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Presto Change-o! How to Turn a List of Features into Brilliant Benefits

Feb 26, 2013 12:20:32 PM

Admittedly, it’s not brain surgery. And it won’t solve world hunger. But the practice of transforming a corporate litany of product or service features into dynamic, can’t-live-without-‘em benefits can often mean the difference between generating a qualified lead...and suffering the deafening silence of non-response.

So, how do you go about making this magical transformation?

It’s a bit of a mental exercise, one where you step out of the role of seller and try standing in your prospects’ shoes. With each solicitation, buyers subconsciously ask themselves questions like, Will this make my life easier/better? How does it compare to the competition? and Is it a good value?

A list of impersonal features won’t answer those questions—at least not in a persuasive manner that could prompt an inquiry or purchase. But a well-crafted presentation of benefits just might.

Here’s a fun example:

Have gum, will travel.

Let’s say your company makes chewing gum. Here are some of the typical features your product team might use to describe it:

  • Comes in a 3” x .5” pack
  • A pack contains 10 sticks
  • Pack price: $1
  • Peppermint flavor
  • Sugar-free

Your advertising or marketing agency takes this list and tries to get into the head of the consumer. As they chew on both the product and some ideas on how these features could benefit your audience, they come up with the following:

Final Chart image

This exercise is guaranteed to work for any product or service out there. Just remember to don your customer hat and ask yourself, What would help convince me to consider this item or service?

With a little creative thinking and a healthy dose of consumer perspective, you too can turn yawn-generating features into ROI-popping benefits.

Topics: Creative/Design

Elaine Claussen

Written by Elaine Claussen

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