Customers don’t buy product features. They buy the benefits of the features. That being the case, why is most marketing copy long on product description but short on exactly why they should be important to their prospect?
Features are important, and you should include them. However, for every feature you need to include a benefit for that feature. As a copywriter, the way I do this is to list the features and then list every benefit I can think of for that one feature. Then I target the key benefits.
Features describe the product. Let’s take a kitchen knife. It’s red, it’s made of stainless steel, it has a life time warranty….
Benefits are the effect those features will have on the customer. For example,
- It matches your existing colour scheme,
- It will never rust, ever;
- You’ll save money because you’ll never need to replace it,
- You have peace of mind that should anything go wrong, because we will replace it even years later
Marketers usually find it easy to write about features. The greater challenge is bringing the benefits derived from those features to life. Copy that focuses on product features ends up boring the prospect because features don’t tap into the deep emotions that will influence a buying decision.
So what are benefits?
The benefits of a product might be that it:
- Saves you time
- Saves you money
- Improves cash flow
- Makes people admire you
- Makes you healthier
- Reduces risk
- Improves your relationships
- Entertains you
It sounds deceptively simple (obvious even) however many still confuse features with benefits. To produce compelling copy benefits are key. And that means one thing.
You must know your audience intimately.
Next… do you stand out from the crowd?