Features and benefits are the two main approaches that can be used by companies to market their products and/or services. The first concentrates on what the product or service actually does, while the other concentrates on how the product or service will enhance the lives of the consumers. This means that marketing can either be based on features of the product or on its benefits.
In this article, we will be reviewing the differences between features and benefits. Though the two concepts seem to be similar, they are actually quite different from each other. Features are the main properties and aspects of the product, which may be descriptive or technical in nature. Benefits refer to why the features are important for the consumer. They essentially signify the ways in which features are useful for the customers and help in solving their issues.
We will now discuss the definitions of features and benefits in detail and explain the differences between the two.
Definitions and explanations
A feature is anything about a product or service that can be seen, felt and used.
In simple words, a feature is something that the product does, or can do. It includes the attributes, qualities or characteristics of products that differentiates it from other products in the market.
Features refer to the statements about the product, including what it can do, its specifications, dimensions, and so on. It essentially provides factual information about the product or service. For instance, fast internet connectivity of a cell phone, long-lasting battery of a laptop, energy-saving ability of an air-conditioner unit, low-fat content of milk, and so on.
Features typically offer direct solutions for issues commonly experienced by customers in the company’s target market. Hence, the product features need to be planned, developed and implemented in a meticulous manner by the companies so that they address the needs and problems of users.
Benefits depict the ultimate outcome of what can be attained by the user when he/she uses the product or service. Hence, they signify the actual reasons that turn a potential customer into an actual customer.
While the focus of features is on facts and information about a product, benefits concentrate on the emotional level and making customers relate with the product. Benefits turn the focus to the customers by explaining the benefit or advantage that the customer would gain from the feature.
A customer’s decision to buy a product or service is mainly determined by the benefits of the product to the customer. Instead of the details and intricacies of the product features, customers are more concerned about the product fulfilling their requirements and solving their problems. Hence, benefits function as the trigger that encourages customers to buy the company’s product or services.
Companies are able to achieve the best results when they list features and convert them into benefits. They can do this by first informing them about the features and then telling them how they will benefit them. It is possible to convert any product feature into benefit. For example, a car’s gas mileage is a feature, while the money saved on gas is a benefit. Similarly, home delivery is a feature, the benefit of which is saving time, fuel, etc. by not going to the store. Low fat is the milk’s feature, while the benefit that the consumer gets from consuming it is getting adequate nourishment and protein, while maintaining body weight.
Differences between features and benefits
The main points of difference between features and benefits have been listed below:
Features are the technical or descriptive aspects of a product that describe what a product does or can do. On the other hand, benefits explain why the features are important for customers and how they improve their lives and help them solve their problems.
2. What is it?
A feature signifies what something actually is, while a benefit refers to what the customers can do or achieve with the feature.
The purpose of features is to inform customers about the characteristics of the product, while benefits function as triggers that compel a customer to make the purchase.
Features provide facts and information, while benefits provide an emotional connection between the seller and the customer.
Features usually include technical information about the product, whereas benefits explain why these technical features are important and advantageous for the customer.
Features vs. benefits – tabular comparison
A comparison of features and benefits in tabular form is presented below:
|The various specifications, attributes, dimensions, etc. of a product that explain what a product/service actually is and what it can do||Why the features are important for customers and the outcomes that can be attained by using the product/service|
|What is it?|
|What the product/service actually is||What the customer can accomplish with the product/service|
|Inform customers about product features||Entices customer to make the purchase|
|Factual information||Emotional connection between customers and the product/service|
|Technical and description information about the product/service||Why these features are important for the customer|
Conclusion – features vs benefits
When introducing your product or service in the market, it is important to comprehend the difference between features and benefits. The most effective marketing strategy is one in which benefits are clearly explained along with the features. Features tell the customer what the product is, while benefits explain why the product is important for the customers.
Companies can offer a list of features to present factual information about the product/service. Along with this, benefits should also be explained so that the customers are able to relate to the product/service. Benefits help customers in realizing how the product/service is going to be valuable for them. Leaving it up to the customers to connect the dots and understand what the product holds for them would be a bad idea because customers nowadays are too busy and preoccupied to make the right connections. You should clearly tell them how your product features are good for them and will help them in obtaining solutions to their problems.