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Product creators love features – consumers buy benefits!
How many times have you heard or read an ad that was a list of features? Heaps of times probably, especially in the car industry. You know the stuff… ABS, dual airbags, leading edge technology, multiplex electrics and the like.
So why are benefits better selling points that features?
Benefits tell the potential customer the answer to the question that all consumers want answered – “What’s in it for me?”. So instead of listing features a better advertisement would translate those features into benefits. For example: … comes with the protection of dual air bags and an Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) that improves road holding and steering by regulating the braking pressure to avoid wheel lock.
How to turn a feature into a benefit
The clue was in the last paragraph. We need to answer the question “What’s in it for me?”. So next time you’re trying to work out what benefits your product offers you can use the following formula – this feature means that… = benefit
I’ll give you some examples:
- multiplex electrics means that there are fewer wires and connections so it’s easier to service and maintain
- leading edge technology means the best, most up-to-date, most efficient technology
- 6 bedroom house means this is a family home with plenty of room for all the kids and then some
- dual processor means it will process information faster allowing you to work more efficiently
Do you get the picture?
So next time you hire an ad writer, or write one yourself, make sure talk about benefits not features.
This is a perennial question and one I wrote one of my free articles on. I think it ‘s a message that bears repeating so here goes…
Do “clever” advertisements really sell? Can you remember what the ad was for, or which brand? The answer is often “No!”.
Don’t sacrifice clarity for cleverness
It’s good if an advertisement can make you laugh but that shouldn’t be it’s main purpose. Certainly ads that make people laugh have engaged their audience but if they don’t follow through strongly enough then people don’t remember which brand or, sometimes, even what type of product the ad was selling!
So whether you’re engaging a copywriter or an ad agency, or you’re going to write your ads yourself don’t be tricked into thinking that “clever is best”; it isn’t, “clear is best”.
Cleverness wins awards for agencies
Ad agencies love “clever”, quirky ads because they are good contenders for creative awards but how successfully do they sell? Sometimes, spectacularly well, but many times poorly. Make sure your promotional dollars are targeted at selling your product or service and not at enhancing your agency’s PR efforts.
What makes a successful campaign?
We have more than 20 years experience in the advertising, marketing and PR business and can write clear, attractive copy that will sell your product or service. But if you want to do it yourself then you need some rules to follow:
- Know who your audience is
- Understand what pushes their buttons
- See your product or service through their eyes
- List the features and turn them into benefits (for more on this look out for my next post)
- Write clear copy that catches their interest and explains the benefits
Ads are just one step in the selling process
A successful ad campaign is the result of preparation, research and testing and it doesn’t have to be expensive. Contact The Copywriter Online to discuss your advertising needs or read our article “How to improve your advertising, save money and get better results”.