Is Focusing on Company Benefits More Important than Features?

When writing copy for your marketing materials - which include everything from brochures and sales letters to trade show materials and website content - it's easy to focus on the features of your product as opposed to the benefits. But it is definitely the benefits that will bring in more sales than the features ever will.

To clarify, features are simply selected points or "characteristics" of a product. Examples of features include things like size, color or content. Benefits, on the other hand, explain how the product will fill a customer's needs. Examples of benefits within the Nutraceutical industry might include improved skin tone, increased energy, reduced joint pain, etc.

An old acronym often used to keep you thinking benefits instead of features is WIFM. (What's in it for me?) In other words, don't just describe something. Tell me (the reader) how it benefits me and why I should think it's important. Let's consider a couple of Nutraceutical products as examples:

* Is your product a multi-vitamin? Don't just relate the fact that it has plenty of vitamins C, E and folic acid (or other ingredients) in it. Instead say, "You'll get 100% of the nutritional ingredients needed every day for optimal energy!"

* Is your product for improved heart health? Instead of just talking about a healthier heart, consider saying "You'll look forward to living a longer and more active life for many years to come."

If your research indicates that price isn't an issue for your target market, don't focus on the cost of your product. Instead, stress how the benefits of the product make it worth the price. If you want to include numbers in your marketing and sales materials provide specific data on things like customer feedback - "90 percent of customers experienced higher energy levels after taking our vitamins."

Teaming benefits and features to set your product apart
One key to successfully marketing your product is using its features to highlight its benefits. For instance, is the dosage of your multi-vitamin once-a-day? Is it easy to swallow or chew? By enhancing the benefits of your product (100% of nutritional requirements) with ease of use or convenience, you have successfully blended the benefits and features to make your product even more appealing to your target market.

Share how other customers have experienced your product's benefits
Using positive customer feedback and testimonials that reinforce your product's benefits can be an effective marketing tool, especially for consumers who may have not purchased a product in your category. Consider sending satisfaction surveys to established customers to gather feedback on why they continue to use your product and ask them if you can share their comments. Not only will this give you some valuable quotes for use in your materials, it will also show your customers that you value their opinion and their continued business.

So as you develop your product messaging, think WIFM and you'll always remember to highlight benefits that show "what's in it for me!"

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