People don’t care about businesses (and that includes your business).
What they care about is how your business’s products or services can solve THEIR problems, meet THEIR needs and make THEIR lives easier.
In other words, if you want your business to be successful, you need to know how to describe the benefits of your product or service, not the features.
Features are the attributes of your product or service. (For instance, the features of my business are copywriting and marketing services.)
Benefits are what the customer will receive from your products or services. (For instance, the benefits of my business are my customers will sell more of their products or services when they hire me.)
That’s the secret behind effective marketing—explaining benefits rather than features.
But if you want to go beyond “effective” to “amazing,” then you need something else.
Creative people are often able to look at the same thing everyone else is looking at and see something different. And there are ways to nurture this ability.
Try these mind-twisting exercises to experience a marketing power up:
1. Sit down with a sheet of paper. Write down the name of a product or service.
2. Write down a list of all the features of the product or service.
3. Now change all those features to benefits.
Still not sure how to write benefits? Start with this sentence construction: “You will receive BENEFIT because of this FEATURE.”
You’ll save money, because our product needs less fuel to run.
Or ask the questions, “Why is this feature important? Why would somebody want this feature?”
4. Now, push the envelope.
• Keep asking “why.”
Your product saves customers’ money?
Why would your customers want to save money? What else do they have to spend their money on? Maybe they want to spend money. Why would they want to spend more money than they have to? Silliness is encouraged. (Actually, silliness and outrageousness is what you should be aiming for in this exercise.)
• Change the benefits.
What if your product increased your customers’ sex appeal rather than saved them money? What would that be like? Or maybe it improves their health? Or enhances popularity? What would that be like? How could you twist the features of your product to match a completely different benefit?
Brainstorm a list of benefits to play around with as another creativity exercise.
• Put two completely different benefits together. For example: Save time and make you more loved. Improve health and avoid trouble. Avoid effort and gain praise. See how many connections you can make between the two different benefits.
• Reverse benefits. Maybe your product doesn’t save time, but takes more time. Why would that be a good thing? Why would someone want to spend MORE time doing something? What are the benefits of something taking more time?
Feel like your marketing is a little ho-hum? Maybe you need to power it up! Read on 4 ways to creatively power up your marketing.
Here’s an example of how this works:
Let’s say my company produces a product that saves customers’ time. I’m reversing the benefit, so the customer doesn’t want to save time.
Why wouldn’t the customer want to save time? Well, maybe if he had more time on his hands, he would have to work on those home-improvement projects he’s been putting off because he’s so busy. Or maybe he feels like he can’t justify hiring someone to do those home-improvement projects, because he’s not so busy anymore. Or, he’s run out of excuses and has to spend a week with his in-laws.
By questioning, challenging, and reversing, you start to look at benefits in a whole different way. You may come up with a killer ad campaign, realize you’ve overlooked a segment of your target market, or uncover new benefits for your old product. You may even discover a new product or improvements to your existing product that would make it a huge seller.