Features vs Benefits of your products/services explained

When you think about marketing your product or service, most people think about marketing the features, as opposed to the benefits. But it’s the features that sell whatever you have for sale. This week’s blog post looks at features versus benefits, why both are important and how to market these things separately.

One of them looks at what your product or service does and includes everything that you’ve worked hard to develop and bring to market. The other looks at HOW your product or service will improve your audiences’ lives.

What is a feature?

Let’s look at a very simple example…a slow cooker. So, you’ve decided you want to buy a slow cooker. The first thing you’ll look at is the features – this is the description that you will find about the product. For a slow cooker, this could be:

  • A choice of sizes and capacity to suit your family
  • Glass bowl or ceramic bowl
  • Oval or circular shape bowl? This will depend on what you want to cook in it.
  • Digital settings with a timer
  • What are the settings – usually low, medium, and high, but some only have low or high.
  • Easy to clean
  • Sturdy handle 
  • Versatile – can cook a huge range of foods

All these things describe what your slow cooker can do, what it looks like and how it works.

What is a benefit?

Again, let’s look at the slow cooker as an example. The benefits are the outcomes that slow cooker users will experience.

  • It saves you money
  • It saves time in the kitchen
  • Less preparation time – you can get it ready and leave it to do its thing
  • If you set it in the morning, you have a hot meal to come home to in the evening
  • Less clearing up, you only have one pot to wash, not several
  • Less chance of burning food
  • A slow cooker gives off less heat than a conventional oven, so not so hot in the kitchen
  • As food cooks slowly, meat falls off the bone and the food has more time to infuse with herbs and spices, so can be tastier
  • Ideal for the busy person who doesn’t have time to spend hours preparing and cooking in the evening
  • If there are several of you in your household, you don’t have to all eat at once – you can leave it on low and people can eat when they want to
  • It’s not just for soups and stews – you can cook a variety of dishes – even bake bread or make jacket potatoes, cook cakes, and even rice pudding!

Marketing your features and benefits

When you set out the features and benefits of a product or service, as I did with the slow cooker, it seems obvious, but it can take ages to think about this when you have your own product or service you want to sell.

Marketing is hard; just because you know why your product or service will make your ideal customer’s life better, doesn’t mean that they will. You need to carefully examine what your features are and what your benefits are.

Let’s face it, when we’re trawling the internet looking for that special something we want to buy, we don’t care about the business, how long it took to make or produce; we don’t necessarily think about the person behind the business who must make the trip to the post office to post the item. All consumers really care about is what’s in it for them? Why should they buy your product or service compared to others on the market?

When you are pulling together your marketing strategy for your business, its products, or services, you need to keep in mind ‘what’s in it for your customer?’ This should be the question you continually ask yourself.

Try using a feature/benefit matrix

A feature/benefit matrix is a great way to address these things and make you think seriously about each of the features your product or service has – then produce three things that are benefits of that feature.

Once you have these set up, you can think about the messaging you will use to illustrate those features and benefits to your target audience. And what call to action you will use to help you get your message across.

FeatureBenefit 1Benefit 2Benefit 3MessageCall to action
Feature 1       
Feature 2       
Feature 3       
Feature 4       

Below is a couple of examples using this matrix for our slow cooker.

Feature  Benefit 1Benefit 2Benefit 3MessageCall to action
Digital timerYou and your family can eat when they want toYour meal will be ready when you get home from workSaves time on preparation and cleaning upGreat for busy households. You never have to worry about making sure all your family are home at the same time ‘or their meal will be cold or burnt’Buy now – check out our different slow cookers
Easy to cleanFood doesn’t burnDishwasher safeDigital touchpad easier to clean than knobsSaves you time and effort. Just one pot to clean, not loads of washing up.Buy now – link to website
VersatileCook soups and stewsBake cakes and dessertsBake breadAll in one option. It’s not just for soups and stews. You can make cakes and desserts, perfect for entertaining.Download your eBook with over 100 recipe ideas

You get the idea! There are lots of phrases I’ve heard that illustrate that from a selling perspective, it’s best to focus on benefits:

  • Features tell and benefits sell
  • Sell the sizzle, not the steak

This really tells you it all. Whilst the features tell people about the product or service itself, the benefits are what people are really interested in – the ‘what’s in it for me’ part.

Whilst the steak is important, it’s the sizzle that will sell – what it smells like, tastes like – evoking that emotion in the buyer to entice them to buy. It’s the description of what it’s like to eat the steak that will sell it – not just the picture of a steak on a plate.


I hope this has helped you to distinguish between the features and benefits of your products/services. Now it’s your turn! Take one of your products or services and think about the features – then make a list of the benefits that feature brings to your ideal audience – and use that in your marketing to sell your item.

If you need help with your marketing strategy, and how to best sell your products or services, using the feature/benefit matrix, or just don’t know where to start with your messaging, give me a shout. I can help you see things clearer, so you can focus on your target audiences’ what’s in it for me question.

Email me at cindymobey@outlook.com