Understanding Feature vs Benefit

Why This Matters When Creating Copy

If you’ve researched writing any type of marketing copy or if you’ve looked into hiring someone to write your content, you’ve likely stumbled across claims about feature vs benefit. These terms sound similar, and many people may even use these terms interchangeably in some contexts. If you are looking to create (or hire someone to create for you) persuasive content that sells your products or services it pays to understand the difference.

Understanding Features

Features are the traits that make up your products or services. These are simple facts and nothing more. For example, the resolution and number of HDMI ports are features of a TV. Features are just values that define the product.

Understanding Benefits

Benefits describe the value of features. A benefit statement breaks things down and clarifies to your audience what they stand to gain from a particular feature. When viewed as a whole, all of the features and corresponding benefits can persuade a customer to make a purchase.

Value of Benefits

Explaining the value of features helps clients visualize the product and understand how it will help them in their lives. The goal here is to answer questions like, “how will this help me,” or “why do I need this?”

feature vs benefit

Sticking with the TV example, the resolution of a TV determines the level of detail for an immersive visual experience. Several HDMI ports make it easy to connect a variety of peripherals, like gaming consoles, DVRs and more. This additional information helps explain and sell the feature. This info also enables consumers to better understand what sets a particular product apart from others.

Two Parts of a Whole

Getting into the nitty-gritty of features and benefits provides a well-rounded look at your product offering. A feature without a benefit leaves your reader hanging without anything else to go on. In this instance, your reader will possibly make their own assumptions which can lead to misunderstanding and confusion. Readers may also seek out answers from another, more forthcoming source. That other source may be a competitor and can end up costing you a customer.

A feature vs benefit style is an opportunity to explain what sets your brand and offerings apart from your competition. Distinguishing your products and services makes it clear what your brand is about and what you have to offer.

Spell It Out

Your customers likely understand the features, but explaining the benefits helps keep everyone on the same page so to speak. Back to the TV example, an informed consumer knows how many HDMI ports they need when shopping for a new TV. In this instance, stating the benefit is a nice courtsey.

A feature vs benefit style of writing is extremely helpful for less informed consumers. Explaining that an HDMI port stands for High-Definition Multimedia Interface and it’s simply an industry standard port enables consumers to better understand. When consumers understand what the product can do, and how it can help them, they are more likely to move forward with the purchase.

Even if the benefit is obvious — spell it out. If you sell a product made from recycled content, follow that up by explaining it is eco-friendly. Most people know items made from recycled content are eco-friendly. However, it doesn’t hurt to include that reminder and establish your brand as doing some good and promoting a cause.

Multimedia Applications for Feature vs Benefit

Outlining features and benefits in a text is an excellent way to relay information. Go a step further and break things down into an easy to read graphic or chart. Visuals are a great way to help readers understand a complicated concept at a glance. Make sure to write scripts and video outlines in a feature vs benefit style. This ensures your content provides as much value as possible.

feature vs benefit

Customer Service Element

Taking the time to explain the feature vs benefit is a form of customer service. If your website, newsletter, social media or whatever other forms of content goes into an appropriate level of detail it will serve the client.

Providing high-quality content aids consumers and makes it clear that you are willing and able to help clients. This establishes your brand as an approachable industry expert. Setting this tone encourages consumers to reach out with questions which can close sales and help to establish brand loyalty.

Let’s Close Some Sales

A feature vs benefit style of writing is all about relaying information. Through educating the consumer you are empowering your clients to make informed decisions. This can help advance clients through the sales process and also help to set expectations. When a customer knows and understands exactly what to expect there are no surprises and this can cut down on returns and complaints.

Do you have questions? Want to learn how a feature vs benefit style of writing can help improve the performance and conversion of your site? Let’s do this.

Let me know what you think!