Saturday, September 11, 2004

What's a "Benefit"?


As marketing consultants, we constantly proclaim:

"Tell customers what benefits the product provides."

"Explain how those features result in specific benefits to the customer."

"Put the biggest, most desired benefit of the product in the headline."

And clients sometimes ask: "What do you mean? What's a benefit?"


Okay. Here's a partially redundant
catalogue of what a benefit is:

...a good result that occurs
when you use the product
(e.g. products that only help
when we activate them)

...a nice thing that happens
because you have the product
(e.g. products that work
without our operation: a vaccine)

...the practical purpose of the product's existence

...what makes an item a buyable product,
rather than an object of useless curiosity
or callous indifference

...what, without the product, is accomplished
with much more effort, time, or expense

...the desired effect of a product feature

...what a product function must produce

...what causes a product to be liked by customers

...the reason why the customer buys the product

...what each product feature must be translated into,
when describing the product to customers

...what all promotional material must emphasize

...what every headline must contain

...what draws customers toward you...
or toward your competitors

...what all innovations strive to accomplish
in a new way, or for new customer segments.

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