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Marketing strategy: Define success with features and benefits

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The biggest mistake made in marketing — and a reason that success can be so elusive — is not clearly explaining what you are selling. Specifically the benefits. Consumers rarely make buying decisions based on a product or service’s features; yet that’s what most businesses promote over and over again. People don’t buy features; they buy the benefits that those features offer. So what is the difference between a feature and benefit? Oftentimes, there is a lot of confusion between the two.


  • Features are factual statements about — often distinctive characteristics of — a product or service.
  • Features are a means of providing benefits to customers; for instance, “I have a ChFC designation” or “I complete 30 hours of continuing education each year” are features.


  • Benefits are value statements about the feature of a product or service, with an emphasis on what the customer gets.
  • A benefit answers the question, ‘Why should I care?’ A benefit tells you that you should care because of the result.

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