Turn features into benefits

Features vs benefits. Nothing new here – features are the most salient aspects of your offering; benefits describe their positive impacts on users.

Trouble is, as product creators and communicators, we are drawn to features, often forgetting that customers just want to know how their lives might be improved by taking a punt on our handiwork.

Product launch day arrives and, ouch, all that frantic cheering and hand waving – ignored.

Policing the natural born infatuation with ourselves is tough. We’re fantastically receptive to our own brilliance and handiwork.

When you’ve sweated blood into creation, the urge to celebrate all the shiny special bits is irresistible.

No wonder so much marketing promotion is as self absorbed as the average LinkedIn update, which invariably starts with “I”…. I’m so excited, so pleased … look where I am today, what I’ve achieved. And so on.

Me, me, me.

Attempts to intrigue an audience, be they LinkedIn followers or potential customers, falls flat, simply because our messages fail to pique curiosity or appeal to feelings.

There’s no mystery, no possibility of discovering something a potential customer might want to find out.

Instead, we’re distracted by our own reflection and its wonderful features.

Great brands avoid this trap.

They know their customers and their emotional triggers, and communicate with powerful hooks.

Here are a few examples:


Feature: Improve the appearance of your hair

Benefit: Feel attractive

Expression: “Because you’re worth it.”


The Economist

Feature: Journalism excellence

Benefit: Get more informed

Expression: “Where do you stand?”



Feature: New Zealand’s largest telecommunications and digital services company

Benefit: Win big in the digital world

Expression: “Unleash your potential.”


Mitre 10

Feature: Exceptional staff and service

Benefit: Confidence to do the job right

Expression: “With you all the way.”


And here’s one Vernacular conjured for NZME.

NZME Trade

Feature: Delivering the news, entertainment, and information more Kiwis prefer.

Benefit: Life is better when you’re in the know

Expression: “Now you know.”


Embrace your features, but don’t stop there.

Look through the eyes of your ideal customer to understand how your offering makes things better than the status quo. And then explain it in a way that shows how the change will make them feel.