Good Morning, David Elliott here again – I’d like to talk for a few minutes about benefits, not features. It maybe sounds a little odd, but hopefully I can describe what I mean very quickly.
Recently, at a major networking event, I was next to a very nice, very well educated technical salesperson from a very, very imaginative company and we were talking over coffee about his sales literature. As he went through this, to me as a non-technical person I was getting very, very quickly quite confused, because actually if I’m using a product, it’s the benefit that that product gives to me that I’m interested in, not the various technical features.
Perhaps I can explain that quite simply: If a drill manufacturer has made a super-drill that goes very quickly through a wall, it’s the fact that it goes through that wall very quickly, so, a benefit like “drills in 20 seconds” is what I’m looking for as a customer, not all the technical details that led to the development of the drill. And this is something that often highly technical based companies forget when they’re developing literature or developing a web-presence to highlight new products. So, the maxim really is always “Benefits, not Features”, and this applies across the board in whatever category you’re actually dealing with.
Another example may, perhaps illustrate the point: A company spent an enormous amount of time and effort including developing patents which they were prepared to defend across the globe for a castor that sits comfortably on furniture. Now there are many, many castors, but this particular one was a click-on castor, very easy to fit, and that was really their intellectual property. However, the benefit was not anything really to do with castors, but to do with floor protection and if you have the misfortune of a flood or a fire in the home, and the assessors go to check the damage, they will not allow for wear and tear underneath, for example, a sofa or a large chair.
So these castors would protect the very expensive carpets or whatever. Therefore this company was in the business of floor protection and that enabled them to charge a premium which justified their efforts in order to get a patent and enabled them to compete with products from China etc. with a totally different marketing approach. So here we have an example of a very simple product that was able to benefit from its intrinsic value, ie. its benefits, rather than the features behind the product.
So I think this is something that’s very, very worthwhile to consider in any business and particularly those businesses that have a very heavy technology input. Thank you very much.