5 Compelling Reasons to Sell Products on Benefits and Not Features

 The way you position yourself at the beginning of a relationship has profound impact on where you end up ~ Ron Karr

Features vs Benefits

Every product has a set of attributes or features that is useful to the buyer.  But buyers allocate value to purchases based on the perceived value or benefit to be derived from its consumption.

According to a study conducted by researchers Hooley and Saunders, customers care less about the technical features of a product and more about what benefits they can get by buying, using, and consuming those products.

And so here are five compelling reasons why it’s a better idea to market products on their benefits and not their features:

#1. Focusing On Product Benefits Allow For Higher Prices To Be Charged

Selling benefits rather than features makes it a lot easier to charge higher prices. You are able to differentiate your product by creating a story that emphasises intangibles. This helps you justify a higher price than a generic product. For example, there are many products that command a higher price just because they are known brands. They may have exactly the same features, but by emphasising intangible benefits, consumers are willing to pay a premium.

#2. Focusing On Product Benefits Allow For The Expansion Of A Target Market

People use a limited set of criteria, called heuristics, in order to make complicated purchasing decisions easier. As a result, many often purchase a product without knowing the full set of features it possesses. For example, a computer may possess a number of features that may be of use to a customer. However, because of the lack of customer knowledge about these features, users will be more likely to understand and purchase a computer based solely on a few easy to understand benefits that it provides. While a person may not understand the difference between a 4G and a 4G LTE network, they do understand that one may be quicker and more reliable, and thus make a purchase decision based on that simple benefit.

#3. Focusing On Product Benefits Tap Into Powerful Psychological Motivators 

By emphasising the benefits of a product feature, marketers can tap into the base motivators that drive consumer purchase behaviour. The specific features of a product only fulfil the wants of a consumer. However, by focusing on the benefits of a product, then marketers can more easily tap into the needs of the consumer, fulfilling their desires on a much deeper level.

#4. Focusing On Product Benefits Allows Differentiation

Focusing on the benefits of a product as opposed to the features, makes product differentiation easier. Features may be the same, but you can achieve a high degree of differentiation when you begin to emphasise benefits. For example, two cars may have the same specifications, but by focusing on the safety and large cargo space, an automobile company may be more easily able to sell their car to a family audience. By focusing on speed, the car suddenly becomes more attractive to a younger audience. By placing emphasis on product benefits, a you suddenly create a dynamic marketing strategy to make your products different than that of your competitors.

#5. Focusing  On Product  Benefits Makes Consumer Purchase Decisions Easier

As hinted to before, by focusing on the benefits of a product as opposed to their features, the decision making process is made much easier for the consumer. Because of the large amount of information present when making a purchase decision, consumers use mental shortcuts called heuristics to simplify the process. By  focusing on product benefits, then the decision to purchase a particular product is made much easier for the consumer, lessening  their possible confusion and making a clearer case for why your product should be bought. You help to decrease the consumer information overload.

 You don’t close a sale; you open a relationship if you want to build a long-term, successful enterprise ~ Patricia Fripp

Clearly there is much more that goes into the consumer purchasing decision. You put yourself at an advantage as a marketer and you make the life of your buyer’s easier when you clearly spell out what they stand to gain from buying your product as against a competitors.

Emphasis on features will get you to compete on price and thus reduce your profitability.

Spend time to create a product that adds value to the buyer and the make sure that you deliver on this perceived value. You have to be in this game for the long run.

A satisfied customer presents more opportunity for repeat business and more referrals.