When marketing a product or service, there are two key techniques that can be used to promote your offering. The first, focuses on what your offering is, or does, while the second, focuses on how it will improve your customers’ lives.

When you develop a product or service, you do so with a list of features that aim to improve the lives of your customers. But, when it comes to marketing, features only tell customers what’s so good about your offering, whereas benefits sell.

For established brands, it’s not uncommon to outshine the competition by boasting about their product features (e.g., stating how their battery lasts 2 hours longer than any other on the market).

However, most of the time, brands should be focussing on the benefits of a product, rather than the features, if they want people to purchase or invest in it.

Don’t get us wrong, product features and benefits are of equal importance. The magic happens when we use the definitions and differences to build connections with your audience(s) and sell just the solution they need.

Sometimes, distinguishing your features from your benefits can be difficult. They blend and blur, resulting in a confusing picture, that bewilders salespeople and customers alike. That’s why, when it comes to marketing, understanding the difference is crucial for gaining the results you deserve.


In this blog, we explain the differences, why they’re important, give examples and provide a little more clarity on the features vs benefits argument.


What is a product feature?

A feature is what a product is, or what it does.

A list of product features are usually technical specifications or functions, that set it apart from the competition.

Examples include: a 61” screen, a 12MP camera, a self-cleaning oven, a foam midsole in a shoe.


What is a product benefit?

A product benefit describes how this product or feature will change the customer’s life. Benefits describe why features matter, and how they can help your audience.

When it comes to marketing, it’s generally a better idea to focus on the product benefits – because these are what encourage consumers to make the purchase.

Examples include: You can save time, it helps you be more efficient, you don’t need any experience to get started.


Features tell, benefits sell

As a brand, you should know your customer. You should understand their problems and needs, and how your products or services can solve these. It’s tapping into these pain points and offering suitable solutions that makes good marketing. After all, people make purchases based on emotions.

Spouting product features isn’t enough, marketers need to be pulling on the emotions of the buyer by offering them a solution to a pain point.

For example, the thought of automatic recording on a security camera may not swell any emotions in the chest of your buyer, but the thought of being able to prosecute someone who committed a crime against them is much more likely to.

Instead of seeing a handy feature, the buyer sees justice. In this example, the feature is automatic recording, and the benefit is justice.


How to draw benefits out of features

Brands must remember that they are not their own target audience. To see the benefits of a product, they must first look at their products through the eyes of their customer.

To do this, list out all your product features and ask ‘so what?’


Here are a few examples:

Feature: Your security camera has cable cut resistance.

So what?

Benefit: Even if someone tries to cut the cable on your camera, your security will not be compromised. On top of this, the camera will also likely have caught them in the attempt.


Feature: The camera has night vision.

So what?

Benefit: Stay protected 24/7, day and night. Even protected while you sleep.


Feature: Wifi and 5G operated.

So what?

Benefit: Even if your internet cuts out, your security will never be compromised, as the camera will automatically switch to 5G. Never missing a second.


Here’s a few more:

Product Features & Benefits Examples


Product Feature Product Benefit
A lightweight foam midsole Responsive, cushioning in your shoe, allowing you to move with ease and improving your game
Built-in rechargeable lithium-ion battery You get all-day battery life with up to 26 hours video playback, so you can watch movies on the go, with no need to find a charging point
1GB storage 1,000 songs in your pocket
Wi-fi enabled, with motion activated notifications See your home when you’re away from home
Wireless No more tangled cables, or requirement for plugs


It might also be an idea to ask yourself questions that evoke empathy. These include:

  • How does my product make my customer’s life easier, better, or more enjoyable?
  • What problem does it solve?
  • What issue does it help them with?
  • What value does it add to their life?
  • What do our customers currently rave about?


Less is more

Brands often feel compelled to spell out every feature of their product or service, not wanting their customer to miss a thing. However, this can be overwhelming and unhelpful. Instead, look at a list of your features and choose a few that benefit the customer the most.

Not all information is important, and therefore not all should stay in the spotlight. Instead of throwing the whole kitchen sink at your marketing efforts, draw out key benefits and pay extra attention to these.

Ask yourself, ‘will this specific feature create a benefit that will aid my customers’ life?’. If the answer is no, leave it out.


The takeaway

Sell the benefits, not the product.

Are features important? Of course. But when it comes to marketing, benefits will have more impact on your bottom line.


For more Octima tips on selling the benefits – especially for complex products – have a read of our previous blog: https://octima.co.uk/forget-features-sell-solutions/


If you’d like a helping hand with marketing your products or services the right way, contact us.