Understanding The Difference Between Features And Benefits

A product’s features are not the same as their benefits. It is important to understand this so that you can effectively and accurately market your products. It’s a fine line, but one that, once drawn, will help you gain a better perspective on your marketing and product description efforts and methods.

What Is A Product Feature?

A product feature is an actual, physical property or function of the product. It is something about the product or inherent in the design that is beneficial, but is not, in and of itself, the benefit.

I know this may sound confusing so let’s look at some examples:

A feature of a product might be something like the fabric that it is made from. For example, your children’s clothing line might be made from durable denim or other fabric; or perhaps a sun-protectant SPF fabric. That is the actual material that it is made from – the feature of the product, the characteristic material that makes the product durable, protectant or otherwise good in some way; a cut above the rest so to speak.

Think of product features as product characteristics or specifications. A feature is something you can find listed in a description, plan or design.

What Is A Product Benefit?

A product’s benefit results from the feature. It is what is ‘in it’ for the customer. In fact, the product benefit answers that most crucial of questions consumers have – “What’s In It For Me?”

In other words, that durability lends a benefit to the consumer in that the clothing will last longer, therefore they will need to replace the clothing less often and will save money and time in the long run. The benefit of the SPF factor  is that it will prevent children from getting sun burnt or reduce the risk of skin cancer later in life.

Think of a benefit as why a product is good. A benefit is something you would list in sales or marketing material, the reason why your customer should buy, not what they are buying.

What’s More Important To The Consumer?

Customers will sometimes look to see what the features of a product are for the sake of comparison, but by and large they care about one thing – that “What’s In It For Me?” Customers are most interested in the benefits because that is what is helpful and of most importance to them.

It is important to offer key features in a product description where it can be accessed, but it is most important to let customers know how that feature helps them. Don’t rely on customers to understand features alone. Tell them the benefit of what buying your product or service will bring. Explain to them why your product or service is superior and beneficial, and give them the benefits – the reasons that they need to buy your product and features.

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