Benefits vs Features

Mark (a marketing guy) and myself were talking through a product launch we are about to do soon. I was chatting to him about the benefits of this new service that my team and I had put together. He diplomatically tells me some good benefits, but others are just features. He was right of course, and somehow in my haste to nail things I missed it. I thought I would check out some blogs and found this one with a rather good example.

"The lesson [about benefits] was hammered home for me a few decades ago in my first career. I was representing my employer, International Harvester at the International Plowing match. I was on tractor displays. My job was to explain all the features of the new tractors to the farmers.

I had memorized the details of the tractors – horsepower, PTO power, tire options, etc. I even prepared some cue cards with this information in case I forgot.

But I was jolted into realty when some farmer with crooked teeth stared at me after my dissertation about horsepower and said, "Can she pull a three-furrow plow in sandy clay?"

The question shocked me. I didn't know the answer. And I realized that that was the important question. I didn't know the answer and the company had not prepared me for it. They had given me facts – not relevance."

My lesson. I really need to get in front of some real customers to make sure we are not just talking about features, while they sit there thinking about getting stuck in the clay.

Quote from Benefits vs. Features – George Torok