Turning Features into Benefits

In marketing, sales and advertising one tends to get stuck on features and in turn failing to find the benefits. Benefits sell products, without them we only have features or functions and no value adding proposition.

Many products have clear benefits but what happens when you struggle to find the one benefit (beside the obvious) that becomes the ‘knock-your-socks-off’ winning idea?

Turn something ordinary into the extraordinary?!

This is by far the simplest trick I use and works not only for us marketing and ad freaks but also for those of you who are in sales. WIIFM (What’s in it for me) is one of the most effective ways to identify your key benefits from features.

Its really simple- all you have to do is identify the features then answer the question “what’s in it for me”, viola.

WIIFM in Action.

Lets take a fairly dry example such as a pencil (yellow one with pink eraser on the end) and break it down starting with features and the corresponding benefits.

  • Yellow / it stands out
  • Made from wood / its stronger
  • Eraser on one end / 2 in 1
  • Bevelled edges / easier to hold or grip

Now that we have actual benefits we can easily sell, promote or advertise the product and in this case the pencil. Additionally, its easier to plan your sales, marketing or ad strategy when you have solid benefits and how they can benefit your customers/ target audience.

Just for Fun.

Can you think of any additional features of the pencil? I heard the record is over 180 something features listed… Comments welcomed and much appreciated.