Features and Benefits – what do our Customers REALLY buy?

Features and Benefits

From time to time people speak to me about their product or service in a language I find difficult to understand.  The language is jargon and it puts me off buying not because I don’t want to buy, but because I don’t understand whether I need or want what’s on offer.  Has this happened to you?  It’s easy to fall into using jargon when we’re so involved in our business, and when we neglect to take a step back and ask ourselves “does this make sense to other people as well as me?”  We have to put ourselves in our customers’ shoes.

This leads me to features and benefits, jargon often relates to the features of our product or service – how it works, the mechanics and functionality – is that really what our customers are buying though?  OF COURSE it is I hear you say and of course you’re right!

Take a cleaning service for example, using equipment with high spec features allows the company to deliver top quality cleaning, no point in leaving grime everywhere –  that would be substandard and our customer would rightly go elsewhere, so the features of the cleaning equipment are absolutely important.  In fact it has to be a given that our features allow us to at least meet or ideally exceed customer expectations, that way we get great reviews, repeat business and proactive referrals.

Features being a given, I truly believe it’s the benefits our customers REALLY buy; the benefits are HOW the features make a real difference and huge impact to our customers.  Yes a feature of the quality cleaning company is that it uses top of the range equipment to make things sparkle, but what are the associated benefits of that?

To identify the benefits, we need to take each feature and determine what it actually means to the customer by saying “and that means that” – here are some examples for the cleaning company:

“We use the highest spec cleaning equipment” – and that means that……our customers enjoy immaculate surroundings giving their customers a great impression and making them more inclined to do business, thus we help our customers make more money.

“Our cleaners are respectful and friendly” – and that means that……we enhance our clients’ working environment which gives them greater staff retention”.

“We use eco friendly cleaning products” – and that means that……we support our clients’ carbon footprint and Corporate Social Responsibility policy giving them added kudos to enhance their reputation, and helping them adhere to regulations and avoid financial penalties.

Try it for your features and see how many great benefits you can come up with!

My favourite example of benefits is one I heard from the genius Tom Peters at the World Business Forum in 2004, and it enthuses me to this day – “Harley Davidson don’t sell motorcycles.  They sell the ability for a 43 year old accountant to wear black leather, ride through small towns and have people be afraid of him!”  So be like Harley, and tell us what you REALLY sell!

I could tell you This Little Piggy can complete an Awards application for you but I won’t; I’ll say we LOVE helping you win Awards and when you win you can then promote your “Award Winning Business” until the end of time.

I could also say we’ll help you write a business plan but I’d rather say we help you make your dreams tangible by planning and running your own successful business.

Focus on YOUR benefits to make a lasting impact, use them in your “elevator pitch” and throughout all the marketing you do.

Get in touch if you want to speak more about promoting your benefits and standing out from the crowd!

It’s Time to Think Pig!

#ObsessedwithBenefits #FeaturesandBenefits #Marketing #ThinkPIG

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