Benefits, Features and Your Business Plan

by | Oct 11, 2010 | Planning Your Business

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Your business plan is about how you will serve your audience profitably. Therefore, it needs to be focused on what your audience wants and how you will supply that.

Your audience wants benefits.

You supply features.

How do you bridge that gap?

You translate your features into benefits your audience wants. Of course, to do that you need to know the difference. In fact, knowing the difference can be critical for your success. Here’s a chart that I hope will help make this more clear.

Features Benefits

About your product or service About your client or customer

Describes what a product or service is Describes what someone gets out of using that product or service

Tangible facts Intangible perks

Answers the question: "What does this product do?" Answers the question: "What’s in it for me?"

Descriptive Emotion-based

Now let’s apply this chart to a real product or service. I like Oreo cookies, so I’ll use that. Oreos have these features:

  • Crispy chocolate cookies
  • Dunkable
  • Has been around a long time

How do we translate those features into benefits. Let’s take a shot:

  • Can satisfy your cravings for chocolate and crispiness at the same time
  • Can enhance your experience drinking milk, tea or coffee
  • Can bring back good memories from your childhood

Of course, these were just features and benefits I listed off the top of my head, but I hope they help you understand the different between the two.

Your products and services will always have features. And there will be clients and customers who may, on the outside, be looking for those features. But the bottom line is … we are all looking for the benefits. when you can successfully translate your features into compelling benefits for your audience, that’s when you’ll make the sale!

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