steamy has great marketing, a product review site said that the actual functionality is non existant.