The difference between features and benefits

Dear M & M:

I am confusing features and benefits. Can you explain the difference?

– Beverly

Dear Beverly:

Many times in marketing business owners mistakenly present their products features as the solution to consumer’s problem to be solved. It is the benefit of the product that solves their problems. The features are statements about the product but, do not entice the customer to buy.

Benefits answer the question, what’s in it for me? Features tell the consumer about your product. Businesses need to market the benefits of their products and not concentrate on the features only. Remember features tell benefits sell.

An example of a feature would be “batteries included” the benefit would be to the consumer it’s ready to go out of the box. Another feature is being open 24 hours a day. The benefit would be you can shop when you want to.

Generally every feature has a benefit. Sometimes it can be difficult to understand the difference between benefits and features and many entrepreneurs do not understand the importance to tell consumers about the benefits and only list features.

Remember the benefit is what the products can do for you once you buy. Too many times business owners fail to clearly tell consumers what the benefits are. Many times thought hasn’t even gone into finding out what real benefits their customers want.

Remember it’s all about telling consumers what they want to know in clear and short messages. Saving time, providing health or safety benefits are clearly reasons why people buy. A seat belt in a car is a feature. We buy cars with seat belts because it makes the user more safe.

The benefit is to be safe. A car that has side air bags as a feature gives us the benefit of being safer when we ride in that car. Take a look at the products and services you sell. List the features on one side of the paper.

Across from the features list the benefits of each feature and start telling consumers about the benefits. Remember the benefit of the feature must be significantly better in order for your marketing campaign to be successful.


To ask your questions: Call the Small Business Development Center(SBDC) at Cochise College (520)-515-5478 or email or contact the Sierra Vista Economic Development Foundation(EDF) at 520-458-6948 or email


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