The difference between features and benefits with examples

Telling customers what they are going to get is very easy.  Maybe it even makes us feel good when we realize what we’re doing for them. However, as long as we don’t make the difference between features and benefits clear, we are not going to sell.

It’s really cool to tell a customer they’re going to get five videos or a comprehensive course. Unfortunately, we often forget to tell them why they should care. 

We don’t distinguish between benefits and features. The difference is quite simple. Features are what the customer gets when they buy your product. Benefits are why they should care in the first place.

Informing clients of benefits

When you work with me as a copywriter, you get the copyright to the copy that I create for you. The moment I get paid, the copyright is all yours. Congrats.

If I only told my customers “Ma’am, one perk of working with me is you get the copyright to your ad copy when I’m done,” none of them would care.

What they care about is they can use it, repurpose it, even edit it, without paying me an extra dime. They can even give it to a friend to use for their own business, and it would still have nothing to do with me.

Once they've paid for their project, their copy is theirs to do with as they see fit. End of discussion. I have no more right to it.

The reason it’s a benefit is simple. Once they no longer have to pay me, the copy is no longer an ongoing expense. It is now a valuable asset they can use in their business.

The average customer is not necessarily going to make that connection on their own. They don't think “Oh, I get the copyright. I don't have to spend extra money on more copy. I can repurpose this in 18 different ways.”

All they hear is, “you get the copyright.” That doesn't have any value for them.

Yet by explaining that benefit to them, I can assign it a value. And I can showcase that value.

Here is another example. If you're selling a course, imagine telling the customer  “you get eight video modules and 16 worksheets.”

Best case scenario, the customer will ask you “So what?” Worst case scenario, they’ll move on to something else, and forget about your offer.

Instead, you can say “I'm going to give you eight modules full of videos that you can use, and you can access those videos at any time. So you can do this course while you're on a treadmill at the gym. I'm also going to give you these worksheets to go with these modules.”

Do you see the difference between features and benefits?

How to make the offer

The first step is always telling the customer what they’ll get. It's important that they know what they're going to get so that they can logically justify their emotional purchase.

That’s why I always set that expectation for them. I start by telling them “This is what you are going to get.”

Then I draw the connection for them with phrases like so you can or so that you or so you will.

Let’s use the last example, shall we?

“You get these eight video modules. So you can access it anywhere, even from the treadmill at the gym.”

Oh look. You just showed the difference between the features and benefits of your product in less than 20 words.

Are those really benefits though?

A lot of the times, what we think are benefits are not really benefits customers care about. This is not me messing with you. But entrepreneurs are sometimes obsessed with solving a problem no one cares about- fixing what isn’t broken if you will.

In our example, what if they don't care that they can access the videos anywhere? Maybe they don't care that they can do it on the treadmill at the gym.

If I'm not sure that I have a big benefit. I need to ask myself “why? Why do they want to consume this content anywhere?”

Well, maybe it's because they're really busy.

“Why?”

Well, they've got a family, a job, and they’ve got this and that going on.  

“But why do they have all that?”

They do all that so they can afford to keep the lights on.

So we're now at the deep benefit. They're going to get this content which will help them in a way that's not going to add more to their already busy plate. Better yet, it’s not going to be an additional expense, which ties back to them trying to save/make money.

We found a huge benefit hiding underneath the benefit that we thought was the reason that they wanted this content.

Never stop asking why

I know understanding the difference between features and benefits is advanced stuff. But it is important for you to grasp that there is another why behind the why.

You want to keep asking why until you get to the real reason that they want something. That's how you dig down and find the big benefit that your ideal customer has.

In my first example, they get the copyright to their copy. This is important to them, so they don't have to come back and pay me again.

Why is that important to them? Maybe because they've got so many projects going on that they just want to be able to hand it off to somebody in the house.

But why? Maybe because it’s a pain in the butt to keep going to the same person and paying them to use the same ad copy.

Why does that matter? Because they're really concerned about their numbers.

Well, why does that matter?

See what I mean? I'm finding out even more and drawing more conclusions about my audience based on these questions.

Emphasizing the difference between features and benefits sells

Shouting product specs until you’re voice is hoarse won’t get you that sale.  Benefits make people buy. Features make them justify the value of their purchase.
If you are not sure your copy is making the difference between features and benefits crystal clear book a call with me today.

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