When it comes to writing for sales and business, you’ve probably heard people talk about the importance of ‘Features vs. Benefits’ – but, what do people mean by this? And why is it so important?
Features describe what you do as a business. Benefits SELL. There’s a famous saying in marketing you’ve probably heard before: “People don’t want to buy a quarter-inch drill, they want to buy a way of making a quarter-inch hole” Theodore Levitt, Professor – Harvard Business School.
Features vs benefits
A ‘feature’ is a specific detail of what you actually provide to your customers in terms of your services or physical products. It’s the nitty-gritty of your offering. For example, the features of a hand car washing company would include a) they wash your car by hand instead of a machine, b) they use specialised car washing soap and c) they use high-pressure hot water.
A ‘benefit’ is the solution you are providing to your customer. For example, the benefits of the above hand car washing company could be a) because people are washing your car by hand, dirty marks can be easily identified and cleaned off, b) the specialised soap removes oil and grease, and protects your bodywork from erosion and c) the pressurised hot water is targeted at specific parts of your car and penetrates dirt from the road much more easily.
Sometimes, it can prove tricky pulling out the benefits from the features…