While writing articles or research papers on any topic, it is important to highlight both features and benefits of the said topic. It makes the article looks more enhanced and impressive. This way, a reader would know both functionalities and values of the topic. Even while marketing for a product, features and benefits makes the customer more reliant on the product. Distinguishing both of them is a bit difficult as it confuses the customers with the same concepts.
Features Vs. Benefits
Mostly due to intention, marketers frequently mix up features with benefits. Marketers with knowledge or experience understand how crucial it is for their goods or services to assist customers in solving their difficulties. Since they frequently misunderstand the relevance of a particular feature to customers for the time, effort, and resources invested in its creation, marketers mistake features for benefits. Features generally characterize a product’s specifications i.e. what it offers or possesses. Benefits, on the other hand, are only the value that customers receive from that feature.
A gaming chair is an example. Its features, including the headrest and lumbar support, have the added benefit of preventing lower back and neck strain even when seated for long periods of time.
Difference Between Features and Benefits in Tabular Form
|Meaning||Features are often technical in nature, describing what the product or service does.||Benefits describe how the product or service will change the consumers’ life in some way.|
|Relation to the product or service||The feature is a crucial product or service component or function.||The benefit describes how a product’s qualities could make a customer’s life easier or more joyful.|
|Relation to each other||The feature of a good or service determines its benefit most of the time.||Benefits are a result of the features of the product or service.|
|The interrogation difference||A feature is about “what something is”.||A benefit is about “what something does”.|
|The focus of consumers and sellers||Sellers mostly focus on promoting the features of their products.||Consumers mostly focus on benefits they can get from the product and benefits entices consumers to buy instead of features.|
|Lies in||The product itself.||The lifestyle of the customer.|
|Example: Raincoats||Made of Waterproof fabric and good quality.||With torrential downpours, waterproof fabric keeps the wearer dry and will feel comfortable.|
What are the Features?
The features of a product are its outward manifestations, elements, traits, and qualities (shape, weight, size, odor, material, and color), which give value to the end-user and ensure product differentiation, which helps to increase its attractiveness to potential customers.
It is the product’s actual, technical, physical, or functional features. Every aspect of the product or its design that is significant can be mentioned. It details:
- What does it consist of?
- What’s inside of it?
- What sort of packaging does it come in?
- What is novel or unique about it?
- How does it function?
It is the quality that may satisfy customers’ needs, and it can be employed as part of a marketing plan that highlights how beneficial the product is to the intended market. In light of this, any description of a product’s features, such as its color, makeup, or technical details, is considered advertising. What gives your goods credibility and substance are its physical attributes.
When you include your product’s features in marketing, it improves your advertising efforts and makes it simple for individuals seeking specific goods or services to find yours, especially if it’s what they are looking for.
Those who will use the product or service are not considered when listing features. You merely list the materials from which the item/service is manufactured and its capabilities. In most cases, if a product is an updated version of one that is currently on the market, the characteristics mentioned down are extra elements or functionalities that earlier versions, models, or rival products do not have. This serves to emphasize what makes this product unique.
Examples of Feature-Driven Marketing
Automotive Marketing: New vehicle advertisements are as ambitious as they come. It makes sense why this is the case with expensive products like brand-new vehicles; after all, despite how crucial they are, the advantages of owning a car, such as dependable transportation, aren’t very alluring or appealing. This is why so many automotive advertisements and marketing initiatives are naturally feature-driven.
Consumers’ Electronics Marketing: Few sectors excel more than the consumer electronics sector at “lifestyle” marketing. The vast popularity of “unboxing” videos on YouTube (a surprisingly massive online subculture that started with toys before moving on to consumer electronics) reminds us that feature-driven marketing can work wonders- if done right. Mobile gadgets live and die by their features. Few businesses in the world comprehend this idea as well as Apple, which over the past 10 years has advanced the art and science of feature-driven marketing to a completely new level.
What are the Benefits?
The benefits that the product delivers that satisfy the demands, expectations, wants, and wishes of the clients are referred to as its benefits. It is something that the product’s maker guarantees customers will obtain by using the item. As a result, it provides buyers with justification for purchasing the goods. Cost, usability, productivity, efficiency, sustainability, and quality are just a few examples. Also, it is important to remember that the product’s features are what makes it beneficial.
In finer terms, benefits represent the final consequence received when the customer uses the product. It shows how the customer’s life has improved or how difficulties have been solved for them. It either determines how beneficial the product is or how satisfied the customer is with the product after using it.
Two Types of Benefits
- Actual Benefits: Performance, design, and cost-effectiveness of the product are all covered. The user may actually feel and see the effects of this kind of benefit in the real world. A customer receives benefits that are palpable or quantifiable due to actual product benefits. By industry and product details, a product or service’s potential benefits can vary greatly. For instance, a wheelbarrow that can carry greater weight than alternatives at a similar price offers actual value to customers.
- Perceived Benefits: These address a product’s reputation, image, or popularity. This benefit has to do with the image your product conveys and the impact that might have on the customer. The perceived benefits are frequently internal or social. The apparent benefit might coincide with an actual benefit that the good or service offers or it might just be a matter of perception. In both situations, it continues to offer its perceived worth. Customers may feel they benefit when they believe a product to be a luxury item. For instance, other people may see it as a sign of social standing.
Examples of Benefit-Driven Marketing
Software-as-a-Service Marketing: The Software-as-a-Service or SaaS, sector of the economy has grown significantly in recent years. Several developers have switched to benefit-driven marketing messages when software companies transitioned from one-time license pricing models to subscription-based agreements. Slack is a great illustration of this idea in action. The team-based communication platform may include several useful tools and features that streamline collaboration, but its major selling point is the time-saving it provides.
As customers don’t buy from service-based organizations for their own sake, but rather to find solutions to specific problems, many SaaS companies employ benefits-driven messaging strategies. Because of this, SaaS companies frequently combine information based on features with messaging based on advantages. This enables SaaS providers to emphasize their products’ features and describe how these features will improve consumers’ lives at the same time.
Financial Services Marketing: Few businesses are more conscious of the relevance of benefits-driven marketing than the financial services industry. Everyone who establishes an account with a bank does so for the benefits they will receive, such as cash-back rewards programs or lower APRs on their credit card balances, not for the bank’s brand.
This idea is perfectly illustrated by the mobile payments startup Square, a division of American Express. Simply said, Square makes it possible for small businesses to accept credit card payments. Of course, as we can see throughout Square’s website, their service is positioned in a way that focuses nearly exclusively on user-focused advantages. This is another excellent illustration of how to incorporate benefits-focused messaging with product feature information. The content used on Square’s website makes extensive use of powerful, aggressive verbs along with direct, urgent messaging that highlights the product’s benefits and ease of use.
An example that shows both the features and benefits that are the result features of a mobile which will give a clear picture of their difference by the use of adjectives and nouns:
|Features Of The Mobile||Benefits Of The Mobile|
| || |
Using a Feature-Benefit Matrix
Marketers may make sure their messaging is consistent, pertinent, and understandable to end users by using feature-benefit matrices. These documents are frequently laid out in grid format, with a column for each feature, several more for each benefit, and additional columns for particular messaging data points or calls to action.
Using a feature-benefit matrix in this style will make it simple for you to quickly and accurately pinpoint each distinct benefit that each element of your product offers. In turn, this may make overall message mapping simpler and ensure that both marketing and other departments, such as product, are in agreement about the information being conveyed to end users.
Main Differences Between Features And Benefits in Points
- Features are simply the inherent qualities of the product whereas benefits are something the client wants to obtain or get from the product.
- The feature essentially describes a quality that the company’s offering is or possesses, i.e., something that it is or has whereas a benefit is nothing more than the value or result that the company’s service generates for the client.
- A feature explains “what” your product is, possesses, or does. The benefit, on the other hand, explains “why” the product feature is important and pertinent to the potential buyer.
- The feature is in the product itself, or to put it another way, features are held by the products whereas the benefit is in the customer’s life, i.e., as a solution to various problems, ease of completing work, satisfaction, etc.
- Whether a feature is physical, technological, or functional, it can be stated in the product’s features whereas the product’s benefits describe the enhancements, comfort, or value it can bring to the customer’s life.
- Product features are based on factual information whereas the benefits of the product tend to evoke an emotional response in the target market, making it easier for them to relate to the product.
- Advantage is a result of features whereas Benefits result from advantages.
It can be concluded that both concepts are helpful and provide customers with crucial information they’ll need throughout the buying process, such as design, price, and practical applicability. Consumers ultimately choose products and services based on their advantages, thus when crafting marketing copy, it is frequently preferable to emphasize benefits over features. As a result, a picture of life after the buyer buys the good or service is painted. If you do choose to draw attention to certain features, be sure to explain to them how those features will benefit them.
To summarize the subject, we may state that, in practice, the benefits of the product- rather than its features, which are merely discussed to describe the benefits one can obtain- are what is sold in the market. Customers are more interested in benefits than specifications, or features, which is why this is the scenario. The effectiveness of a company’s ability to clearly communicate its features and benefits to customers has a big impact on the success of any product or service.