blog.sevenfold.ca
13Jan/110

Understanding Features, Advantages & Benefits

Any product or service can be marketed by promoting its features, advantages and benefits.  The key is knowing which of the three to lead with for the biggest impact, and the challenge for many is understanding the difference between a feature, advantage and benefit.  It can be easy to confuse them but there are clear distinctions between each FAB element.

Features
Features are the characteristics, attributes and functions of the product or service.  Colour, price, size, taste, guarantee, servicing, support, flexibility and expertise are all examples of features.  Think of them as things that come in the box with your offering.

Advantages
Advantages are the deliverables that the client enjoys as a result of the features provided.  Savings, solutions, value, choice, coverage, speed, ease of use and reliability are all examples of advantages.  These are often the hardest to get right because they sound like both features and benefits.  Remember that they do not come in the box with your offering -- they are the by-products.  Advantages set you apart from competitors offering the same product/service.

Benefits
Benefits are the emotional responses to the advantages you provide.  Satisfaction, security, happiness, peace of mind, excitement and comfort are all examples of benefits.  By focusing on the emotional feelings, you can distinguish benefits from features and advantages.  Saving money may sound like a benefit, but it is really an advantage of buying the product while the true benefit is the peace of mind in spending wisely.

Examples

"Our unique tread design (feature) provides superior grip (advantage) in all conditions, giving you the control (benefit: comfort, peace of mind) you need."  Again, it can be easy to confuse superior grip for both a feature and a benefit.

"Our wide selection of options (feature) lets you choose (advantage: choice) the service level you need to ensure your satisfaction (benefit)".  Although they sound synonymous, selection is a feature while choice is the advantage.

"Our money-back guarantee (feature) covers you (advantage) in case of damage. (benefit: security)"  This benefit statement does not even include the benefit, but infers the emotional response.

Focusing Your Message
Deciding which FAB element to lead with will depend on your market and your position in that market.  Some car commercials focus on features like horsepower, leather seats and alloy wheels.  Others focus on advantages like crash protection and fuel efficiency.  You can even find car commercials that promote the comfort benefit of their vehicles without mentioning any specific features or advantages.

Your message and its focus need to be developed with many market factors in mind.  For help in crafting your FAB message, contact us today.

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DA