Features, Benefits and Advantages: Finally – the differences explained.

Business writing

When writing text for a company’s products, clearly communicate the value and benefits of a product.  Figure out what the benefits and advantages really are, and don’t just creatively describe the features as given to you by the company’s engineers.  Most copywriters and marketers don’t differentiate between features, benefits and advantages because it’s like pulling teeth to figure out why a customer needs a product and why they should buy it. Yes, it takes time to think that out, but think how long it took to design and develop the product – and the marketing of the product is just as important as the product itself, so it needs proper marketing effort for the product to sell.

You should know thisThe difference between the features, benefits and advantages:

A Feature is the function of a product – specifically what it can do.

A Benefit is why a product’s feature is desired, needed or a good thing.

An Advantage is why someone should buy the product and why it is a better choice than the competition.

Here’s a simple example of using the above definitions:

kayakFeature: This kayak is made out of hardened fiberglass
Benefit: So it won’t ever leak or break
Advantage: Meaning you can take on more extreme rapids than ever before

So many times I see the features of a product called a benefit, and or features mixed in with benefits and written under the heading of benefits. Clearly communicate the differences between a Feature, Benefit and an Advantage – and let the follow-up info for responses to inquiries be used to fill in additional information on the features. Give customers a reason the product is needed and is better value than the competition’s product.

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3 thoughts on “Features, Benefits and Advantages: Finally – the differences explained.”

  1. Well-spoken, Mr. Greer! Before I ever sit down to write, the first goal for me is to Know. My. Audience. Who is this person? What are his/her hot buttons, “triggers,” decision-points? Once I understand these, it becomes easier for me to think in terms of the benefits and advantages that will resonate with this reader.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good points JacmidCreative, but the very first goal is to understand why the customer needs the product and what problem does it solve for them. Before you start writing, you may be getting good client input from product managers who know the differences between features and benefits – but most don’t. As you know, the “hot buttons” are different for the recommender and the various stakeholders in the decision making process, as well as their age and genders – so it can be very difficult to really “know your audience” because they are typically not all in the same mind-set and each has different “triggers and decision points.” That writing approach is good for getting an emotional buy-in from each of the different targets using personal communications such as targeted emails so each audience member “feels the connection.” That said, when writing to the audience on a website and in general marketing vehicles, we really need to appeal to a wider audience of people, as well as to push different “hot buttons” when writing in each stage of the marketing and sales process. At the core, writers first need to know how the product saves the potential customer time, money and/or provides peace-of-mind, as well as communicate a real or perceived good value. Customers need to know – “Why should I buy this product and why is it a better choice than similar products.”

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