In this marketing article, I discuss the most important element of marketing – turning features into powerful benefits. If you want to increase sales, you must focus on the benefits of your product or service, not the features.

So what is a benefit compared to a feature?

A benefit explains how a product or service will help a person. If I buy this product, how will it make my life better? Will it save me money? Will it make me feel better about myself? Will it make my life easier? Benefits are very powerful sales tools because people buy products and services for an end result.

A feature explains a fact about what a product does such as a specification. For example, the new ZMX car has anti-lock brakes. That is a fact about the car – it has anti-lock brakes. The problem with only listing a feature is that a feature does not explain why it is helpful – how it benefits a person. Why would you want a car with anti-lock brakes? The answer to that question is the benefit. Anti-lock brakes are much safer because they keep your tires from locking up and skidding so you do not lose control of your car. Therefore, if you drive a car that has anti-lock brakes, you are less likely to be in an accident. The benefit is the positive end result. In your marketing, it is that positive end result that you want to focus on.

Here is another example. XYZ Car Company has developed a new car that gets 100 miles per gallon. The feature is that the car gets 100 miles per gallon. But what is the benefit? Why would a person want a car that gets 100 miles per gallon? The benefit is that you will save a fortune on buying fuel.

If you want to improve your marketing and increase sales, you absolutely must focus on the benefits of your product or service. Whenever you say what your product does (a feature), ask yourself, “how will that feature help my customer? What is the benefit of that feature?”

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